There’s the opportunity to meet local author Jackie Mannell at a special signing of her book ‘Heart, Broken: My Journey To Self-Healing’ at Waterstones, Priory Meadow, Hastings tomorrow (Saturday March 26) at 12noon.
Jackie’s inspirational book tells a touching story of self discovery and reflection following the death of her mother Christine of whom she says died too young twenty four years ago. “The love my mum showered on me is easy to remember, even now,” she said. “I was her only child out of six pregnancies, and she doted on me.
“Mum was always there with a cuddle, her eyes sparkling and the biggest smile imaginable. Dad was not around much, as they split up when I was 18, so I didn’t have to share her.
“As I grew older Mum was so calm, so kind; she never shouted or moaned at me. She never judged me, she simply listened.”
Jackie, 52, said sadly Christine had Type 1 diabetes which overshadowed their lives. “I bought her a pair of earrings with my first wage packet to show her how much she meant to me. But then, she wasn’t a ‘normal’ mum in other respects as she had to inject herself twice a day to stay alive.
“I watched that illness take my mother slowly from me and I was helpless to stop her suffering.”
Aged 42 Christine suffered a stroke which lead to many more and two years later blindness struck. Jackie says it was a pitiful, cruel and frightening illness for her Mum and, in a complete reversal of roles, became her carer. “Then, one terrible day Mum endured and in enormous epileptic fit, which turned her into nothing more than a vegetable aged only 50. Then I got the phone call from the hospital that I’d been dreading..”
Jackie stayed with her Mum as she passed away. “It was a very peaceful experience. I talked to her, I held her in my arms. It was so hard, though. I wasn’t ready to be on my own.”
Jackie said loosing her Mum was devastating. “I gave myself no time to grieve – I didn’t dare, as the crushing pain of losing her was too much to register. Without Mum’s steadying hand, I lurched from one disastrous relationship to another, my health suffered, and I developed a heart condition.”
Jackie’s life started to turn around when, at a psychic fair, she met a lady who connected to Christine. “This gave me unmistakable evidence that Mum was around me. I’d always believed there is no real separation between living and dying; that the spirit is still here. I’ve since connected to Mum many times and that comforts me immensely. I know she’s only a whisper away…’”
‘Heart, Broken: My Journey To Self-Healing’ is published by Red Letter Books £9.99 ebook £4.79.