I'm one of those people who shriek, "Oh! My! God! This is my favourite song, EVER!", every time a song I like comes on the radio. I know, I know. I have a different favourite song every week. I'll listen to it on repeat, over and over. I'll press rewind without even noticing. It becomes the soundtrack to my life. I mean, I can hear a song and moments of my past will suddenly be flashing before my eyes. People, places - anything and everything that means something to me has a song to go along with it.
There is one song, however, which I listen to every day without fail. It's funny because it's a song which means a lot to me, but if it ever came on the radio, well, I wouldn't say anything. I'd just listen.
"I Hope You Dance"
I don't think there are enough words to actually sum up how much this song means to me. I suppose anyone who knows me knows that I am exceptionally close to my grandad, as I was to my granny, who passed away in 2001.
My mum, she was diagnosed with depression after I was born and so my grandparents looked after me. I was extremely lucky. They were amazing and I couldn't have hoped for two more perfect people to look up to.
Anyway, I, unfortunately never had that mother - daughter bond and after the death of my grandmother, well, I didn't really have a female role model. There were years of myself and my mum barely speaking, not out of hostility, it was just like being in a room with a stranger. I guess we were strangers.
One night, a good few years ago now, but I'll never forget it, we were home alone together and she asked me to come into the sitting room. She played this song for me. She said she'd found it and had listened to it every day since. That she'd always wanted to say sorry, but "Sorry will never be enough, so when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance. 'Cause when you sit it out, you miss what matters".
Since then, we've become good friends. While we don't have a typical mother - daughter bond, we've accepted that and it's ok. I still call her 'mam' and she still tells me to "Be careful" in the voice that only a mother can do.
When I hear this song, some days my heart breaks. Some days, I feel sorry for myself. Mainly, I feel sorry for my mum. I can't imagine how hard it was for her to feel like she was missing out on something as special and as wonderful as bonding with her child. Some days, I listen to it and think, "You know what, it's ok. I didn't run to her when I fell and scraped my knees as a kid and she never read me stories at bedtime, but I still have a mother and one who has hopes for me and that's enough".