The space in the break of my heart…

The space in the break of my heart…

My mother died 26 years ago. She was sixty. To be honest it was a devastating loss. We lost our father two years earlier through a long battle with cancer but Mam? Well she simply disappeared one night, or at least that’s how it felt. She had come through a brief enough medical battle which in itself was life threatening. She was on the way back out of that battle all seemed well. Mam went out with her sisters for the first time since her battle began as if to celebrate her return. She dropped dead holding on to her sister’s hand, singing.

Today is her birthday. She would be eighty five. I saw her two days before she died and I never saw her again. I was called to the hospital at two in the morning, but the body that lay on that hospital bed wasn’t Mam. She was gone and it truly broke my heart. Some people have a big influence on your life, some fade in and out without registering a mark. My mother’s love, left an indelible softness in my heart that has shaped all that may be good about me.

When I wrote Little Big Boy, it was Mam that sculpted my tale. Many think the book autobiographical which of course it is not, but there are elements and stories from my life that I called upon, to evoke the emotion needed to make this book something special for me. At the heart of the book is Little Big Boy’s love for his mother and her love for him. It was my mother that I called upon when I needed to find the words to portray the deepest joy and sorrow and as such Little Big Boy was actually a very painful book to write.


People say things like they poured their heart and soul into something. I did something quite different with what has become my readers’ favourite Max Power book. I gave of my pain. I shared a hurt I could never fully describe and I offered a taste of what love means to me. It was neither my heart nor my soul; it was the space in the break of my heart, the gap that had been forged through loss, an unfulfilled lonely pain that no one but you can know in your own terrible darkness when you lose someone you love. Little Big boy is not my story yet it carries the weight of my pain and the lightness of my joy.  Perhaps that is why it is so special to me and why so many readers connect with it.  I lost my brother nine years ago. Where once we were six now we are three and in writing Little Big Boy, I came close to following Dad, Mam and Brian through my own dice with death which is well documented in my blogs of the time. I miss them all, but today is her birthday so today I think of Mam.

I miss her every day in truth but in a very subjective way. I miss her by her absence, which may sound an obvious thing to say but I mean more than just the obvious in this. In her not being there I have no one to scold me, no one to tell me I’m being foolish or selfish or unkind. I miss her ability to read me like a book and offer direction even when I disagree with her. Her absence left me rudderless. My north star clouded over as I sailed in the dark alone and despairing, wondering if I could ever find my way without her guiding hand.

To be brutally honest, it took me many years to recover the loss, far longer than I either realised or imagined. Now I am a changed man. Perhaps I am just a man.  She is not there to take my hand and guide me as I cross new roads in life.  I have to make choices without that critical eye watching me with love. There is no doubt I have found love in other places. My heart is filled with my true love’s blessings every day but that is something very different. Now my darling Jo holds my hand and we cross roads together she and I. Over time I have learned not to be afraid of life’s traffic. I have found my own way at last and I can cross most roads safely. But sometimes, I miss her standing at the door watching me as I look left and right. I want to look back to see her smiling at me and then giving me a stern look, telling me to look where I’m going, urging me to walk and not to run.

Looking back is too painful so I look forward and up to stop me feeling down. Mam is with me always anyway. She is in my eyes and in the sallowness of my skin. She is in the words I say, the thoughts I think and most of all in the softness of my heart. But sometimes, just sometimes specially on days like today her birthday, I turn my head to look over my shoulder, to see her smiling back at me. I still seek her approval even in her absence. She never got to see my children grow.  She never got to see me grow to finally become a man, whatever that means. I am a man I guess, the one she made, the one she never got to see…

Little Big Boy is free to download today 30th June and tomorrow 1st July here…

You can find details about Max Power’s books here : –
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links


all 5

44 thoughts on “The space in the break of my heart…

  1. A piece written from the heart as always, Patrick. It’s good to see a man who is able to look back over such a gap in time and still feel the connection and tenderness of somebody who has passed on. Little Big Boy is a special story, and no less so because it draws from a life lived, although it is not autobiographical.
    I know what it takes to source the deep emotional ties to write such a tale, because I’m presently working on Part Five of my version (A Life of Choice).
    This post highlights among other things how sensitive and caring you are as a human being, and not many men have the guts to put such feelings in writing. When I think about it, not many men I know would be capable of expressing their feelings in words, let alone written words.
    Nicely written as always, and your mam lives on in you which is a credit to you both.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tom. I try to recognise my writing influences in my blog albeit sometimes in a tangential way. The impact of loss is always significant and helps me find a way to connect to emotions when I write. I use what I can to tell my stories ☘️


  2. A sincerely heartfelt, touching, and moving post, Patrick. I found myself thinking of my Mother as well, while unconsciously looking back over my own shoulder. She departed many years ago too, missing my children growing up. Yet, like you, I feel her presence, along with my Father’s, with me all the time in my writing. Wishing the very best to you and your family on this special day of remembrance. It is clear your Mother was very special.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very moving post, Patrick. I miss my mom every single day, since she died seventeen years ago. Some losses are greater than others, and a mom, well, I don’t think there is any greater loss than that one.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “…it was the space in the break of my heart, the gap that had been forged through loss, an unfulfilled lonely pain that no one but you can know in your own terrible darkness when you lose someone you love.”
    I would only add “or someone you never had.”
    As a kid, I told myself “You got some things; you didn’t get others.”
    So we keep looking forward and up, as you said, to be able to manage what we have lost, or never had.
    I really love this. It’s beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Even though it was many years ago. I offer my condolences. Some losses you can never truly get over, but find a way to cope, to move forward. My mother died my birthday night. Somehow, my wonderful husband made it seem like something special, but I don’t remember how…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just read your review. Thank you very much indeed, I always appreciate reviews especially such nice ones. I cried so many times writing this book which was a very challenging technical experience as well. Again thank you 🙏❤️☘️🎈

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Max, yes I imagine writing that was a unique experience. I posted that review on Amazon as well, but they usually reject my reviews so will have to wait and see.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s