Bristol

Terminally ill mother leaves 'wish list'

Kate and Singe Greene with their sons Reef and Finn
Image caption Mrs Greene died in January after being diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2008

Lying awake in the early hours after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Kate Greene was afraid she would not make it through the night.

But instead of feeling sorry for herself, she started to write a wish list of 100 things she wanted her husband and two sons to experience after she was dead.

Mrs Greene, from Clevedon, near Bristol, died in January at the age of 37, two years after she was diagnosed.

She and husband Singe had already been through a tough time before she was diagnosed with the illness.

In 2005, a tumour was found in their first son Reef's abdomen and the two-year-old was given two weeks to live.

"It was a very aggressive type of tumour and our world just fell apart," Mrs Greene's widower Singe said.

At the same time Mrs Greene gave birth to their second son, Finn, seven weeks early so both of their boys were in separate hospitals at the same time.

Reef managed to recover from the tumour, but in 2008 Mrs Greene found a lump in her breast.

Her husband said: "She started chemo within a week of it being found.

"It's just one of those things where everything about you is falling apart... you can either fall apart with it, but I don't think Kate would have let me do that.

"Once she realised her time was going to be limited, then she started planning for 'her three boys' to do, the activities she wanted us to do."

The 44-year-old said the idea for a wish list was dreamt up by his wife one day at 4am, and from then on they worked on it together.

Image caption The list also included things she did not want the children to do

"It was horrendous. Kate was at home, she was on oxygen, she was in bed and she was pretty frightened to go to sleep because she didn't think she would get through the night.

"Everything she thought about she would write down in a little diary and if she couldn't write she would text it to me on the phone."

Mr Greene said his wife had been a part-time scuba diving instructor and wanted both of their sons to learn to snorkel and scuba dive.

"She really wanted them to snorkel and scuba dive with the fishes in Egypt, so we've booked that one up for Christmas."

Another of her wishes was for them to attend an international rugby match.

"When she was going through all the chemo we used to sit and watch the rugby together in the hospital bed.

'Kiss them goodnight'

"There were four of us on one of the gurneys with the TV in front of us, squished in cuddling up. That used to be brilliant."

He said Reef and Finn had started playing rugby.

"We've also got an extension to build so we get a dining room table in the house, and she wants us to make sure the boys have a play room. All those sorts of things that every mum would probably want for their children."

Other requests were more simple, such as kissing the boys goodnight and teaching them not to be late.

The list also includes "do nots" such as not letting the boys ride a motorcycle, smoke or join the Armed Forces.

"The list is not a chore, it's a pleasure really," Mr Greene said.

But one wish on his wife's list he has so far put off is finding a girlfriend.

Mr Greene said his "soul mate", whom he met at a roller-skating rink 23 years ago, was "a hard act to follow".

"I guess it will come in time. The boys need me so it's quite difficult at the moment. It's something for the future."