- Does Mothering Sunday, itself bring mixed emotions?
Kate - It does
and it doesnít. I mean, every day to be honest is quite difficult. I
guess Mothers Day is another reminder really that
Madeleine is not
here. I think motherhood is a real gift and obviously Iíve got three
children, and itís a reminder that one of my babies isnít with me
but you know Iím still Madeleineís mum, and I always will be.
Aled . How do you cope with a day like Mothering Sunday?
Kate - I guess
itís a little bit different now I think because we are working so
hard perhaps days where we would have maybe done something really
special we donít necessarily, certainly Mothers Day, I think
birthdays are different, childrení s birthdays and things but I
think we just get through it like any other day really.
Aled - Do you get lots of support from family?
Kate - Oh weíve
had amazing support I mean our family has been great and thatís an
important point really because everyone in our family has suffered
and is going through a lot of pain and anxiety and we are all
missing Madeleine, but weíve all got to try and support each other
Aled - And what about your other children how aware are they of what
Kate - Very
aware they talk about Madeleine every day they know she is missing
they know she has been taken by somebody. They understand it a
little bit like burglary, in that even if you really want something
it doesnít mean that we can take it because
Madeleine belongs to us
you know and itís not right that theyíve got
Madeleine and we need
to find her but they talk about finding her, about you know finding
Madeleine, and running away with her and coming back home. And even
things like when we go on holiday they say Ďoh what will happen if
the police find Madeleine and we are not there?í And we say Ďoh
donít worry our next door neighbours will let us know.í And they are
very aware but they are very positive, they will always talk about,
Ď when Madeleine comes homeí
Sean said to me the other week, well
Amelie said to me ď Why do you work mummy?Ē and I said well ďIíve
got to find MadeleineĒ and
Sean said ď Yes mummy but when thatís
OVER, when Madeleine is home what will you do?Ē (Kate sighs) and you
think bring it on.
Aled - Does that help?
Kate - It does.
They always say out of the mouths of babes. You know they are really
positive and it really does keep us going. I think in years to come
Iíll be able to tell Sean and Amelie just how important they have
been in our life keeping us going and getting us through it all.
Aled - What effect has time had on you, has time healed at all?
Kate - Itís
always funny that line isnít it Ďtime is a healerí I think the
wounds are less raw, the pain doesnít go away, and the anxiety is
always there. Ií m definitely a lot stronger than I was a year ago
which is positive. Itís funny as sometimes you beat yourself up
about it because I think how come I am doing okay and Iím coping
better than I was thatís not right, because nothing has changed for
Madeleine but yeh itís important that I am because Iíve got three
children, one to look for and two to look after, and itís important
that I can cope.
Aled - Do you feel guilty at being happy in a way then?
Kate - Yeah
there is that element. I mean I know itís okay to be happy and itís
Sean and Amelie
that we do have happy times but there
is a little bit of guilt really and a little bit discomfort in being
able to adapt I guess.
A. How important a word is Ďhopeí for you?
Kate. - Oh very
important weíve obviously got hope, weíve got a lot of hope really a
lot of hope, hope that Madeleine is still alive. Obviously the
difficult task is trying to find her but whilst there is hope weíll
keep going and certainly weíll never give up..
Aled... - So what is Madeleine like?
Kate - Erm
someone you just want everyone to meet her cos, erm sheís just an
amazing little character full of personality loads of energy, quite
knowing, erm , really funny and loving and you know her relationship
with Sean and Amelie, itís incredible really and that Ďs something
which still gets to me at times. When I see them playing and they
start talking about Madeleine, again, you know,when we were away
Sean was digging in the sandpit and I said ďWhat are you doing?Ē he
said ď Iím digging up buried treasure mummy and Iím going to give it
to Madeleine.Ē And you just kind of think really, what would it be
like for the three of them to be together?
Aled - What are some your most treasured memories?
Kate. - Oh my
God thereís lots. I used to take
Madeleine swimming on a Saturday
morning and she used to have this really tight swimming cap on and
Iíd be watching through the glass and she was the youngest there,
she was only three and she would just walk along on her own really
confident and get in and these huge eyes would be looking at me
through the glass and shed just be waving you know, hi mummy and Iíd
be texting Gerry saying she has got me crying again, and just lying
with her you know and conversations, it had got to the stage where
me and Madeleine would go to lunch together you know and it felt
like a real girls day out.
Aled - I know you are a person of faith which I would like to talk
about after we have had some music I donít know if you listen to
music at all?
Kate - No, we
do, we listen to a lot of music itís been a little bit strange to be
honest because since Madeleine was taken from us I actually
struggled quite a lot to listen to music and I actually put
classical music on rather than anything remotely, I guess, happy,
with lyrics or stuff dance type music anything like that but
gradually I am able to listen to it again now.
Aled - And what would you like to listen to today?
Kate - Chasing
Cars by Snow Patrol.
Aled - Why Snow Patrol?
Kate - This is a
song that both, myself and Gerry really liked and in fact after
Madeleine had gone it was a song that was quite difficult to listen
to, actually it kind of it made us both quite upset because it
reminded us of happy times of Madeleine but at the same time it
reminded us of Madeleine. So, from that point of view it is quite a
special song and I think the lyrics if I just lay here will you lie
with me and Madeleine would often used to say at bedtime lie with me
mummy lie with me daddy and they were really special vivid moments.
Aled - Is every day bad?
Kate Ė No, not
every day is bad but it is strange I can have three or four days
where the days just go, basically I am working I am looking after
Sean and Amelie, I get through a day get up same for the next day,
and then something can suddenly out of the blue just really upset me
and it can be something quite innocuous it can just trigger
something, makes you aware that you donít have to scratch too far
below the surface for that emotion to come bubbling out. You get
through it, I mean luckily two of us together are quite a Ďunití
really, usually one of us can pull the other one up when needs be.
Aled - What does it feel like having worlds glare on you?
Kate - I think
you take it for granted really what being anonymous was like itís
been very hard I mean Iím not the most confident person on the
planet and Iíd never be a someone who would get up and give a
presentation at work or anything Iíd try avoid it like the plague
but weíve obviously been forced into this situation.
Aled - Youíve changed a lot as well havenít you because in the
beginning you were very much in the background whereas now you are
Absolutely, I think I was just, obviously I was going through a lot
of pain and distress but also I was just really uncomfortable being
in the spotlight and then I had to kind of say to myselfí well why
are we doing it, weíre doing it to try and find
Madeleine and itís
not about me and it doesnít matter how uncomfortable I feel you know
itís Madeleine we are trying to help. Forget about me move on get
Aled - Are there times when you donít feel strong?
Kate - Oh Yeh
yeh, there are have been a lot of things in the last almost three
years, erm not even just Madeleine being taken from us, which was
obviously the worst, but there has been many things that have
happened subsequently and they can also be really low times dark
times when you do doubt your faith I have to be honest, but at the
same time itís strange, because weíve been through that, I do
believe there is a greater good and in some ways it kind of
strengthens my faith really.
Aled - Because in a way because what you are experiencing for many
people would be hell on earth?
Kate - No, it
is. I think it the worst thing that could happen to a parent
certainly one of the worst things I mean the pain is just, just
incredible and itís the pain of worry for her really I mean we live
with the sadness of not having Madeleine in our lives but you know
Iím her mum and I canít help but worry about her and I just want to
be with her, if she has a sore tummy I want to be there, when she is
upset I want to be there. I just want to bring her back into the
warmth and love of our family.
Aled - Are there ever times when you blame God?
Kate - Iíve
never blamed God for what happened, at all. I donít think that was
anything to do with God. There are times when Iíve got angry with
God and certainly the, the additional things that I have mentioned
that have happened where I just think why can we have extra
suffering put on us at such an awful time and I just havenít
understood it and I wondered why God hasnít interceded and tried to
counter that. These are the times when I go off to the church to be
honest, I mean Iíve got a key to the church theyíve kindly given me
one sometimes I go in and oh itís a bit of a sanctuary a bit of a
refuge Iíll go and I can speak out Ė because obviously thereís no
one there Ė just get it all off my chest really. I mean I do wonder
you know why should God help my prayers when there are millions of
people with prayers which are equally as important around the world,
I donít know I mean I just hope he does but, my faith has really
sustained me I think a lot through all of this and it is a definite
Aled - Has your faith changed at all?
Kate - I think
it has probably got stronger definitely I think before all this
happened that Iíd never really had to question my faith you know it
was there I believed in God Iíd had little conversations with God in
my head but I never really had to challenge it I was just
comfortable with my relationship with my faith and with God but itís
definitely got stronger now itís probably more intense. Em the day I
was made arguido was quite an interesting day with regards to my
faith Iíd had a period of about 4 to 6 weeks prior to that where
there had obviously been a shift in the investigation and suddenly
none of the police were talking to us, we couldnít have a meeting
people didnít want to have phone conversations with us, I mean we
were left in this awful void of information really, so we were
trying to cope with the pain of not having Madeleine but also not
having any information and not knowing at all what was going on and
then that led on to the period when suddenly there were these awful
stories coming out in the media about supposed blood in the
apartment, basically pointing the finger at us then obviously that
subsequently finished with us being arguido and the day I was going
in for my arguido interview was quite a strange day because I had
been really low and feeling quite weak and fragile and then suddenly
I just felt really strong, I mean I was angry, I was angry that
people hadnít been looking for Madeleine but also I just thought to
myself Ď I know the truth and God knows the truth and nothing else
mattersí and I just felt really strong from then I felt a real inner
Aled - Do you think God is looking after Madeleine?
Kate - I do, I
mean to me Madeleine was a gift, most our life is pretty public
anyway, but you know obviously we had quite a difficult time trying
to have Madeleine and when she was born I really did believe she was
a gift and I never took her for granted you know every day when Iíd
wake up and Iíd see these huge eyes looking at me and Iíd say thank
God for Madeleine. I donít believe he would stop loving her now or
abandon her and I donít believe that at all, and I do get a comfort
in thinking that that wherever she is whoever she is with that he is
with her and protecting her, protecting her spirit and sheís got a
lot of spirit. (Kate laughs)
Aled - Do you find that your prayers have changed over the years?
Kate - I guess a
little bit more directed now. The prayer that I used to say all the
time was to, to keep the family, thank God for my family to keep
Gerry Madeleine Sean and Amelie safe healthy and happy I always said
that, which when it happened, to be honest was a little bit of a
struggle as that was the one prayer that I said all of the time. I
pray for lots of things now really, obviously I always pray for the
family obviously most of the prayers are centred on
but I pray for the people whoíve taken
Madeleine the people who know
what has happened to Madeleine, and the people around/ related to
the person who has taken Madeleine. And I pray for the police and
the investigators, people who are looking for her and I pray for all
the other children who are missing or have been exploited in some
way, because in some ways, funny to say lucky, but we have been
lucky weíve had a lot of support from the general public in
particular people we donít know weíve had incredible support and
there are many families out there whose children have gone missing
and you donít hear about it.
Aled - Gerry said his faith has been strengthened by the goodness
generated by this ordeal so there are positives that have come out
Kate - Ah very
much so. We still get a bundle of mail every day from people, you
know willing us on sending their best wishes. Children send pictures
for Madeleine and stuff, and you know we have books of prayers sent
for Madeleine that children have written. Itís been amazing. Itís
been a real eye opener, you know Iíd have never thought of sitting
down and writing a letter to someone I didnít know whoíd suffered
tragic event and yet the strength it has given us is amazing.
Aled - It would be understandable for you to be filled with hate and
anger and rage and yet youíre not at all?
Kate - Iíve had
my moments if I went back to 2008 I think I did probably have a lot
of anger on board and itís such a horrible negative emotion . Iím
pleased to say that, that anger has gone now and I feel so much
better than I did in 2008.
Aled - Do you think youíd ever be able to forgive the people who
Kate - Thatís a
difficult one isnít it? I guess I donít know why theyíve taken her
and I think until I know that it would be hard, hard to say. Iíd
like to hope that I could but itís difficult.
Aled - On Mothering Sunday do you have a message for other mothers
who may be experiencing similar emotions to what you are going
Kate - Yeah I
think erm Ė long pause- , dig deep really, just keep hoping and be
around your family and friends, really gather their love, surround
yourself with positive people but dontí give up.
Aled - Thank you for talking to me