Dying mum’s wish list becomes bestseller
THE poignant story of a Clevedon mum who made a wish list for her family before she died at the age of 38 has become a bestselling book.
Mum’s List by St John Greene rocketed to the top of the Amazon online chart when it was released on Thursday, after his family’s story captured the hearts of thousands.
St John, known to most as Singe, began writing the book a year after his wife, Kate, died following a courageous battle with breast cancer.
She made the most of the time she had left with her sons Finn and Reef, travelling to Disneyworld and Lapland just months before she died in January 2010. She also made sure she would have an influence on their lives once she was gone, compiling a list of more than 100 items she wanted Singe to fulfil and teach to the boys as they grew up.
Including teachings such as do not tell lies and treat women with respect plus light-hearted requests such as telling them to buy orange Club biscuits and bourbon creams each time they go shopping, the list has enabled Singe to sign a publishing deal with Penguin Books.
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As well as details about Kate’s list, the book tells the story of how the couple met and their lives together, including love letters Kate sent to Singe when she was 17.
Singe, aged 45 of Westfield, said: “I never thought I would have a number one selling book.
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“These were the sort of memories, if we were an old couple in our rocking chairs, we would share with our grandchildren.
“They were memories we were going to share together. I didn’t want all that gone.
“For the boys not to know their mum is the hardest thing for me to cope with so to have a book about her is a lovely thing to have.
“Having the book do so well will help facilitate a lot of things and make them easier to achieve.”
Singe has already fulfilled many items on Kate’s list including buying the boys their own boat and taking them snorkelling in Egypt and diving in Belize.
He is also chairman of governors at All Saints’ Primary School in Clevedon, which Finn and Reef attend, fulfilling Kate’s request that he got involved in their school life.
Another is soon to be fulfilled after the Natural History Museum in London offered them a private session to allow the boys to roller skate around its exhibits.
This stemmed from an appearance on the ITV programme, This Morning, on Thursday when Singe and his sons told their story, leaving presenter Holly Willoughby in tears.
Kate was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, just more than year after Reef, now aged seven, went into remission from a rare and aggressive cancer, which he was diagnosed with at the age of 18 months. He was given a six per cent chance of survival after a tumour was found taking up half of his stomach.
At the time, Kate was pregnant with Finn, now aged six, and due to the stress she gave birth seven weeks early, meaning both sons were in different Bristol hospitals at the same time.
However, both children pulled through and, despite still needing some hospital treatment, Reef is now a happy active young boy.
Singe, who runs water sports and first aid company, Training Saints, said: “For a little boy who is permanently disabled, he is unbelievable.
“He is doing everything a boy should be and more.
“Now we always celebrate birthdays in a big way – at one point we thought we would lose both boys.”
Inspired by his wife, Singe has also now compiled his own list of things he wants to achieve in his life. He said: “Everyone should have their own list – life is too short really.”
* Mum’s List is available from most book retailers and also as an e-book online.