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20110328

For Mother's Day, an exploration of the special bond between mother and son, stories sent in by listeners to Woman's Hour.

Ben was close to his family, had a place in medical school and was on course to fulfill his parents' aspirations - when he suddenly announced he was getting married.

He was 19.

His parents lost him for ten years.

But when he reached crisis point he decided to go home - he had nowhere else to go.

"It was dark and there was a light in the porch.

Mum held me, and I cried for a very long time."

Beverley, a single parent, used to take her young son Benjamin everywhere with her, even parachuting.

But he started smoking cannabis, taking ecstasy, and dropped out of university to organize raves.

The drugs affected his mental health and he tried to kill his mother.

"I believed she'd been cruel to me when I was young.

I developed a fantasy that led me to making a gun.

That's when things became dangerous.

I made the gun and my uncle said, 'What's that for?' and I said, 'It's to shoot your sister.'" She called the police; he was sentenced to four years in prison.

But then came the day when, from his secure mental unit, Benjamin decided to call his mother.

The third story is even more extraordinary.

Ahmed's mother gave birth to him during an Israeli raid in the Gaza strip.

Her baby was taken from her, placed in intensive care and she was given a number for his cot.

When the hospital was evacuated, her husband ran to save the baby but discovered two babies in the cot.

He chose one, and handed him to his wife, who bonded with the baby immediately.

But they did not tell their son what had happened - until he found out when he was 17.

The repercussions of that choice are still being felt by Ahmed and his mother.

Is he really her son? And what does it mean, in the end, to be a good son, and a good mother?

Producers: Elizabeth Burke and Kim Normanton

A Loftus Audio production for BBC Radio 4.

For Mother's Day, an exploration of the special bond between mother and son.

For Mother's Day, an exploration of the special bond between mother and son, stories sent in by listeners to Woman's Hour. Ben was close to his family, had a place in medical school and was on course to fulfill his parents' aspirations - when he suddenly announced he was getting married. He was 19. His parents lost him for ten years. But when he reached crisis point he decided to go home - he had nowhere else to go. "It was dark and there was a light in the porch. Mum held me, and I cried for a very long time."

Beverley, a single parent, used to take her young son Benjamin everywhere with her, even parachuting. But he started smoking cannabis, taking ecstasy, and dropped out of university to organize raves. The drugs affected his mental health and he tried to kill his mother. "I believed she'd been cruel to me when I was young. I developed a fantasy that led me to making a gun. That's when things became dangerous. I made the gun and my uncle said, 'What's that for?' and I said, 'It's to shoot your sister.'" She called the police; he was sentenced to four years in prison. But then came the day when, from his secure mental unit, Benjamin decided to call his mother.

The third story is even more extraordinary. Ahmed's mother gave birth to him during an Israeli raid in the Gaza strip. Her baby was taken from her, placed in intensive care and she was given a number for his cot. When the hospital was evacuated, her husband ran to save the baby but discovered two babies in the cot. He chose one, and handed him to his wife, who bonded with the baby immediately. But they did not tell their son what had happened - until he found out when he was 17. The repercussions of that choice are still being felt by Ahmed and his mother. Is he really her son? And what does it mean, in the end, to be a good son, and a good mother?

20110403