Posted in birds, frogs, home

Yikes

frog

I’ve had a traumatic week.  There was 2 (yip TWO) frogson the property.  I can’t stand frogs.  I’m terrified of them.

I discovered the first one early last week when I was putting the trash in the bin.  There it sat,

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Posted in hurt, mother

Dad and I

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So, I spent 2 weeks with my dad.  Really strange for it to be just the 2 of us.  We had a great time, lots of adventuring.

We spent one of the days in Hermanus.  I’ve never been there.  Its a beautiful town, alas no whales at this time of year.

The drive back to Gordons Bay was wonderful.  Theres a stretch of several kilometres that has Proteas growing wild.  All shades from purple through to pink, and, white, never seen white ones before,  I felt like a child wandering through them, delighting in this wonderment of nature.

And my Dad’s doing well.  We had a small celebration of my mums life on the 31st May.  (It would’ve been their 54th wedding anniversary)  There was masses of laughter and some tears.  I loved listening to my dad talking about him and my mum when they were dating, and then the early years of their marriage.  Wonderful memories, that bring a smile and a tear.

 

 

Posted in happiness, love, mother, Uncategorized

Happiness

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This Friday I’m flying down to be with my dad.  The Wednesday after that would’ve been my folks 54th wedding anniversary, and I don’t want my dad being alone for that first.

Meanwhile, I’m learning lessons from my mums passing.  Not to take anyone for granted.  To never let my sons forget how unconditionally I love them.  And to appreciate my partner more, and to tell him that.  ‘M’ has been myrock, my safe place, through everything.  This will be my 4th trip to Cape Town in less than a year , and not once did he question whether it was necessary for me to go.  All he ever had to say was as much as he needed me, my parents needed me more.

Live is for living.  There is no second chance.  Embrace those you love,  dance in the rain, sing even if you’re tone deaf (as my ever-suffering partner has discovered about me).

And work on happiness.  The sound of a bird,  a childs’ laughter,  dogs barking, freshly baked bread, a hot cup of coffee, a flower blooming.  Happiness comes in many forms.  Stop what you’re doing,  keep still,  feel and hear the world around you.

And, sometimes, when all is still, I hear my mum whispering.  And my soul smiles, that she’s never really left, she’s always there, in my memories.  That even in sorrow and grief, it’s okay to feel joy and be happy.

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Posted in Grief, hurt, love, mother, Uncategorized

Life Goes On

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Its almost 4 months since we lost my Mum, and my world didn’t stop.  The downside, my little old dog died 3 weeks ago and I’m missing the mutt like crazy.  And although I feel like the Grim Reaper is stalking me, stealing everything I love (I know, melodramatic, right) I understand it is the cycle of life.

We all lose people and pets that we love dearly, and, for the most part we survive and come out the other side slightly damaged but stronger.

My mums death has made my dad and I even closer than ever, we’re in touch everyday, and I phone him roughly every 2 weeks.  I think a lot of the sadness I do feel with regards to my mum, is actually for my dad, for what he has lost and how drastically his life has changed.  And I’m thankful that he knows he can tell me how much he’s missing her, that he can talk to me about her.

And that’s an important thing.  Too many people avoid the subject when you’ve just lost a loved one.  Don’t avoid it, tell the person something you remember,  that you’re there if they need a shoulder to cry on or just be there and say nothing, let them cry or talk, it’ll do them good.  They really just need their loss acknowledged and that it’s ok for them to still get teary-eyed, even months or years after.  (My younger 2 sons still feel the loss of their father 18 years later)

To all those who have loved, and gone through the pain of loss, go cry, have a pity party, you’re allowed too.  You had a what was a great love, which is now gone but not forgotten.  The love is still there.

And to my mum I say, “What the hell woman, you said you’d live forever”  and you will, forever in our hearts and memories.

Posted in Grief, hurt, love, mother, Uncategorized

Time to Accept

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It’s 4 weeks since my mum died.  And I’m still trying to be strong, and it’s not as easy as it was.  I’ve broke down twice, and pretty much cried on and off all day.  The first time it became too much, (my mum was dead almost 3 weeks), my partner was relieved, he was scared that I was still fighting the loss and locking my feelings away.

It’s hard for me to give in to the grief and go with it.  It’s less painful too lock it away and act like I’m ok.  When I finally broke down, it was because of something on TV.  It was so unexpected that I had no hope in hell of reining it in.  The pain, it was so bad I truly thought it would kill me.  It was twisting of my very soul and I felt as though it would never stop.  On and on it went, pulling tighter on my heart, and I could literally feel part of my heart and soul splinter off.

I miss her so much I wonder how will I survive the years to come without her.  But I will.  She’s gone but she’ll never be forgotten.  She lives on through my dad,  my sister and myself, her 6 grandsons,  her great grandaughter and great grandson and the lifes that will follow.

And my life continues. I will remember my mum with the good, the bad and the ugly memories.  I will concentrate on the life she lived not the slow agonising time of her illness, or how she looked in the last 12 hours of her life.  I will think of the first time she became a gran, and the joy my first born son brought to her and my dad.  How happy she was with each new grandson that came along.  And how joyous she was when the first little girl, her great grandaughter came along.

There are many memories to cherish and remember.  Her death was the cumulation of the years lived before.  Her passing is but that one second between life and death.  Being here and then gone.  And thats not a memory worth dwelling on.

RIP Ma xx

 

Posted in cancer, Grief, hurt, love, mother, Uncategorized

I’m Scared

5 days.  That’s all.  5 days since my mum passed away.  5 days since the bottom fell off of my world.

I look at myself in the mirror and there’s no trace of what has just happened.  I look like me.  But inside, I’m in freefall, my heart palpitates wildly.  It thuds so hard I don’t know why no one hears it.  My mind is screaming, “I can’t do this, come back Mum, come back,”  and then, it just screams, and screams,and screams.  My mind howls for the anguish my soul is in.  I want to run outside and scream and scream till theres nothing left.  I want to  curl up and cry, but I’m scared to.  I’m scared I’ll never stop.  That the tears won’t stop.  My hearts in agony, I’m physically hurting.  I wonder if it’ll ever stop.

I want to be 2 years old, and throw myself on the floor and have a tantrum. Will I ever sleep a full night, will my appetite come back.  or will I just continue to function while inside I feel like I’m slowly dying.

I’m confused, I can’t finish a thought, I go to do something and don’t know what.  I’m lost.

And I’m still scared.  I’m still too scared to cry.  I’m too scared to let the tears come,in case I can’t stop them.  And I can see the concern on my partners face.  He knows what a strong person I am.  That for the 7 months my mum went from being sick, to being told it was cancer and that she’d be lucky to make Christmas, I’ve been covering my emotions to stay strong for them.  To being their support through it all.  I’ve reined my feelings in, kept them in check.

And now,  now I’m scared.  I have to let go, to release them.  I know what I need to do, but still, I’m scared

I love you Ma  xx

 

Posted in mother, Uncategorized

My Beautiful Mum

 

 

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Yesterday morning I received a phone call from my dad, my mums doctor had given her 2-3 days to live and to see if I could come down immediately.  I got the first available flight and was at my dads side 7 hours later.  We drove from the airport directly to the Hospice.  It had been 3 months seen I’d seen my mum and I thought she had looked bad then.

Nothing could prepare me for what I saw yesterday.  How someone could still be breathing and look that frail I don’t know.  She was down to 43 kgs and a shadow of herself.  Her eyes were open but she saw nothing.  This woman lying in the bed was no longer my mum.  When I looked into her eyes she was already gone, her body hadn’t caught up with her.

Looking into her eyes, her face melted away and all I could see was the mum from my childhood.  The mum who was my safe place, my rock.  The mum I thought would live forever.  I remembered the silly teenage fights, and even the adult squabbles we had.  The mum I love with a passion that it hurts.

I stayed there for a while.  staring into those eyes that always had love for me.  And I talked.  Even though she didnt know I was there, I talked.  I told her how much I loved her, that my dad would be fine, that I was so glad she’d been my mum, that things would be okay, and that she could leave.  That we’d miss her so much and if we could we could we’d keep her here forever.  Even though it would hurt, she could go.

This morning we got a call from the Hospice, my mum had died.  Our world had finally changed.  My dad and I held one another and cried together.  My dad,  who was always a big gentlemen, felt like a child in my arms as he cried over the loss of his wife of 53 years.

A little later we drove to the Hospice where we were spent some time with my mum before the funeral parlour people arrived to collect her.  A chance to hold her one last time, to say goodbye for the last time.  Then we went home.

Now for the phone calls.  Now to phone the rest of the family and tell them of our shared loss.  To phone my sister, my sons, my nephews, close family friends.  Telling them all, and listening to their grief, their crying, their loss.

I’m happy my mums suffering is over.  That the cancer that had ended up attacking other organs in her body would no longer make her feel like she was being torn apart.  And I’m happy for my dad.  That he know longer has to watch the woman he loved his entire life going through all the agony and pain that she had for the last 4 months of her life.

Now its time to mourn and grieve for her.  To remember the life she lived, not what she had become.  To go and celebrate that I knew this woman, and she was my mum, and even though she’s no longer her with us in person, she’ll live forever in our hearts.  and as time goes on we’ll laugh and cry and remember the woman we all loved.

Rest in peace my beautiful mum.

I love you

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in love, mother

I Wonder

index                                                                                                  My youngest son arrives from the UK next Saturday, and on the 14th December him and my 3rd son are heading to Cape Town to spend time with the grandparents.

So I was talking to my dad this morning and he’s saying my mum is declining, he’s lucky if she’ll take 15 mouthfuls of food a day.  And I wonder, is she only hanging on till she sees her grandsons?  Is that what’s keeping her going?  They haven’t seen my youngest since December 2013 and my 3rd since 2012.

And I wonder if I should fly down to my folks the day after the boys leave.  I worry about my dad being alone when she dies.  But at the same time there’s no saying how long she’ll live.

I wonder about how exactly my dad is dealing with this.  My sister and the grandchildren know she has cancer, they just don’t know how serious it is.  My dad and I are alike in that we can put a good face on things.  He’s spoken with me about his fears and that he’s hurting, yet I know that even with me he’ll be holding back.  I don’t know which will hurt more, my mum dying, or my dads grief.

And I wonder, how do other people deal with these feelings.  With what the outcome is going to be.  It doesn’t make it any easier that she’s of an age when natural death can be expected.  (She’s 75)

And, again, I wonder, will I ever stop crying when I think about losing her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in cancer, home, illness, love, mother

My Mum

 

So in May this year my mum started to get ill.  At first we thought it was IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome).  One night my dad went to his stamp club and got a phone call on the way there.  It was my mum, she told him she was in unbelievable pain (we’re a family that will be in terrible pain before we complain)  My dad shot home and had to take her to emergency.  She ended up on morphine as nothing else would dull the pain.  Meanwhile they discovered a mass in her stomach area.  Long story short, after numerous testing, she has colon cancer.

Fast forward.    She went for an operation to remove the mass.  It seemed to help.  She had almost no pain.  Alas it didn’t last long.  The biopsy showed that the cancer had spread to her liver and lungs.  In the last couple of months she has lost almost 30 kilograms (she was 77kg, now shes 47kg).  This is because she barely eats.  Shes in so much pain, that even the morphine barely helps.  All she does is sleep.

My heart is in pieces.  I can’t imagine a world without my mum.  Even though over the years we’ve had huge fights or gone months without speaking because we’re peeved with one another.  She’s still been my mum, and I’ve always loved her.  And as I write this I’m struggling to see through the tears that slide down my cheeks.

And I think, what will my dad do.  They’ve been together since 1962 and married since 1963.  53 years married to my mum.  I can already see what my mums pain does to my dad.  If my heart is in pieces how is my dads.

I’m grateful that with all the things that happened in the past between my mum and I, that I’ve made peace with her.  That everytime I fly down to see them, I go lie on the bed beside my mum and hold her while she sleeps.  This woman, who was so big to me, is now tiny and fragile.  I tell her I love her.  When I’m at home, my dad and I talk on the phone everyday and before we hang up he takes the phone through to my mum, holds it beside her ear. And even though she may be sleeping I tell her I love her, that she’s the greatest. And before we hang up I tell my dad I love him and I’m only a phone call away.

Then I go to my bedroom, lie on the bed and cry.

My heart is breaking.  Soon, my world will change and never be the same again.  I will lose one of the greatest loves of my life.   My Mum.