Posted in Grief, happiness, home, hurt, love, mother, Uncategorized

The Year is Almost Over

Its been a different kind of year. The good, the bad and the ugly. My dad went through many firsts. First Valentines Day, mums birthday, anniversary, his birthday, all without my mum. And today I know he’s in pain. This time last year he had to have my mum admitted to Hospice and its when he realised she was never coming home.

The woman he’d loved, adored, cherished for 55 years was never going to be his Ellen again. The woman admitted to Hospice was but a shell of her. When I saw my mum the day before she died, when I looked into her eyes, eyes that had always looked back at me full of love, were empty. My mum had already left, her body hadn’t caught up.

So, today is a bad day for my dad. He’s in so much pain and heartbreak, that I weep for what he’s feeling. Knowing I can do nothing to help him.

And because I know the firsts are hard for him, I went to stay with him at the time of their anniversary. And for Christmas I bought him a plane ticket to come and spend Christmas with us. That way he won’t be alone on the 21st, which is the first anniversary of her death.

On the good side, my oldest son got married. Not only did I gain a daughter-in-law, but also 2 step-grandsons and a step-grandaughter. And they’re all spending Christmas day with us. Nice for my dad as he hasn’t met his grandsons family.

Also, my youngest boy flew home from the UK for 3 weeks. Which was AWESOME. We did the drive to Cape Town, well, Gordons Bay (think of the Talking Heads song “Road to Nowhere}, the Karoo section takes forever. And we stayed with my dad. Which he loved. Although I think my dad may now be banned from some shops and malls. When members of my family get together we turn into 3 year olds who’ve escaped from an insane asylum.

My 2nd son and his Italian girlfriend decided to live together. Which if you knew this son, you’d realise that this is a massive step.

And last, but not least, my 3rd son has his daughter this Christmas. I wanted to fly them here for Christmas too, but unfortunately someone has to remain on the farm over December, and its his year.

And the ugly. Thats one of those dark secrets that you hope like hell doesn’t slip out. 4 of us know it, and if the rest of my family found out about it, a lot of damage would be done, and I’d be caught in the middle.

And so, this year is almost done. Another year nearly over. Where does the time go?

To all of you out there, have a wonderful December. Remember to tell those you love that you love them, for life is too short not to.

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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 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.

 

Posted in army, love

So Near Yet So Far

Two of my 4 sons moved to the United Kingdom to live and work.  One is in the architectural field (2nd son) and the other is in the British Army (4th son). 

Last night my youngest (4th) landed in the Mother-Continent, in Kenya to be exact, at the Army Base there.  And all I can think about is that he’s only half a continent away, roughly 2950 kms (1820 miles).  I know, what’s the big deal, well, he’s normally 2 continents away, roughly 9100 kms ( 5635 miles).  And that’s a big deal. 

I’ve seen him 3 times since February 2012.  Twice he came back to South Africa, and I went there in February this year for his passing out parade.  Now that was a BIG DEAL.  Talk about proud, I think (actually I know) that I bored everyone to tears talking about it and him.  Over and over and over, (you get the picture) again.  He was so smart and grown up and my little boy was gone.

There’s something about when the last child leaves home that’s harder to deal with than the others.  I suspect it’s because for a while it was just the 2 of us.  When he had been gone about 6 weeks I climbed into my wardrobe and screamed and cried for around 4 hours.  I thought my heart would never be the same.  It was a physical pain, and I could no longer keep it in and to myself, so when it broke it did it in magnificent style.  I worry that I’m over attached to him, as more 4 and a half years later, when I think about how far away he is, it still hurts like hell.  I feel a pull to return to the UK to be nearer to him and my 2nd son.  But I’ve 2 sons here as well, and a grandaughter, and I know if I moved there, I’d miss the 2 here.  But such is a mothers’ dilemma.

Anyhoo,  back to the original topic.  All that stands between myself and my youngest is a 6 hour flight, that’s all that separates us.   

And my heart skips with joy, and breaks with the pain from knowing he’s so near yet so far.