I knew I wanted to write today, but now I’ve opened the page to let the words escape my overflowing mind, they seem to have vanished, so I’ll just write about what is happening at this exact moment in my life.
3,500 miles away my husband and three children, plus sister and her fiancé (because they live with us), are moving home. This past week my husband has spent packing boxes in between standby shifts and being called into work with the minimum of notice. He also had our daughter’s birthday sleepover to co-ordinate on Thursday, which he intended to be around for, but work called him in. He’s a pilot. This is part of our everyday day life that’s we have to work around. Usually there is two of us, but this week he has had to manage alone. I say ‘alone’ – what I mean is, without me. We have a live-in maid who cleans the villa and looks after our children while we both work full-time jobs. It’s really not as extravagant as it sounds – aside from having the house cleaned, it really is no different to having to pay for (very expensive), childcare in the country we used to live in…except the care isn’t as good, and I get help with the housework. So, yeah…the long and the short of it is, I’m not at home.
I’m in England. I’m in the South of England, and to be even more precise, it’s known as the Garden of England. I’m sat in a green, leaf patterned electric recliner chair, next to a hospital bed. I’m not in a hospital, but in a hospice – a hospice provides specialist palliative care for patients. I’ve been here for the last 5 days, coming back and forth the hospice, back to the same room.
My mum is the youngest of 10 children; 7 brothers; 2 sisters. 2 of her brothers have already left this world, one to a brain haemorrhage when he was 35, and the other committed suicide. With such a big family we have lots of things that can, and do, go wrong, and boy, does the shit hit the fan in this family.
It never rains, it always pours.
Our family has suffered a huge amount of sadness and turmoil over the years. Loss of life (haven’t we all experienced that at some stage), accidents – terrible, life altering accidents, sexual abuse and relationship breakdowns. Yep, never rains in our family, it always pours.
1999 saw the end of the life of a very dear lady, close to my heart. Christmas Eve saw my nan taking her final breath after a relatively short battle with cancer. I say short, we don’t know how long she had cancer for. Once we found out though, we had 3 months and she was gone. Her demise was quick, and I’m glad she didn’t have to suffer long. She had bone cancer that spread to her brain. Sometimes I’m sorry she never got to meet my children, but I’m a believer that she can see us and she knows them…she knew them before I did. They were born after she passed.
Fast forward to today. I’m sat int he same hospice as my nan passed away in, except I’m now sat next to my aunty, and yes, she also has bone cancer. Originally she has breast cancer that was misdiagnosed. After a mastectomy, it was simply just too late to catch the rest and here we are today. She’s laid in bed after I don’t know how long of fighting, still holding on, when really it’s time to leave this world behind.
Over the last 5 days I’ve watched her become more tired, more confused and more out of it. She’s gone from just being able to feed herself to needing help, and to speaking to nan.
It’s almost time, we all know that. It’s just when, and until when arrives we have to wait, patiently…