June 30, 2011

Tell me what is it you plan to do with your wild and precious life ~Mary Oliver~

When I came across this quote by Mary Oliver it struck a chord deep inside me, I had become so wrapped up in my everyday struggle to survive that I had forgotten I have a whole wild and precious life ahead of me. That dispite Syd no longer being with me I have an infinite amount of possibilites open to me, that my dreams are still obtainable and that now more than ever I should hold tight to them and put them into action.

I have written about the familiar, and the need to return, but I feel the core of what was 'So this is life' has changed. I am changed, I am calmer, less in control and my life will never be the same. There are days where I beg and plead for one more day, to hold my husband, to talk to him and to feel his heartbeat against me but for the most part I have embraced the calmer me.

I have learned to accept that my house will never be perfectly neat again and I no longer stress about it. I have come to accept that the expectation of perfection from myself will ultimately be my demise. I have learned that sometimes, letting go is the most beautiful release.

I have embraced my role as a single mother and have learned to be a child once more so that I may too see the beauty and marvel that they do. My essence is still there but circumstances have molded me into something different, someone I am beginning to like and who will follow her heart into the unknown for the adventure and not for the sake of taking breath to live.

So, this is life is a closed chapter in my book...for now I will enjoy my wild and precious life.

May 30, 2011

One year and one month is all it took for everything to change.

The dunes at our beach...

migrated over the road

Dad's hand...

became Mom's

and the bared bummed babe...

became a boy

One year and one month, that's all it took for everything to change. Everything except that hideous skirt.

May 23, 2011

“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people move our souls to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom. Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon. They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.”
~Flavia Weedn ~

We all have those people, not the obvious connections, our family or close friends, but those who are with us for a short period of time. Those who, although now no longer are a part of you, somehow have managed to make such a lasting impression that when we speak of our defining moments, they inevitably are the 1st that come to mind.

In my darkest moment, in a time when I no longer wanted to exist, such a person came into my life. My mind was fractured, my soul nearing collapse. I could make no sense of the world after what I had endured. I remember standing in front of her in my school uniform, not wanting to confront the maddening crowds, knowing that they all had their child like innocence and I had none. In that moment I uttered something, I cannot remember what it was, it must have been something that reflected the darkness I felt. What she said to me has stuck, it is the defining moment of my life, and I would never have survived Syd's death without those words on endless repeat in my head. "You are beautiful, you are intelligent, you will be successful. Sometimes life sucks, and what has happened is disgusting, unthinkable, but you will survive, you are a fighter because the world would not be the same without you"!

When Syd died I didn't stop moving, my mind was a whirling mess of thoughts, I willed my body to move constantly. I feared that if I stopped my world would cave in, that I would not be able to get out of bed. For weeks I survived on very few hours sleep, my life a daily commute between banks, work, taking care of our child, food, shopping and when I had nothing else to do, an endless stream of washing. I found myself one Saturday, after putting our son down for a nap, at a loose end the itch to do something, anything taking over. I walked out in the pouring rain to get my post. In amongst the bills was a post card with something so simple written on it. I sat, stared at it, without reading the name, I knew who it was from... I had stopped moving, when I looked at the time more than 30 minutes had past. My world still standing, my mind cleansed from the tears I had cried. My guardian angel once again reminding me that I am worth it, another footprint on my heart, another defining moment creating the new me.

May 17, 2011

It is said that human beings will always return to what is familiar to them. Even those who crave change, seek that which is comfortable to them.

But what becomes of those who's familiar is ripped from them... when our sanctity ceases to be?

We are forced into a rebirth, a situation of relearning all that we have been taught.

I remember reading with ferver the story of Matt, Liz and Madeline. My heart aching for his what could've been. When my own husband was ripped from me, I stopped reading. His pain became a reflection of my own. I couldn't write, fearing the words I committed to this space would reflect the starkness of my life.

In these first few months of being ripped from the womb, I am relearning to live... to feel. I am conciously aware of the beauty of what is around us... of the complexity of our intertwined lives.

This has always been one of the fundamental spaces. A place where I can be who I am. Where my musings and uniqe views on humanity can be expressed. This is my familiar.

It will as always be a little dark, mostly funny and sometimes, maybe sad but it is mine.

Human beings always return to the familiar...

August 18, 2010

Dear Readers,

So much has happened in the last 2 months, so many thoughts and too many what ifs.
Cancer is a terrible disease, it doesn't only eat at the person suffering from it, but it tears at the very fibre of you family. It irrefutably changes the essence of everyone, including your family dynamic. It leaves you questioning your faith, and living in a world of cynicism. You no longer believe that miracles happen, all you see, feel and experience, is the moment. Your life is filled with Doctor's visits, bad news and waiting for the next symptom to rear it's ugly head. Like wise the reprocutions live for generations, the stigma is attached to you and your family for generations to come. Your child becomes the kid who lost his father/mother to cancer and as they grow they become the adult who lost his father/mother to cancer and eventually it is past on to the next generation.

Yesterday, I lost my friend to this terrible disease. The woman who cared, nurtured and loved Jordan when I had to go back to work. The woman who became my family and who fought with every fibre in her being to stay alive. I cannot describe what it was like to watch an 80 plus kilogram woman, fade away to less than 40 kilograms in less than half a year. It highlighted for me, the enormity of what is to come, not only physically, but emotionally too. It showed me the stigma Syd's children will endure for the rest of their lives.

This has become a deeply personal journey for our family, a journey of loss, not just in the future, but in the right now. I have thought long and hard about my roll as Jordan's mother, and how important it is for me to protect him, even a little, from the stigma that is to be attached to him. As we start the beginning of the end, I have come to realise that perhaps Jordan would not want his father's final months available for the world to see.

For now, I will continue to write for Syd to Jordan on pen and paper. Maybe when he is older, and with his blessing, he will allow people to see what transpired, but that will be his choice to make. Perhaps, at some point I will be able to write about my life again, but not right now.

I will continue to read everyone's updates, and although comments may be few and far between, I will hold each of you in my thoughts.

So, this is goodbye, not forever, just for now. Love fiercely, cherish each moment, hold tightly to your dreams, and enjoy the journey.

June 17, 2010

2 Months After Diagnosis

Dear Jordan,

Your diary is late because I have hit somewhat of a snag. I just don't know how I'm supposed to end this memoir to you. Dad says I'll know when it's the right time. But somehow I'm not too sure.

Dad and I went to Mozambique together. What a magical place. You stayed with your Grumpy and Granny. Dad and I really has so much fun and we spent some quality time together, discussing Dad's wishes and our way forward. By the time we came home though, I was missing you so much. I vowed never to leave you at home again.

After we came back. Dad had his follow up appointment. I don't know what we expected, that perhaps the disease had somehow left him, maybe it was the holiday, and not thinking about it, or maybe it's because Dad looks so good. The cancer has spread to his glands, and both his lungs are filling with fluid again. There is nothing the medical fraternity can do about it. So we wait and see.

I so wish I could freeze time for you my son. I wish there were no discussions about funerals, estates and wishes for remains. I pray for more time, to give you the opportunity to spend it with your Dad. When I see how quickly you are growing I am so very proud, but so very sad too. When you walk down the passage shouting Dad, Dad my heart melts, and my mind races, wondering how long you have left to do that. But for now, we continue to be thankful that you have blessed our lives and that you can grow and feel our love for you.

We love you forever and always our son,

Dad and Mom

April 13, 2010

1 Month After Diagnosis

Dear Jordan,
Your diary entries will be done monthly now as life settles into some sort of normality. Dad is doing so well, despite yet another infection in his original drain incision.
This last month has been spent with friends and family, trying to connect and allowing Dad to be as normal as possible.

Some big things have happened in the last few weeks, and really tough decisions have had to be made. One of our biggest fears have been losing Dad, and losing our house shortly afterward. It is unfortunate, but it is a reality, and will probably happen. The bond is not registered solely in my name, and if one of the members of the bond passes away, the banks recall the entire debt. There is no way that I could ever afford to pay off that debt, and so the decision has been made to sell our house. This is not as bad as it sounds, and as Dad said to me, I have never been happy here. He is right, the best thing that happened in this house was you, everything else is of no consequence, and to be very honest, I will not be sad to see this house disappearing into the distance. We will find a new place, that I can afford by myself, and that you can grow up in.

Easter came and went. You had such a wonderful time hunting for eggs with Emma, and giving your poor Granny heart failure when you stuffed an entire white candy egg into your mouth. Watching you and your excitement was amazing, but somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I wondered if this would be the last Easter you would have with your Father, and how that would affect you. For some reason I just cannot get my mind around not having him with us. Perhaps it’s because he is so well now, or because it we cannot see the disease, but most of the time it feels like a dream, that he’ll definitely be with us tomorrow and nothing will change.

It was Jayden’s 1st birthday party last weekend, and we travelled up to East London to celebrate. It was Dad’s 1st long car journey since his diagnosis. He handled it so well, and you were an absolute star in your new big boy seat. The way that you interact with Jayden makes me long for a sibling for you, but while my heart says yes, my head says not yet. We have so much more to enjoy from watching you grow.

Dad and I are off on Friday to Mozambique for Dad’s dream holiday. I am so very excited to experience this dream with Dad, but am also incredibly apprehensive about leaving you behind. I have no anxiety about who you’ll stay with, but rather that you would have grown too quickly, or that I’ll miss out on a big milestone. Perhaps fate will deal me a good hand, and the only milestone will be those molars of yours that will finally show their face after months of irritating you.

Taking photos of you this month has been a stark reminder of how time waits for no man. You are no longer a baby, you no longer look like one, nor do you act like you. You are a fiercely independent little boy, just like your Dad.

Remember we love you always,
Dad and Mom