Sometimes I sit and think, what if it was all different.
What could I have done, what could I have changed.
The answer in relation to my mums illness was nothing, but it took me 5 years to properly realise that after her death. I felt responsible for how I acted and what I didn't do when she was suffering, that alone hung over me in a major way for years, it still does now. A mixture of realisation and growing up has brought a sense of dilution to the situation.
By dilution I guess I mean it got easier to deal with. Listening to peoples thoughts and being pointed in the right direction was never enough for me, I had to do it my way. To clear a part of it in my head I had to weigh up what it was like back then...
... I was on the Ferry back from the Year 8 Dorchester Middle School French Trip to Bayeux. A trip that I used to put the money I had into buying firecrackers and BB guns, only for them to be confiscated by the teachers to allow us the safe passage through customs. That was the done thing back then being 13.
I remember clearly being excited to be picked up, it wasn't the first time I'd been abroad, we were a family who went on holiday abroad as a treat nearly every summer, but it was easily the longest I'd been away from my parents albeit only 4 days or so. As we got off the coach I could see my dad waiting for me with the other parents, it was late I don't know specifically but it was around 11pm. Dad grabbed my bag and put it in the boot whilst I got in the front. I could only assume that my mum was asleep and dad had drawn the short straw and had to pick me up, my parents were always quite early to bed.
"Where is mum?", I asked. Unknown to me, from that moment, my whole life was about to change.
What dad said and how he said it I do not remember. But by the time I was out of Coburg Road I knew that my mum had been taken to hospital, the Doctor had found a lump under her arm and there was a chance it could be cancer, but they didn't know for sure yet.
Moments like this, moments like where you were when Princess Diana's car crashed, moments like where you were when the Twin Towers collapsed, stick vividly in your mind. All I remember is dad was turning the car round by Hardyes to head back to Celtic Crescent, where we lived.
I've never been shot in the stomach but I'm guessing the feeling was something similar as to what I was experiencing. That shocking rush of chemicals flooding the body. The disbelief - this can't be happening to me. Dad must have been terrified to tell me, his worst nightmare was coming true as well. The tiredness of travelling got me through that nights sleep.
The next morning, we were straight up to the hospital and into a single room where my mum was on her own, all wired up. It was a massive shock to the system. I was greeted with the familiar smile I knew and a careful hug, the only thing she was interested in was me and how I had got on in France. In fact I think the whole time I spent there we were talking about me.
After all that was just the person she was, not interested in herself, just worried about everyone else.
This post is dedicated to a family who I am very close to and are going through a very tough time at the moment. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Stay Strong.
Firstly, I just want to say we have been overawed by the response to this blog.
It was not planned to go out last Sunday, I wrote it on a whim and decided to put it out straight away. It has had 1,200 views in the past week, which has blown us all away. We are so grateful it is being shared.
Having said that, this was not written for the amount of views. The objective is to help someone who is suffering and going through the same emotions as we did back then. This is just the start, I'm hopefully going to post once a week and after a quick think I have 10 weeks already planned, there is so much more to come.
In the past week I have had amazing feedback and details of people passing it onto people who it may help, people who I don't even know. This is truly amazing and the reason I will continue to do this.
Finally, I ask again that everyone shares this, whether it be re-posting the link, sending a text or simply talking to someone about it - letting them know it exists.