For 8 years my family and I loved, cried, hurt, waited, watched, my mother slowly be stolen, first from herself and then from us. I was patient during that time. Initially I had hope, which is really an amazing thing. Hope keeps you going, it enables you to endure tremendous pain and suffering, but over time my hope faded I began to accept that there was no way that Mum would live through this ordeal, and what I then had to learn was patience.
Hope carried me for six years before I was ready or able to accept the tumour would take her from us. After the initial six years I was accepting, I wasn’t happy about the situation (I hated it) but I knew and accepted she was going to miss out on so much she wanted for her life and in turn I would miss out on so much I wanted in mine. She would never be a grandmother, would never even hold my daughter, or see Gil, nor my sisters children. She could never hug me again, or touch me, she could never share her experiences of what it was to be a mother, a wife, her wisdom is lost, her unconditional love and support is gone, I don’t her support even in the form of a voice on the end of the telephone. I have to accept that. I don’t struggle with ‘whys’ that is not important to me it just ‘is’ and it sucks big time!
But want I thought I wanted to write about was patience, having patience during all those times when Mum almost died. The emergency flights back to see her, leave taken to visit, sit and hold her hand. I accepted it when two years before she died there was absolutely nothing left but her body, the shell, and even that was removed from what I had known as my mother; always always well groomed, dressed in happy colours, hair and make-up done without being overdone. She never complained about the tumour, she never asked ‘why’ she was accepting that she was going to die, not as martyr but with an amazing grace.
Six months after mum died we moved to Canberra. It wasn’t planned, we sold our house and were looking to move into what would be our forever home when Mark was offered a job in Canberra. Initially our answer was ‘no’ then I felt he wanted the job and that I should support him. And so we moved, for what was to be for two years. I felt from the beginning that I was again in a type of limbo, not knowing if we will stay longer in Canberra or go back to Melbourne. I feel tired of waiting for certainty, I feel I waited and watched for eight long years as Mum was slowly stolen from us, and now I wait for certainty to know where work will take us, will it be home to Melbourne and if so when? It has just been so many years of waiting and I want certainty yet I know I just need patience….and acceptance.
*Photo by Tahnee of Pictures by Tahnee. My hands and the reminder of the importance of remaining open and accepting.