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Sunday, February 2, 2014

The news I've been expecting...

Cycles. Processes. Rotations. Renewal.

We're told that this is the way of things. Crops are sown, harvested and re-sown. Trees, bud, blossom, bear fruit and then return to their bare, winter state. And I guess it is the same with people....

4 years ago, while on holiday in Goa, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. It was treatable but ultimately incurable and the last 4 years have been a merry-go-round of medications and therapies. This week I was told that we are in the final stages.

Most of my friends are aware of this as, of course, is my family, but I wanted to take a moment to think about things.

Honestly? My initial thought was one of selfishness. An expectation that my Father, in my case the man who partly moulded me into who and what I am today, will not just be here forever. Insane, I know. But the fact that for 4 years he's been the same bloke he has always been, who travelled to Indonesia (twice), trips away with friends, especially to Pat and Chris's place on three occasions and where he drank Bretagne cider with me 7 months ago, who had Christmas goose with us only last month. It's unfair.

My thoughts were for Mum, who has lived with the shadow of this. Married nearly 50 years, that puts my own thoughts into a perspective when broadened by that number of years of living with someone. Whatever my thoughts, I know hers are infinitely deeper and more complex.

But then I reflected on those initial thoughts.

We have so much to be grateful for. Time spent together that many don't have, for one. Yes it's unfair for someone to be taken away, but to have had the moments, to have been able to share experiences, even in the knowledge that they are finite, in truth I think that's all that any of us have when you think about it. We have the time ahead to be positive, to revel in the life and the fight that carries on and to continue to make memories that will, later, become part of what makes my Dad the most special and most courageous of men.

My Dad wants none of us to be sad and yet, while there is an inevitability to sadness that cannot be helped, I would encourage everyone to have their thoughts and in them make the sadness a fraction. Think more about how he continues to live and will carry on doing that in our memories and hearts.