Every now and then when things are floating along nicely something happens to stop you in your tracks. In the midst of pre-communion chaos, one call did it.
Check-up. Kept in. Hospital stay. Tests.
Day release for the communion, “one of the great days out of my life” according to the message later that night. A rollercoaster of emotions.
A quick (don’t tell Laoise) trip abroad. Whatsapp messages with more bad news, tears hidden from the kids, a lump in my throat.
Months they tell us. So we made plans for those months, a summer at home, we’d fill them with memories (between treatment days).
Everything is touched and tainted and I try to get through but it’s hard. The lump remains.
I smile and laugh, but it rings a little hollow.
We make the most of things and realise then what’s important.
We go about our business, work, play, cheer on teams, sing along to music.
We sort of wonder why though.
Hospital visits, letters from the kids and their much anticipated replies. Letters that will now be treasured.
We decide to live as slowly as we can, to make the most of time.
A great visit, three hours just the two of us, more talking than we had done in years. More listening than I had ever done. I wanted to hear more. That wasn’t to be.
Things don’t always work out the way we think, and months can turn to weeks, and weeks to days.
Faster the messages came, peppered with words like “infection” and “critical”.
And life goes on, lunchboxes, meetings and sidelines.
Then the unforgettable phone call in the early hours. “Come Now!”. I dress quickly and drive, shaking all the way, The Killers come on the radio. Mr Brightside follows me everywhere. There was no bright side this time.
The longest weekend. A party for the six -year-old sandwiched between hospital shifts.
Talking and hugging and chatting and crying. Hugging. We’re huggers now, we didn’t see that happening.
The longest Monday.
The saddest Monday.
The Monday we said goodbye.
It’s so hard, more hard than we imagined, but we will get each other through. He knew we would. He told us to.
And life goes on, a little muted and tissues close to hand.
My favourite blog commenter.
25th September 1949 – 10th June 2019
St James’s Hospital gave us five additional years with Dad, and for this we will be eternally grateful. If you would like to support the work that they do in targeting lung cancer click HERE to donate.