It’s funny how you can totally block things out of your mind once you’re in the throes of life itself. Take for instance, our trip over here – I was just reading over some old journal entries I’d written around the time that this whole adventure started and realised, to my complete and utter shock, that I’d completely forgotten just how close this adventure was to NOT starting.
Namely because three weeks before we were due to leave, Mum (actually my grandma for those of you who are not yet familiar with my rather soapie-style life story) was getting tested for leukaemia. We resolved immediately that if the results were positive (or negative, depending on how you look at it), we would delay our Canadian jaunt for another time in life, move up the Sunny Coast and be there. To cut a long story short, it wasn’t leukaemia – it WAS cancer, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma to be exact, but this fact was not revealed to me and when it was, was done so accidentally, some several months later once Mum had seen to it that we would not disrupt our life and carry on our merry way overseas.
It seems all the more poetic then, that upon our arrival back in Australia, the Sunny Coast is exactly where we are bound. Very serendipitously, my best friend’s sister is heading off on her own overseas adventure and needs somebody to rent out her beachy pad and look after her dog. Perfect.
I’m just so relieved that I can finally have the chance to be there for Mum for at least part of this, the last act of her life. I can’t really even believe that I’ve been so fortunate, that she’s still around. Having lost my real mother at the age of five and then being taken onboard by my then 60 something grandma (and subsequently seeing so many of her friends pass with the years) I have always had this horrible fear that she might die at any moment. Seriously, at times it would be completely paralysing. I’d try to memorise the last words she’d said to me that day in case I woke up in the morning and she was gone.
So the fact that she’s still around is just amazing to me – and makes me not only grateful, but kinda remorseful for having wasted so much of my time waiting around for tragedy to strike.
Mister Boob’s granddad died the other day. It was expected (in fact, the entire family has been quite amazed that he kept going for as long as he did) but still, of course, very, very sad. For me it was a personal wake up call that going back to our family is the right choice of path at this point. For Canada, the world, and everything in between, will always be here.
But our family won’t.