I witnessed an outpouring of emotion in B this week that reminded me how it is so not all about me. Before you comment I really do know it’s not. But we make it about ourselves to protect everyone. And ourselves. If I’m coping or seen to be coping then they can cope too. It never ever is only about us but the one thing I know for sure, cancer, facing one’s mortality head on again and again and again, is a truly lonely reality. One that can’t be shared in its entirety. Not even with those who love you. Sometimes especially not even with those who love you. Not even with those who’ve been there and are still here. Because it’s just so bloody unique. We are. The circumstances are. Your realities are. You are. There is noone, as much as they wish to be there, with you in your head. Which for me is where the battle is won and lost. Your acceptance and willingness and determination to do battle is alone. You dig deep alone. And you hold yourself together. Because you must. Because if you start to cry, you fear you will never stop. I did what I must and do what I have to to carry on. But the depth of despair in those who can’t show you how deeply it hurts and how damaged they are at having to witness you suffer is beyond comprehension. By you not showing your vulnerability because you just can’t, doesn’t allow them to show theirs, which is just immense. To hold someone up, while helping them hold themselves up, by not sharing their real fear, so you can’t share yours is all kinds of fucked up. But all kinds of necessary. For some. Certainly for me. But sometimes the brave face we wear and force on others is so very unfair because whilst it is about us and our survival, it is about so much more. And yet I do still believe, be there in whatever form your loved one needs and when the time is right, let your guard down and show them your truth. Acceptance is a battle well and truly fought alone but within the safety of your presence one gets there a little less scarred. Pun intended.
This is the closest I came to Hastings street today. I am grateful for a world where if you can’t get to it, it can get to you. And for partner who looks after me. No matter what that means. Like running a bath for me at 3am. Or bringing me my favourite coffee. You’re right angel, I am only little. And you are the best. Thank you.
16 November. I am grateful for a distracting girls night out. A welcome distraction because B and I decided to walk away from the house purchase due to an impasse on various issues. So I am grateful for a fun end to a not fun day. For meeting new friends and getting to know old friends better. For sharing and for perspective. And for gratitude at being reminded once again how blessed I am.
21 October. I am grateful for the perfect partner for me.
My husband really must love me. I am completely and utterly impossible. Arrogant and self absorbed and really really lucky. Lucky because I have a partner who just gets me and really does accept me. Warts and all. I thought about this particularly this morning as I walked into the bathroom while B was showering to get something. I can’t remember what. Anyway, B loves to chat in the morning, especially when he’s in the shower and he has been sensitive to my feeling a bit off colour the last couple of days. Sooooo, sweetie, he starts. I simply shake my head, without even looking at him. Fetch what I need to fetch and walk out. As if to say, no, not now. Don’t talk to me, don’t engage with me on any level. Not now. He simply carries on with his shower, not offended, not even bothering to comment, not even muttering, bitch under his tongue. Which if I were him I would have. As I walked away I actually thought, bitch, who do you think you are and burst out laughing. Tail between my legs I went back into the bathroom and asked B how the hell he put up with me. He just shrugged. It must be love.
B has always had odd yet strangely perfect nicknames for the girls, often to do with whatever was dominating his life or theirs at any given time. I remember Jem being Lampard for a long while, a chelsea footballer. There is no significance as B is actually an arsenal supporter. B’s current nickname for Kate is KinKin. Also no significance. Anyway, we are under strict instructions to write to Kate daily, and B’s offering today was mostly a logo design. With a small paragraph. And a shot of Usain Bolt. Kate will love it. I am grateful our daughters have grown up with creativity every single day. It is part of who they are. Damn that it hasn’t rubbed off on me, I wrote three very long pages. Full of love and daily shit, but not much creativity. It is part of who I am. And anyway Kate would never forgive me if I just sent her a logo.
B and I have date night. Every night since he got back. And before he left. I am grateful for many date nights with Apple tv and Breaking Bad. For a partner who also always wants just one more. For a brilliant series that kept us up well past midnight many a night. The most extreme form of escapism. Perfect.