Friday, 30 May 2008

Woman's Weekly

Well, we're back and we're kay-nakered. A long journey it is, from Scotland to London and return in just a few days. We've been to Moreen's funeral, which was a sad and tearful affair, but very loving. We shall all miss her so much.

Among all my family I wasn't looking forward to meeting my mum and my sister up close and personal. However, it was fine, we were polite. Mum went in the second car, with her remaining sister and brothers (Moreen was the eldest of seven) and my sister and I were part of the group left who needed to get there by own transport, and we shared the rear seat. Arriving at the crem. I could feel the atmosphere change and knew what was happening for my sister.

My sister is the mother whose son was killed by a hit-and-run driver last September - my nephew, Carl. I was going to write that this was the first funeral she'd been to since Carl's death, but that seems crass, and you know what I mean. The poor woman was in tears almost from the start. I persuaded her to sit between Mr T and I and held her throughout the service as she sobbed.

Afterwards, my sister went back to being with our mum, and everyone held each other in turn, then we all stood in a semi-circle outside in the rain and 'viewed the flowers.'

Auntie Moreen, as I do, took the Woman's Weekly magazine every week and we would compare views about the stories, which are excellent, etc. This week she didn't miss out on her mag. she could enjoy it, together with her flowers as I placed one there for her.

We all agreed, as I remarked later, she would've put one there for me, if it had been the other way around.

Apart from mum and my sister, I do get on very well with the rest of my family, and some of us are quite close, thank goodness. I feel this is an affirmation for me - that I am okay, and not the monster that my mum and my sister think I am. Despite the very sad occasion, I was able to feel an emotional distancing from them, as well as the physical distance we have by living so far away.

This is a very necessary survival system for me as, when doing the long 'history' of my back problems with the chiropractor I noted that most of the episodes with my back (which can be very protracted) are connected with emotional trauma around my relationships with either or both my mum and my sister. Spooky, I know. But, I have tracked this recent 'episode' to a date when I was allowed to speak to my sister (after being banned from doing so by her and my mum following Carl's death.)

I was beginning to feel a deal better by Xmas, when there was 'trauma' for me around my mum and bingo! back I was in agony with my back.

Now, I'm not saying that all my back problems stem from shitty relationships with my mum or my sister, that would be silly and, well, childish, but there is a certain psychosomatic concurrence with them.

I say I felt the distance from them, and that this is necessary - I am determined that I shall continue to keep that distance, for my sake and for my own family.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008


We are off down South today, for Moreen's funeral tomorrow.

She has stated 'No flowers, but donations to Cancer Research, please' as her wish. However, we are all agreed that we will send flowers as well as making our donations to Cancer Research.

But, it is not just my own mum and sibs who are in disarray, it seems (oh, long, long and boring stuff) but, apparently one of the daughters-in-law and her mother have taken it upon themselves to 'do the catering' for the wake.

'Well, that's nice,' you might say. Except that they will, apparently, request an amount of around £150 for the purchase of the food!! How very dare they?! I remarked to my cousin that these people were 'fuckers' weren't they? She told me 'I was just thinking that when you said it!'

So, if anyone who knows me sees me touching my head at any point during this funeral and wake, you are now in on the secret signal between cousin and me, as to what we think of 'em.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Limbo Dancing

It has been a fairly quiet week. Moreen is settled in the hospice and so her last few days are being spent peacefully and her family are calm and, well, in limbo really until It happens.

The family are all ringing each other, keeping each updated. And, someone I forgot to mention in all of this is another of my cousins' new teeny, tiny baby daughter. She was born last Sunday, weighing in at a very lightweight 4 lbs 15 oz! Her mum had been 'started off' due to blood pressure problems and, though there was a concern that baby Hannah (yep, her name is longer than her at the moment!) might have a twisted intestine, it appears that she just had 'sticky poo.'

This will be the stuff of jokes at her wedding, her grandparents proudly boast.

We just had our beautiful granddaughters to stay overnight due to mum and dad's work patterns yesterday. They didn't play grandad up at all, while nanny was out at the 'Rural' and while one has been taken off to school, the other is chattering away upstairs in her cot, pretending she doesn't want her morning sleep.

Aah, she's now gone off, so nanny can go and get showered and dressed. And the day starts.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Oh Damn!

Yep, this is me, swearing on these pages once again. This time, though it is serious stuff. I've just been down to London to visit my auntie Moreen, who is now dying from cancer.

About three years ago we knew she had bowel cancer. She was treated by the removal of some of her bowel, and the addition of a colostomy. Like me, she is not backwards in coming forwards on the detail front, so waddaya wanna know about it?!

This seemed to do the trick for some time. Then, there were concerns, some tests and then some bouts of chemotherapy. All seemed to be going well. But, then, my uncle (aged 78) fell from the ladder while attempting to get into the loft hatch; he crashed against the wall, while grabbing for the bannister on the first floor; missed and landed on his back on the bottom stair as he broke his heel on the balustrade. Owch! He was also being treated for asthma, but was not getting any better.

Meanwhile, Moreen was ill and becoming bedridden. Nobody knew the extent of either of their conditions.

My cousin went around to mend the balustrade and found his dad to be in a terrible state. He promptly got him to the doctor and hospital, and John was hospitalised with a collapsed lung. Cousin tried to take care of his mum but she was getting worse and then she was also hospitalised.

Dad (John) remarked to their three children that he wondered if the cancer had come back.

They asked 'What cancer?'

You can guess. She hadn't told their children, aged 42, 46 and 48 years, even about the 'first' cancer.

Moreen also hadn't told John or any of us that, in fact, the cancer had never gone away. She was never in remission. Now it is at a critical point. All the family have been to visit and say their goodbyes, and she is in a hospice for her last few days.

Trouble is the guilt is already there for her family, who feel they should have known. I do believe the anger will come later.


Sunday, 4 May 2008

Right, down to work

People know me. You know me, right? And what a twat I can be sometimes, about taking on too much etc etc. Well, I reached the pits this week. I was supposed to do a 800 word assignment (should that be an 800 word ... ?) Anyway, it was to be in by midnight on Friday. Only 800 words for chrissakes! And, what did I do? No work for the two weeks to gather the knowledge and wisdom, as well as the wherewithall to answer the three damned questions.

It was due in by midnight. I started proper work (minus panicking) at approximately 9.45 pm. And sent in just over 400 words. Of drivel. That my poor tutor has to read, analyse and give me a fail mark for, bless her. Shit, shit, shit. There are people who have to Have these 60 points to begin, end or underpin their studies, and I just fuck about.

Not from now on I don't. I have turned over a new leaf. I love the subjects in the course - art, history, philosophy, music et al. And, the course is paid for.

So. Right, down to work. The next assignment will be work 85 %. You watch.