I was dreaming about Ali as I woke up this morning. Was I thinking about her as I drifted off last night? I can’t remember.
I was replaying one of the times we shared at the beach. It was after the doctor’s appointment when she’d been told the possible progressions of the disease that was swirling inside her, and that there was no way out. We all knew that was coming and she’d taken the confirmation seemingly calm…
When we arrived at the beach house Al went to rest on the big bed, in the room that looks out to sea. She soon joined me in the main room complaining of pain in one leg – worried this was THE next thing, that it was bone cancer already. What words did I use? I can’t recall but I did talk the fear away. She was always stiff upper lip and what sticks in my mind now is that I didn’t hug her! So many times I could use a hug and I can’t help remembering that I didn’t give Ali a hug at a time that I’d definitely have wanted one.
Not long ago I bought one of those v shaped pillows so that I can feel hugged in bed. I woke up this morning curled in the pillow, hugging Al in dreams…
(side note – it wasn’t bone cancer, there was no time for the cancer to move to her bones or brain before it did it’s worst)
(this coffee from an earlier, healthy time)
If we were having coffee, and I wish we were, I would tell you that I’m still getting over pneumonia. Maybe you know what that’s like?
Being ill reminded me of how well I’ve been for a long time! Even though I feel achey and old I have been really well compared to this.
I would tell you what wonderful nurses both of the cats have been, little hot water bottles on my feet as I blend in to the couch. They’re missing the big kids too and are unsure of this new world order.
If we were having coffee today I would share with you how much I have to get done before she who rules the world arrives and casts disdainful eyes over the abode, wipes fingers along surfaces and tuts. I don’t have the strength to get started. Mother would have said it’s psychological – I often get sick before the great sibling’s arrival.
I have a light week and I hope I can get back to normal activities.
What would you tell me? What’s going on with you, what are your stories?
A friend of my sister’s died yesterday, from cancer.
And my thoughts go to my own old friend, Al.
We had some great times here, at the beach house. Talking about life, love. Sliding doors, slammed doors. Sorting out the world. And laughing! Oh how I miss her laugh… I wish I had a recording of her laughing – she was the whole room’s positive energy in an instant.
Her children smile in photos, from across the globe, and my hope is they have inherited her sunshine spirit in overdoses. I can’t imagine the last while, listening to her incessant cough that no medicine could stop. The endgame chemo that was just to ease the pain and fear, no tangible result and yet – what would those final earth weeks have been like without it?!
When she died, I promised myself I would live.
The sun is shining, the crazy 5.30am wind has gone, I will sit on the deck and watch the wild sea til this winter sends me in.
I wish I could write you an accent. Wait, let me try…
I could see her coming, out her door, as I was parking. She was doing that afternoon thing of farewelling her son.
‘Annnnie’ she swooped and folded me in. ‘WHAT could you doooo? What could you DOOOO?’ Tears I must have been saving for days… ‘She’s in hevun now, she’s in hevun’.
She limped her arthritic joints back into her house. My afternoon took a decidedly darker turn – grief rears its’ ugly head in unexpected moments, doesn’t it.
The smell of her perfume? makeup? soap or face cream? or just her Malteseness, stayed with me for hours, her crush replayed with each waft, and accompanied by fresh tears.
First sighting of the neighbours post bereavement – check. It should get easier…
Had a great coffee with the two girls, in Newtown, today. Just across the road from Stacks of Wax. Maxed out on wax after the caffeine. My car is so small that we only just fit three of us, and all the candles, on the way home. Wedding prep list – illumination CHECK.
We’re all at an age that there’s so much joy in time spent together. Smiles and so much laughter today.
First thing was breakfast closer to home. Ice whipped our legs while we queued for a table. Apparently the eggs benedict was ‘best ever’ and worth the wait and the shivering…
Then, the last dress fitting. I don’t know how to describe the love felt in that shop. What a wonderful job that young man has – creating such beautiful taffeta things, making countless women so happy.
We did the tiniest bit more shopping between bridal wear and candles, along with a mad dash through rain and an abundance of giggling.
Tonight, with the heater struggling to take the frost off us, and the cats a pair of curly curls in amongst us…we ate schnitzel and cabbage together, watched the rugby and talked about the holiday to come.
Probably a whole day of ‘best ever’. Saturday.
It’s not fair is it! You can see it in his eyes. The haunting. Not well yet. Why are some people born to do battle with their own head?
And they’re all around us. You can’t read it in every face, some keep it well closed in, but some pain is so transparent.
I’m glad they didn’t share the how’s of their attempts. Good attempt at the why’s. There is no why other than the demons made me do it. Then again there is no why not. No judgement, no option for them. Two lost, two saved…one little girl without her father.
suicide prevention australia – fundraising campaign
Interesting characters – a Daily Post challenge…
She doesn’t ask for, or need, approval – to be liked. On first meeting she seems a little prickly, not someone you’d warm to. She’s tall and thin, not good looking if we’re being honest…moves a little awkwardly. She’s a bit too loud, and a bit brash.
Is my perception of her physical characteristics swayed by how much she’s annoyed me, in our purely textual relationship, til now? Her emails are always too wordy. She often sends them to the wrong address, and forwards them inappropriately. She’s so annoying.
The ego of impatience has pre-judged her thus.
She’s not annoying at all! She has so much compassion I am a humbled student as she teaches without intention. A Bodhisattva at work in our midst, not in training.
A room full of volunteering uninitiated sit spellbound as she shares her work in corrective services. Inspiring enough without the back story – I’m left speechless from our pre-workshop speedy rundown of her life. She is dyslexic, coeliac, with a cricket team of children. The oldest few adopted from overseas, long before it was celebrity, before it was quite common, and as a single woman. The prison is a long drive from home, the ‘boys’ grateful weekly for the visits, and the rest of her waking time filled with equally inspirational doings. She fits well more than a week can hold surely, into her every 7 days. I am humbled.
How distorted our perceptions and first impressions can be – so far from annoying, I am in awe of her and would love to be able to call her friend.