Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Thursday 2nd October

There are three girls and one boy in my family and we used to joke that Dad would never have treated us differently if we had all been boys. We grew up crawling under cars regularly, glazing sliding doors, changing cylinder head gaskets – and infallibly understanding when the hand came out from under the car where he was lying and Dad asked us to pass him the ‘dingus’.

We also used to joke that ‘us three girls’ were worthy of being called Amazons.

For those who don’t know, I don’t mean ‘people from the Amazon’, I am referring to the ancient race of warrior women, known as the Amazons. (For the more literary-minded: Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream is Queen of the Amazons.)

In some of the stories told about the Amazons, they were supposed to have cut off one breast in order to facilitate their archery.

Well, life has it’s little ironies, doesn’t it?

It’s amazing, though, how things get thrown into perspective for us at times.

This whole cancer thing is horrible, shocking and frightening to most of us. Yesterday an  old friend, who had just heard about me, phoned to express her shock. I know that my kids are very worried about me and the operation. Everyone is affected.

Out there, though, there are so many others who face similar, or even worse traumas. There is so much that can devastate us in many different ways.

Truly, no man is an island. No one is immune.

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