Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 13th March

Sometimes there are days when things seem to conspire against you and there just seems to be too, too much to do.

Today was one of those days, which translated into a lot of running around and not getting any work done, really.  Then it threatened to storm when I wanted to go for a paddle. And Dani had to do extra work to do at school in preparation for Open Day.

Just part of the process of life  🙂

It’s amazing how you can just ignore things that you are so aware of otherwise when you are busy. The ‘being duct-taped’ feeling under my right arm is more intense in the last few days and can sometimes be really uncomfortable and even really quite sore. Then, when I am really busy and preoccupied with other things, it doesn’t seem to bug me that much.

I think life is like that, though. It’s kind of like our attention moves between things that seem to matter most at different times. Sometimes there will be one thing that seems to dominate all our thoughts. At others, there will be a number of things that you seem to ‘flit’ between in an almost schizophrenic way.

Such is being human, I suppose – different things occupy our attention at different times. It’s always interesting to take note every-so-often as to what actually does draw our focus in different ways.

You would imagine that something huge and shattering like losing Mum would dominate everything for a long while. I’m not sure how long a ‘long while’ is, but something that big really affects everything we do. And yet, I don’t think that, apart from the immediate time after she went, all my thoughts have been dominated by the import of losing her. It has been as though she is just there, always in my thoughts, but not central to them.

That’s because that is where she belongs – here, with me. Not somewhere else away from where we need her. I truly, truly cannot compute that she is gone, so I think I just keep her close all the time. It’s like in the one poem about death – she is in the next room, or somewhere just beyond sight.

The cancer has not always been at the forefront of my mind for the last 6+ months. So much else has happened, not the least of which was still dealing with losing Mum and sorting out her house. Yet, it constantly just lurks there as a presence, as a vague sense of threat, as an unwanted thought.

Even now that the treatment is over, except for the long-term hormone medication, I don’t actively think about the cancer. I still have a lot of reminders, though – and then there are the moments when it leaps to the fore.

I think that will never change. It’s hugely likely that, as time moves on, the thought of the cancer will recede even further and may not even pop to the front quite so often. I don’t know. I do know that it will never, ever be truly gone.

Not for any of us.

That is how it is. Life moves forward and we go with the flow, doing what has to be done at different times. There are those things, though, that just never go away. Like Mum. She is gone from our immediate sight, but we are never without her. And from that we draw so much strength.

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