Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Friday 22nd March

The ‘year of firsts’ is officially over.

Today is the day Mum died. The first anniversary. The day we’ve all been dreading, I think.

It has also been a wonderful day.

In most ways, today was just an ordinary day. Another Friday. The end of Teaching Experience for the students, which means back to lectures on Monday. (Oh boy! I have an 8 o’clock lecture!)

When dramatic or traumatic things happen to us, I think we all kind of expect the rest of the world to take note in some way. It’s never like that, though. As much as we and our little corner of the world are concerned, a day may be significant, but, for the rest of the world, it’s just another day of many.

In its ordinariness, though, today was special.

It was also about a whole lot of memories of Mum. I did not cry. Not once. But then, I have no reason to, because I know she is just there. Just over there.

I miss her so much.

I went for a paddle this afternoon. Peaceful and calm. Paddling always makes me think about Mum, because she was a great canoeist in her youth. So life goes in circles.

This evening Noel and Carl and families came to dinner. What a lovely, fun family get-together. No-one has visited since forever, so it was really nice to have everyone here.

I suppose my year of firsts will only end sometime in September / October, when it’s a year after the cancer, or the mastectomy – which is worth an anniversary, I’m not sure.

Thus far, though, this has been a horrible and a hard year. Now we go ahead into the second without Mum.

She is with us all, all the way.

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