Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Wednesday 15th July

Today is the anniversary of Dad’s death. Five years ago, my world was shattered. All of our worlds. And yet, it is a bitter sweet day, because there are so many, many memories of him that are just so wonderful and enriching.

It is also a day that reinforces so many thoughts and memories of family and the strength we have in, and through, each other.

The relationships we build up are so important, not only because you never know when you may need to draw on them for strength and support. Also, though, it is in relationships that we often find ourselves.

Family is one of those strange things that we do not get to choose, so there is a kind of built-in necessity for acceptance and affection. This does not, of course, necessarily oblige one to agree with and support everything that everyone does. It is funny, though, how the strong bond of blood can gloss over so much and make so many things that may otherwise irk, acceptable and simply part of the way things go.

There are, of course, many who are not as lucky as I am to have the numbers and strength in family. For them, it must be just that much more difficult to tread certain paths and to find a way through hard times.

There are also friends, though, who pave our way as we go along. I’ve observed so many times that man is a social being. Many experiences, both good and bad, and the way we deal with them are influenced so heavily by those around us and the way they interact with us and offer support. This has been brought home to me in spades on this cancer journey. Also, though, with something like Dad’s death, the support of others, even now after the five years, helps so much with the way we cope.

Things happen that affect us all the time. It is within the structures around us, offered by family and by friends, that we manage to work through them and to find ourselves buoyed up just when it seems as though we may begin to sink.

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