Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 18th August

Sometimes there are moments that just talk to us, things that happen that tell us something if we just choose to look in the right way.

For the second time in just over a week, I surprised an owl out of what must be the tree where it roosts this evening. I was thinking so much of Mum at the time and the owl just made me think even more of her. I could even imagine her spirit being with the owl in some way.

Sometimes I can feel her next to me. At others, I just have a sense that she cares and is still somehow with me. With all of us.

Dad too.

Time changes things and allows for healing to happen. I know that I will never stop missing Mum, sometimes really badly and sometimes like a low, dull ache. I also know that, already, the time that has passed has made it a little easier to deal with being without her, even though it is actually no easier to completely accept that she has gone. Such was her input and importance in our lives.

I also know, tough, that to remember everything she and Dad taught us and to just continue to be the individuals they were both so proud of is the greatest legacy we can give them.

Sometimes I think we look for some kind of dramatic thing to happen that will help us to see what is around us a little differently, or even very differently. I don’t think the ‘dramatic thing’ has to be huge or at all devastating. I think we will often react to things that are just very different from the ordinary.

I think that having cancer could be described as being something ‘dramatic’. I also know, though, that the experience of having and dealing with cancer does not necessarily change everything in the world completely. Physically, I am definitely different. I still have the ‘lump’ under my arm and there is pretty much no feeling in the right side of my chest. Of course, I also only have one boob. I still look pretty much the same (curly, curly hair and all) and I generally behave in much the same manner, doing what I have always done (albeit a little slower, or less intensely when it comes to exercise at the moment) and with pretty much the same amount of energy I’ve always had. Psychologically, I have definitely been affected and yet I cannot say that my take on life has changed dramatically, or that I think very differently about things.

It’s more subtle than that. It’s about a shifted perspective, a slightly different understanding that underscores how I see the world and relationships within it.

Sometimes it can be visiting a new place, or a familiar place but with a different set of expectations, that can cause a shift in the way we see things – either significantly or just a little.

I don’t think it matters how it happens, but I do know that a shift in perspective can be very exciting and very rewarding, even if it’s only to you as you understand the richness of the world.

You just need to take that step to see.



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