Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Sunday 6th September

Today is Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary. It could, I suppose, be a time of remembering them perhaps more intensely than at others – and, yet, I don’t find myself thinking any more of them than I usually do, which is pretty much all the time, in different ways. The ‘specialness’ of the day is what I remember.

It’s like that with a lot of things, I think. If there is an anniversary that is particular to Mum or Dad (or both of them like today), it just brings back memories of that same day at other times, in other years. This time last year, we had the added poignancy of facing the clearing out of Mum’s house, as we had sold it. This year, we are fortunate to be at Sun City with Carl (my early birthday present weekend), which is different, but is also laced with memories of Mum and Dad being here too.

A lot of what we must do is celebrate that we have all these wonderful memories, anniversaries and places that remind us of the two most amazing parents and grandparents.

It’s Mum’s birthday later this week, so that makes this quite a significant week in our lives, all taken into account.

Part of being at Sun City is the Valley of the Waves, which we’ve only been to twice before, so the weather wasn’t allowed to be a deterrent to us visiting it this time. Fortunately, the weather today has been much better than yesterday, which was just lots of clouds and rain – and freezing cold. Today the weather hasn’t actually been tropical, but there has been blue sky (at least some) and some sunshine (at least a little).

The Valley of the Waves was a blast – and pretty cold 🙂

I did not do any of the body slides, as I did not want to get too wet (my excuse and I’m sticking to it), but did go on the tube ride, which was great! The kids are much more adventurous than me and David, Sarah and Michael went on the very steep, very sore (apparently) body slide that zooms down about 30m in what must be a 90 degree angle (or, maybe, 88 degrees!)

Good for them. Me, I’m much too wise to do that sort of thing! So is Dani 🙂

Making memories is what being anywhere is all about, but most especially when you are with people you care about. For me (and Carl) that means taking lots of photos, too, so, of course, there is photographic evidence of the exploits.

I have found that, since having cancer, I am just that little bit more aware of taking in what is going on around me. It’s not something I do consciously and I don’t even notice that I am doing it most of the time, but it’s there: just a slightly heightened awareness of what life has to offer and the enjoyment of being with the family and doing fun and interesting things.

Cancer is not something anyone would choose. It has a lot of different effects on a lot of different people. If one of these is an even slightly increased ability to appreciate what is going on around me, then, perhaps, it’s not a completely dreadful thing, after all.

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