Cancer - Your Story : Goodbye Mam

Editors note:  This is Ffion's story - the fourth in a series that I have called "Cancer - Your Story".  If you are interested in sharing your story please click on the link and contact me.

Related Links:
Ffion at BareNakedMummy (Blog)
@BareNakedMummy(Ffion/BNM on Twitter)
Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt - Pink Sherbert Photography

* * *

This post was first published on my blog: Barenakedmummy for a Writing Workshop. Since then I have managed to finish and update it as best as my memory will let me. Going back to the day we lost her was hard but also helped me a great deal. To friends who know my blog and read me, it bought back memories of her that will remain in our hearts forever. I have added two pics which make me smile, the first of you posing in a mad way - showing off your 'child rearing hips' as you used to call them, the second is from that first meeting when you flirted with my dear husband, your wedding anniversary. Two pics that may not be say much to you, but to me make me smile and hurt so much.  

This is a blog post which I have started so many times, and never managed to finish it so here goes.... 

You lay there indignant that you weren't going for further treatment.
"They won't send me you know - they say I'm not well".
I asked you how you were (the answer I knew so well - you had days to live, you weren't going for the treatment as there was no point- it had spread into every organ)
"What do you think" was the answer you sharply snapped back at me -I wondered if you knew, if you'd picked up some hint from the doctors who had told us!

I sat down quietly next to you and apologised. My brother came in - we sat in silent together until your breathing got worse and they had to put an oxygen mask over your head and up the morphine.

You kept on asking "Where's T (my dad)" and the answer I gave time and time again that evening was "He's on the train -he'll be back now". He hadn't wanted to go on his conference but you on one of the stubborn streaks (that I have inherited) had told him he had to because there was nothing wrong with you and you were going to the other hospital for treatment.

As you got worse, my brother hung on - where's dad, where is he - will he make it? I stayed strong for him and you then - letting you both know that he was on his way. (He was stuck due to a train problem and was slowly on his way back).

Tears were running down my face, as I held on to you and to my brother. You were fading away in front of us - the strong lady that I looked up to. You held on for what seemed like an eternity and then dad rushed in.
He came up to you - put his arms around you and held you. I can't remember if you whispered his name - (many moments of that day are blacked out in my mind) but you waited until he was in that room before you passed on. 

We held my dad as you left us, departed the life that had been so good and yet health wise so bad for you. 

The arthritis which never beat you, it made you waddle and you always joked that if we shook you you'd rattle! And then the breast cancer which you fought so hard the first time and after a mastectomy we thought you'd won - the all clear had been given. But then it came back with a vengeance and you said you had no power to fight it anymore, but you did until it spread into every organ. 

I don't remember how I got home that night but we did. I walked into your room and sat there unsure of what to do. I remember the funeral director coming to talk to us but not what he said. A neighbour brought condolences, cake and flowers in a dog bowl which we know you'd have laughed at.

The day of your funeral arrived and you'd have been shocked to see the mass of people who were there. We pulled up in the funeral car and the driver had to get out and move them. It was full; you never knew how many people you'd touched in your life. Your friends, work colleagues and people whose life you'd touched in some way. The crematorium was full and there were a mass of people outside sharing in our grief. My grief is still raw now as I remember that day when you disappeared behind those curtains - I can no longer watch a funeral on tv or go to one without remembering that day. 

But we made it through, somehow with some unknown strength we all made it, me, Dad and my brother. If it wasn't for Neb (who you'd met and flirted with on first meeting him, I wouldn't have made it). My godmother (your best friend) still misses you madly and I've taken over your role of keeping her up as best as I can. 

You never saw me or my brother marry, never met my children or my brothers newborn, your three gorgeous granddaughters. The hurt of your parting is as strong now as it always has been. I wish that your body had fought harder but as you used to say "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride". 

Caru ti Mam