Monday, 12 December 2011

When Life Hands Out Lemons...

I can't - and don't ever wish to - imagine what I would do if a visit to my doctor resulted in a worst-case diagnosis and a death sentence. Like most people I'm sure, I tend to bumble along through life assuming I'm going to live forever; watch my kids grow, spawn grandchildren for me to fuss over, look after me when I'm ancient and senile whether-they-want-to-or-not-ungrateful-little-sods, and then pass away peacefully in my sleep. At the ripe age of 307. No less.

This is the way it's going to play out. Don't try to tell me any different.

A recent article about Natalie Murphy, a young mum dying of cancer, reminded me of how fragile life really is. It can be so easy to overlook the things that really matter - especially when you assume you'll live forever and so allow yourself to procrastinate on actually living (and how many of us do that? Spend each day going through the same motions as this same day last week, and all the while functioning in a perpetual state of 'existance' rather than 'life'? Many of us, I'm sure. Not every day perhaps. But far too often.)

Not that I'm suggesting hot air balloon rides should replace conventional motor vehicles when venturing to the supermarket and white water rafting be the next thing to take place each day after brushing ones teeth, but sometimes it's easy to overlook and find happiness in the smallest most simplest things in life. Such as conversations with the three year old about the best way to get back down to earth if you happen to find yourself stuck in a cloud (so far it seems riding the back of a friendly dragon is the preferred mode of transport. Followed closely by 'overly large albatross' and 'very tall bean stalk'.)

Natalie's story is a heartbreaking one, but she amazes me with her upbeat attitude. I'd like to think that I could be so positive if I were in her situation - for the sake of my children if not for myself.  Though if truth be told, I try not to picture myself in her situation at all; for fear that envisioning myself in such a scenario, even fleetingly, may invite the Cancer Monster in.  Because there's always a small niggling worry at the back of my head, that one day an accident or illness will befall me and I won't be around to help my kids grow, and eventually partake in all those awesome parties they're gonna be throwing me each time I enter a new decade of infirmity.

This is a sombre topic to blog about, I know. But I just can't get it out of my head. For Natalie, this is the reality: She's been given two to eight weeks left to live.

I keep trying to run that through my head - how I'd cope in the face of such a grim reality - but there's that fear of jinxing myself again. Don't think of the Cancer Monster, don't invite it in. Because once I start thinking about it, anxiety starts to kick in. My life is not perfect, as such. We don't have a nice house, or a fat income, and our family have far more in common with the Adams Family than the Brady Bunch. But it's my perfect life to me, and I'm so so afraid of Fate doing anything to take that away.

There was a point to my ramblings tonight, though I started to waft off after the second paragraph (as did anyone reading this, I'm sure). But just in case there's still someone out there...

There is an auction for Natalie Murphy and her family, which is being run right here, by Mila Jean Denim & Cool. Many craft-minded people have donated their gorgeous hand made products to the cause. The auction will be held on 17 Dec and meanwhile, I believe crafty donations are still being added if anyone would like to contribute.

Totally off topic: Here's my favourite song of the moment. YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO IT. So far I have chucked it on repeat approximately 13 times tonight. One night I kept the Teen awake until 2.30am because of I just kept listening to it over and over... Bet she regretted introducing me to it, huh?

"Please learn from my journey. Learn ahead of ‘time’ what is important and appreciate your life, your loved ones. Appreciate the partner that drives you crazy sometimes cos you know you don’t actually want to live without them. Appreciate your children that often whine and exhaust you because you love them more than life – you’d probably sacrifice your own for theirs." ~ Natalie Murphy: