Saturday, 4 July 2009

Fond Farewell

The person who I started this blog for died last wednesday (the day C girl turned 10 1/2). She had been fighting Pancreatic Cancer for 2 years and 8 months. We believe the artificial pancreas that was put in to replace the cancer riddled pancreas gave out, she was in chemo for liver cancer at the time. Within 24 hours of her dying she had taken her beloved dogs for a walk (owned by disabled neighbour), visited an elderly friend and gone grocery shopping. Her pain started in the afternoon and by 7:30 she had been admitted to hospital.

She died at 11:30 am on Wed. I spoke to her at 9am and she was unable to speak - but I did speak to her and she heard me tell her I love her (and to stop fighting because I couldn't make it in time).

We couldn't get a flight out until Wed night and it was only with J's company that we managed to at all. Without the kids though - there was no possibility of getting 5 flights.

Thankfully J came with me. We had virtually no sleep on the flight and we shared the 5 hour drive from Melbourne to Portland between us. On arrival at 4pm Thursday afternoon - the normal funeral fun began. Families unfortunately have their own dynamics. But at the funeral on Friday, we didn't do what my Mum wanted, as some people believed their own wishes were more important - but we were all still on talking terms (how's that for a method of getting away with what you want).

I wore a beautiful black silk dress with colourful flowers on it with black boots. Not many people wore a dress (too cold). But Mum dressed up every sunday for church and I had never seen her wear pants to church. I think I inadvertantly achieved my lifetime dream...... to not look like I came from there, in fact , before the funeral most people didn't have a clue who I was. It has been over 20 years since I lived there and I can count the number of times I have been back on two hands.....okay - some people looked at my face and knew instantly how I was related - but they didn't know who I was.

My kids wrote their Nan a letter each (We always put something special into the casket before burial). I read her the letters privately as soon as I saw her (in the funeral home) - think it was the first time in my life that she didn't interupt me with a smart alec statement. She looked peaceful.

My brother ran the service - him being the biggest godbotherer ever (I mean minister). It was very sad - obviously - but his talk was 90% pretty good (the non religious part bit I mean).

I said something at the service.

I told her what she meant to each of her grandchildren and what they liked doing most with her(which I stole from their letters), how much they loved her, how much they felt her love. I am grateful that we were on such good terms when she died. If she had died 12 years ago we would have been almost strangers.

I have promised my kids I would never take them to see their grandfather again after their Nan died (something C girl asked again after finding out Nan had died and before we left for the funeral). (Do not leave me a comment about them missing out on have no idea). So I will miss my sisters family and my Aunt and Uncle's family, but I won't go back there again.

Feeling a long way away at the moment (from where?). C girls friend left last week (see photos below), as did his Mum who was my friend. School finished yesterday - a long 7 weeks holiday. Everyone is leaving for holidays over the next week. 2 of the 3 kids are on a sleepover tonight. We are going to a farewell dinner.....

Arrggghhh - need to cheer up. But don't worry I will. I went swimming yesterday, I went running today. I won the Heart of Gold medal yesterday at school for the work I have done with the scavenger kids and PTA....the school has 1300 students....they gave 3 awards. I even went shopping today....and enjoyed it.....who is this person.

Promise - I will be back in full swing tomorrow (after brunch at the Ritz Carlton).

Plus skiing in 4 weeks, with J's brother and his family (and potentially his two sisters with their families as well) we dare cross our fingers and hope for such luck?

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