YOLO.

This story starts on my 21st birthday – 1st September 2012. I had a little shindig round my parents place, about 20 of my nearest and dearest in my back garden on a sunny late summer evening (dressed as Harry Potter, obviously). My dad popped champagne, we ate cake and drank irresponsible amounts of cider. My mum was shy but she always was since the surgery – she had had a malignancy behind her left eyeball and in order to remove it she had to lose her eye. We are all very thankful; she was facially deformed but she was fine. She was clear. The prosthesis was very convincing and we had finished that harrowing chapter of all our lives! We toasted to good health and happiness.

Then one day she didn’t go to work – her memory had been lapsing but my dad received a phone call from the nursery she worked at saying they were very concerned. She had sent them a very jumbled message that made no sense at all and had simply not arrived. My dad rushed home to find my mum in a state of total confusion.

Without going in to too much detail, it transpired my mother was ill again. Seriously. She had tumours on her lungs, her lymph nodes and – crucially – her brain. The situation quickly deteriorated it became clear to her doctors that this was going to kill her. Quickly. The tumour in her brain was completely inoperable, it was extremely aggressive and it was terminal. My world crash landed.

On February 4th 2013 – 5 months and 4 days since my birthday – my mum passed peacefully in her sleep. It is now February 22nd. It’s a funny thing, grief. I knew she was going to die. Life was cruel, and it was cruel to have her lingering. I know it would be completely selfish of me to say I wished she was still here; although of course I do wish she was still here. She was an extraordinary woman, renowned for her sharp wit and dry humour. She always had a twinkle in her eye, there was always tea in the pot and there was always gossip to be had. It has become glaringly obvious to me through the course of this experience that life is a very fragile and temporary thing; we never know when it could end. I had spent my days worrying about things that seem so trivial to me in retrospect. I panicked about what I would do when I graduate. I fretted and worried about my lack of extracurriculars – how would I possibly get a job when I had no idea what I wanted to do and have zero experience anyway. I have to laugh now – such little worries. A few months ago, an intensely irritating internet fad spread around; the acronym YOLO, meaning You Only Live Once. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve had a bit of a YOLO realisation. There are so many evils in the world. Life is temporary, fragile and you really do only get one shot at it. I am not going to worry about trivialities any more. I’m planning to make a difference, travel the world and have a cracker. Here’s to my mum. I hope I do you proud.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “YOLO.

  1. sophiechatts

    Beautiful and touching. Tears in eyes. Oh you!

  2. Shalee

    I found your blog from a retweet on Twitter. I am just so very heartbroken for you, I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to lose a mother. I am so very sorry for your loss. My Grandmother just passed in December and we were so very close and though I knew she was going to pass it didn’t make it easier. A part of me is always going to long for those days when I could pick up the phone and call her and drive over to her house for a chat. Life is fleeting but love is forever.
    *Internet hugs for you*

    • Thanks lovely, I appreciate you taking the time to comment. It’s been horrible but we must try to take some positive from these experiences – I feel like I’ve become a stronger individual through this and gained some vital perspective. Of course this doesn’t make what happened to mum any less cruel or bereavement any easier but it’s important to try and take some positive from it. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother. I hope you’re okay *internet hugs*

  3. I read this every time you link to it. It always affects me the same way. I think you should probably write more often, on this topic or others. Peace.

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