Twenty years ago my husband and I had the best year of our lives, and the worst year of our lives. It was a year of incredible highs and equally devastating lows, and my memories of that time are bitter sweet. My husband’s brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the age of 32, and after a tumultuous year passed away leaving behind a wife and 3 kids, 12, 10, and 8. At the time of his death I discovered my much awaited for pregnancy was non viable and the day after his funeral, my husband rushed me to emergency where I sat and endured the blatant stares of all in the waiting room while I bled all over the seats. This is the first time I ever saw my husband lose his cool, screaming at the nurses to forget the stupid forms and do something to help me. To their credit, once they realised what was happening they moved extremely fast, and I was whisked off in a wheelchair to see a doctor. Later on that night I underwent an operation and I remember sobbing in the nurse’s arms as they wheeled me off to theatre.
Months later, on my birthday, we received the best news of our lives. I was pregnant again and this time, thus far, all was well. The euphoria of that moment was something I will never forget and has only ever been matched when my precious babies ( yes, we were blessed with twins) entered this world. One look at those tiny faces and I was lost forever, filled with a love that transcends all else.
Six weeks prior to their birth, I suffered the devastating loss of my Mum, who passed away unexpectedly after a short time in hospital. She had been so excited about my boys’ impending arrival, giving daily updates about me to all who lived in her block of units and anyone who would listen ( whether they wanted to know or not!) She rang me morning and night and drove me crazy but I was oblivious then to what was coming and had little patience on her calls. What I would give to pick up the phone and hear her voice now. Treasure what you have, because you don’t know what the future has in store for you.
Her funeral was quite surreal; I was focused on being strong for my babies and they are what got me through. Once they were born, I had little time to think of anything, bar their well being and with no one in the wings to help ( my Dad, sister and in-laws all lived in the country) I soldiered on. In some ways it was a blessing in disguise; it would have been too easy to throw up my hands and say “I need a break”, but knowing that was not an option meant I did what I had to do and managed it all myself. My husband was brilliant, but he left home at 7.30 and didn’t arrive home until 7pm so there was a long day in between when it was just me and my boys!
Another far less devastating loss was by my beloved football team whom I had followed since I was a little girl. They made the grand final that year, and there I was with my Dad, 7 1/2 months pregnant, cheering them on, but it was not to be.
The year however did end on a high, celebrating our very first Christmas and New Year as a family and nothing can be more special than that.
“You have to let people go. Everyone who’s in your life is meant to be in your journey, but not all of them are meant to stay until the end.”