A sombre end to the year and return to form for 2023
It’s been a while and I have been trying to put pen to paper for a while now, but to be honest, I have had such a difficult year I just couldn’t muster up the courage to do it and the days that I did sit down to do it, my mind would just go blank. I was checking when I last posted a blog, and I was shocked to see that the last time was in January 2022!
I think I owe it to you all, and also owe it to myself to be completely raw, open and transparent in this blog, as difficult as it will be.
2022 has been one of my most challenging years yet.
Christmas 2021 was great, spent time with family and friends and was a very wholesome and tiring time, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way! I would give anything to have this back, and I would give anything to relive so many precious moments. I have mentioned in my journey previously about family member’s being unwell, but what unravelled in 2022, I could never have imagined it.
Before I go into my journey of 2022, I would say, please hold your loved ones a little closer. Don’t hold any grudges and say how you feel and move on from it. Never forget to say 'I love you' and make your hugs that little bit tighter. Everyone is fighting a silent battle, and if you cant say anything kind, don’t say it at all.
Dad was diagnosed with cancer 6 years ago, there were ups and downs throughout the various different treatments, but we dealt with it as a family. We had to go through a number of different treatments and supported dad every step of the way. We changed work hours, made all plans around dad, to ensure that he was always ok. Dad was our main priority, and we adored him.
Prior to Covid, we were told that another round of treatment was needed, but then when covid hit, the treatment was stalled. I wish with all my heart that they didn’t stall it. Due to covid our face to face consultant appointments were moved to telephone appointments and despite how much we pushed for them to be face to face, there as a period of time that we only had telephone appointments. During the telephone appointments we could never quite get across dad’s ailments.
We had to repeatedly push for a face to face appointment in January 2022, and to be honest, since this appointment we didn’t look back. We attended the appointment, and they kept dad in for 3 weeks, as they needed to carry out urgent treatment. Since this hospital stint in January, regular hospital stays continued until July 2022. Every so often we were having to rush dad into hospital for one reason or another. And then in July, on my birthday, he was only meant to go into hospital for a minor ailment, but the universe had other plans.
My birthday will never ever be the same again. I still have the voice note that dad sent me on the day, asking me to get his favourite carrot cake. We bought cake and had it with dad and had the loveliest time, I will forever cherish these moments . It was one of the hottest days of the year and I was off work, and I am so grateful to have spent those few days with dad. We laughed so much, and it really was belly laughs! There is that cliché that some people ‘know’ when they are going to go, and I think he did know, purely because of some of the things that he was saying to me. That night we rushed dad into hospital and we were there for the week. To be honest, it all feels like a blur and it really doesn’t feel like any of it happened. I think we are all still numb from it all. We came home alone on the Friday and that was one of the worst days I have been through. Dad and hubs were the very best of friends, and hubs based his whole life around dad. Every singe day they would be together. This has hit him so hard. He was off work for months, and even now he hasn’t completely returned to work. I am doing everything that I can to make things a bit easier, but I know that things will never ever be the same, and the hurt that he feels breaks me. That saying that time is a healer is so far from the reality, in actual fact, time doesn’t heal, time just gives us ways to deal with the new ‘normals’ of life. Even now it has only been 5 months, and we are still trying to come to terms with everything that has happened. I knew that the ‘firsts’ of things would be hard, but I don’t think that I fully realised how difficult it would be. Diwali was particularly difficult as it was a family tradition that dad and hubs would go to the local pub for a pint before dinner! Hubs birthday was so difficult and then came Christmas. We had such fun last Christmas and this Christmas we were all just so empty and numb. I am trying to get back into the swing of things. Some days are hard, and other days are harder but it's all a process of trying to navigate through. Throughout this period that we have been put through, we have found out who the real ones are. Those that have been there for us unconditionally, we will never ever forget the support and strength that you gave us, you got us through. Those that were not there for us, we will also never forget that too.
One thing that I have realised is that sometimes we have to dance alone, and that is ok. Thank you to all those that have reached out and been so understanding, and thank you for the orders that kept coming through!