This week marked the 12th anniversary of my brother’s death and as always at this time of year, I’ve had a few tears and a week of feeling very bleugh.
Twelve years on I’m at the point now where I can remember the good things without feeling as sad as I used to and whilst there’s clearly no bright side or silver lining to losing him, I do often silently thank him for changing my life.
He really did have a huge impact on my life and the way he dealt with his cancer battle genuinely changed my whole outlook on life. I feel a bit odd even thinking let alone writing it down but my life is happier because of the way he took on cancer. He might not have beaten it but he had a damn good try and along the way, he made sure that he didn’t let it get him down.
Even in the middle of it all, he decided to go back to college to train to be a nurse so he could help others the way the medical staff had helped him. Ironically, his first year’s results came back just after he died and he’d aced all of it and would have been accepted onto the next stage if things had turned out differently.
During his battle, I watched him trying to squeeze a lifetime of memories into the short time he had left with his son and it broke my heart. At the time it was so painful but it helped me to see that life’s too short for petty squabbles and for getting stressed and miserable about things I can’t control. His last job on earth as my big brother was to teach me to enjoy every day as if it was my last and he did it well.
I’m a much happier person these days because of my outlook on life and I might spend more money than I should on doing things with the kids and spoiling them every now and again but that’s because I can and he can’t. I know that I could absolutely save more money each month and spend less money on treating the kids or doing things as a family but I feel like I owe it to him to live the best life I can.
I want to share a short story with you tonight that he wrote just before he died because it’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot this week.
I know I’ve written a little bit about my brother and I think I’ve even shared this piece of writing with you once before when I first started blogging before but it’s so important to me, especially this week that I wanted to share it again.
Before I do though, I should quickly explain that he battled with mouth cancer for several years and had three operations to try and remove it. It just kept coming back though and by the end, he’d had half of his tongue and jaw bone removed which meant he couldn’t speak properly or eat anything solid. People would stare at him when we went out and I know that he hated it but he always stared right back and would never look away first. I hope you enjoy his story and understand why I wanted to share it with you tonight.
Dreams of Rhiannon
Today I woke up to the sound of snow falling ( I’m a light sleeper!). As I got half dressed I strolled into the kitchen and put the kettle on, emptied the cereal into the bowl and threw coffee into the cup! As I wash I stuck my tongue out at myself in jest! Damn I bring new meaning to the word ugly! Who cares I’m happy.
As I watch Sky news while eating my cereal I can hear my dog barking outside, Oops I’ve not let him in again!!! It’s now 7am and time to set off for college,the bus as usual is full of school kids screaming and shouting abuse at each other and no-one has a second glance at me.
As I walk through college into the refectory giving all the young things cursory glances, stopping off at the shop for a coffee and a Mars I sit down to read the paper & wait for the rest of my class to join me to catch up on the weekends events.
Today is another presentation day where we do a talk on different topics, mine is MS and goes well with Q & A’s at the end of my presentation. It’s now dinner time and as I order Tagliatelle & a baguette, the rest of the class are already sitting down! I’m the only male in my class and face constant innuendo and harassment, but hey someone has to do it!!
As I devour my pasta no one gives me a second glance and I laugh and joke with every-one!After college I walk into town and grab pies & chips for my tea!( no diet!!) Tonight my son calls me and tells me about his day at school and asks me what I did and when can he visit me? As I settle down for the night endless phone calls from friends mean I don’t doze off till 1am.
Then the alarm clock goes off!! I wake up and look at the scars on on my face, look at what’s left of my tongue! I have another day of people staring at me, another day of feeding by P.E.G., another day where people struggle to grasp what I’m saying!!
Just another day!! And another dream of what used to be!!
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also find me on BlogLovin, Yummly and Networked Blogs and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram.