So my Mum…
This Mum of which I speak is my grandma, who’s raised me since I was 5…man I feel like the author of The Babysitters Club repeatedly explaining my backstory on here as I tend to do…admittedly if her series was being read by a tender but delicious few!
Anyway…I digress. Probably cos I don’t really want to write it: but here it is.
Mum’s cancer is back. It’s non-Hodgkins lymphoma again. Given the alternatives that were being investigated it is actually a positive outcome.
Still, it has rocked me. The past few weeks have been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I’ve been seeing heaps of her though, which has been truly wonderful. I feel very lucky.
Lucky to have this time with her. Lucky that she has made it this far (she’s 89 in a few weeks and determined to make it past 90!), lucky that she has seen my wedding and met all three of my children, to the point where all of them will have memories of spending time with her. So, so lucky.
Back in 2007, deciding to move to Canada was a really tough call, given that I’ve spent most of my life worrying about her dying at any moment. It’s a hangover from experiencing grief early on. I still have to, on occasion, talk myself down from thoughts that loved ones will disappear suddenly. Then…three weeks before we were due to leave, she underwent tests for leukaemia. “Mum,” I said to her. “It’s okay, if it’s bad news, we’ll just cancel the trip and stay. It’s no big deal. Really. Canada will aways be there.” She called me a few days later: “It’s not cancer!” We all breathed sighs of relief, celebrated and off we trundled to the big beautiful red and white flag in the snow.
A few weeks later, a Skype call. Only in audio, as the computer was crap. “So they’re putting me on this new medicine for the thing.”
“What is it exactly?”
“Non, oh what is it? I wrote it down. Hold on a moment, oh non, non-Hodgkins lymphoma,” she says.
“Lymphoma?” I say. “But Mum, that’s cancer, isn’t it?”
“Well, no, not really.”
This is the Mum of which I speak. This woman.
I am astounded by her attitude. I feel so grateful to have been raised by such a strong, character-ful, positive, optimistic in defiance of life’s shittiness-at-times and truly magnificent woman.
She raised my sister (then 2, a toddler for crying out loud) and I (5) from the age of 60 (!), as a single parent AND while grieving the completely-out-of-the-blue death of her daughter.
She is something else.
She has made me who I am.
Of course, she wasn’t perfect, nobody is. But now that I’ve had my own kids, I FORGIVE EVERYTHING. I had no idea the extent of what she did for us – and I mean, everything, the feeding, the lunch boxes, the driving, the noise (dear God, the noise!), the money, the cooking, the cleaning (and she kept our home spick and span!) I understand this now a little bit more at least, and cannot even comprehend how she did it. She is almost beyond human in my mind. She’s my role model.
When somebody commented recently to her about my housekeeping abilities (or apparently infamous lack thereof), she simply smiled and said “Well, Jenny’s NOT a housekeeper! She never has been and she never will be. I used to walk by her bedroom and just shut the door.”
As she recounts this to me one afternoon, she stares me directly in the eye and smiles: “And you’re NOT a housekeeper!” Magically, she says this to me in a way that doesn’t feel like a passive aggressive jibe, but like a compliment. Hmm, I think. I’m not a housekeeper. Damn straight! “Thank you!” I say. “Thank you Mum! I’m NOT a housekeeper! Thank you!” We hug.
OTHER THINGS HAPPENING LATELY:
– have spent a stunning summer at the beach as often as we can get there. My kids have learned to boogie board, including my scrummy Cassidy. Boarding at age 3. I am so boasting about that!
– my new up-and-coming website (this blog is gonna be moving soon to www.jennywynter.com you see) has been hijacked and apparently is redirecting all mobile devices to some Russian porn site. If that’s your thing, then you’re welcome. For all others, my huge apologies, I am trying to sort it out shortly, comrades! Vodkas all round. The new site WILL be up and running pretty shortly!
– I live-tweeted my way through Labyrinth! It’s been on my to-do list for a while and was suitably fun. Some tweeps joined in who weren’t even watching the movie (other than in their head.) Hehe. Thinking of making it a regular tweetable movie club.
– got some new headshots done. Just plain actory-ones for my actory-aspirations.
– WE BOUGHT A TELEVISION. Inconceivable. We haven’t had one for nearly a decade (by choice) and already I’m rather horrified by the amount we’ve had it switched on at home. I blame the Australian Open.
– my head has been turned to a pile of melting mush by the umpteen logistics involved in taking the new show PLUS Betties PLUS a set (still haven’t quite worked out how the heck I’m getting my giant gum ball machine down to South Australia!) down to Adelaide Fringe. It’s coming soon. And even better…tickets are actually already selling. So yes. I’m full of anxiety and excitement. Anxietment!