Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The News

It's bad news I'm afraid.

Tiny words signalling the enormous.

All week I've had the strange sensation of my feelings lagging behind my thoughts, like a bolshy kid dragging its heels behind her mum around the shops. Please keep up! I admonish myself occasionally. Do try to keep up!

I don't know how you keep up with something like this. So I don't. I go through the motions of my days and get most things right (though the butter appears in the oven, and the sugar in the fridge) and sometimes my feelings catch up with the news and I sit down quietly with myself and cry.

This is usually late at night, when the house is silent, and I can hear what my thoughts are saying.

A week ago I went to stay with my mother, Esme, and that night, cradling coffees, cosily ensconced on her sofa, I told her about the existence of this blog. This blog which I have held so closely to me for the last five months, nursing it into sustainable life without the imput of any single one of my nearest and dearest other than the Bim - who couldn't be more hands-off if he tried.

It was a happy moment and her reaction was happy, too. She was encouraging, free-ing, instantly recognising the possibilities I had opened myself up to. She could even converse with me in the lingo of this brave new world, having picked it up from the Saturday pages of The Guardian, speaking proudly of 'hits' and making polite enquiries about my 'traffic'.

She knew why I had told her, too. It wasn't hard to guess, waiting as we were for the results of the biopsy taken at her colonoscopy. Why have secrets now?

Yesterday she called me: It's bad news I'm afraid. It's malignant, and today there was a CT scan to determine the extent of the bad.

Although - although everything else is so good. The lines of communcation, as I wrote, are open and clear. After so many years we are all of us out of the woods and in the clear. There is transparency between us, the family, which has not been there long. I am glad we are all behaving so well. There is dignity in this, respite, and hope.

My mother above all is extraordinary. Brave, and clear. Knowing writing here is what feeds me these domestic days, I asked her permission to write here about what is happening and she gave it freely.

An elderly Quaker friend gave me comfort and insight today. When I told her the news she said: It will work out in the best way, whatever happens, I do believe that is how things work. And then, most profoundly, and the thing which most moved me, she said You're safe.


Anonymous said...

Hello there...I have been reading your blog for a little while and I have never commented. (In fact, I've never commented/posted on anyone's blog, ever!) I just wanted to say that I think your blog is wonderful, and you are reaching more people than you know by sharing your experiences and insights. I wish I was courageous enough to do the same.

And I'm so sorry about the bad news about your mother. I wish her the very best. I think your Quaker friend was wise to advise you that good will come out of these things, though it's certainly difficult to see it that way at this stage. Your mother is simply lucky to have your support and love, and your strength will help her to get through this.

Now I'll go back to lurking around your site :-). Just thought you should know I was here! Cheers, A reader Down Under

Livvy U. said...

Dear Anon
Thank you so much for taking the trouble to leave me a comment and I'm honoured that it's your very first... You can't imagine how encouraging and heartening they are to receive. I'm thrilled you enjoy my blog, and I look forward to visiting yours

Livvy U. said...

One day, that is - surely only a matter of time?!

Anonymous said...

My heart reaches out to you. I wish that I could offer you a hug and a shoulder just even one time. You already know to cherish what you have now, and not to leave anything unsaid. Live by that, and you will not have regret.