Tuesday, 10 December 2013

3 Things I Discovered About Myself In 2013

1. I can love another child 

I thought and believed that I did not have the capacity to love another child like I love my boys – that unconditional, overwhelming love that can never be broken – that is, until Zak came along.

Zak was born on April 16th, 2013 and his birth automatically elevated my status to that of grandmother. I am still, 8 months later, slightly uncomfortable with the term and I know that I will have to deal with it as soon as he starts talking.

I watched Zak being born and then I held him a few minutes after he was born and in that short space of time, my heart expanded and made room for him; he now owns a huge part of my heart, just like my boys.

Being a grandmother is not what I expected at all, it is so much more ....mainly because neither Zak nor I have any expectations of each other; as grandmother and grandson our mission is to simply love each other; this makes our relationship relaxed and calm, with lots of cuddles, kisses and tickles.
My first 8 months as a grandmother have been an amazing and delightful experience. I am looking froward to lots more.

2. Losing the man that I loved all my life did not make me a stronger person  

but it did make me more appreciative of the now and being in the present. My father passed away on the 25th October, 2013 after a short battle with kidney cancer.

During the 3 months before his death, we spoke on the phone daily. When he was diagnosed in June, 2013 we talked about the options he had, either to have his kidney removed and accept the complications that were likely to follow or forgo the surgery and take pain killers.
My father, who was 80 years old, belonged to the generation that believed in suffering in silence and did not make a fuss about pain. He also did not believe in taking medicine, the strongest meds he was likely to take were aspirin.

Me: This is your choice, what do you want to do?
My father: I want to get rid of the pain, and watch football on TV
Me: Well you can have the surgery to remove the kidney and the pain will go away.
My father: Yes, it seems the right thing to do. But I am scared; I have never had an operation in my life.
Me: Ha-ha, and you thought you were going to get away with it. You must have at least one surgery in your lifetime.
My father laughing: ‘Don’t make me laugh Lu, please…it hurts’

A few weeks after the surgery, he was still in pain and had stopped eating.
Me: Hi Pa, how are you feeling?
My father: Help me Lu, I can’t go on with this pain, I want to die.
Me: Well you are going the right way about it, because if you don’t eat, you know what will happen; everything will start shutting down. It’s a painful way to go.
My father: I know. But what am I doing here? This is not a life. If I can’t go to my TV room and watch football without pain, what is the point of living?
He passed away 2 weeks later.

It is almost 6 weeks since my remarkable father passed away; some days I think about him all the time, some days I get on with my life and then pause when I hear a song he hated (he was very picky about music) or I hear a corny joke (he loved those), or any of the million and one things that constantly remind me of him.

He has left a huge void in my world that will forever remain empty. He loved me, adored me and he was my biggest fan (quite possibly the only one) from the moment I drew my first breath until he drew his last.

3. I don’t have to overcome every challenge and obstacle that is thrown in my way, 

I can simply walk away. The last 3 years have been a series of a few ups and a multitude of downs.
Like a Greek warrior, sword constantly drawn, I spent my time fighting every bloody thing that came my way; this year I learnt that choosing to walk away from certain situations and in some cases also people, does not make you a failure; it can actually make you a stronger person or at the very least, you will be a lot less stressed.

To quote Donald Trump ‘Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that's more productive.’