I wasn’t going to write anything about this whole experience, until it occurred to me that if I did die you kids might want to read something from me. And if I don’t die – and I have no intentions in that area – it might still be something you might want to read some day. So this is for the three of you.
You are all so young. As I write this, Ed, my best boy– you are just 5, Martha darling, you are 3 and my beautiful baby Hattie, you are a very big girl at 7 months!
It is beyond unbearable for me, beyond being able to find words to use, to contemplate the fact that I might not see you all grow up and that it is possible that you won’t have many - or any - memories of me, or those that you do have may be sullied with seeing me in the midst of this dreadful illness. I cannot begin to tell you how awful this is, how much I want to wake up out of this horrendous nightmare. Ed and Martha, when you both were babies I knew that my deepest, most profound fear was that something might happen to me and I would no be longer able to be near you. And Hattie, that nightmare began when I was pregnant with you – poor darling.
You can of course ask Dad what happened when – but it is more than possible that he won’t be able to remember the details, you know your own Dad! So maybe I should tell you my version of it. On the subject of your Dad though, I want to say how fantastic he has been in supporting me, how hard he works in trying to look after us all – so I hope, if I’m not around, you are looking after him too and not giving him too many headaches or heartaches. Christ, I hope I’ll be around for those too.
What a strange stage I’m at at the moment! I’m waiting to find out the results of a scan which will tell me if I’m in remission – if the months of very aggressive treatment have worked. How scary is that? By the time you come to read this of course you will know the answers to this and many other unknowns for me, as I sit here. Weird!
I want you to come to know me through this, in case you haven’t been able to get to know me yourselves. And I want to say, my darlings, that I’m so sorry about all of this. I never, never imagined such a thing would happen to me – and that I wouldn’t be there to treasure you three and hold and love my grandchildren. The day after you were born, Eddie, I began to look forward to my grandchildren – I swear it’s true. This is a disaster for me – serious understatement – and a catastrophe for you three too. You should ask Dad, Grandma, Tom and Hannah what I was like of course. And if they have been doing what I asked them to do, you should be growing up, or have grown up, with a sense of me around you. But I wanted to say some stuff – and I’m sure there’ll be more to come – about myself, although quite how you honestly describe yourself to your children I’m not sure.
Advent, day eleven...
17 hours ago