Twenty two years ago today my mum succumbed to the breast cancer she'd been diagnosed with only 3 months earlier. The tumour was a very aggressive one & the radiotherapy treatment had failed. She died exactly a week before she was due to start chemotherapy. She was 54 and it was 5 days after my 34th birthday; no age at all and I certainly felt too young to be losing my mum. And now I was left to comfort my dad with no siblings to support me - being an only child 'sucks' at times.
But being an only child also has its advantages. There is no sibling rivalry and no benchmark to live up to. Despite a strict upbringing, I was free to be me and become the untamed spirit that I still am.
So today I reflect on the fact that I have now lived 2 years longer than my mum did and for me that's a big achievement. Maybe that's why I love life, my family & friends with a passion - who knows when I'll step off my mortal coil? Although, given the choice, I want to go to the beach and simply swim off to the horizon, never to return - burial at sea 'on the cheap'.
And what have I achieved in those 22 years since she died? With the help of my amazing hubby I've raised a wonderful son & daughter. In 2007 we seemed to spend the whole year celebrating: January saw the In-Laws' Golden Wedding Anniversary; in April our daughter was 21; July saw me celebrate my 50th birthday in Sardinia and August held a double celebration for us - our son got married 15 days before our Silver Wedding Anniversary. And my pressie to hubby to celebrate 25 years of wedded bliss? A 'How To Look Good Naked' photo:
As for my other achievements: in 2009 I became 'Nanali' to our first grandchild, Megan (hubby will be forever know as 'Grumps'); the following year I chased a dream & ended up living in one of the most stunning locations I've ever seen. But more of that later.....