My story is sadly an echo of so many others. With a twist.
In 1994, whilst on an extended journey round that works in a 27 foot boat, my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer following a rouine check up in the UK. She fought it off, and in the meantime, her husband, my stepdad, lost his sight due to complications with cataracts and detached retinas. My Mum, post mastectomy, sailed their boat home to New Zealand single handed.
Sadly, 6 years later, the cancer came back. I was living in the UK at the time with my husband and was 8 months pregnant with my first baby. We came out to visit two months before Mum died, and she at least got to meet Clemency Gillian, my daughter and her namesake.
I had to say goodbye on the phone which is the hardest thing I've had to do in my life. Ever. Since then, I’ve lost two good friends and a third is now in Hospice with a few weeks left. My mother in law is a survivor, thankfully, and now my daughter is supporting a close friend whose ex girlfriend is battling a very aggressive cancer and she’s only 20!
Here is a photo of my daughter aged 7, at a Dove Pink Star Walk in Auckland, wearing wings with a photo of my Mum on that back. Here is another photo of that brief visit, which turned out to be a goodbye.