Sunday, 27 July 2008

Repeated Patterns In My Life.

Yesterday Harry and I had a lovely day. We got on a bus using our free bus passes. We travelled a long way. We ended up in a lovely place with beautiful scenery and picturesque houses and old buildings and I took a photo of a gargoyle and we laughed at the pigeons sitting on the heads of every statue. We sat in a shady place while we ate sandwiches, because it had turned out really warm and sunny and I felt for the first time for a long time that I was bordering on happiness. It has taken me over a month to get over the sudden exit of the Japanese family and to come to terms with the various ways in which the big C has affected all our lives. The way it waits to pounce on us when we least expect it to. Harry's hospital appointment is not for a couple of weeks yet so we have a respite before the worry of what the blood test will reveal.
The afternoon turned out to be ideal. We eventually headed back home and had a take away meal, a surprise visit from my brother and we stayed up to watch a thriller film, "Flight Plan" which had us both gripping our seats! A really good day from start to finish!

Until, I suddenly remembered to switch off my mobile, that is. A text from my daughter, with the news that her husband had been rushed to hospital again. For those of you who don't know the present situation, I will just do a quick recap. Son in law had a brain tumour removed about three months ago. It turned out to be linked to his malignant melanoma that he had in a mole on his leg twelve years prior to that. He thought he had got over it. Now it seems he has all the symptoms back from the tumour. Could another one have grown that fast? We will have to wait and see. It sounds a pretty virulent, nasty type of cancer.
My daughter is distraught and the boys are obviously going to be disturbed by seeing their father screaming in agony. The eldest is possibly autistic and waiting for tests. Harry is fighting prostate cancer. My brother's wife has bone cancer, following the return of her breast cancer that she had twelve years ago. Twelve....... a significant number.........again. As well as all this, I had to cope with the sudden departure late one night of the family who had left in anger over a dispute about dripping washing in the loft. They had been with me for 11 months. All this has taken its toll on me, but yesterday I was happy for the first time for ages.

This has happened in the past when I have dared to declare myself to be happy.
Going on an outing with the children and finding my husband's motorbike on the front path and a note saying, "Don't worry, Harry is suffering concussion in hospital."
A day when I'd gone on a painting course for the day and daughter, who was twelve then, had to have my mother sign an emergency form so that she could have surgery for a broken elbow.
Six times at different points of our lives, usually holiday time, my husband has collapsed on me, while I had dared to be in a happy state of mind.

Maybe it would be better if I didn't let myself get too happy in the first place. That way I wouldn't be opening myself up for another knock to the floor.
Sorry for being so pessimistic today. I had a funny post ready to publish but that seems inappropriate now. Once again, you will have to bear with me. I will rise again as I always do, but I wish daughter didn't live so far away............


Lindsay said...

I know what you mean about 'daring to be happy'. Every time I dare - something happens - but mostly to myself. I suffered thyroid cancer 10 years ago and had a recurrence last year - just when I had become slightly ever so complacent about the yearly test. I am happy again now - so hope my knees do not get worse - or the neck does not flare up again. As you well know the cancer thing effects not just the sufferer but the whole family.

RiverPoet said...

My dear Maggie, I'm breaking my own rule of resting my hand so I can respond here.

You deserve to be happy, sweetheart. Everyone does. But as my pastor says, happiness is a feeling that comes from good things happening, which is why it seems so fleeting. When good things are happening, we are happy. When bad things happen, we feel that we must throw away our fleeing positive emotions.

Seek instead JOY. The joy of knowing that God loves you and your family members. The JOY of knowing that He is a healing God. (Remember that healing doesn't always mean CURE). Allow Him to work in your life and the lives of your loved ones. There are no real reasons for why people get sick or suffer. Suffering will always exist in this world. Your job is to find that center of joy that will help you always weather the storms, for storms are inevitable.

I will keep your family in my prayers.

Peace - D

kylie said...

hi maggie,
it seems you are having more than your share of problems and declaring yourself happy was rather daring :)
melanoma is, as you say , a very nasty disease. we have a lot of it in australia and it effects a lot of very young people, it's quite devastating.
river poet's comments on joy are excellent advice.
i have had a couple of rough weeks, not like yours but hard for me, and i'm sure it's the devil on my back, pure and simple !
he doesn't want us to be happy (or to have joy, or anything good.....)
chin up

Anonymous said...

I don't quite know what to say - it seems that you and your family have been through such a lot, and that's tough for anyone to take. 'Daring to be happy' is such a tricky phrase - does this mean that we 'dare to be sad' as well? I suppose what I'm trying to say is that if we never dare to be happy then we may never be happy - taking risks about one's happiness is something that I think everyone needs to do, and I don't think you were wrong in daring to be happy. Yes, you have some awful things happening around you, but remember that you also need to find some small piece of happiness for yourself somewhere and this day trip seems exactly the tonic that is required. I know it must be difficult to try to push aside all the things happening, but it's days like these that are for that purpose. I'm happy that you managed to have a lovely day out, because this will give you the strength you need to try and face everything else going on in your life.
Take care,

Maggie May said...

Lindsay......... sorry I didn't know you'd had cancer. Thought it must be bad arthritis or something like that. Glad it seems under control again now.
Yes, cancer does seem to affect a whole family like ripples going across a pond when a stone is chucked in.

River poet & Kylie........... that is EXACTLY what I would have said to SOMEONE ELSE! Yes, I know that happiness is fleeting and that the" Joy of the Lord" is a sense of well being over everything that lasts.I went forward for healing in Church for SIL today & took Communion. It is all in His hands but at the moment I am hurting.

Peter, you are so kind. Yes, I know that it is wrong never to experience happiness for fear of being hurt.
This afternoon we went on a little trip & I talked to a lady who has recently been widowed, after nursing her husband for 14 years. She goes all over the place by herself, holidays and trips out. She was such a brave lady & she was an inspiration to me. She was small & wiry and much older than me, but she has a strong inner strength that made me feel strong just by talking to her.

Working mum said...

How sad. Your post started so positively too! I guess you have had a lot to contend with and have become naturally wary of happy days.

Seize the happy moments, they give balance to the sad ones!

Anonymous said...

You so deserve to have happiness in your life. No matter what has happened in your family circumstances, your happiness is important too.

Take care,
CJ xx

Anonymous said...

Maggie be happy and joyful ,that helps us cope with trauma and strife.Take any opportunity to be happy you can.
The Family taking off - thats their problem dont make it yours.
Cancer - everyone it seems ahs family and firends hwo are suffering,Ive lost four good friends so far this year. May be if they spent more money on this and less on fighting other countries wars we would sort it out.
I send you support and love and a whole pot of happiness

Suburbia said...

Maggie, so so sorry. I can see what you mean but you must continue to enjoy each happiness as it comes. It is necessary.
Hugs to you
Suburbia x

bindhiya said...

Dear Maggie,
I'll keep you and family in my thoughts and prayers.
♥ & ((hugs))

Jules said...

Oh Maggie sweetheart,

Allowing yourself to be in a happy place brings sunshine to your spirit and soul and gives you the strength to weather the bad times.

Jeni said...

While your circumstances do kind of lead a person in the direction of being afraid of being too happy but how can you discern between slightly, moderately and ecstatically happy? You generally try to keep a very positive attitude -just kind of overwhelmed perhaps right now but I agree with what Jules said in the comments. Rise and shine and good or bad, whatever befalls you (and all of us) smiles, enjoying life as fully as possible brings happiness not just to you but to those around as well. It will be better, trust, keep your faith, and it shall be so.

Maggie May said...

Working mum .... Yes, I think that is exactly what it is.

Suburbia & Crystal....... Thanks for your kind words.

Valleys mam ...... Sorry you have lost 4 good friends to cancer. It is a wretched disease. Yes, you are right. If the government spent the war money on cancer research, then we would have a cure by now. Surely!

Bindi...... thanks, that is kind of you. X

Jules........ yes, you are right! I will let in little pleasures bit by bit.

Jeni ....... you are so right. Sometimes you have to keep well for the others! It is the overwhelming that seems to get me down.

Casdok said...

Oh im so soory to hear of this difficult time for everyone. Moments of joy and happiness can re fuel you for the more difficult times.

Flowerpot said...

You need your happiness too, Maggie and I know just what you mean about daring to be happy. You are having more than yuour fair share of unhappiness, but make teh msot of the happy times and hold them to you to get through the bad ones. Take care.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Maggie. It was wonderful of you to leave such kind comments at my site especially when you are not having such a great time at the moment. Your words cheered me up so much! I can only imagine that you are riding a roller coaster of emotions these days. Listen to yourself. Be happy when you can be happy. Be sad when you need to. The worst time for me is in the middle of the night when I wake up (or get worken up!)...a wave of panic sometimes engulfs me. It's a cliche, I know, but a good book and a really good brew really take my mind off things. Big hugs. Hadriana xx

Sandi McBride said...

I dare to be happy come hail or high water! Good for you and great post!

Liz said...

I know what you mean. But I am glad you enjoyed your day and hope there will be many more. Prayers for husband and son-in-law and families particularly.

Dusty Spider said...

Do dare to be happy. Sadness catches us all sometimes so I try to make the most of every opportunity to be happy. Flick xx

Irene said...

Maggie, dare to be happy in spite of everything. be happy during short little periods of the day if they can't be long stretches of days on end. Everybody deserves happiness and I am sure that you don't have a sign of doom hanging over your head.

Catch all the happy moments that you can and remember, you don't have to carry the weight of all this responsibility on your shoulders. It is not all your job. Spread it around and lighten the load. Don't suffer what is not yours to suffer.

Be happy, Maggie. Just let yourself.

cheshire wife said...

Hope you are feeling more settled today. Parts of your post are so sad. I think that everybody knows somebody with cancer as diagnosis and treatment improve.We know or know of several people fighting the big C, including my 19 year old nephew. We are totally baffled as to why this fit young man should have developed it but he is fighting it. They say God doesn't give us anything that we can't handle and when I look back on the past I think that it is true.

dottie said...

You have such courage. What can I say? Take the memory of those individual moments of happiness and hug them tight to your heart in the dark times. Thinking of you.

nanatrish said...

Maggie, I can totally relate to your feelings. I have also been in a place where so many loved ones have illnesses and overwhelming situations that it becomes gloomy. Although I recognize I must choose joy, at times when you have so much around you it's not easy to be dancing around kind of happy-go-lucky. All I can do is cling to Jesus. Our pastor prays," May we not pray for smaller tasks, but the increased strength to take on the tasks we are given". I will be praying for you and know that we are out here caring for you and these situations. love ya, Trish

Omykiss said...

I'm sorry ...

Rinkly Rimes said...

You must certainly 'dare to be happy'. Consider what a strong person you must be to have come through so much and be happy for that. Most of us would be complete wrecks and unable to enjoy the day in the sun you refer to if we had suffered as much as you!

Stinking Billy said...

Lordy, and here am I feeling so sorry for myself over a £50 bloody printer! I will be thinking of you, Maggie, x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Dear Maggie - what an end to your lovely day - keep positive. Thinking of you all. A x

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