Saturday, September 20, 2008

An update of sorts.

Well, Kylie gave me a kick up the butt, so I'm updating for her! Are you happy? lol

It's been a week of ... well, stuff. Not so great stuff. Some awesome stuff. Lots of stuff. Hmmm.

Tayla turned 6 last week, and had been counting down to it for ages! It almost felt like a non-event really, because the anticipation had been so high. She did, however, get her most-requested gift - FLOWERS. In fact, she got 2 bunches, so she was feeling mightily spoilt. And, she's taller - measurably so! lol She can now sit on the seats at Red Rooster and her feet touch the floor, which they didn't before, she reliably informed us. So, definitely getting taller and taller in her old age.

September is a big birthday month around here - 2 more to come along were Shelley, my sister-in-law, and Dennis. Shelley's birthday is the day after Tayla's, so they shared a special dinner, and we went out for the second night in a row, on a school night no less - it's no wonder Tay feels so much more grown up now! Dennis' bday is a week after Shelley's, and really marked a sad time for us all ... not because of his getting older (although I think that was sad for him) but because it coincided with us receiving some horrid news. Shelley has Inflammatory Breast Cancer. If you haven't heard of this particularly horrid form of breast cancer before, then you should really check out this video:
If you are a woman, or you know a woman (and that should cover you all, huh?) it's really important to be aware of this ... as much as we all know by now about the usual ways of keeping on top of changes in your breasts, this is one that probably wouldn't occur to a lot of people.

Shelley is my sister's partner, and they are so totally devoted to each other. My sister had a baby earlier this year, and they, along with Shelley's two grown sons, are such a wonderful family. It's going to be a horrid time ahead, and we are praying for miracles, but we are all scared ... this is a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, already at Stage 4 and most likely in the lymph nodes.
Telling my kids was sadly not the hardest thing I've had to do this year ... and that's too tragic for words! We went back to Lithgow, where we used to live, last night, for a couple of reasons (I'll talk about them soon!) so I decided to tell them in the car - at least then, I could concentrate on driving while I was talking, and I'd be less likely to burst into tears, which has happened a lot the past couple of days. I know, it's worth crying over, but I also know that my kids have been through a lot this year. I do want them to be aware of what's going on, as they are going to see her a lot, and need to know why she is sick from the chemo, but I also want them not to be too upset and alarmed unless there is a reason for them to be ... does that make sense? It went as well as that type of conversation can go. The heart-breaking bit was when Kelsey said "mummy, thank goodness Tayla doesn't know what that word can mean, but I do. I hope that doesn't happen, because we've been sad enough." I almost lost it - thank goodness for the road! She's taking the whole praying/being positive/helping whenever we can thing very seriously, the little darling. I'm with her ... we've been sad enough this year, I don't think any of us can grieve any more at this point! So, if you are the praying type, they'd all be appreciated. I'm at the point where I just don't feel like I know how to pray, so I'm crying, and just saying "please God" over and over. I think he'll get the message though.

So, this weekend - more mixed stuff! Today was the last of the girls' slightly more informal physical culture competitions, before Champion Girl ones start, and they had a great time - Grandma even came to watch them, which they loved! Kelsey did as well as Kelsey always does - had a ball, grooved along in her own little world, tried her best, and came away with another participation badge to add to her collection. She had a ball! Tayla, on the other hand - she's very competitive. She was soooo convinced that she was going to get First this time - she came third and fourth at the last 2 comps. I kept telling her that she should just concentrate on doing her best, and having a good time, like I always do, but once her section started, it became very obvious that she was likely to get her goal. She is soooooo good! She just seems to switch on. And, she came first. She was so proud of herself - it was really cute!

So, that was the good. The not so good ... today was the day we put Pa's ashes in the memorial wall. Well, some people did anyway. I got there after it was all over, as there was a mixup with the times, and it was on an hour before I could make it there. So I arrived to see his new resting place. And it's nice. He'd like it. He's back at home - my grandparents have lived on the South Coast of NSW for years now, but Portland has always been home. I took some photos of the wall, and the scenery around it, and some great "Pa's hometown" pics- the cement works where he worked for most of his life, the town pool that he helped raise funds for, the house he lived in. And it feels right, him being back in Portland. I'm still a bit bitter about missing the service, especially after hearing at dinner tonight with the family how nice it was, and that everyone got to hold the urn before it was place in the wall ... but that's ok, I'll get over that. I spent a bit of time gathering some photographic memories of my Pa. And they'll last me a lifetime.

I'm treasuring memories at the moment - I've been so aware of the fact that the time we have here is precious, and that we need to grab hold of them whenever we can. So, here are a few special moments I've been scrapping lately. Just some random, fun, wonderful memories that I'm going to treasure. Because they all should count, huh?

I wasn't really sure about the "Dream" one, but it's growing on me - normally I'd cut the crap out of this paper, but it just seems to work. I can just imagine all this stuff going on in her head while she's sleeping - nothing Tayla does is ever simple and uncomplicated! lol

The two bright ones are using the new Sassafras Lass papers, which are on sale this month at Scrap Therapy, so if you are feeling the need for some retail therapy check them out. (New thickers too ... who could resist? Not me!) There is also some great stuff going on in the forum too - new challenges, new competition, it's full steam ahead! I may have mentioned I love Scrap Therapy before ... let me tell you why. It's not just because of the top products, service, etc etc. It's because the people there, from the top down, CARE about you. And I've felt very loved and supported over there. I know that I'm among friends. And I've made some awesome friendships there that will last me a lifetime. I'm so grateful for them - from Therapy mum, to fellow Design Therapists, and the therapy attendees. Love you all heaps girls, if you are reading this!

Ok, that's my emotional purge for the night, I'm heading off to bed. Take care of you and yours. And tell them you love them. NOW! Don't wait for a time when it feels like it's your last chance. Do it now. Do it often.


Allison said...

Wow PT, when you post, you post BIG!
I hope life turns and brings you a better time soon - and brings Shelley a miracle too.
Best wishes.

BethJ said...

Hugs Tamara. :)

mandysea said...

(((((((((hugs)))))))))) PT
You've had so much going on in your life, you need to look after you too. I hope you take time to 'breathe'....

Allison said...

Hi again, thanks for visiting my blog too!
I got the time thing worked out... well, actually, I did nothing. It just mysteriously started updating the time automatically again. I have no idea why it stopeed, or why it started again.
Now stop reading messages and go write.

Kathryn said...

thanks for visiting my blog! yes, i've crashed therapy again, 12mths after i joined. i should have joined a group this time last year "my name is kathryn and i'm addicted to scrap therapy".

terrible news about shelley - fingers crossed you can all get through it as best as possible. she needs love around her and that's what she seems to be getting. *hugs* K.

Wirg's Creative World said...

Oh PT, what can a person say other than yes, I'll pray for you, your family, your SIL Shelley. It's been such a tough year for you all. I can only say that what doesn't break you will make you. Something my mentor and friend at our church reminds me of. Sending you lots of love & prayers,

Wirgie x x x x

Deanne Stewart-Mills said...

That is devastating news about Shelley and at such a time when they ought to only have to deal with the joy of raising their little girl.
My thought are with you and your family.

Kerryn said...

Wow you and your family have been through so much. I know how devastating cancer of any description is and I hope that your prayers are answered and Shelley comes through this OK.

Shelee said...

Thinking of you all lovie. You know that. Sending up some very big prayers for your Shelley and family for the challenge ahead. She is very lucky to have you in her world giving so much love and support.