Thursday, 17 March 2011

Enough time

I have a cousin called Carol. She is one of the most beautiful people I know and she comes from an amazing family full of people I respect, admire and love. She is actually my second cousin, her dad and my Grandad were brothers. I say were because her dad, my Uncle Don, passed away a few years ago. He was my favourite Uncle, the kind of man people want to be around and other men want to be. Carol has two sons, Daniel and Mathew and an amazing husband called George. She has two sisters, Debbie and Sharon, who are just as beautiful as she is. Her mum, my Aunty Val, is one of the strongest women I know and I hope to one day be a tenth of the woman she is. Carol is not only my cousin but my friend. Carol is an inspiration to me. Carol has cancer.

Carol was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer about 3 years ago, just before her dad passed away from a Cancer that had spread throughout his entire body. It was a shock, Carol was young and healthy, she had two teenage sons and a husband who adored her, she couldn't possibly have cancer. When she was diagnosed she adopted the same mental attitude that had kept her dad alive for 12 years longer than he was supposed to live. She was positive, she changed her diet, she went on health retreats and to the outside world she looked like a woman who knew she could beat this thing. We believed that she would beat the cancer, we were wrong. Last year she told me that she knew she wouldn't beat the cancer, that eventually it would reunite her with her father. I guess when she told me I didn't believe her, or at least I didn't want to.

Last week my mum told me that Carol was in hospital in Brisbane. She had been on a holiday overseas and had become so sick that she had to be flown home to Australia as quickly as possible. Her husband was with her but, as selfless as always, she had sent him home to Perth to see his father inducted in to the Hall of Fame for the football team he had played for. We hoped she would be back in Perth soon so we could visit her but no one knew when she would be well enough to fly.

Then last night my mum told me that Carol was home. The story goes that Virgin flew her home, making allowances for the fact that she needed oxygen the whole way and possibly setting down to collect more oxygen along the way. The story has been passed from family member to family member so I don't know how accurate it is but I am glad she is home.

Today we will go and visit her, possibly for the last time, and suddenly I feel like I have so many things I want to ask her. I feel like there are so many conversation still left to have. I feel like I don't know enough about who she is, what she has done, how she feels about life. I can't even begin to imagine how her husband, her sons and her sisters feel. I am sure each of them is hoping for just a bit more time, just another day, another week, another year. Maybe she will beat it for now, maybe she will get better and I can have those conversations with her, but is there ever enough time to have all the conversations you want to have with someone you love?

This morning I saw two Facebook posts from Carol's son Mathew. One asked his friends to hug their mothers and tell them how much they are loved, the other was one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever read. It simply said "I'm the most terrified I've been in my entire life".

So today I have one simple request, on behalf of Carol, George, Daniel and Mathew, tell the people that you love how much you care about them, tell them how they make your life better, hug them tight and remember that there is never enough time so make the most of it while you can.

Love and hugs

T x x

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