Two years ago I met a wonderful person. She came into my life under unusual circumstances – we were in twin antenatal class together. We had a bit of a run in on the very first day and I remember laughing on the way home and saying that although I thought she was an idiot at the time, I bet we’d end up close friends. And we did.
We’ve spent the first year and a half of our twins’ lives sharing the experience and seeing life through the eyes of our kids’ together. We’ve laughed and bitched and done everything else that new mothers do.
After about 6 months she moaned to me about the fact that she hadn’t stopped bleeding since her caesarian. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that isn’t normal. She went through a myriad of tests before they diagnosed her with cancer. After 3 months of horrible treatment the diagnosis changed to terminal.
I have spent every day since marveling at how amazing she is. How can it be possible to continue being strong for your daughters when you know you won’t be around to see their first day of school? Or their wedding day? Or the day they have their first child? I can’t get my head around it so I have no idea how she has.
I wake up just about every morning and remember that it isn’t a nightmare – it’s real. She wakes up every morning and lives the nightmare.
Every fraught teenager romanticizes about how they’ll be remembered when they die. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that lately and I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t possible to die with more grace than Rachael. This woman has a strength and a beauty that comes from a place of such peace. Watching someone die is one of the most horrible things to go through – but Rachael has made it easy on those of us that love her. Her weekly email updates are frank and honest. We’re not left wondering about whether we can call or what we should say or how she is feeling. She tells us.
Today the emails stopped. Rach can’t sit up any more. She is too sleepy to write. She has lost her memory. There are only days left.
I have learned a lot from this experience. I can’t change what is happening and I can’t give her any more time. I recognise that the thing that makes me the saddest about this is the selfish loss that I feel. I’ll miss having her in my life. The thing that makes me the happiest about it is that she knows exactly how I feel about her. I have no regrets.
So go when you’re ready Rach. I promise that your girls will grow every day with your legacy.
I love you and I’ll miss you.