Cooey Mr Shifter !
I know what you’re thinking! It crossed my mind not to use the name, but only for a second.
Why of all the names you could choose, would you possibly pick this one for a blog? I don’t even need to paint an elaborate scene for clarity… you see, this was the way that my Mum would wake me up every morning. Yes! Every morning.
It was always the same: Whether it was a morning that I was happy to emerge from my pit or whether it was one of those days that we would have a tug of war with my ever so striking cat duvet, it was always..’Cooey Mr Shifter’! Not including of course, the occasion that I (accidentally you’ll understand) punched my Mum in the face, resulting in the silent treatment for nearly a whole week.
Could have been worse! Once I told her that her new silk shirt adorned with brightly coloured record’s actually looked like something Pat Butcher would wear. That was almost a two weeker incident.
Otherwise, apart from the incredibly irritating way she used to wake me up every morning (and the disturbing Pat Butcher incident), we got on really well. She would love collecting me from school and presenting me with a new trinket she had picked up at a hippy craft fair or made out of any kind of inanimate object she had found under a tree. Her thistle hedgehogs were legendary at my school and don’t even get me started on the fur wiggle worms she created for what seemed like my entire class. The goggly eyes always fell off but, that only seemed to add to their charm.
I sometimes wonder if she did this to make up for the fact that her and my Dad sent me to a school that required me to wear a green beret ..AND green PE knickers…… Incidentally, why were PE knickers always made out of a tea towel material? They most definitely didn’t improve my horse mounting abilities (not of the hooved variety you’ll understand) In fact, they were rather chaffing.
I could really go a thistle hedgehog right now! That’s really the reason I decided to create this blog.
For the last 18 years, to me, my Mum’s only legacy has been that she left me, she abandoned me when I was just 16 and needed her the most. Ok, she had no control over it, she died. But, at 16, there is always someone else to blame. There is anger too. A lot of anger. I still have that anger now and subsequently, even at 34, I can revert to being that 16 year old girl without a Mum: emotionally anyway. This is an aspect of my life I want to change but, I also want to change the way I remember my Mum. I want to change the way I talk about her.
I’m now a grown woman, I use that term loosely of course! I also have two gorgeous children who depend on me and something else is very different for me now.
Recently, I found my soul mate. Someone that refuses to take any of my rubbish and even though, I do regress (all too often he would say) to a stroppy teenager, after 18 years I finally want to take the time to tell the world (ok, maybe that’s wishful thinking with my little blog) about my Mum’s true legacy. I want to be a better person. I want to be that person because he makes me feel like I finally have a future where I don’t always have to look at the past. I’ve been lucky enough to find that ‘kick up the jacksy’ that everyone needs at some point. He’s obviously a lot of other things but, fondly we will refer to him as this in our introduction. He’ll love that!
I also want to tell you about my Dad, who also left me far too early. I sound like a right bloody case I know but, really, because I was with my Dad in his last few years, we both gained the closure we needed. I’m not nearly as messed up about it…honestly! But, my Dad leaving me was another story altogether. Watching him die actually made me grow. I never felt sorry for myself, I only felt sorry that I was losing him and him me.
Thankfully, we have plenty of time and trust me, you’ll need a lot of time to take this journey with me.
So, although this blog will be about grief, dealing with grief and coping with anger, it will also bring with it, hopefully, a lot of humour and a lot about Love. It will, without doubt, be a lot about Cancer but it couldn’t not be. Even though the big ‘C’ is most definitely a dirty word, you can, quite bizarrely, use it to see the world clearly. For me, although it has eradicated life, it has also eradicated what we are all so guilty of doing: wasting time. Most importantly and it is the most important, this will be about realizing what life is really all about and ensuring that every day you’re here, you make it count. You make it worth it. Otherwise, let’s face it! What really is the point?