Venetia86's Blog

{October 7, 2013}   The importance of family

Last Friday I was featured in the local paper, promoting the charity poetry book Standing by the Watchtower: Volume 1. I was asked to explain why the poetry book had come into being and why the profits from every sale were to go directly to Macmillan Cancer Support.


The very obvious answer was because of my grandmother. In 1998 she died after a very long battle with lung cancer during which the Macmillan Nurses (as they were known then) took care of her. It’s something I can’t clearly remember as I was very young at the time and was kept away from grandma when she was at her worst, but comments made by my mother between then and now about the Macmillan Nurses and all their hard work made me want to do something to help them as they helped my family. 


I also wanted to honour my grandma’s memory as she really was an amazing woman. The timing of this appearing in the paper is slightly ironic as far as my family goes though as my grandad and husband of the same grandma was rushed into hospital the evening before the article appeared in the press with severe pneumonia. At 87, this is not something that he can recover from and has been suffering with Alzheimer’s for the last three years. So this past weekend most of my family traveled down to the hospital to say our goodbyes.


Saying goodbye is always painful but made all the more so because on Sunday, for the first time in the last three year, my grandad knew who we were. He could barely talk or stay awake but he was genuinely excited and happy to see his family; something that we had all missed. He even recognized my adorable second cousins who are four, six and eight.


What was almost a highlight of this was that without organizing it thirteen of us were all at the hospital, at the same time and able to console one another and enjoy reuniting even though it was under some horrible circumstance. It also brought into sharp relief how hard it must be for those who can’t come down to say their goodbyes due to illness, operation recovery and working.


The opportunity to reminisce with my cousin Peter when we took to the pub on Saturday night is what really made me grateful for my extended family. We are all close, we visit each other even though we are spread across the country, call each other to catch up and do seem to manage to have many crazy adventures when we come together to celebrate life events. 


et cetera