|Happy Fathers Day Dad...2014|
Saturday, 6 September 2014
My Dad has Cancer
When we found out Brendan had Cancer our greatest concern other than the obvious was how it would affect the kids. Our plan of attack was pretty simple. The aim has been to keep things as normal as possible and make sure the house is still full of as much laughter as possible. We knew, for a while anyway, that we would not be going on outings on weekends very much, home would be it. It has been important to keep our family’s normal rhythm when and were we can.
I don’t think they know how amazing and supportive they are being as they have not made a fuss about it, but this is where our neighbours Lee and Nigel, Tam and Shane, Kayla and Tim and Jen, Paul and Tiff have all stepped in for us along with their gorgeous bunch of kids, without being asked. They have opened their homes and yards to our kids, with the road that runs between us all often resembling a playground accommodating games of tennis, bike riding, skateboarding and anything in between. .. and yes even the odd mud fight!
Brendan and I had rarely left the kids for more than a day or an evening before this all happened, and this is where our families have stepped in, again with no fuss or fanfare. Just the offer that whoever is needed; be it Brens Mum Margaret, or my sister Sue who come and stay in our home with the kids so that they sleep in their own beds with their own stuff around them and still play each afternoon with their friends in the street, would be there…they also get to go out to my sister Debs [also willing to leave her family to stay with ours if needed] house on the bus with their cousin Luca, for some afternoon fun with Lu and Tyler, which they love too. And then there is my Mum Dolly who would also drop everything at the drop of a hat to be here if needed. Everyone is working really hard on our behalf to keep things as normal as it can be for them.
The other thing we have done to protect them from feeling frightened about what is happening, is to be honest with them about what their dad is going through. If they have questions; they ask, we answer and they know it is the truth. We have also shared our story publicly so that our friends, family and community know the truth of what is happening too. The benefit of this is that concerned friends and acquaintances don’t have to ask about Brendan’s well-being in front of the kids when we are out and about, because we are letting everyone know as we know. That way we can just have our usual friendly convo’s when we meet in the street. J
We won’t know fully how this life changing experience has affected our babies, until one day when they are grown; if they choose to share how it may have shaped their lives in positive or negative ways. Until then all we can do is surround them with love and hope that it is a time they can look back on and be reminded that we are stronger than we know, and that with love and determination anything is possible.