I'm trying to sound positive, but I'm actually pretty down at heart.
My cousin's doctors have told her husband that she'll pass in the next couple of days. She's a beautiful girl, suffering from awful cancer. Her two boys - aged 9 and 11 - have been spending as much time as they can with their Mom, but she's tired.
Her Father - he's my Uncle, but my Aunt isn't her mother, if that makes sense - I know really well. He's a 70 year old man with a quiet dignity, a great sense of humour and a love for life. As a kid, I remember him as the uncle who'd tickle you into submission, the one who'd have a bad joke that he was desperate to tell you, the one who plays with my brother's kids the same as he used to play with us. I spoke to him this morning and he's broken.
To have this guy cry down the phone to me is just awful. Awful. I can feel my heart breaking for him, even as I type this.
I know that he'd swap places with his daughter in a blink. I know that he'd do anything to stop this. I know that he has no idea what to do anymore.
To me the worst part of this whole situation is seeing/hearing my Uncle and knowing the pain that he carries in his every waking minute. Not that he sleeps anymore. He is simply beside himself with grief. He's lost. His reality has shifted and I'm not sure it will ever shift back for him.
My Aunt told me two weeks ago that my cousin had been out shopping, buying gifts for her sons' 18th and 21st birthdays. As she told me this, we both had to take a minute. Neither of us was able to speak through the tears. How did that girl find the courage to stand in a store and make those decisions? Make those purchases that will be so very important to her boys?
Life is hard sometimes. Life is horrible sometimes.
Enjoy your life. Live it to the full. Love your friends and family. Find someone to love you back.
These are the words of my cousin.
These are her wishes for her sons.