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Entry 5 - Beside the Seaside

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

When you eventually read this blog, things are likely to be very different!

Kent is where Uri Baa and Dadda (gran and grandad) lived, on a beautiful coastline in a sleepy town called Greatstone, they had a shop and lived above it.  Uri Baa is my masi (my mum’s sister). When I was a young baby, like you are as I write, she lived with Koki Baa, me, Dipshaa masi and my dad. I spent many of my early years with her, and as a result we have a very close bond, I call her my second Mum.

There are things I would call and talk to her about that I could never speak to my own Mummy about.  She has been there for me.  There when I didn’t make the grades at college, there when my life fell apart as my parents divorced, there when I knew I wanted to marry Daddy but didn’t know if anyone would approve, there to give me away on my wedding day, and then of course, there for me when I had to share this heart breaking news.

 It was late afternoon on Wednesday when we parked the car outside the shop. The weather was good, it was August, I knew she would be busy! Daddy and I walked in, she looked and then looked again, wondering why we were there. As the customers left, I told her that we both had a day off, so were in the area and thought we would pop in.  Dadda come over to greet us, and we chatted for a while about nothing in particular.

Uri Baa offered to make a cup of tea, so we headed upstairs, just me and her, while Daddy stayed downstairs with Dadda.

After a few niceties I stood by the cooker with Baa, the conversation ran like this:

‘Soooo we haven’t just coincidentally been in the area today. I’ve had a hospital appointment and decided to come here first.’

‘You’re having a baby! She said joyously’

My heart broke a little more, I didn’t know it was even a possibility at this stage…

‘Sadly not’ I replied

‘I’ve been having tests for a couple of months now, and today it was confirmed that I have Breast Cancer.’

Disbelief covered her face, first shock, then an apology for mentioning the word baby, then, as expected, her eyes filled with tears.

‘No, it can’t be, no I can’t believe this, you can’t be telling me this’

I assured her that we had jumped through all of the hoops, that this was the truth, that nothing was going to reverse the words that had just come out of my mouth.

We sat, we spoke, we held each other.  I held back any tears.  By this point my internal Army had built their walls once again. I thought about Daddy downstairs in the shop, would he be having the same conversation this very moment?

The hours passed and eventually Daddy and Dadda came upstairs, I don’t remember much about the conversations that went on but I remember one thing specifically. Dadda came upstairs, stood a little awkwardly at the window and then turned to me and said ‘I’m so sorry for all you are going through’.

His eyes filled with tears, the pain on his face visible for us all to see. 

Koshi Dadda is one of life kindest souls. His eyes are always filled with joy, he lifts the spirits of those he surrounds.  A devoted father, a loving husband, he isn’t my Dad but he is the only father figure I have cared for over the years. His tears broke my heart into a thousand pieces.

 This man I had respected for so long, this man who used to give up his side of his bed for me to sleep in through the school holidays, year after year, this man who gave me away on my wedding day, there he stood, broken inside fighting back the tears. 

 We all spoke a little more, then headed out for a nice meal in an attempt to numb the pain. Idle chit chat over dinner, jokes at the quality of the food, an awkwardness that nobody wanted to admit.  They all formed memories that would last forever.

 As we said our goodbyes and hugs were handed out all around, I remember feeling a huge sense of relief.  The dark cloud that loomed had lifted very slightly, sharing my diagnosis after all these months created a space, a space for me to breathe.

 However, as we walked towards the car I remember wishing I didn’t have to get back in and drive home, because doing that would make this day real.  It would make the diagnosis real, it would make me face reality.  My life was about to change, and goodness, I was so unprepared for it!

 I still had to tell Baa (my mum)

and Masi (my sister) about this disease. That was all I could focus on now, getting through the next one or two days, anything more than that and I felt I would have a meltdown so in that moment I decided that this was how I would live for the foreseeable future…

 … day at a time., minute by minute, hour by  hour.

Love Always, Mummy xx

PS I have no idea why I took a photo that day (21.08.13), I didn’t take one of anybody else, but this image here, it’s the very last time my family saw me as just Kreena, the person I was before cancer changed it all.

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