Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been around these parts in awhile. The blog has been quiet, no weekly emails or social posts in 2 months (seemingly years in social media time)! I’m ok with telling you why. I would prefer to do that rather than skip over it as if everything is fine.
My mum was battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia for the last 3 years. She has always been so optimistic and positive about her situation, but reached a stage where the remaining option for a healthy life proved unsuccessful. The treatment had failed and she was tired. She decided to cease all blood transfusions and let nature take its course. This meant admission to palliative care in hospital where they would keep her comfortable until she passed away.
Darren and I were living in Melbourne, Victoria, and Mum was based in Brisbane, Queensland. When we got the news we knew we had to get there. I was 22 weeks pregnant at the time and the thought of flying + potential COVID exposure at the airport was not something we wanted to risk. So we drove. It’s about a 22 hour journey. We were going to take it slow, but we got word on the way she was deteriorating. That message turned out to be more important than we could have guessed. We picked up the pace and Darren drove the whole way in 2 days (rather than the 5 we were originally planning). He will forever be my hero for his strength and support during this time 💖
We were hours away from the Queensland border when the news broke there was a COVID outbreak in Victoria and Queensland was about to shut the border. Our home was in one of the Melbourne ‘hotspot’ suburbs. This had all escalated while we were on the road. We got to the border Sunday night, hours before they enforced the new quarantine restrictions. If we were even one day later, we would have had to quarantine for 14 days, missing saying goodbye to Mum and the funeral. I’m aware this is happening to families all over the world right now and can’t imagine that level of grief and pain. Thankfully this wasn’t our story and we made it through in time.
My sister, brother and I were able to take shifts staying with her day and night in hospital to make sure she was as comfortable as possible. She was fairly bright and talkative in the beginning, but things degraded quite fast. Within a few days she was waking often with a fever and pleading for help. I was with my Dad in a similar situation only 2 years ago, but this was much worse. I couldn’t do anything but wipe her brow and hold her hand. Those memories will be hard to forget.
After a few days like this, she passed away. People who have lost a loved one know this isn’t a time you can then retreat to process the event. There’s funeral preparations to be made and practical things to organise, as was the case for us. My family helped minimise this for me, so while there was a part to play I was spared a lot of it and able to rest.
It didn’t last long though, the night before the funeral I had some serious abdominal pain and cramping. I was 25 weeks pregnant by then and we were worried for the baby. I got checked at the hospital and thankfully it wasn’t preterm labor and the baby was fine. The pain increased and lasted 6 days. The doctor couldn’t say exactly what caused it, but she put it down to stress. You can trick your mind into pretending things are fine, but your body can’t lie. This made it difficult to mourn mum’s passing as I didn’t want to trigger any further issues with the pregnancy.
It would have been nice if our world slowed down at this point and we were able to digest the past month, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Darren is in Australia on a Partner Visa. We got notice it was about to expire and we had 3 weeks to submit his Permanent Residency application. This meant pulling together 2 years of documents and information to prove we were still in a relationship. While that was not fun to do and the timing was terrible, I feel like it’s a little time capsule into our life that our son will appreciate one day.
It’s certainly been a rollercoaster ride lately, but we always seem to land on our feet. I can’t help but feel someone is looking out for us. While things were hard, they could have been so much worse.
I’m so lucky to have this calligraphy business. I appreciate you bearing with me during this turbulent time. It allowed me the freedom to focus on what was most important. I know this is all quite personal and raw but it felt like the right time to share with you guys, especially after a long period of silence.
Darren and I are now ready to focus on the imminent arrival of our baby boy who is due in October! He has been the light at the end of this particularly dark tunnel and we are beyond excited to meet him. I’m so glad mum knew we were pregnant. Even though she isn’t here to meet him in person, I’m sure she’s watching from afar.
Have your say – Learn Copperplate on the iPad Course
I had grand plans to open the doors to the LCC course again in June, but fate had other plans. Part of the course is 5 weeks of Facebook live sessions and support. I could potentially open the doors early next month *without* the live component of the Facebook sessions. I wouldn’t be able to commit to the live sessions as I’ll be on maternity leave.
The course would be slightly discounted without the live sessions but all other content would be the same.
If this is something you would be interested in, please leave a comment or reach out via email.