The Gallery

The Gallery – Faces

I haven’t done a Gallery post in a while; in fact, I haven’t done a blog post in a while, at least not one which required me to commit my own words to a page.┬áThose of you who know me will know that my family lost a member last week, my stepmum Lorraine. Lorraine had been battling cancer, melanoma to be precise. She was 42 when she died, in fact it had been her 42nd birthday just ten days earlier, which she’d spent in hospital.

I still can’t believe she’s gone. When I think of my Dad, I think of them as a pair – Dad and Lorraine, it just trips off of the tongue. But sadly, so fucking sadly, my father is now just ‘Dad’. I cannot even begin to tell you all of the emotions that have gone through me in the last two weeks, I’m utterly, utterly devastated, as is Husband and of course the rest of the family. Unfair just does not even begin to cover it. I’m not quite able to write about this in the way I’d like to, not able to do Lorraine justice with my words as I still feel largely in shock.

A few days ago, I was going through my emails and I found some pictures of Sausage that I’d emailed to my Dad a couple of years ago and one pictures stopped me in my tracks.

It’s a picture of Lorraine holding Sausage.

You can’t see Lorraine’s face, only Sausage’s, but the look on my infant daughter’s face says everything you need to know about how she felt about Lorraine. Indeed, how we all felt about her.

I hope, in time, that I’m better able to write something that does justice to the woman who touched our lives and whom we already miss so much. But for now, I’ll let this picture and Sausage’s face do the talking.

Personal

The Other Woman.

The other day, when I was sitting waiting for an appointment, I got my pen and notepad out of my bag and just started writing, I was gripped by a compulsion to get something down on paper. I only managed to get two pages written, but I wanted to put it on here. So here goes;

Contemplating mortality is a peculiar thing. Contemplating the mortality of a person you care about, when you have a timeframe, isn’t peculiar. It’s nigh on impossible. Doctors can speak in medical terms and give you weeks, months, years, but trying to actually wrap your head around the fact that a persons days might be numbered is so much harder than you might think.

I hadn’t wanted to like Lorraine. When my Dad told me he was seeing someone new, my main emotion was one of indifference. I’d heard it before, got attached to some of them even. My Dad is what you could describe as a serial monogamist. He’s had a series of relationships in my 27 years of life, I even have a little brother from one of them, and in general I’ve got on well with most of them. But they all fit a mould, you see. Younger, much younger than my Dad. In fact, my brothers Mum is only five years older than me, the same age as my Husband. She was 17 when they got together, my dad in his very early thirties, and at 12 I thought he’d lost his fucking marbles.

But Lorraine is different. Sure, she’s not quite old enough to be my Mum, but she’s just in her forties, so at least she’s age-appropriate. She’s intelligent, feisty, travelled and easy to get along with. You can see why I didn’t like her…right?!

Up until my Dad met Lorraine, I hadn’t really taken any of his girlfriends seriously. I could have beat any of them in a game of Trivial Pursuit, even at the age of 11. I suppose in a way I felt superior, felt like my Dad had more respect and admiration for me than he did for them. He’s never been married, never really settled down, he always kept his own house just in case he needed to go back when things didn’t work out.

He and Lorraine are engaged. I was happy when I found out. In a way, it speaks volumes about her, the woman who succeeded where so many others had failed. The woman who got my Dad to settle down. I respect her. Over time, I’ve got to know her and I’ve grown to love her. She’s a good person, great with [Sausage] and my little brother, always friendly, and most importantly, she makes my Dad happy.

That’s where it stops, I think I was called in for my appointment at this point. Last year, Lorraine had a melanoma removed from her leg, and had her lymph nodes removed to prevent it from spreading. Sadly, a few weeks ago, we received the news that the bastard disease had reached her lungs and brain. Needless to say, we’re devastated but she’s having treatment and we’re staying positive. I’m not one to pray or go to church, but I do belive in the power of positive thought, so if I can get as many people as possible to think positively for her, maybe the universe will see its way to helping her out. Lorraine is an inspiration, I’m so impressed with how positive she’s been, and I’m proud of my Dad for dealing with it so well.

Me? I think it’s really fucking unfair and I want to punch someone in the face for letting this happen to such a lovely person, but anger doesn’t get you anywhere, does it? I’m using my maths brain and telling myself that Lorraine’s chances for a full recovery are miles better that the chances of winning the Lottery, and people win the Lottery three times a fucking week.

But in the meantime, if you could all spare a positive thought, that would be great. Thanks, in advance.