April is not an easy month. Easter is not easy for us. We used to take the girls to my Nana's every Easter and they loved it. Even though my Nana was in her 80's, she was never old, not even to my tiny girls, and they loved visiting her. They saw it as a special treat.
We lost my Nana (my Mum's mum) 9 months before my mum, within the same year. Within the same two weeks of losing my Nana the girls lost their cat (they're first pet) and their school friend was murdered. Then we lost my Mum. And for both the girl's it's Easter that reminds them of it all.
April is also my Mum's birthday.
Last night Lily couldn't sleep. She goes through stages where she really struggles to switch off and she finds night time a particular challenge. We learned early on that when she goes through these phases there is no point in fighting it. She just really can't sleep.
Late last night Lily made me promise that I wouldn't die of cancer and leave her. She made me pinky promise. She cried and cried and made me promise over and over again. And I said the words. I promised her, I pinky promised her that I wouldn't get cancer and leave her.
Anyone that has been touched by cancer will tell you that they live with the incredible fear that it will be them next. After we lost mum I spoke to both of my (older) brothers seperately, and was surprised to hear that they both (very different people) were sure that every twinge, every bump, every cough was the start of 'their' cancer. I was surprised because while I've been known to assume the worst, I never thought they would. But they do now. We all do now.
I woke up at 2m this morning, gripped with the fear that I had lied to Lily and that she would never trust me again. How could I make such a pinky promise, when deep down I am terrified that the worst will happen and that I will indeed leave her before any of us are ready (actually, the worst is that it will be the girls that get it, that's the most unbearable fear).
Today I am tired. I am tired of missing my mum so terribly. I am tired of being jealous of so many people that I know who are able to hug their mums. I am tired of feeling so damn sad. I am tired of this being my life now. Today I want it all to not be true. I want to be the way I was. Aware of cancer but not haunted by it, not feeling that it's chasing me and my family. Today I want my 7 year old not to ask why so many people we know have cancer.
But April is hard. Easter is hard. And to be honest, it's all still pretty hard.
This April though, Jim and I are heading to the Isle of Wight for a couple of days, on our own. To look at houses.
This is the year to stop running. Or to run away. I'm not sure which it is really, but either way, it's happening this year. Next Easter will hopefully be very different.