My Dad died 6 months ago.
He had Oesophagul cancer and cruelly starved to death — an emaciated, painful release. I sat beside him, witnessing, comforting, holding space for him to let go, leave.
It was a stoic death. He was brave.
It’s now my turn to be brave.
I’m not sure how I am. I look for role models. The feisty, vibrant barista whose 4-year-old son died of an insidious brain tumour. The courageous massage client living with the devastating death of her husband by suicide. …
I sit beside his bed, watching, waiting.
I’m his firstborn, only daughter. Our bond, unshakeable, immense, complex. “No-one loves me as much as you, Dad”. “Yes…that's true”.
He says I was difficult at times. I would stand up and shake the bars of my cot until I received his attention. He was difficult too!
I remember his bear hugs. I would stand on my bed, enveloped in his broad chest and he would squeeze me tight. I felt safe. Loved.
He had a stutter. It was most prevalent when he was upset or angry. …
I recently had a conversation with my 21-year-old daughter.
She’s a 2nd-year student studying animation. It’s tough. Much more technical than she anticipated and being a perfectionist, she struggles with not receiving top marks.
Her dream is to be involved in the film industry and a degree in animation is the path she has taken. Yet, she questions it. She wonders if it’s right for her.
She’s scared of failing, not only the course but of reaching her potential.
“Sometimes I’m just so scared I won’t achieve my goals — that I’m not good enough to reach my dreams.”
Sometimes we aren’t who we think we are!
I married a Mormon when I was 22.
“We can’t be together unless you join the church”.
My father cried and told me the man I was about to marry was ‘The Devil’.
I was in love. I got baptised. We eloped.
My family disowned me.
I gave birth to 6 children in 10 years. It was a complete immersion into a life of religious service and obedience, devotion to being a perfect wife and mother. I tried hard to make it work, to mold myself into a righteous Latter Day Saint…
I recently received an online invitation to a Botox Party. ‘Botox and Bubbles’ it read. On it was outlined some of the procedures that I could receive from a ‘licensed professional’ whilst I drank champagne and ate hors-d’oeuvres.
Botox? And at a party with alcohol?
Maybe I’m old school or overly cautious, but if I was to even consider getting injected in my face with a substance made from a neurotoxin called Botulinum toxin, it would be in a clinic — sterile, professional and highly recommended.
I’m 55. People constantly tell me I look younger. Most weeks someone will comment…
I need a root canal. Badly.
For the past six months, I’ve been favouring one of my bottom left molars. Intense searing pain drills into my brain if anything hot or cold touches it. Or if I inadvertently chew on it.
It throbs at night. ALL night.
I’m existing on heavy-duty painkillers and anti-inflammatory pills - diclofenac, extra strength. Antibiotics.
If I was back in the dark ages, a village healer would have numbed it with cloves or some other herbs, a mind-numbing concoction imbibed and the tooth yanked out. I dream of this scenario.
PULL IT OUT… PLEASE!
It happened AGAIN!
I received a voicemail regarding a massage.
I called him back. He asked about price, possible times. He sounded friendly.
I told him I offer mobile only and can come to him at the hotel he’s staying at. It’s a small ski resort town.
He said he’d get back to me — he had to sort a few things.
I checked in with my gut. He ‘felt’ legit — a traveler in need of a massage. I forgot to ask what he wanted — deep tissue? Relaxation? Neck release?
A text came in — yes, it’s on…
I used to know my body.
I appreciated it’s cycles, it’s rhythms, it’s predictability. I knew when I was ovulating — a deep ache in my lower groin.
I’d feel aroused.
I had a monthly period, it was always on time, ‘regular’, light. The week before my period I’d feel bloated, bitchy, untouchable.
My period would end and the cycle would begin again. I would eagerly wait for my body to enter the lush, fertile few weeks mid-cycle. Sex was easy then. I wanted it and my body was ripe and orgasmic.
Now… I’m ‘menopausal’.
AND MY CLITORIS FEELS NUMB?!
I’ve massaged lots of overweight people, but she was obese.
As she stood in front of me, I met her eyes and searched in my heart for the openness and acceptance I’d need for this massage. I wanted her to feel safe.
But I was freaking out!
Would the massage table be strong enough? Would she fit on it? What if it collapsed? She was huge!
I left the room to allow her time to get on the table and calmed myself. Deep breaths.
I entered the room. Her body was spread over the table. Overlapping, everywhere, soft wobbly flesh.