I’ve always thought I came from this line of indomitable women; the men in my family were always the weak ones who on some level needed to be cared for but the women were the strong ones who can cope with anything, mend or make anything and would always be there. I thought that until embarrassingly recently. It’s amazing how denial can blind you to the truths you have already learned when you don’t want to pay attention.
My Grandmother is staying with me and for the first time I can see that she is 93. She is showing her age and is forgetful and frail. She is, of course, doing really well for someone who has lived 93 years but she is not the indefatigable woman she once was.
This comes but a few days after my Mum, my amazing and often over-looked by me Mum, was told that her second treatment for breast cancer hasn’t worked and the cancer is spreading once again. The doctors won’t talk in timescales but without some sort of miracle I don’t think my mother will live to anything like the age her mum has.
So ‘suddenly’ these two great immovable rocks in my world are shifting. I am suddenly so aware of not having fulfilled my part of the family plan and given them grandchildren. The line of so-called strong women may well stop with me. Next year I will be closer to 40 than 30 and I’m no closer to knowing what I want to do with my life or who I want to be. And that may soon all be a bit semantic as I may be caring for my family just as they have always cared for everyone else. I’m just not sure I am strong enough to do what they have always done.