I just thinking the other day – I wonder how long it will continue to feel like a new year. You know, when your first morning thought is not, -Wow it’s a new year. There is a certain deliciousness in the feeling. Sort of how you feel when you get a brand new car. A sense of awe.
But life intrudes, you know, with life things. What is that saying? “Life gets in the way.” Yeah I think that is it.
Conditions change, people get sick and get well. Some things you expect as you age. As your friends age. And sometimes the threat is to younger people.
I was just saying not too long ago to a dear friend, Judith, that someone should write a book about cancer. About something that never seems to be addressed. I mean people discuss, write, argue about ‘fighting’, about “surviving’. But there is one word that describes cancer perfectly. Waiting. Eternally waiting. That’s what it all becomes about. The Sword of Damocles. Hanging there. Always. Just try and live a normal life while you wait. Hah.
No, it’s not me. The Big C and I did our dance over a year ago and so far so good. But it is someone. And the thing is that for the next forever there is THE WAIT.
Wait – something may be wrong
Wait – we have to do some more tests
Wait – we have to do some MORE tests just to be sure
Wait – you have cancer
Wait- we have to do this bit of surgery to see how bad it could be.
Wait – we have to do more surgery
Wait – we have to do more tests
Wait- we have to do this treatment, that treatment
Wait – we have to do more tests
WAIT WAIT WAIT
Your life and everyone who loves you waits. No promises. No conclusions. Just wait. Suspended Animation.
LIMBO. Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. Imagine if you will. That’s how he started each of his shows. Imagine if you will…..
Or don’t imagine. Just try not imagining. HAH
Well enough of my grumping for now. I saw our Auntie Fran this morning as I do most days. She was telling me that she was seventeen when she went into Nurses Training. So that would have been 1951. She said training lasted for four years and most of it was working on the units. It was pretty much the same when I trained in 1966 and I still think it is a superior way to learn. But for her it was six days a week, twelve hours a day when on the units.
To appreciate our love story you have to understand the two people involved. I already told you Uncle Jack was a charmer. Aunt Fran was the exact opposite. Down to earth. Her early years were spent during the second world war. Her father gone into service, rationing and hardship for everyone not just for her. Her father returned I think about 1945. She was eleven when the war ended. Hardly a year later when she was twelve her mother died.
Her parents and probably their parents were Salvation Army so they grew up with a solid foundation of faith. Frances Alice never thought of herself as a dreamer. There was too much harsh reality.
She told me a story that when she was about six she and her mother were walking along in town, and her mother was holding her hand. The town was most upset because a young child had been abducted from the town, and I do not know if she was ever found.
Anyway Fran told me her mother said, “You should be happy you are not pretty. Because that means no one will ever steal you.”
Isn’t funny the things we remember from our childhood? Fran told me this story because I had told her a few years ago that when I first met her I thought she was so beautiful. She offered this information so that I would know she was not beautiful. She was not even pretty. I am sure her mother loved her and I think that she could not have known those words would stay with her young daughter forever.
You might think there would be a danger that if a smooth talking gent happened along and called her beautiful that she would succumb to his charms. But don’t forget our lady was made of strong moral fiber.
More tomorrow my friends.
Oh by the way , the stamp about was issued by the Australian government in honour of nurses in 1955 the year Frannie graduated.