When my sister and I were 5 and 8 respectively, we would occasionally be given the wonder of 10p to spend on sweets on the way back from school. It goes without saying we loved it, the white paper bag filled with red shoelaces, mock sweet fried eggs and pink shrimps of all things. However, this was not enough for us, what we grew to crave were the Juicy Fruit chewing gums in the bright yellow foil packets. Those beautys were not allowed; the stuff sweet 8 year old dreams are made of, the forbidden chewing gum.
One afternoon, Louise (spurred on by myself) clumsily attempted a robbery of Juicy Fruit. Only we failed to plan our exit strategy, Louise stood there red faced in the middle of the shop with two handfuls of Juicy Fruit not sure what to do. The rather busk shop keeper shamed us, grabbing Louise as we attempted to shuffle out the door. The real shame however did not hit until we were home, I will forever remember the deep sense of failure I felt as my mum battled to control sobs whilst cooking dinner, undoubtedly worrying about her own failure in raising two law abiding children.
Robbery was not our forte so Louise and I decided to pursue other careers, our mother clearly did a fabulous job. The reason for my reminiscing is that feeling I felt as an 8 year old was very similar to that of when I told friends and family of my cancer diagnosis. I feel like a monumental failure; a failure as a Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Granddaughter and Friend. I also felt a little ashamed; they did not expect this of me. I felt they didn’t deserve this, the most treasured people to me in the world and here I was, failing in front of them. These feelings were cultivated solely by me, as everyone around me has rallied with so much love and support for me I could burst. I also know I am not a failure, but our feelings are irrational phenomenons.
So, I’ve decided to tackle this failure, face my fears of being judged and hopefully turn this journey into something really rather beautiful. I began by starting this blog, and in two weeks I will go on a walk to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Take that irrational phenomenons.
Aside from contemplating the premise of failure this weekend, I did also have fun. Kid sized fun with kites, pumpkins and pig races. Here are some pictures of our shenanigans.