So some of you might already know that on Friday 20th April my beautiful little sister Abi got married to the rather wonderful Jamie McGowan. From the very beginning of their relationship which started fifteen years ago whilst they were both at university these two glorious people have carved their way through the world as one. They have grown together & in doing so have spread love, positivity & laughter in the most inspiring way.
Ruari was three years old when he first met Jamie & since that day he has looked to him for honesty, guidance & love; all of which Jamie has given in selfless abundance not just to Ruari but to us all.
I was almost twelve when Abi was born & from the first day I laid eyes on her I have felt nothing but the purest love in my heart for her. Despite our age difference we are so close; we always will be.
In my eyes Abi & Jamie are one of those rather special couples; you can do nothing but love them.
They have consistently been a huge pillar of strength to us as a family but since Dylan’s diagnosis to say that they have gone above & beyond would be an understatement. The love, support, empathy & understanding that they have surrounded us with has created a sanctuary beyond anything I have ever experienced.
Exactly a year ago to the day, Dylan was in hospital receiving the last of four high dose methotrexate treatments, he had no hair, his mouth was full of ulcers, he had very little energy & had no immune system.
At the time there was no way of knowing what each day would bring, I couldn’t even take Dylan to the park he was so ill; the idea of going to a wedding was unimaginable. At the time “days like these” didn’t seem possible or if they were I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to see them. As things stand today I look back & I just cannot believe how far we have all come. It is without doubt still a nightmare & I am still filled with crippling anxiety but my sister’s wedding hammered home the “here & now”.
In the build up to the big day all I could think about was whether Dylan would be well enough to go, whether he would suddenly come down with a fever or whether he would be too tired. I knew that the hospital nearby had a specialist children’s oncology centre & I knew that whatever happened we would all deal with it just as we always do. I just quietly hoped that the day would be perfect for so many different reasons & it was; it was in fact beyond anything I could have ever dreamt.
The sun literally shone on us all day. I was just overjoyed to be able see my sister & Jamie get married, I was equally overjoyed to see us all relaxed & thoroughly living life to the full as a family without talking or thinking about cancer. It was so wonderful to see Dylan running around outside with his little cousin Romy. I was truly happy & unbelievably proud in every possible way.
It is excruciatingly painful to have a child who is diagnosed with cancer but there is one thing that I am trying so hard to embrace & that is to live in the moment. I know what the past has dealt me but I have no idea what tomorrow will bring; none of us do.
Whatever the future holds it is days like these that lift the soul; days like these are so precious; days like these create memories & make us appreciate the here & now.
I am just so eternally grateful for days like these.