How many times in life do you think you can physically feel your heart break? This evening was one of the strongest chest pains ever. Life is so fucking unfair and I feel like going back for a reshuffle.

As I’ve mentioned I’m having issues getting Séamus to school. The rushes are blessed with very reactive stomachs and obviously this is one trait Séamus got too. When we are stressed or worried we get such upset stomachs you’d swear it was food poisoning or the bad dose (doing the rounds). But no we are internalizing everything until we make ourselves physically sick. The problem is it is impossible to differentiate or control the behaviour.  And all this is heightened and much worse for a 14 year old boy struggling with hormones, shyness and oh yeah being told your mam is not going to live and cancer is back. 

I am 34 (35 on Sunday PARTY!) and I had Séamus at the grand old age of 20. Oh how I knew it all. I was living my best life in Galway in first year of college when I found out I was expecting. The word Shock doesn’t do that feeling justice, the world stopped for a moment when I just laughed out loud looking at the pregnancy test (which I’d borrowed money to buy) in my friend Eadaoin’s…. shit just got real. Contrary to wise words shared by many, it was not a planned situation and less than ideal. I had undertook my particular degree because I HAD to spend a semester abroad. I couldn’t wait to get living but that all changed overnight. I won’t lie I remember googling abortion and trying to figure it out as a potential option but it never was for me. I am pro choice which is not to everyone’s taste but life is too short for me to cast aspersions or anything else on someone who finds themselves with an unplanned pregnancy and the support I have no mater what, is just not available for everyone. 

At the time (talking early 2006) my mam was finishing up her masters and my parents 25th wedding anniversary was coming up on the 14/2/06. I thought if I just keep it a secret until then, it will be all grand. But life didn’t pan out that way. I borrowed money again this time to pay for the train (which if anyone is a student in Galway would know that is the height of luxury and stuff dreams are made of… no bus for me) home. My parents came in the door and my dad went to bed I remember going to tell me mam and she just said I KNOW… she had a dream. We woke dad and through the tears told him I was pregnant and do you know what he said???? …. ah come here it’s not the end of the world …  you don’t have CANCER.. weird right?  I was 20 felt like my life was over but it was really just the start of my very best life… I loved every minute of being pregnant.

And I was quite good at it.. maybe too good at it Séamus was born 9’2, they had to break my waters, give drugs to bring on labour and snip him out. I had made it far too comfortable. Honestly though some people back then felt very entitled to comment on myself being pregnant, having a baby, being in college, being young, not married… which is crazy because if someone was to voice such an opinion these days I wouldn’t even waste my energy listening to them. I LOVE being Irish and Love IRELAND I am very aware of the supports I got through our government which enabled me to finish my education get a good job and provide a home for Séamus. But it also came with a good dose of shame and fear. I was always afraid I was doing something wrong, I wasn’t a good mother. I spent more money weaning Séamus as a toddler than I did on all my groceries I needed to make sure he didn’t stand out, I ironed his boxers and socks just in case someone looked (crazy), bought him clothes I couldn’t afford, I was trying to teach him about maths before he could talk. We were constantly on days out. I was afraid I was going to get found . I was a terrible mother… Now it’s not like I regret it it’s just I hope I enjoyed it as much as I should and I didn’t let society spoil anything for me. Or really my view of society’s view of me spoil things… (complicated huh!) when after much counselling I now know it is none of my business what anyone thinks of me.. I got pregnant, I had a baby, I raised a boy who I couldn’t be prouder of… I  did nothing wrong. 

I do often wish I’d had a different situation where I did have another child. As one of five I do feel sad that Séamus doesn’t have a sibling and particularly now I won’t be around I would have liked him to have a partner in crime but he will have to use my support network to keep him a float. God that was a waffle and a half there, I think it’s normal when your reliving the past, you hop all over the place.  I had Seamus in October 2006 when I should have been in second year. But with the help of my family and the college I returned the following year to Galway with seamus. I finished college, followed by a postgrad and a masters. Only because I was told I wouldn’t. I was blessed to get a council house in 2007 and so fortunate it was in Termonfeckin. I have raised Séamus alone with the help and support of an amazing village and community.  Séamus is behind every decision I have ever made. And  it’s shite I won’t get to see him do college, have a girlfriend (she’s not good enough anyway) drink too much, get married, have babies and become a happy adult (that’s successful). I jump from angry sooooo angry, to sad …  so sad I am afraid to cry because I might just not stop. But I know he is good, I know he will get through the shite cards dealt his way and succeed. It won’t be easy and he will have plenty of opportunities to blame everything on cancer and life being too hard but not for long. If I got blessed with a life that at the end of it the world is lucky enough to have Séamus then it’s all worth it. Now I’m not saying I’m Mother Mary and chosen for anything but I feel that my purpose and the best job ever was motherhood. A lot of memories go, you know the peeing and booing on you just as your about to go out are replaced with vivid recording of Séamus singing sweet tunes like sometimes I wonder… the memories of great school reports, the sounds of him and his friends laughing, Séamus has the best laugh. I’m not sure how long I’m here but I am oh so glad I’ve been here long enough to make Séamus and shape him. Tonight we cuddle as he cries and my heart breaks. I can see him looking to me to make everything ok, to fix it, to hug it away but I can’t. 

So if you’ve read this you might feel a tiny bit of my pain and a patch of Séamus’s… let my story be the one that makes you check your body for signs of cancer, take part in screening programs and please vaccinate your kids..

Ps

Thanks everyone for the lovely messages of support, a lovely friend is sending me their old Mac so I am feeling very lucky.  

Xxxxxx

One thought on “How many times in life do you think you can physically feel your heart break? This evening was one of the strongest chest pains ever. Life is so fucking unfair and I feel like going back for a reshuffle.

  1. I’m in bits here I’m so proud to have a neighbour and friend like you .you are so brave and such an amazing mother. You and your family are going through so much and you still think of everyone else . The blanket you send over to my new grandchild was absolutely beautiful and so much thought was put into it we will cherish it forever .stay strong and give seamus a hug and kiss from us xxx

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