My Dad has cancer. He was diagnosed in February with Oesophageal cancer and cancer of the gullet. He has had a hiatus hernia for years and before Christmas 2013 he noticed that he was having difficulty swallowing and felt there was a lump in his throat. He does and it is a big tumour.
Only 5% of people with this type of cancer live beyond 5 years of diagnosis. This is a very 'hard to swallow' fact.
With three chemo sessions down and the 'rest period' about to start before he goes under the knife and they remove his oesophagus and turn his stomach into his food pipe, I can't help think about the next five years.
We never hit it off at the beginning. I thought you had an 'odd' smell about you; one of stale cigarette smoke, wilting flowers and dust. You were so dark in appearance: faded at the edges but a dark swirl of patterns - too busy for the eye to take in.
I didn't think I would be able to love you.
As the first few years passed, I stripped you back. I removed your layers to reveal a calmer, smoother appearance. Your fragrance altered to the smell of fresh beginnings and pink oriental lilies.
Lillies always remind me of you.
We went through many happy times together. Parties with friends who enjoyed spending in your presence. From summer barbecues to Halloween and New Years - the drinks flowed, laughter filled the air and we were all happy.
Cracks then started to show and sadness often penetrated deep within. There were awkward silences, lies, and then more lies. I left you for a short time but returned and felt welcomed and missed, noticing that smell - your smell.
We saw many changes together. I know there were times when you wanted to close all the doors and for it to just be us, so they could no longer hurt me.
We created an vibe, an aura of calm, love and acceptance. Friends came and left, friends partied and slept - all feeling refreshed, relaxed and at ease when they said goodbye. We were a sanctuary to many.
You met him when I did.
He needed our warm and welcoming embrace. Like me, he found himself whilst being with you. He grew, he mended and he began to understand love.
We were so happy together with you. Our own little world, together building a future, working as a team until the day came when we had to leave.
I cried when I left you and whilst I saw you many times after - it was not the same. Your smell was different. You belonged to someone else - you were their saviour now, not mine. You changed your appearance but deep down I knew you were still there.
They then left you and you were all alone. Slowly, I had to strip you bare and take you back to the beginning. Empty, cold and lifeless.
Your smell, musty and removed of life.
Yesterday I said good-bye for the last time. I am sad. You meant to much to me. You allowed me to be free and to become who I wanted to be. You meant to much to many others too. You gave us so many memories and I would like to thank you.
The pattern is obvious
if you know where to look.
Follow the lines
until they go underground.
Blue in colour
linking their fate.
Out of sight
yet not out of mind.
The beat of the heart
drums in sequence.
The pattern repeats
if you know where to find it.