Cross posted from ‘Get out Gertrude’ by Jenny (jaydub26)
YD although she is an adult is diagnosed with a partial chromosome deletion which has led to both intellectual and physical delays so she operates at about a 5-8 year old level for most things
Easter was also YD’s 23 rd birthday so we had her home for 3 days/ 2 nights. On the Saturday we shopped for new clothes (birthday present from us as it was the only thing she really needed) then went out to dinner at a mongolian BBQ restaurant where you pick and mix your meat, veges and sauces and then it gets cooked for you – YD loves the pick and mix part of it.
On Sunday OD took YD to church while I prepared clues for the Easter Egg hunt – family tradition for YD
Seeing Sunday was also YDs actual birthday – MD cooked her special pizzas for lunch and she opened her presents then OD, YD, C (our ‘French daughter’ ) and I went to the movies for the afternoon.
During Easter weekend OD also moved house she now lives in a nearby town approximately 20 km instead of in the same town as us. So on the Monday YD and I went to see OD and R’s new house and explore the town, which is the town I grew up in from the ages of 10-18, it has changed a lot. By the time YD went home on Monday night I was fairly worn out and spent the rest of the time before chemo on Thursday recuperating.
Last weekend was OD’s bridal shower (and hen’s night but I didnt attend that) – 5 weeks now to the wedding. I have not been a very active ‘Mother of the Bride’ but was glad I was feeling well enough to enjoy this.
I have also been helping C with her uni assignments. As English is her second language she sometimes needs help understanding what an assignment requires of her. and as a student of the University of Auckland myself I have been able to explain what they want and explain things like APA referencing and things like that which is not something she has had to use in getting her degree in France. I also read over her assignments and make sure they are reading smoothly. She writes well but sometime french syntax creeps in or she writes something that while technically correct is not the way we would write it in English so I just help her with that sort of thing.
My identity since my daughters were born and especially with being a ‘stay at home’ mum for so long , albeit with being very active in volunteer work, has been first and foremost ‘a mum’ and it has been something that I have stuggled with since diagnosis. Even though the girls are grown there are times they have needed me and I have to weigh up how much I can do while still looking after myself through treatment. I have had to work through feelings of guilt that I am not doing enough for any of them and knowing that I, or my condition, is the cause of a lot of the stress in their lives pains me greatly but there is nothing I can do other than try and be the best mum I can be under the circumstances.
At the beginning of April I went to a creative writing workshop run by the hospice in conjunction with the ‘Whats on your plate’ exhibition being held at the Papakura Art gallery. This was both a visual arts exhibition and an interactive written word exhibition with creative writing workshops being held with various community groups and pieces from each workshop being displayed as part of the exhibition.
This was the poem I wrote as part of the workshop and I have permission to put it on my blog
On my plate
The mixed vegetables of my children’s needs
Stir-fried together but each with their unique flavour
Adding to the mix
They need different seasonings
And none can overpower the other
How to spend the right amount of time cooking
So they will all come out crispy and delicious
Not limp and overdone
And how do they sit on the plate
Alongside the staple rice of my relationship with their father
The stew of my cancer treatment
And the garnish of my university studies
The different tastes and textures
Fit on my plate
My life is delicious
©Jenny Williams 2012
‘What on my plate’ creative writing workshop with Totara Hospice South Auckland in conjunction with ‘Whats on my plate’ Exhibition on at Papakura Art Gallery