Today I have thought about being authentic. A situation such as the one we are facing has a great deal of scope for drama. And therefore a stage on which I can play the drama queen. We could play the SGC (Steve’s Got Cancer) card in so many places and in so many ways. Most of the time we try not to – but it is tempting – but its not real, its not authentic. I know that a well told story of love, surgery and wonderful doctors raises interest (why do you think Mills & Boon are so popular?), throw in a whiff of death and you have a tragedy on your hands. You have bravery, honesty and passion (and hopefully a best seller) but is it authentic? Am I telling the truth, am I being authentic or am I writing this just for effect?
I started this blog as a way of telling a few friends about what is happening, a way of giving you all as much detail as we felt able to share. I quickly realized that there is another, powerful reason for doing this – I love writing and this blog is such a great way to stop the chattering in my head, somehow the act of putting my thoughts on paper takes them out of the maelstrom of my mind and gives them order. This blog gives my thoughts a voice. So it has to be written with integrity and authenticity. When we tell you how we feel it has to be the raw truth, not a sanitized version nor an overly dramatized tabloid sensation. I have to be strong to write this but you need to be strong to read it.
This is a love story and love is real and mundane as well as passionate. For this to be authentic I need you to know that we still bitch at each other. I haven’t stopped being irritated that Steve leaves his shoes in the middle of the kitchen and I just know that if I fold the newspaper into a crumpled heap he is still not impressed. Lets be honest, death does not beatify. There is a tendency to raise everyone who is dying or just dead into some holy position. When did you ever read or hear that this ‘truly irritating and argumentative person has at long last died’? No, its nearly always ‘he / she was so lovely, always smiling, never a bad work about anyone’. We live daily in the clear knowledge that Steve may not draw his pension and we try hard to bring out the best in each other. But neither of us is a saint nor are we going to be.
Those of us who are old enough to remember the Aberfan disaster may recall the mother who sent her little boy to school crying because she had scolded him. Ever mindful that none of us ever really knows if our loved one will return from work / shopping / a walk we do make every attempt to always part with a loving kiss. But this is real life and real life goes on.