Time ticks on

A couple of weekends ago Mum and I went to watch a live link up to the Metroplitan in New York. We went to see a performance of The Tempest by Thomas Ad├Ęs. It's an amazing thing to see opera being performed live from half-way across the world. It's not as good as being there, but it's the next best thing.

During the interval we perused the up-coming performance schedule ... decided to book tickets for Les Troyens (Berlioz) in January. Then I spotted the fact that they are showing Handel's Giulio Cesare towards the end of April. "Shall I get us tickets" I said. "Oh I don't think so, do you?" said Mum.

Sometimes I allow myself to forget that time is ticking on, and that for Mum time has a different kind of meaning these days. Her health is crumbling in that seemingly unstoppable way that is the way with cancer. Her liver function is on the slide as the cancer progresses. She sleeps up to 18 hours some days and is tired all the time. Oh and soooo sick and weak, poor thing.

I remember Renee saying F.U.C.K.  cancer and I can only echo those words. I hate seeing what it does, and I hate the fact that in some ways the treatment is worse than nothing being done. Several times recently Mum has talked of ceasing treatment altogether and I can see her point. I respect her right to choose but I can't help but to selfishly wish that she will choose to stay with us for as long as possible.

I wonder how I will cope as time marches on. I try not to dwell on what is to come but not altogether successfully. In the meantime I try to focus on the present. We are talking more and chatting less. Even though I cried in front of her the other day (still a HUGE no-no in our relationship), we are mending what can be mended. This is not a race against time. I refuse to see it that way. No, not as a way of denying what is going on, but I don't want to act with fear as my main source of motivation. This is just me and mum finding new ways to express our love for one another.

The end of October rolled around recently and so I celebrated my second year of sobriety. Sometimes I feel like I am not me any more. And then I remember what being me was like when I was trapped in my drinking days. Even the toughest days now are better than those dark times. I am still plagued by deep deep feelings of shame and remorse about the past and I think that is how it should be. Not because I enjoy feeling that way but because my moral compass is just functioning as it should.  I cannot change what is done but I am working on making my amends. I am so grateful to be here NOW.


  1. Oh jos, this is a gem of writing and living and loving and letting go. My hearts rends reading about your Mom. I am so glad you both get to love eachother as you both wish. That will be forever precious.

    And oh Renee. Not a day goes by......

    And two years. You know I know. Two years with a clean lens.

    I may write more when I not in a restaurant. But I couldn't help send this now. I love you dearly

  2. Jos, you are such an inspiration and I am deeply honored to be able to follow you here... Love the way you process and work through. Fuck Cancer is Right. Congrats on the two years woman! xo From One To Another.

  3. Jos, I have been thinking of you and your mum. I am so sorry that you both are going through this. My only advice is that you say what you need to say to one another now, because you have the time. My mom was taken so fast, there was no time and I still had a few things to say. I am sending both of you love and giant hugs.
    I am so proud of you for all the work you have done on yourself, you are amazing and a most wonderful human being.
    Love you.xoxo

  4. There is no easy way to say goodbye to your mother. I dread my own mother dying, even though I believe we are all connected, somehow death seems so final. I have no idea what comes after but feel sure that it is a good thing, another part of our journey as souls. I hope anyway. Take care woman.

  5. my heart breaks for you - this is tough. and yes, our Renee - still shining on us all with a wicked giggle.

    and in the words of Renee - Fuck shame and remorse. It's behind you. screw it. love yourself.

    thinking of you.

  6. It's me...the *White Rabbit...no, make that Robin*..so much to say....first, you both will NEVER regret seeing these operas together....NEVER.. Music is a truly special bond that unites loved ones. Wasn't *The Tempest* amazing! I hope you bought tickets to *Les Troyen*....there is a lot in this opera which will resonate with both your Mum and yourself.

    I am not around the blogs too much.....BUT, you know me well enough to know I keep both you and your Mum in my daily prayers. What you are going through is hell...but....achieving two years sobriety is a glorious triumph.

    Renee NEVER leaves me....without her, I wouldn't have met you...and yes, FUCK CANCER! I just learned that a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer...

    Yes, dear friend - it IS all about being here now...and moving forward. Your Mum knows this - as do all of us who love you.

    I send you a Christmas Wish for strength and love...you are NOT going through this alone...

    We all love you VERY MUCH!

    Warm Hugs and Many Kisses,

    ♥ Robin ♥

  7. The cure is horrible. And cancer is FUCKED. The whole ordeal is horrible and nasty but as commonplace as the cold. Every 2nd person will get it. It is "the thing" we all must contend with in multiple ways...each our own way. Cancer takes, but it also gives...perspective. As the song says, "Live like you were dying." I need to do more of that. And you're right, not as a race against time, but as a being present in time. Wherever you are, be fully there. I've missed you Citrus. Congratulations on your second sober year. My how time flies! Shame is not something you need to wear forever. Forgiveness....that thing you need to give yourself. A moral compass still has a directional arrow without you wearing that word as a habitual beaten brow. My pastor explained that conviction is the sense you get that you need to change your behavior. Once changed, guilt is simply an attack of the enemy to make you feel small and worthless. Shame should have a shelf life likened to produce...not canned goods..

    I'm off to visit my friend, with cancer. She had part of her stomach removed. Hopefully, they caught it all. I wonder if that word (hope) is ever used as much as on the cancer ward?

    I wish you and your mum many sacred and lasting moments. Much love to you Citrus.


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