Life. Loss. Gratitude

LIFE

The doctor called Thursday 25th Feb. He told us that one of our embryos had made it to freeze, one of our two embies had ceased developing overnight. So there it was; our little trooper, a single embryo, a single chance. After an unbearable week of tension, it was such a glorious relief that the IVF had not been fruitless.

It’s still quite surreal to think that there is a potential life, a part of Scott and I, tucked away safely awaiting the next cycle.

It’s been a while since I’ve come here to write. Over the past couple of weeks I haven’t felt up to blogging. I was deep in the midst of grieving.

I completely stopped reading the blogs that I follow. I stopped all the persistent googling and researching about IVF. Suddenly this journey seemed to pale in significance.  I could only attempt to process a single devastating event.

 

LOSS

On the same day we received the good news about our embryo, someone extremely dear to me and my family began to drastically slip away. My godfather Wayne was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive brain cancer 15 months ago. Wayne was already in hospital that Thursday when he developed a severe headache. There was swelling in his brain, so the hospital gave him morphine for the pain and anti seizure medication. He had then gone into a state of unconsciousness which the nurses said was unusual. Julie, his wife and soulmate, knew that the end was very near.

My mum had contacted me to give me the news of Wayne’s decline so Scott and I headed to the hospital that evening after work. When we arrived, Julie and their youngest daughter were both at his bedside. The weariness and devastation on Julie’s face said it all. Their daughter told me “He can still hear you Ash” so I sat down by him and held his hand. Their son and his partner also came to be by his side. We spent the next hour or so talking together, we laughed and we cried. We hugged each other tightly and Julie said that we were all very lucky to have this man in our lives.

The next morning I had a dream. In my dream Wayne had miraculously awoken, his family were wheeling him through the streets in his hospital bed. I ran up beside him and he was struggling to talk. He kept stuttering my name and then he finally said “I just wanted to tell you I could hear you” then he closed his eyes and went to sleep. I awoke with tears streaming down my face.

That Friday evening he passed away. He was 60 years old.

GRATITUDE

Wayne and Julie met my parents 35 or so years ago, and they quickly became best friends. Through their friendship with my parents, Wayne and Julie remained a constant in my life.

There were so many good qualities about Wayne. In fact, I’m certain all who had the honour of knowing him couldn’t help but love and admire this loyal, gentle, passionate and generous man. Wayne was determined and he always had a project. But perhaps his most remarkable trait of all, was his ability to remain positive. He was a firm believer in living life to the fullest. He loved nothing more than sharing an adventure with someone. Exploring the magnificent Aussie landscape with good company was Wayne’s definition of heaven.

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Photos from the Mangali 4WD Tours Wayne led throughout Australia. One of his greatest passions was this beautiful rugged country.

So it is with Wayne’s positive spirit in mind, that the purpose of this post is simply to express my gratitude. Through his example, I learnt so much about life. Together with his wife by his side, they demonstrated the ultimate capacity and strength of love. Over the years, I’ve seen him swell with pride for his children and grandchildren and I’ve witnessed them grow with his guidance. Each of them truly in awe of their father. He is now forever cemented as their hero, a fighter to the end. By witnessing his battle it further enforced that life is not something to be taken for granted.

I also happen to be writing this on International Women’s Day and today I’ve been reflecting a lot about the courageous women in my life. For the women in my family, my dear friends, my teachers, and for the thousands of women out there who too are on this fertility journey. So many remarkable, inspirational women.

Mostly I’ve been thinking about Julie, Wayne’s soulmate and rock. The woman who stood by him for 38 years as they saw through good times and bad. On the darkest of days she provided him an indescribable level of care. There are no words to encapsulate this woman’s strength and love for her husband, soulmate and best mate.

I am so incredibly grateful to Julie.

I am so incredibly grateful to Wayne and the lessons he taught me.

I am so incredibly grateful for this life.

 

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