They say that life is what happens whilst you are making plans and in my case this year has proved that to be the case. I was storming ahead writing two new books, creatively working to launch an online initiative to help women from midlife to rekindle their wellbeing when I got the news that my mother only had a few months to live. She had been battling with ovarian cancer for the last 30 months, but at the age of 84, and after so bravely sky diving to raise money for new research to detect ovarian cancer in other women earlier than in her own case, earning her the title of Ripcord Rosa, we had to adjust to the fact that we were coming to the end of our time together.
We wanted to make the most of her ‘well’ time and create as many wonderful memories as we could together. So, apart from looking after my patients, I pressed the pause button on my new projects and concentrated on spending time being family focused. I didn’t have a proper wedding the first time around and, as I was engaged to be married this year, I decided to organise our wedding so that my sweet Mama Rosa could be there to experience and enjoy it.
I planned to blog about those days but the roller coaster ride was too tricky to share and, in all honesty, I hardly had time to come up for air. On many days prior to the wedding we thought mum might pass away before the day; even the week before the wedding, which was hugely stressful. However, thanks to Dr Joshua Plaut, a hugely wise and sentient doctor, who, when she could no longer swallow her medication, came up with the bright idea of giving intravenous medication via a driver that fitted into her handbag. The result was that my determined mother was not only able to attend the wedding ceremony, but managed to stay until the very end of the party claiming that being there made all her dreams come true. She even had a two week high after the wedding before she began to go finally down hill.
Our wedding day, 23rd June, was the best day of my life too having found the man of my dreams. Sharing it with family and friends that we hold so dear was beyond joyous. If I had a magic wand it couldn’t have been any better. The ceremony made our guests cry with a mixture of joy and sadness, the wedding breakfast was dinner party standard thanks to our wonderful caterer Philip Small. The party was made even more special by Mitch Winehouse, a friend since my Angelus Foundation days due to our common losses, and his amazing swing band. Plus, our photographer, Simon Crummay, captured this all on treasured film; many of the beyond gorgeous shots included Mama Rosa who actually looked ageless. I am truly grateful.
Ripcord Rosa passed away on 29th July this year. Witnessing her difficult passing made me realise just how hideous ovarian cancer is and how important it is to catch it early before it gets a stronghold in the body. I am so thankful that I listened to my intuition and was brave enough to put everything that seemed important at the time on hold. I missed my deadlines, I missed going to Hawaii to finish a course and to honeymoon, but I gained so much as a being from that wise decision.
If ever I needed to be reminded of how important it is to live in the moment, be grateful and cherish each day it was then. I loved the very special conversations we had as a family and just mum and I. We truly left no stone unturned. When it all got too sad my little granddaughter Marnie, whose first birthday was a week before our wedding, was there to snuggle up to and remind me of new beginnings, as was my wonderful new husband Ben.
Having taken some time to grieve my loss and wallow gratefully in those last shared days, I am now beginning to press the play button in my own life. A new website is in the making and my new Midlife Switch books and programmes will be available at the beginning of the New Year. In the meantime, I will be answering questions on health issues in a series of webinars and continuing to help women clinging on by their finger nails to overcome the debilitating symptoms of PMS and menopause naturally, enabling them to get back in the driving seat to embrace life and relationships in good health.
I will be joined on my new journey by many world class experts who will also be able to answer your questions with a view to enhancing your health. We will be supported by Kim Button, my new assistant who has recently joined the team. Like me, Kim loves to make a difference and looks forward to getting to know my patients and helping to build our new community. If you have questions for the webinars please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
My Blog posts and Tweets will begin again next week so stay tuned!
With warmest wishes,