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Alexander Residence: On Brilliance and Bravery

Saturday, 15 January 2011

On Brilliance and Bravery


Not quite sure what  to do with this week.  'A sad happy day in the Alexander Residence' I think I tweeted.  Here is the only way I have found to explain it, a bleat from behind the tweet...

I want to say a huge thanks for the votes and the award.   I couldn't believe I was nominated, never mind winning the Fresh Voice category.  I am surrounded by brilliance at every turn, constantly in awe of amazing blogs.

The award was a lovely shiny beacon of happiness in a week which has been one of the worst in my life.  My mum has brain cancer.  I haven't blogged about this, because the blog is one of my coping mechanisms.  Last week she was admitted to hospital, became very sleepy and today, for the first time, the word hospice was spoken.  She has put up an amazing fight against a very aggressive form of cancer.  I have had a lot longer to come to terms with this than I thought I would, two and a half years.

I haven't been blogging very long, but I feel hugely supported by this community.  I am surrounded by so much brilliance.   Blogging and tweeting help to keep me going, the jokes, the banter.  Which is why I have been avoiding talking about cancer here, I don't want to alter things.   But then it became like a huge bubble of subtext which was ready to burst.  Sad news is weird, people stop talking to you.  I feel like I am taking a gamble here....Please please keep talking to me.  I have stumbled on new blogs before when people have been going through bad times and not been sure if it was invading.  You're not. 

I may be a bit raw, all over the place but I intend to blog through this.   Probably more about the normal stuff than the bad stuff, because that's how I deal with it.  My good friend whose sister lived through cancer told me cancer needs a box, you can take it out of the box, explore it, think about it, cry about it, but then it has to go back in the box. 

Dedicating the award to My Mum x

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At 15 January 2011 at 00:16 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I see now why the photos of generations have meant a lot to you. I'm not sure what to say, especially as there's not much anyone can say or do to make things better. But I will be here and reading and thinking of you. x

At 15 January 2011 at 00:23 , Anonymous Elsie Anderton said...

You're award was very much deserved, you're blog is wonderful. I'm so sorry about your Mum too x

At 15 January 2011 at 00:25 , Anonymous Him Up North said...

That is a lovely gesture for your well-deserved award. My thoughts and best wishes are with your and yours.

At 15 January 2011 at 00:25 , Anonymous Elsie Anderton said...

& now I will repeat to myself ad nauseum "Never use your and you're when drunk. Never use your and you're when drunk" x

At 15 January 2011 at 00:31 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Thanks imperfect pages, you are spot on, the gallery has been the biggest bubble of subtext, but wonderful too x
Elsie - thank you your tweets today have had me giggling amongst all the bad stuff. Like that you returned to grammar check too x
Him Up north - thank you x

At 15 January 2011 at 02:14 , Blogger English woman in New York said...

Wow, Penny. I am so sorry to hear about your mum, I promise to keep talking, and so proud of you for winning that award hunney.. keep being real.. xx

At 15 January 2011 at 03:01 , Anonymous @jencull (jen) said...

Congrats on the award and so sorry to hear about your Mum, yes, a happy sad time. Big hugs. Jen xx

At 15 January 2011 at 04:56 , Blogger Emma said...

I don't know what to say,which is usually why I end up saying nothing, I often end up saying something really stupid and not helpful!
But am so sorry to hear about your Mum :(

Huge congrats on the award though :)

At 15 January 2011 at 09:16 , Blogger Headhuntress said...

Oh Penny, you keep going my darling. We are with you all the way. Life is full of ambivalence to be able to celebrate over your wonderful fresh voice that has shone through by your brilliance in blogging award is being overshadowed by the sadness of seeing your wonderful Mum so very poorly. As you told me, she will be very pleased. As mothers, whatever our children achieve, feels like something that we have achieved. I know she is an amazing woman, who would be filled with happiness for you because she has created the amazing woman that you are.

I can't begin to imagine what you are going through right, but please feel free to share your thoughts with us, it will help you enormously.

All my love xxxxx

At 15 January 2011 at 10:22 , Anonymous Kate said...

Oh Penny - so sorry to hear this.
Illnesses like this are so hard on all the family - every change takes time to adjust to and then cope with - but adjust and cope you will I promise. Lean on each other, remember the good times, and use us as much or as little as you like. We are like a great mass of friends you haven't yet met and are sending love from all corners of the world. You know I'm here for you when ever you need me - so just shout, or mail, or tweet, or get in your caravan and come over...Thinking of you honey. xx

At 15 January 2011 at 11:02 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Enlish Woman in NY - keep it real,thank you, that is excatly what this was about, thanks :)
Jen - thank you, as always you are here suporting me :)
Headhuntress - Thank you, for your lovely lovely words, you better come to CyberMummy amazing lady!
Kate - you are a rock, thanks for your lovely wise words.

At 15 January 2011 at 11:02 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Forgot kisses xxxx

At 15 January 2011 at 11:03 , Blogger kateab said...

I am sorry to hear this. I know what you mean about sad news and people not talking to you. When my dad was ill, my mum used to say she saw people cross the street rather than talk to her. So insensitive but people don't know what to say. As a result, I try to say something rather than nothing at all even if it is just to say I'm sorry.

I found this new blog by chance last weekend after following a tweet from someone I follow. It's really moving too - although the situation is different, you might find it interesting to read.

Well done on your award too. Much deserved.

At 15 January 2011 at 11:05 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a terrible time. beautiful and honest post that had me crying big fat tears - I can't begin to imagine how your feeling. As the comments above show we are all here for you, and there is many more behind us. Keep blogging the good and the bad times and we will be there.
Thinking of you and your family. Life is cruel but mostly it is wonderful, I hope the wonderful; memories, children, love can see you through. Best wishes to your mum x

At 15 January 2011 at 12:06 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Kate - thanks for that. You are so right, there aren't any right or wrong words. Will check out the link. x
Gemma - 'Life is cruel but mostly it is wonderful' Wise words. Thank you xxx

At 15 January 2011 at 12:39 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your award and best wishes to your Mum too.

Blog away - it's what cyberspace is for I think, letting you escape however and whenever you want to and there's always going to be people supporting you wherever you go :)

Much love xxx

At 15 January 2011 at 14:18 , Blogger This Mid 30s Life said...

Excuse my language but fucking hell!!! That is horrible news. I'm thinking of you. Share as much or as little as you like, whatever you feel like doing. We're here. We think you're great and we're sending you our love.

At 15 January 2011 at 14:23 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Emma - thank you. There are no right or wrong words lovely. Thanks and sorry I missed you off earlier, dozy me x
Carole - it's a great escape, so true :)

At 15 January 2011 at 14:27 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Mid 30s I know, I want to swear a lot too. Fucking hell (sorry dad). Thank you for your permission to swear and to do as I like x

At 15 January 2011 at 14:32 , Blogger TheMadHouse said...

My heart goes out to you Penny. I wish I had a magic wand to take away your pain, but I dont. I am so so sorry. I blog about my pain, as it is my way of letting it all out. I often feel we need the terrible lows to feel the wonderful highs. If you ever need to chat, just find me on twitter and I will give you a ring. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

At 15 January 2011 at 15:26 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Penny. I lost my Mum to cancer last year when Grace was 10 weeks old. It's the first anniversary of her death coming up (on my husbands birthday! I'm sure she timed it deliberately so I wouldn't forget!) Like you, I'm new to all this and haven't - even now, been able to blog about her yet, but I intend too soon. Hospices are amazing places and can be very positive. It is a scary word, but one thing I will be eternally grateful for is that Mum passed away in one and that I was with her.The support on here seems amazing - I wish I'd had it as so many people - even close friends - put their head in the sand. Feel free to message me any time. You WILL be ok you know xxx

At 15 January 2011 at 15:50 , Anonymous Kath Parklover said...

So sorry you and your family are goin through this Penny. I could cry for you, and I just might. However, we are all here for you, whether it's hat about the big scary stuff, or cheer you up with chats about beach huts, road trips and statics by the sea.
Thinking of you and sending big hugs x

At 15 January 2011 at 18:22 , Blogger Super Amazing Mum (Super AM) said...

Penny I had no idea about your mum. I am so sorry that you are all going through this. Wonderful to dedicate your award to your mum, it's a fab blog and you are a fab girl.

Blogging is great for the soul, if you feel the need to blog I think you should.

Love Sophie

At 15 January 2011 at 20:26 , Blogger Kerry said...

Firstly congrats on the award - well done! Secondly I am v sorry to hear about your mum. I lost mine to that horrible disease some years ago so know what you must be going through. My mum never saw me married or met my children and I can only imagine that to have seen you through such monumental moments in your life and to have such lovely grandchildren must make your mum proud and content that as a mum she did a great job. Keep strong, much love, and from the look of all those lovely comments it doesn't look like anyone is going to stop talking to you any time soon! Xx

At 15 January 2011 at 23:15 , Anonymous tiddlyompompom said...

Oh my goodness I am so sorry about your mum. Sending much love your way x

At 15 January 2011 at 23:36 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

The Mad House - Thank you, I agree about the highs and lows. They help make sense of each other. Thanks for you generous support. Have been thinking of you lots recently x

waterbirthplease - Thank you so much for sharing your experience, that's really reassuring. The one positive thing about cancer is the support available and the time it often gives you to come to terms with things. I cant imagine how it felt as a mum to a 10 week old. I was pregnant when mum was diagnosed and that made the news even harder. Likewise if you want to talk I am here. Glad we met :)x

Kath - thank you so much. It's lovely to have met you and the 'road trip' on twitter has cheered me up no end today. THANK YOU! x

Sophie - Thank you. You are brill and so is your blog ;) I was going to do your 2010 review but it was a funny year, sorry, at least you know why now :) x

Kerry - I'm so sorry, that's so unfair, so horrible. You asssume you will share these moments with your mum, life is cruel. Your mum would be so proud. Keep talking too, so pleased we met x

At 15 January 2011 at 23:43 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Tiddyompompom - thank you x

At 17 January 2011 at 18:15 , Anonymous Hannah said...

Sending uber amounts of love to you and your family xxx

At 18 January 2011 at 22:39 , Blogger Sandy Calico said...

Firstly congratulations on the award. This is your blog, you can write what you like. We are all here for you.
I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. Fucking cancer (excuse my language).
Thinking of you all x

At 22 January 2011 at 17:48 , Anonymous Kez Bratt said...

Hey gorgeous!Just read this, sending all the o'shay's and o'shay in laws all our love XXX

At 22 January 2011 at 17:51 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Thanks Hannah, mum has a real thing about German so uber is a good word!
Sandy - thanks, wise words much appreciated. And thanks for telling cancer where to go too for me :)

At 22 January 2011 at 17:54 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Thanks Kez, Love that you call us the O'Shays. Hope you and yours are good x


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