Life is hectic – understatement

This blog is very personal, but it is something I want to share because I know hundreds & thousands of people are going through the same thing or at least something similar, so to all those people “I wish you well – and remember to celebrate life”.

This past month my life has pretty much been on hold. My parents are both in England, together with my 2 sisters and their families, as well as my husband’s family. When we came to Canada 30 years ago we weren’t thinking about the downside of having so much distance between us when things go wrong. It’s great that we can get back there within 24 hours if necessary, but it’s the emotional side that is hard.

I had daily phone calls to say that my Dad was unwell, and he ended up in hospital. After he was in there a week, I couldn’t stand it any more and flew there to be with him and my family. A few hours before I arrived he started to rally round so by the time I got to the hospital he was feeling much better. We were all happy to see him gradually get better and better. Unfortunately I had booked a return ticket and it happened to be the day that they said he would be discharged. So I cancelled my flight and waited for him to be sent home. Well, it wasn’t to be, they wanted him to stay another week in hospital. He finally got “released” the following week and was doing well. I booked my return flight for the following Sunday.  I was there for 3 weeks, with daily hospital visits, supporting my Mum and helping to give my sisters a break. it was exhausting but I felt so good that I was there. Getting on that plane was the hardest thing I have had to do. I knew my family in Canada were missing me and I was missing them too. But seeing my Mum and Dad cry when I was leaving was devastating to me.

I know I’m lucky to still have both my parents, Dad is 86 and Mum is 82, and even though I know one day they will be gone, I can’t imagine them not being around.

I would like to say that now everything is fine, but I got a call yesterday to say that Dad was back in hospital. He has an infection and a possible blood clot in his leg. Hopefully, it will only be for a few days, so they can get him sorted out. I saw my sister on Skype last night and got all the details. My emotions are totally shot, luckily my family and friends understand and are giving me lots of support.

I was talking to a man at the airport when I was waiting for my flight, and he asked me if I’d known how hard these situations would be, do you think you would have made the same choice (to come to Canada). I said, absolutely I would, my life and that of my family is wonderful here, it was the best decision we could have made.

You can’t live your life in a state of “what if” – you must make decisions based on what you know at the time. But even if I’d had a crystal ball and saw that I would be going through this turmoil, I know that my husband and I made the right decision, and so do my parents, because that’s what great parents do.

My dearest friend Loraine is having a really hard time because her Mum is deteriorating quickly, my thoughts and love goes to her and her family

So, please, we are only on this earth for a short time, so love your family and especially your parents (without them you wouldn’t be here) and enjoy life to the fullest.



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President of Janac Mastectomy Wear - est.2003 2x breast cancer survivor (1995 & 2009) decided to design a breast prosthesis that is comfortable and affordable. Also, designs sports tops that can accommodate any breast prosthesis.
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7 Responses to Life is hectic – understatement

  1. Susan Winlaw says:

    Hugs to you Janet and also to your friend Loraine. Time is indeed short and you have to live each day to the fullest. I lost my Dad before I married and my wonderful Mom left this earth almost 4.5 years ago. She had just turned 85 and I miss her every day. Thanks for that very personal message of love and joy and turmoil. Distance is a challenge but you did make the right choice. I send healing vibes to your Dad. May he and your Mom see many more wonderful years.
    Live and Love in JOY…..S>

  2. Hi Janet, Thank you for sharing your message. Yes having aging parents in another country is difficult. As a family we chose to come to Canada from the UK because my husband and I believed that it would be a better future for our children . My mother supported us saying that each generation has to focus on the next generation otherwise we would not make progress.My mother now has Alzheimers and was critically ill before Christmas and I visited 3 times in the last few months of last year. Everytime it gets more difficult to leave… Fortunately due to a fantastic oxygen machine she has stabilised. Next month I am spending 2 weeks with them as a support so my Dad can get his knee replaced. As a mother , wife and daughter its always tough to spread yourself so thin. Sometimes I wish there were 2 of me!Thank goodness for e mail, skype and cheaper air fares. I am so grateful that I have such a supportive family. My philosphy now is always to spend more time enjoying the moment and less time worrying…Life is precious and every day I take the time to either phone someone or send them a card and tell them how much they mean to meI Lets celebrate life !

  3. Christine says:

    Jan, I know how you are feeling. I too know the day will come for my parents and each day it doesn’t is another day I am glad. It is so hard being far away, but think about how the world has changed and made access instantaneous. I Skype with my Mom and Dad everyday practically. While it doesn’t change the distance, it makes the connection so much more tangible. Just seeing them over the air waves is a huge advantage. I am sure your parents were thrilled to have you there. You spent a lot of quality time with them and I think a lot of people who live close by can’t say that about their families. How lucky we are to have our parents still around; everyday is a blessing. Chin up, my dear.

    • Hi Christine, I know you love your parents as much as I love mine (some people don’t have such good relationships with their family, which is sad) I know it was hard for them when we left for Canada, but they never ever made us feel guilty about leaving them. They knew we were heading for a better life and that’s all they wanted for us.
      I miss them, but in times of good health I know they are okay and enjoying life. In times of ill health the distance seems insurmountable, but with daily updates at least I am well informed as to what is going on and if I feel I need to go over again, I will. My sisters and I skype too, which is a great way to stay in touch.
      Take care, Jan

  4. Ritu says:

    Hi Janet, sorry missed going through some of your blogs.
    happy that your father is recovering. Can understand when one stays a bit far from parents specially those who are in their sweet 70s and 80s. I am lucky as both my parents are just 3 kms away from my house. But as i see them aging, a sense of insecurity comes at times…. and i try to spend as much time with them as possible.
    but thats life….
    wishing dad a smooth recovery and best wishes to you too in the wonderful work you are doing

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