Walking for My Dad.

Walking for My Dad.

In Australia October is the month of Mental Health Awareness.

https://www.onefootforward.org.au/fundraisers/cassiewidayat/one-foot-forward

The Black Dog Institute the only medical research institute in Australia to investigate mental health. Has organised a fund-raiser which simply involves walking.

I am partaking in the fund-raiser as Mental health is something very close to my heart.

My Mum had Bi-Polar and my Dad sadly passed away due to his illness in December 2018.

I miss him each and every day.

I long for our coffee catch ups, the ever so competetive games of Scrabble and Uno.

I’m forever grateful for my Dad getting me into classic rock. They are the soundtruck to my everyday life.

He taught me to skateboard, ride a bike and how to kick a soccer ball.

My beloved Dad will be walking by my side as I reach my goal of walking 60km for Metal Health Awareness Month.

Love you forever and always Dad.

Thank you for everything.

Love,

Cassie

Current Times. Longing Moments…

Current Times. Longing Moments…

Shall we ever be reunited with the world that once was-

Precious moments of accompanied laughter,

The bustling atmosphere of cafes-

Such bittersweet aroma of freshly brewed coffee-

Teasing…alluring…..the senses of human-kind.

An unplanned date-

Corn Kernels transforming into a buttery delight.

A flirtatious smile here-

Hands intertwined there-

Such a delicate dance.

Gatherings and laughter-

Friends reuniting-

After long moments apart.

Will these bittersweet memories-

Become a reality again?

 

The Roads Less Traveled. To Gitgit We Go.

The Roads Less Traveled. To Gitgit We Go.

Bali’s humidity encompassed our bodies as we shuffled into the rental car. Alternative retro CDs were haphazardly placed in the glove box. A choose your own adventure soundtrack for our drive ahead.

Our car boated its way though the ocean of traffic bustling throughout the main roads. Cars honked loudly whilst scooters whelped to be heard.

To drown out the chorus of everyday Bali, I lucky dipped a CD out of the glove box. To my comforting surprise, I had selected a CD of ethereal Aboriginal Music. Oh how those songs reminded me of home.

I turned up the music, the symphony of chaos drowned out.

I looked to my Husband. We shared a secret smile, of being Newlyweds. Excited for the adventures we will encounter on our honeymoon. Anticipating the wondrous site we will soon see at Gitgit Waterfall.

The car juggled along, as mainstream Bali slowly transformed into acres and acres of freshly watered rice paddy fields. Waves of pe-tan-ie hats glimmered in the sunlight.

Slowly but surely we were getting closer to Gitgit.

The digital clock on the dash, flick, flick, flickered as the Kilometres rolled, rolled over.

I looked out the window, taking in all I could see.

Scooters, were fewer and further in between.

I turned to look to the horizon.

Villagers all in white started clustering together.

Offerings of fruit and flowers were carried upon women’s head. Elegantly and effortlessly they were following a pa-tu-lan-gan (bed like structure) held high, adorn with native flowers.

Silently I paid my my respects as we passed the procession.

As we journeyed on, we took a quick break.

My Husband thoughtful as he is brought sun-dried banana chips from a village vendor. The crisp banana chips melted in the mouth.

We sat upon the rocks and took in the vast landscape around us.

We were nearing Gitgit Waterfall.

The GPS droned on and on, telling us to go this way and that.

It took us a way, we least expected.

A mud road. With only two narrow concrete panels embedded in the ground. Indicating to us, to be precise as you drive along. If you turn the wheels ever-so slightly you’re surely to get bogged.

My heart galloped as my nerves were tested.

This road will surely test me. I thought to myself.

My husband recited words of comfort to me as we slowly drove along this questionable ‘road’.

I clinched my eyes shut. In hope it would bring comfort.

My hands were pressing against my lap. To which they would leave a hand-print on my leg for weeks to come.

We had finally met better roads.

A sigh of relief.

It was short lived as we got closer and closer to Gitgit the road was becoming ever-so winy and narrow as we drove down the mountain.

I looked out my window again.

The second I did.

I deeply regretted it.

All I saw was a great big drop along the mountain side.

Hands pressed against my lap once again. I clinched my eyes shut.

My Husband gave me a gentle nudge.

‘Look we are finally here. Here at Gitgit Waterfall’ he said with smile.

Relieved that we were no longer driving, I rushed out of the car.

We found a tour guide. Well more like he found us.

We started our stroll towards Gitgit.

Our tour guide pointed out trees of cocoa beans hidden between the walls of Mother Nature.

When we got closer and closer to the waterfall, vendors sat in their shops, pointing out all their intriguing items and clothing.

A whisper of flowing, rushing water slowly got louder and louder.

Gitgit was singing her welcome, to all that visit her.

 

 

The Journey of Losing a Parent to Cancer

The Journey of Losing a Parent to Cancer

It all started in 2012, I was helping my Mum fix her computer. That’s when I saw an internet tab open which read ‘Survival rates of breast Cancer’ My heart stopped. The world around froze.

In disbelief I said to my Mum, ‘Whats this?’ the look of concern came across as she noticed tears beginning to swell in my eyes. Mum took the computer and saw what I had seen.

She knelt beside me, of course comforting me in her time of need, because that what she did, she always put others before herself.

My shock turned into anxiety, I said to her ‘Are you going to die,’

Ofcourse her reply was ‘No, I’m going to beat this, I’m going to be around for your 21st birthday, your wedding and be there to help with your children.’ As she recited these words of hope tears swelled in her eyes. Mum never cried.

I cant recall if she had the operation first or started treatment first. I will be honest it was all a blur at the start.

When she first started chemo, I went with her, to be hopefully of some comfort to her during this scary time.

I took a deep breath as the chemo started to enter my Mums vein and held her hand tight, delivering her a comforting smile.

After a few chemo appointments, her hair started to fall out, she didn’t want to have patchy hair, so I went with her to get the rest of her hair shaved off. As her hair fell to the ground, I felt like what was will never be again. The walls of comfort, I was so familiar with were falling away just like my Mums beautiful hair.

Mum also went through radiation treatment, she had burns scaled across her chest. I tendered to her burns every day. Changing the bandages, cleaning and drying the wounds so they wouldn’t fester.

We had some good news during this time, after a few cycles of treatments, the specialist said that Mum was in remission. With that joyous news we thought we had gone through the darkness and seen the light again.

I was in Bali in 2014, when I tried calling my Mum. Over a few days I couldn’t reach her. I managed to get in contact with someone back in Melbourne, to whom it was I can’t recall (it was a blur)

I found out that Mum had fallen over and broken her ankle, this isn’t a normal occurrence with my Mum. Dread came over me.

My dread was confirmed, once back in Melbourne.

Mums cancer was back, but this time it was in her brain.

They operated on one but one wasn’t safe to remove.

The only thing that could be done was hope that treatment could shrink it enough to give her a better life for some time.

We were managing quite well with these new circumstances. Until we couldn’t.

We had nurses come to the house every other day to give Mum the care that we couldn’t.

One day the nurse came to me and asked if I could help get Mum out of the shower.

The short walk to the bathroom felt miles away.

Mum and I exchanged a look to one another. Our look said it all. It was time for palliative care.

Whilst Mum was in palliative care, I would visit her everyday and juggle Uni and part time job inbetween. Every day I would help Mum with her dinner.

We would chat, laugh, spend time together and sometimes fall asleep under the same roof like the old days. These are little pockets of happiness that I fondly reflect on.

When things slowly got worse with my Mum, I advised the nurses to call me if there are any changes or if they think she will me passing when I’m not around. As I wanted to be with her. So she wouldn’t been alone.

The last few night my Mum was with us, I stayed over at palliative care, barely leaving her side.

The last night my Mum was with us, my partner slept over too.

He left early in the morning to feed the animals. Shortly after the nurses came in to reposition my Mum. The were in and out within minutes.

After the nurses left, I told my Mum that I needed to go to the bathroom and to not go anywhere. Once I was back, I told my Mum I was back. I sat down.

Moments later my Mum looked at me. I held her hand and she took her last breath.

I wailed. The nurses hear my heart ache echo throughout the room. They came in. Called her time of death at 6am the 11th of February 2015.

I asked the nurses if I could help wash Mum. They said ofcourse.

We washed Mum, dressed her in her clothes. I put lavender talc on her (lavender was a favorite scent of both of ours)

I gave her spritz of perfume and took a couple of flowers from a vase and placed them within my Mums hands.