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

Melbourne’s Ghost…..

Melbourne’s Ghost…..

I live in Melbourne, Victoria and I think I speak for the whole of Victoria.

From late 2019 till the current times of 2020 these times have been extremely hard for us all.

2020 ‘welcomed’ us with quite literally fire and brimstone. Smoke canvassed our skies for months.

Worry and concern plagued us for the safety of our firies. Our rural Victorians, their accompanying wildlife and our livestock.

Instead of morning alarms, for months we rang in the morning with Vic Emergency updates from our fire chiefs and our Premier.

Contact to outer Victoria was scarce.

Towns affected by the fires, their phone lines and electricity was gone for weeks.

Instead of friendly phone notifications from our friends and family, our phones pinged and dinged with the messages that another fire was out of control.

As time burned on. Acres got lost. Damage increasing 10fold.

Our hope was fading as clouds of smoke covered our horizons both literally and figuratively.

Once the fires were finally extinguished. Just before Autumn I may add.We continued to hold charity events, benefits anything that could send money to the townships and wildlife destroyed by this devastation.

Melbourne, Victoria as a whole was begining to gain our spirits back.

Joy started to fill our lives again. The air was clear. Our rural nature, the essence and beauty of what makes Victoria Victoria was finally recovering.

Remember….

We are descendants of Bush Rangers. We are strong. We can get through anything. We will be triumph through our struggles…..

Well…..

so we thought….

Mid March came along and along with it came covid.

With just over a months rest. We Victorians and along side us our Premier had to pull our bootstraps up once again.

Instead of alarms, Victoria welcomed the days ahead with death total. Case totals. A variety of different numbers and so fourth from the Premier.

Hope was deminishing once again. We had already been through so much in such little time.

We couldn’t see family, friends. Meet under ‘The Clocks’ do the things that make Melbourne. Melbourne. We were now the shell of once being the No.1 most liveable City in the world. Seven years running.

Most of us stuck to the rules. Staying in. Not seeing anyone outside our household.

Numbers started greatly decreasing.

Some restrictions were lifted.

Five people could visit one household.

Then 10 people could visit a household.

We were getting though this.

Remember….

We are descendants of Bush Rangers. We are strong. We can get through anything. We will be triumph through our struggles. We got this.

Or so we thought….

A month or so had passed.

Stage 3 was shorted lived. Numbers weren’t moving.

Then the numbers and stats were ambushing us.

Stage 4 was quickly put in place.

Yet again the days were ‘welcomed’ by numbers and stats.

All Melbourne checking their phones for the notification ping of ‘The Premier is now live.’

When the Premier would finish discussing the latest updates and changes to Victoria as a whole.

Some Jurnos asked questions that would actually help Victoria feel reassured and informed. Other Jurnos on the other hand would repeat and recite questions on a political stance. To stir the waters in the political atmosphere. Not helping the current situation at all.

A witch hunt towards Melbourne began….

So many people and Media all over Australia were also repeating and reciting negativity towards Melbourne and Victoria as a whole.

Our spirits had already been crushed , damaged and pierced since the end of 2019.

To have most of Australia against us. Causing more grief and anxiety to us Victorians. Wasn’t helping the current situation either.

Why turn on your own family?

I ask.

We are one. We are many.

But now it seems more like Most of Australia is one…and Melbourne, Victoria is not. Anymore.

Melbourne, Victoria. We had been through the ringer so many time in such a short period of time. Spirits crushed.

I will admit some people screwed up. Others did not.

Please think of us….

Fires prevented us from seeing our loved ones for months. Then Lock down continues to prevent us from seeing Family, Friends and ‘Meeting Under the Clocks’.

Each days that goes on in Lock down. We are alone. We are even more alone when most of Australia hates us.

As the ghost of Melbourne essences vapours on through the empty streets and cobbled stone lane-ways…..

We can only hope that things will get better.

Remember…..

Melbourne’s. We will come out stronger than before.

We are descendants of Bush Rangers. We are strong. We can get through anything. We will be triumph through our struggles. We got this.

Coffee in hand we will march through this. Together. As Melbournians.

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.