Man meets woman or in my parent's case, teenage boy throws advertising sandwich board, 1 metre by 1 metre at teenage girls head he finds attractive, believing this to be some sort of natural mating call, needless to say, this was not the best way to garner the attractive young girl's attention (I mean seriously Dad, what were you thinking? I know you were 16, but even 16 year olds know that pulling girls bra straps isn't a sign of affection and actually throwing a "Sign" at a girls head is not one either).
So let's just say, it was not love at first sight (well for my Mum anyway, as she probably couldn't see from the black eye she would have received from having a large inanimate object propelled at her head, out of love of course), it took another meeting for Mum and Dad to actually start the dating ritual. Mum and Dad were 16 and 17 at the time and both very inexperienced, they'd both had boyfriends and girlfriends, I'm sure, but we're talking kissing behind the bike sheds at school type relationships, the good old kiss and dump, nothing serious, like if it was 2016 neither of them had ever updated their status to "in a relationship".
So Boy and Girl (Peter and Geraldine), quickly become inseparable, they both go to different schools and live in different little country towns in Ireland, but they make it work. Then it happens........Boy and Girl find out they're having a little boy or girl themselves. Poor Geraldine, she must have been petrified, she was on holiday in Canada at the time visiting family and she was constantly feeling ill and one day at the kitchen sink, Geraldine's Mum turns to Geraldine and asks probably every parents worst nightmare of their 17 year old daughter "Is there a chance you could be pregnant?". Now what you also have to remember is, this was the 1980's and my Mum was being brought up in a strict Irish Catholic family, Catholic school girl, Mass every Sunday, weekly confessions, everything from leaving your teabag in the pot too long to leaving the toilet seat up is a mortal sin, we Irish Catholics, do love ourselves a bit of good old religious guilt. The fear of God is instilled in us from no age and the fear of your father well, second to the fear of God "Wait until your father hears this" must be 6 of the scariest words known to any child, let alone a now 17 year old one who thinks she is pregnant (to her long term boyfriend might I add, this was not just a kiss and run, this was a fully fledged, if facebook existed, in a relationship would have been ticked for a long time, type of deal, boy and girl were in luuuuuurve).
Geraldine's mother insists on marching her down to a local pharmacy, to purchase a pregnancy test and low and behold, Geraldine is pregnant, hello future terminally fabulous Lisa Magill.
My future Mum and Dad do the right thing and get married, Mum wears a gorgeous lace curtain design and her sister and cousin wear just as fabulous a lacy blush pink floor length, neck high dress that would make a Sister Wife look like a tart, I'm front row at the wedding (literally, I was in Mum's belly, so I had a belly button view), a few months later, along comes moi, second to probably the chocolate Galaxy Ripple, I like to think I was the best thing to ever happen to my Mum at that point in her life.
Mum and Dad took to marriage like duck's to water and sure they struggled, they lived in Department of Housing, Dad got a Fitter Machinist apprenticeship and Mum would work in the afternoons as a cleaner at a hospital for the physically and mentally disabled, but I never went hungry, I never went undressed and most importantly of all I never went unloved. My parent's could have chosen any number of options when they found out they were pregnant with me and we obviously don't need to go into them, but they didn't, they chose to get permission to marry under age and then move out of home straight away and raise me, they took on the complete responsibility from the first moment that little pink positive sign rocked up and for that I will be forever grateful and proud of my parents. They will be celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary on the 9th of July this year and yes I do like to take credit for being the best match maker in the world, if it weren't for me, these two lovebirds may never have lasted........you can thank me later Mum and Dad.
So we fast forward some 30 odd years and daughter makes the phone call to Mum advising her that her cancer is back and she is effectively dying, WRONG ORDER!!!!!! This is not how it is meant to work, Mum and Dad look after their children until adulthood (well they never really stop at all), your Grandparents start to get greyer, a little slower and start to replace joints in their body.
My poor Grandmother rushed to my bedside from Ireland, along with my Aunty a couple of weeks ago when we had what feels like our 100th scare in palliative care, I've now been told on 3 separate occasions in hospital that I will not be walking out, I will most likely be pushed out on a bed feet first with a discrete sheet pulled over my head, well that's how I imagined it, but apparently you are placed in like a secret hidey hole underneath what looks like a bed, so you wouldn't even know there is a dead body being concealed. My Grandmother is not the bubbly, vivacious woman, with a wickedly dirty sense of humour that she once was, (yet she somehow managed to come across as naïve, that takes skill), she once told me not to spend all my birthday money on porn, to which I informed her you can get all that stuff for free now on the internet, her response "so where does one get this internet thing then?", that was my Gran, I say "was" because sadly old age has started to take her away from me, I don't think she fully understands the gravity of my current situation and in some way I am grateful for this, because I just don't believe she could handle it, for as long as I have known what death means, my Grandmother has been threatening to leave me out of her will (mind you she was only 44 when I was born) and always joking "You'll regret speaking to your grandmother like this, when I'm pushing up the daisies", well here we are again, WRONG ORDER!!!!! There are also the occasions that my Gran will have these moment's of clarity and break down about, why this is happening to me and it's just not right, its not how things are meant to go and this breaks her heart, this bitch of a Cancer is making my Gran cry and that pisses me off.
My poor Grandad, like my brother is a fixer, he still uses a thing called teletext (a thing on the TV, similar to internet that gives news updates, the weather and the like) and occasionally there will be some sort of cancer cure update and he'll rush to the phone and tell me of this new miracle, sadly my Grandad cannot travel due to a heart problem and I know this also breaks his heart that he cannot be by my side, as that's all he really wants, to hug his granddaughter and make it all better, again, WRONG ORDER!!!!!
The biggest WRONG ORDER though is that of parents facing the thought of burying their own child, WRONG ORDER!!!!!! My parent's were meant to age gracefully, get to a stage where although relatively self sufficient, I would have built a granny flat or have a house big enough for us all to live in and I would then proceed to wipe my Mums bum, like she did for me when I was a baby, Mum is not meant to be putting suppositories up her 34 year old daughters butt (note to those out there that may be unlucky enough to ever have to experience a suppository insertion from their Mum, make sure you inform your Mum of the correct technique, I neglected to do so and lets just say it was like 2 nuclear bombs being shoved up there in way too quick a succession that I actually yelped like a dog and believe me I've had many of these before, for Mum to achieve the discomfort level she did, nearly split my ass in half and let's not even go into the fact that she almost missed it completely, for your information, I have since taught her the correct technique and she is now a suppository insertion expert, just like she is a needle giving expert), My Mum and Dad are not meant to be discussing eulogy's and possible burial sites for their daughter, my parents are not meant to be waking in the middle of the night to go and listen to their daughter's bedroom door, to check if she is still breathing, this is not the natural order! These are the things I was meant to be doing for my parents in 25 years time, not the other way around.
My Mum and Dad will eventually only have one child and when people ask them that question, so how many kids do you have? What do they answer? Well we did have 2, but cancer took one away,
Cancer, doesn't give a shit about natural order, it just wants to kill, no matter what age, why should a 1 year old girl die? Why should any parent lose their child? There is no rhyme or reason as to how all this shit works, other than to say it's just the WRONG ORDER!
Stay Fabulous Rockstars and for all of you fabulous people out there, I hope you never have to use the words "IT'S JUST THE WRONG ORDER'! ❤️🤘🏼
My name is Lisa Magill and I have been navigating the minefield that is cancer since just months after turning 30, people have been saying to me for years that I should put my thoughts into writing and as time has progressed I thought I had left it too late, well here we are nearly 4 years in and for some unknown reason I've decided to start to write today.