Cancer… not really a fantastic topic to re launch my blog, but I just wanted to start with this to honour my beautiful mum, who passed away on 27th March 2017, but also to let you know what has happening in my world because of this horrific disease. It has taken over 2 years to write as it is so emotional and also because I lost my cooking and blogging mojo, struggling to get any words to describe how I felt was extremely difficult and just trying to understand how this has effected my everyday living.
I remember the day so vividly. Mum and I were standing just outside “The Kitchens” at Robina shopping centre after having lunch. The phone rang and the doctor said that mums tumour markers were through the roof and she had to come in for more tests and a scan ASAP. I didn’t know it, but that was the day that my world crumbled. They say certain moments define our character and the fight or flight instincts kicks in… mine was fight! I told mum we were going to fight this.
I think that mum knew from the very beginning that she was going to die as she could feel how sick she was… but she just kept letting me feed her food and take her to everything to try and help her live. I just kept fighting for both of us. I just couldn’t get my head around that my mum would die… even at the very end I was still hoping for a miracle. You see, I believed in God and I also believe that he is a God that heals. I am not sure why God allowed this to happen to my mum, and it has shaken my faith more than I ever thought possible, but what I do know is that she is in a much better place with no pain. Unfortunately, there is no silver lining for me, my dad or mum’s family and friends, but somehow, I have to believe in God’s ultimate greater plan. Many days this, the support of my friends and the love of my incredible husband (another blog to come soon) are the only things that get me through.
Kay Connolly was an amazing woman. She was born Eileen Kay Lewis on 7th August 1948. Mum trained to be a nurse at The Royal Newcastle Hospital and met my dad on a blind date. Nursing was Mum’s life. She loved working at Allamanda Private Hospital for Mr Ruben Pellerman and then for the Dr’s of Brockway House where she ran the first free standing Day Theatre in Queensland (I think maybe Australia??). Finally she was the boss of Pacific Private Day Theatre and when she was ready to retire from being in charge, she decided to still work part time in admissions. This was one of her favourite parts of work, talking to the patients, and of course making sure all the doctor’s ran on time in the theatres. I think a few of them were so scared to do anything wrong, because they may get a talking to from “KAY”. The doctors and staff loved mum so much they put up a lovely photo and plaque in memory of her. So if you are every at the Pacific Private Day Theatre, her beautiful photo is up on the wall.
My Best Friend
Not only was Kay my mum, but she was my best friend. I am extremely fortunate to have had a wonderful relationship with my mum. We both loved great food and enjoyed cooking together as well as eating in different restaurants and trying all sorts of new foods. When I lived in Sydney, mum would travel down for a week each year and we would do lots of fun foodie things. Mums last trip to Sydney was just before my nana died, so one year after my nana died, I decided it was time for me to move back to the Gold Coast to help mum look after my dad and so that mum and I would be closer. I am so very thankful that I moved at that time, as I had 5 wonderful years with mum that I never would have had. When I decided to finish the singing chapter and move to the food chapter of my life, mum was my biggest supporter and constantly helped me in my Thermomix business (she sold more thermomix for me than anyone else) as well as helping me with all my catering jobs. We loved just hanging out together talking about everything. The last big foodie thing we did together with (Cousin Deb and Brian) was when I received a reservation (they had to do reservation lottery because so many people wanted a table) at the Heston Blumenthal pop up restaurant in Melbourne The Fat Duck Part 1 it was such an amazing night that I had to tell it in 2 parts. The Fat Duck Part 2
Just One More
Mum died on March 27th 2017 only 5 months after being diagnosed. It broke my heart and I really don’t know how I will ever get over it? I miss her every day. I just want one more chat, one more foodie adventure, one more kiss, one more hug and one more time to say I love you. I’m sure that anyone who has lost a loved one to this insidious disease knows exactly how I feel. I went on to be my dad’s full time carer. I am trying to enjoy the time I have left with him, but he is sad all the time because he misses his wife. Unfortunately after writing all this, my dad too passed away on the 11th of February 2019. I will do a subsequent blog for my dad in the weeks to come.
I have read many things, had many chat with friends that have all been comforting and caring… But the most wonderful article I recently saw was a TED talk on grief. It helped me to realise that we never “move on” from loosing someone we love, we just move forward. They are always with us never truly leaving us as their memory lives on. Moving forward is something that my mum and dad would want me to do, so as I sort though all their memories I will cry, laugh and feel them with me. Time will help with the terrible sadness and loss I feel from loosing both my parents in such a short space of time but I am so blessed that they were my parents and they loved me so much. I love you mum.
I hope that if you have lost someone to Cancer that you have people around you that care for and look after you. I pray that you will find some comfort in knowing that they are in a better place, pain free.
Thank you so much for reading!