I am going to scream. Yet again I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Being completely honest with you I don’t think I know which to do because I am so utterly shocked. When Dad died I decided I wanted to do something with my life and so I decided that this year on what should be his birthday I am going to attempt to cycle the Coast to Coast. Cycling to raise funds for the charity my Dad worked for most of his life and also for the hospice where he died.
I thought this was something my sister and I could do together, but she wasn’t keen. Instead, I have ended up with various family members saying they may or may not do it. To be honest, it’s turned into a total nightmare and it’s on my ‘to deal with’ list, but it hasn’t quite gotten to the top. People are arguing over when, how many days it should be. I know these people all want to do it to remember Dad but I’m getting to the point I will be glad when it’s all over.
Anyway, I decided on cycling as, as well as providing a fun challenge, it would mean I could justify going for a bike ride. Cycling is something that I really enjoy, but when there are houses to clean or fix up, rabbits to spend time with, parents to care for… well, let’s just say it’s been on the back burner for the last few years. I knew I was going to struggle with time for me when Dad died and I had a mum, so I hoped cycling for a cause would help me find time to look after me.
So far it hasn’t happened. But the weather has been awful so I haven’t massively tried to get out. Although I did want to over Christmas and couldn’t get, but that’s another story. Anyway, I am aware July is fast approaching and something has gotten to give.
Then I was approached by a group of friends and asked to take part in a local charity cycle challenge. It’s 100km and is happening in April, I said yes as it should help prepare me for the Coast to Coast for Dad and heck if I can do that while raising some funds for charity I am in. Text Mum to tell her the news and she came back with “well, what am I going to do that day?”
The fact that was her first response has made me as angry and it has sad. I am killing myself trying to juggle spending time with her alongside working full time and having some sort of life for me. I have lost count of the number of times I haven’t made it to bed before midnight as I have stayed late at hers. The number of times I have gone round, despite it being my night off, as she has been ill or lonely… I constantly feel guilty and like I am losing myself at the same time.
I need her to be fighting with me. Fighting for me. I’ve already had to take a day off work this week because she had a hospital appointment and couldn’t go alone. She keeps saying she doesn’t want me to put my life on hold to look after her, but every. single. time I do something for me I end up feeling bad about it and having to worry about her instead.
I don’t know what I am going to do. It’s not fair. My sister seems to have managed to escape all of it. The bonus of not living as close I suppose. But I can’t help but resent that her life goes on while mine is so altered. Dad’s dying didn’t just take my Dad from me, it has taken a lot of my future hopes and dreams with it. I don’t want it to take my identity as well.