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Life Is Too Short To Drink Bad Wine: 53 - Precious Life

…Now life itself was precious to me. I no longer wanted trappings of glamour and success. I thought that love of family was the only thing that was important in life. My new friends gathered around me and I began to feel happy again. I was, I believe, a different person from this point on…

After the trials and pains following the removal of a cancerous mole, Gayle Woodward is a changed person when she leaves the hospital and goes home to resume life with her family.

One morning a nurse came to tell me she was to work on my scar. The aluminium cover was removed and I stared aghast at the scar. It was circular, wrinkly and purple with black stitches like barbed wire around the circumference.

The stitches were removed and I had to endure a painful procedure where the scar tissue that had grown around the join of the new skin to the wound had to be trimmed off with sharp scissors so that a bumpy join would not be obvious.

Tender skin where stitches had just been removed meant this was as excruciating a procedure as anything I have known until then or since. I cried and felt so alone then. I thought that this was so unfair, why did other people not have to have this indignity placed upon them. I wondered about the existence of God. Why would He have let this happen to me, a good person I thought, who loved her children and was a good mother?

The surgeon would not tell me that I had been cured. He said they had got all cancerous tissue cut out but that some might have escaped in to my lymph system and we would only know I was free of the disease after five years of tests. I was depressed. I hated the way my leg looked and could not imagine ever showing it in public ever again. Gone, I thought, were my days of wearing shorts or bathing suits or stripping to small outfits at yoga. I was shocked to think of the yoga instructor’s advice the year before.

After a fortnight in hospital I was allowed to come home. Woody collected me and presented me quietly with some black stockings. It was his way of saying that I could still look sexy and the black would hide the scar. I was touched and humbled by the concern he showed me and the obvious love he felt for me. There was no pity shown. He was glad to have me home, alive and almost whole.

The boys were also happy to have me home and Karyn would not leave my side. She clung onto me and climbed onto my knee for a cuddle at every opportunity.

Mum and Dad went home and my life as a mother began again. But something had changed. I looked at the world through different eyes. The bush covered hills surrounding our subdivision suddenly looked glorious to me. They would reflect different colours according to the time of day; a hundred greens in the morning and rich purple at end of day. I could not stop watching them and yet I do not believe that I had ever noticed them before this time.

I appreciated beauty wherever I saw it. I watched my children and they looked so dear to me. I knew I never wanted to leave them again. I was fierce in my protestations of love. And I knew that although Woody and I did not always agree and still had different ideas of what was important in life, he was a very special and dear person to me, one whom I knew with certainty I wanted to be with until the end of time.

Now life itself was precious to me. I no longer wanted trappings of glamour and success. I thought that love of family was the only thing that was important in life. My new friends gathered around me and I began to feel happy again. I was, I believe, a different person from this point on.

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