It's me, that guy you either don't recognise at all, or have at some point gotten into a pedantic argument with (a hobby I've missed greatly). Apologies for any typos or grammar errors, I have no shame (must mostly I just suck at both and don't want to re-read this multiple times).
It's been several months since I last posted on VGC, and for a while I honestly thought I might never again. Things took something of a turn for me in 2017, and the end result was a before and after divide in my life that I didn't really want to cross. I was happy leaving everything in the 'before' group buried, and one of those things were my frequent visits here. A few months on though, and several lovely off-site messages from friends I've made here, and I thought it was time to come back. I'm not sure how often i'll be posting, but if you mock high resolutions in-front of a mirror three times at midnight, you'll summon me. For now though, I thought i'd just use this as an opportunity to vent a bit.
So, last year, my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was obviously scary, but after having already spent years fighting poor health (she suffered from lupus), it almost felt par for the course. It was another battle to fight, another boss to clear. They did tests to confirm it was a primary tumour, and shortly after she went in for surgery. It was a success, and her lymph nodes came up clear. All that was left was to have some radiotherapy to make sure no stragglers escaped, take some drugs for a few years, and that was it. Boss defeated, roll the credits, onto the next adventurer. Unfortunately, like a Valve IP, this was a story of two parts.
In the weeks following the surgery, Mum complained about throat pain. Given the timing, we thought maybe she just had a bruise from the breathing tube, or something similar. When the pain didn't get any better, the doctors decided to do an endoscopy just to be safe. You know when at the start of a game you fight a boss, and then later you fight the monster's parents, or adult form, etc? Yeah, this was that type of game. In the latest improbably twist in my Mum's life, she had managed to get two completely separate primary tumours. One in her breast, the other in her esophagus. Tumour number two, however, was bigger, angrier, and from day one the doctors admitted it was likley already game over. It wasn't about winning anymore, it was just about seeing as many tomorrows as possible. They said 3 years. She got 6 months. I wish I could say I was grateful for that time, that at least I got more than a lot people do, but it wasn't a 6 months anyone should have to live. I'd rather not recount it, I've done it for others and it always leaves me feeling tired, but there was nothing about it to be grateful for. It wasn't a game, just hell. Pain, and more pain, and then finally she escaped. I'm grateful to the doctors, nurses, and hospice that tried to make her hell a little softer. I'm grateful for having a Mum that even in the end was more worried about me than herself. But for those last few months? I'm not. I can't be. I don't think any amount of time would be enough, really. She was my Mum, and I miss her.
About a week after she passed, me and my fiancee (and partner of 5 years) separated. That's not a story worth sharing, frankly it feels like a footnote compared to what proceeded it, but it contributed to the feeling of a strong before and after in my life. It also meant that rather than what me and Mum had planned for (me moving back in with my partner after Mum had passed), I had to stay at Mum's, surrounded by her things and memories of her.
The following months were pretty rough. Every night i'd have dreams that were reconstructions of memories from the year before everything went to shit. They always felt so real, and normal. Then i'd wake, and everything would come crashing back, and i'd feel the same way I did when I first found out she was gone. Every morning. Over, and over, and over, and over... If it wasn't for my Dad, I don't think i'd be here. I didn't know it was possible to feel that sad for that long, and I felt worse knowing it was only a fraction of what my Mum went through.
Back to the present though, I'm doing a lot better, and i'm doing my best to make the most of the life my Mum worked hard to give me. Sometimes it's still hard, particularly when the dreams crop up (which is fortunately now just a day or two out of each week), but for who isn't life sometimes hard? All you can do is keep marching on, and work towards your next adventure.
So yeah, that's my event summary/rant. Thanks for indulging my venting, it feels pretty good to type it all out. If nothing else, it's good to see you all again. I look forward to getting into pointless video game discussion with you all :) For now though, i'm off to bed. Zzzzzz