I often find myself gazing out my window, oblivious to my surroundings, watching the crystal clear water roll up the sand, it’s what I do to pass time I guess. There’s nothing else to keep me occupied around this place and I just don’t have the energy to enjoy my life the way I used to.
Things weren’t always like this, I was lively and happy and fun. I always had the energy to do anything in the world, that was, until I found out. I was a surfer, with long blonde hair, spending most of my time at the beach even when it was raining, thriving on the salty water, the blue sky and the sand between my toes, that was, until I found out.
Since then, my life has been shaken up and turned upside down. It seems I have no place left world, I’m embarrassed by myself and there is no way I can face my everyday life as though nothing has happened. If you could see what I have become, you would understand.
I can’t believe I am thinking this, I could never have thought such things in my wildest dreams, that was, until I found out.
I feel safest by the window where no one can see me, I shield my face behind the white drapes, hoping I won’t be seen. I would do absolutely anything to rewind time and not have a care in the world, but for now I can only dream of such a thing.
My name is Oliva, I’m a 17 year old and have had leukaemia since 2007. I left school last year to focus on my battle with cancer, so that one day I could accomplish my dreams of becoming a professional surfer and tour the world.
My Dad is responsible for pursuing my love for the ocean, I miss him. Whenever I was feeling down he would say, “Liv, honey, yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not come, we only have today, so let’s go have fun,” and that would be the end of it. He would hear no more from me until we had gone for a surf, cleared my head and had a chance to think about how much it matters. He’s in a better place now, my Dad, and I know he will always be with me.
My Mum has never quite understood my passion for surfing, she never really understood Dad’s passion either, but she has always been there for me, and she always will be. She is such a beautiful person, my Mum, but she’s a worrier, she worries about me all the time, too much sometimes, and ever since we found out about my condition she has never been the same. Things were much the same when Dad died. I think she feels she’s lost so much already, how could she now lose the last thing she has left in this world. I try and stay positive, but it can be overwhelming sometimes.
This afternoon, Mum has decided to get me out of the house for a while, I don’t want to go, but it will make her happy if I do. As we walk out the door and I am hit with a cool sea breeze, I stop for a moment, take a deep breath and begin to ride the wind as we walk along the soft grainy sand towards the lighthouse at the top of Correl Hill. The lighthouse is my most favourite place in the world, as we reach the top I turn to Mum and say to her, “Mum, yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not come, we only have today, so let’s go and have some fun.”
I have never had so much fun with Mum before in my life, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. She is a completely different person when she opens up. She told me how hard things have been lately and that she is sorry for not spending more time with me. She hopes we can spend more time with each other more often, but I think we have left it too late. My next round of chemo starts tomorrow, and I’m told I’m only going to feel worse, so I’m glad I got the chance to spend a little time with Mum today.
Yet again, I find myself sitting by the window watching the sun beaming down on the surface of the water, glistening blue with the waves breaking softly on the shore, when I notice a little girl with long blonde hair learning to surf with her dad……..
Sarah (my daughter) wrote this piece recently for school, I thought it was very moving and special. It is a fictional story but Sarah has drawn from her own feelings and life situation… she has had a tough year with getting through Glandular Fever only to find she has post-viral fatigue and gone from being very active to very exhausted, she has had to give up dancing and sport for the time being and it’s been very hard on her….
I hope you enjoy reading the story she’s written, I am very very proud of her