Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Death of Nana Rage Part Two: You Can't Pick Your Family

Hey Ragers and Ragettes, after the post about Nana, I had a little cry. I also had my beauty therapist come round and my long talons are back, my eyebrows are on fleek and she French plaited my short hair. (My hair is in that strange in between stage where it's just irritating. I'm growing it and preparing it for my project in October....)

Suzanne said rightly that "Sometimes you just need to get things off your chest and then Pamper yourself and not think so hard!!!"

I'm pampered and ready to give you the rest of the story about Nana Rage's death.

As you know from my last post, my dad's family flew in from all corners of the globe to give Nana Rage a send off. Two of those people are the Colonel and his wife.

His wife is my dad's sister. She's two years older than my dad and has it in her head that her shit doesn't smell.  Oh yes, I'm pretty sure there is one of these in every family.

She married into a good family. The colonel (my uncle) is also my godfather. He was in the Air Force, rose through the ranks and retired a one star General.

They have always turned their noses down at my mama and my family. They would make fun of my mama saying she was stupid because English isn't her first language (mama speaks 7 languages). They'd make fun of mama's clothes because she'd shop at second hand stores. They turn their nose up at me because I am tattooed, pierced and the fact that I have bipolar disorder (my mental health is obviously a shameful thing for them)

And you would think that at a time like this, they'd act with some decorum....did they fuck!

It all started when I was picked up st the airport by the colonel and Nana's nephew. The 2 of them chatted in the car, with me in the back. Well, it was mostly the colonel chatting about how wonderful his kids and grandkids were.

He asked what I was up to and I started to tell him, he interrupted me to tell me how wonderful his niece was. Fab.

Whenever the colonel and his wife were in the room, there was an atmosphere. They were constantly boasting and didn't even really give me or mama the time of day.

Even when my sister face timed I asked if they wanted to talk to her (everyone else chatted and laughed with my sister) they refused to talk to her.

When we went to scatter the ashes, the colonel couldn't make it up the hill. I videoed the ashes being scattered. I sent the video to my cousins and to my sister, and they were grateful. I asked if the colonel wanted to see the video. He gave me a look as if to say, uh why would I want to see that? I asked to have a photograph with them (their daughter, my cousin asked for this) and they flat out refused.

At dinner, the colonel's wife said that she had her DNA tested (keep in mind that she is my dad's sister) and was proudly telling us that they found that my dad's side of the family have Belgian, Scottish, Viking, Irish and English DNA. She then looked at my mama and said, luckily I don't have inferior took every cell in my body to stop me from getting up and dumping the roast chicken on that stuffy bitch's head!

And it didn't end there. When they left, they didn't even say goodbye to me, mama or to my uncle who had taken care of Nana Rage for the last 11 years!!! (They looked their noses down at my uncle also)

When they left, the atmosphere completely changed. Everyone was happier. We were joking and laughing and smiling.

I talked to mama in private about this and she said, Betty, hold your head up high. You were polite and you at least made the effort to come over (I was the only grandchild that attended)

I mean seriously....

Why the fuck do they think that they are better????? We have the same fucking blood going through our veins, my nana was my family too!!

So, when I returned, I decided to get my DNA tested. Why? I'm proud of who I am, inferior DNA and all.

I'm sorry if this is a strange post but I don't understand what makes family act like this? Families are supposed to be there for each other. They are supposed to support and help. We're blood related whether they like it or not.

So, I have decided I am going to be extra nice to them. Every birthday, anniversary and holiday I'm sending them cards. I'm going to be so lovely and sweet until they are sick. They cannot then say that I am awful.

Sigh. Families, eh? Can't live with them and you can't kill them...

Until next time Ragers and Ragettes, keep your head and standards high and your heels even higher

Lots of love

The Fabulous Betty Rage xxxxx

Monday, 19 September 2016

On the Death of Nana Rage Part One

Hey Ragers and Ragettes!!  It’s a cool day here in St Helens.  Autumn, I think, is finally making its way over.  Today I am wearing my burgundy palazzo pants (So forgiving!!!), my navy blue cami and white cardi.  I am wearing my black Converse shoes. 

Also, I am proud to report that I have finally made it into Onederland!!  I feel really confident about my weight loss journey.  I am getting there.  I need to keep doing what I am doing (eating a good healthy diet and exercising 6 times a week!!) and I will soon be down to the body measurements I want. 

I have wanted to write this post now for over a week and I have struggled to find the words.  So please bear with me.  If this doesn’t make sense, I apologise.

6 weeks ago, I was told that my Nana Rage (My dad’s mum), who was 100, took a fall.  She injured her back and her elbow.  But the doctors said that the prognosis was good.  She was chatty, had all her faculties.  She was eating and wanted to get up and about and get out of hospital.  The doctors decided to keep her in though due to her age, which was a blessing.

On the 3rd of September, I received a text from Mama Rage telling me that my Nana (who was 100 years old) had taken a turn for the worst.  I didn’t think anything of it.  She was a tough woman and from the last time I saw her, I genuinely thought that she would pull through.

Sadly, a half an hour later I received another message from Mama Rage.  Nana had passed away. 

To be honest the text didn’t register.  I just sat there trying to make sense of what I just read.  So I reread the text at least 60 times.  And it still didn’t make sense.

So as if I was on Autopilot, I somehow booked my flights over and soon before you know it, I was in Manchester Airport Departure Lounge with a glass of red wine waiting to board the flight to Cork, Ireland.  My parents were flying over along with my Uncle from Zimbabwe. 

After some delays (Why would anyone want to build an airport in the foggiest place in Ireland??  Seriously, people!!) I was with my parents, my Uncle Neil from Zimbabwe, my Uncle and Auntie (who I like to call the Colonel and his wife) and my Uncle Luke and Auntie Martha, (Uncle Luke and Martha are fabulous people.  They have been taking care of Nana Rage plus Martha’s mum who is 91 years old)  (All names changed)

The Colonel told me exactly what happened when Nana died and she died with dignity.  On the morning of September 3rd she started to cough up blood.  So the doctor basically said she has a choice.  She either has a camera shoved down her throat or they make her comfortable.  Nana Rage overheard this and said, and I quote, hell no!  I’m done.  The doctor give her some morphine.  The Colonel’s Wife combed her hair; Nana put her teeth in and held my Auntie’s hand.  The Colonel wanted a coffee and he left.  She looked at my Auntie (her oldest child and my Dad’s sister) and smiled and said I love you dear.  She then closed her eyes and she breathed her last. 

The funeral was held on Wednesday the 7th of September.  25 people showed up and it was a simple ceremony.  No fuss.  Amazing Grace played and I shed a tear.  The coffin was small (Nana was only 4 foot 9).  I squeezed my Mama’s hand and we made it through the ceremony.  My dad’s eyes glassed over and he wiped tears away.  There is nothing worse in this world than seeing your father cry.  I wiped my tears away and took a deep breath.  I had to be strong for my parents.

We then went to a nice hotel for a lovely meal.  We all sat together, chatted, reminisced about Nana Rage.   I met family that I didn’t know that I had.   It all seemed surreal.  It hadn’t sunk in.

Then on the Thursday, The Colonel and his Wife, Uncle Neil, Mama and Dad, Uncle Luke, Auntie Martha and me went out to scatter the ashes.  Uncle Neil brought along my Granddad’s ashes.  We drove out into the rainy windy Irish country.  My Mama was panicking (as always) about getting the right weather for scattering the ashes.  We stopped off and had a cup of tea in a cute, quirky tea shop in Oysterhaven.  As we left the sun started to shine, the wind dropped. 

We then made it to Sandy Cove.  My Uncle Luke decided on Sandy Cove because this was where my Nana and Granddad used to sit and have a picnic and watch the world go by.  The sun was shining, there was a gentle breeze.  The sky turned a beautiful colour of blue.  A total difference from the windy, rainy grey day that we left.  My dad, my Auntie, Uncle Luke, Auntie Martha, Uncle Neil and I walked up the path (my mama’s health has deteriorated so much she’s now walking with a cane and the Colonel’s health is dreadful too) to the spot where my grandparents sat.  Quietly they opened the boxes that held my granddad’s and Nana’s ashes.  My Uncle Neil and my Uncle Luke started to scatter them.  We were all silent.  I recorded this moment for my Sister and my cousins.  It was moving.  After the ashes were scattered we took some flowers and laid them down on the spot and stood back for a few minutes to reflect.  A few tears slipped down my face and the faces of my family.  United in the grief but also celebrating the life of Nana Rage.  100 years and 10 months.  She touched our lives.  Her quiet, gentle spirit was inspirational.  She was firm but fair, sharp witted to the end. 

I thought back to the last time I saw her.  How she took my hand and said, Betty, you make your own heaven and you make your own hell.  God, she was so right. 

Uncle Neil wiped his tears away.  And smiled and said, let’s go.  We wordlessly started walking back down to my Mama and the Colonel. 

We got back to my Uncle Luke’s and had a nice dinner together.  We chatted, laughed and had a toast to my Nana and Granddad.   Reunited on what would have been their 70th wedding anniversary.

On the Friday I was flying back and my parents were flying out Saturday morning, early.  So we decided to go to the airport hotel and my parents would stay the night and we can have some time together before I had to leave.

When I landed in Manchester, I was exhausted, emotionally.  I felt numb.  Simon hugged me as I walked through arrivals.  It was nice to feel his hug.  He kissed my forehead and said, let’s get home.  All the way home, I was quiet.  I was still processing everything.

The weekend I just went through like a zombie.  And I admit. I got drunk on Saturday night and Sunday night. On the Monday I felt a little hungover, tired and emotional.  I went through the day feeling sorry for myself.

When I got home, I sat in my room put some sad music on and had a good cry.  I bawled for 2 hours straight until I was gasping for breath.  My eyes tears stained.  I needed a few hours to not be ok.  After those 2 hours, I took a hot shower, put some clean pajamas on and when Simon got home, I gave him a huge cuddle.   It was enough to set the internal “reset” button. 

It’s ok to not be ok for a few hours, Ragers and Ragettes.  We are bombarded with positivity and affirmations daily on social media.  I take those affirmations and posts to heart.  I am a firm believer that happiness is a choice.  And before I get people telling me “what if this” and “what if that” I say this.  Situations in your life you can do one of 2 things.  First you can go hide, cry and say pity me!!!  And keep whining and complaining and expect a magic fairy to come and sort it all out for you.

Or you can have a few hours of crying.  Get it out of your system and pick yourself up and figure out how to make the best of the situation. 

I have been in many shitty situations.  And I have gotten out of those situations by casting feelings aside and being clinical.  At the end of the day, Ragers and Ragettes, it’s your life.  And as Nana Rage said to me, you make your own heaven and you make your own hell.

It’s something that I have been working on recently.  And with Nana’s death and Anne’s death, I have learned that you need to keep good people around you and get rid of those Fuckboys and assholes that bring you down.  I have cleared out my social media getting rid of those that complain, whine and cry.  I don’t want that.  I want people that add to my life and enrich it, not bring me down.  People like Suzanne every day inspires me and I thank God for her friendship and love.

So I am sorry if this is a bit of a weird one.  I have more to say on this and I will publish in a few days as there is more to this story. 

So until next time, Ragers and Ragettes, be thankful for your family and true friends.  They are blessings and are the most precious things in the world.

Lots of Love

The Fabulous Betty Rage xxxxxxxxxxx