I love surprises!

This is a ‘little’ post about my Mum. You’ll find lots of pictures of crafty creations as well .  Mum and I really enjoy crafting together on the few occasions we can, since we now live in separate states. I wanted to share the story but also some of the lovely things we’ve made.

I’d half finished a blog post weeks ago as I was thinking of Mum and all that has happened, especially over the last year or so. I posted about May and what this month means to me. You can visit (or re-visit!) this post here – https://richerfortravel.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/its-may-already/

What I couldn’t find the words to talk about in my ‘It’s May Already’ post was the fact that Mum faced one of her biggest battles last year, with breast cancer.  Last year we didn’t, as a family, talk about it a lot in public as it was a private battle that so many families can sadly relate to. Lots of Mum and Dad’s dear friends and family knew the situation and kept in touch and offered help when and where they could. It was especially hard to be living and working in another state being torn between commitments here and wanting to be there and offer support and love.

During the worst of the battle with the dreaded chemo, I was able to spend a few days down there but for the most part the hard days (and nights) were faced bravely by Mum & Dad. Even before the chemo, there had already been battles to face, both for Mum, for John’s Mum and for us. May 2016 was a horrid month. It was slightly chaotic, surreal and difficult beyond measure.

May 2016 started with a visit from John’s Mum. After a few weeks spending time with Nonna, we had a Saturday morning dash in an ambulance to Nambour Emergency Department after a bathroom fall.  The result was a broken femur and time spent in Nambour, then Buderim Private hospital. This meant Nonna had to delay her trip home to Hobart. John’s sister came up to Queensland to accompany her home when she was able to travel.

Nonna’s trip home to Hobart happened on a Thursday. That Saturday Mum was due to fly up here as she wanted to spend some time with us before the onset of the dreaded chemo treatment. Rather unbelievably, early that Saturday morning, poor Dad rang saying Mum had fallen at the airport but he could NOT dissuade her from getting on the plane. Mum continued on and boarded the plane, despite her incredible pain.She’d landed heavily and badly on her right wrist. Hobart to Sunshine Coast is a two flight exercise, since there is no direct option,meaning Mum had to disembark in Melbourne in severe pain and then board a two hour flight from Melbourne to Sunshine Coast.

As I waited anxiously at the arrivals gate at Maroochydore airport that day, I couldn’t help but wonder what we had all done to deserve such bad luck.  Mum arrived and was assisted off the plane by a couple of lovely fellow passengers, as she was in immense pain, struggling with shock and extremely unwell.  I will praise and condemn Virgin Australia staff at this point. From Hobart to Melbourne Mum reports that they were wonderful. They offered her a business class seat so she’d be more comfortable, given the circumstances, and brought her drinks and took care to ensure she was ok. The staff on the flight from Melbourne to Maroochydore can NOT be offered the same praise.  In actual fact, the uppity ‘hostess’ had stern words to me once Mum had disembarked in Maroochydore about her disapproval that Mum had travelled in the first place.  The difference in customer service, caring and empathy between the two lots of flight crew was astounding. This is not the place to talk more about that. Suffice to say I wasn’t impressed. There were other things to worry about at that point though.

Straight to Nambour Emergency Department we went. Many many hours later and we were finally sent home after poor Mum had endured a procedure to straighten her arm (under a local not a general) since it was broken in FOUR places. It was an earth shatteringly horrible procedure to witness and I only hope that I was strong and stoic for Mum as she endured this procedure under the guiding hands of the Emergency Registrar and the Orthopedic Consultant.  We dragged ourselves home after 10 hours in the Emergency Department and spent the next week ensuring Mum was as comfortable as possible before she headed back home to Hobart. My wonderful husband accompanied Mum back home since I was working (and kid wrangling) and planned to go myself as soon as possible.

I will always be glad and sad that Mum came to visit us in May 2016. I was thinking about this, no doubt, as I was pegging washing out one Saturday morning a few weeks ago.  We’d been up and out early to soccer and now the boys had gone out to get some birthday shopping done as it was my birthday in a few days time. I heard the car pull into the garage. I looked up and through the glass door into the garage and thought I caught a glimpse of Mum hopping out of the car.  I shook my head and thought brain fog was getting the better of me so kept going with the washing and chatting with my sis on the phone.  A few seconds later the boys yelled out to me to come inside and make Grandma a cup of tea! I went inside, wondering what on earth they were ‘on’ about and not long after that Mum burst through the door with a beaming smile and a big hug for her very shocked daughter! Surprise!!!

Wow. What a difference a year can make. After battling bravely through treatment and a myriad of nasty side-effects, hospitalisations and horrendous illness and fatigue, Mum was here and was ok. Of course there had been several visits up and down during that year but it was so poetic that Mum was here, twelve months almost to the day, after the last time she’d arrived.This time it was under much better circumstances. Thankfully…!

We all spent some lovely time with Mum while she was here. Here is a little bit of craft show and tell from the ten days when Grandma came to stay x x x





If you are interested in the crafty side of things, I have a demonstrator website also, at http://esthercolavecchio.stampinup.net where you can get ideas, browse the catalogue(s) and order from me online.

Mum was actually the one who suggested that I join Stampin’ Up! in the first place, so it is rather fitting that she features in this post. Proves that you should always listen to your Mum.

I’d love any feedback on our crafty creations or on the blog in general. Thanks, Esther 🙂


6 thoughts on “I love surprises!

  1. Esther this is just so moving & inspirational. What a time of it your family has had but what resilience. The thing that really shines through is the depth of love you all have for each other & the beautiful bond you share with your Mum. Just wonderful xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved reading your words Esther. It moved me to tears. I have a close bond with my Mum too and couldnt imagine all your have endured together. Moving, beautiful, thoughtful x

    Liked by 1 person

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