Bitter & Sweet

You know what I love about getting up early? Absolutely nothing.

We were up this morning at 5am and out of the house at 6.15, heading to Brisvegas to clamp eyes for the first time on Master19’s new unit. I’ve been keen to see how The Boys are coping without their mums to pick up after them.

But there was much to do before we got to his place.

Firstly, CJ is generously donating a number of household items to The Boys’ cause (plates, cutlery, electric fry-pan,etc) so we needed to stop at his mum’s place to pick them up. Mrs C had a lovely morning tea ready for us of pikelets, cake and tea, which was most welcome. Naturally the conversation centred around CJ’s deteriorating condition so there were hugs aplenty. As it is Mrs C’s birthday tomorrow we cheered her up with a Devereaux rendition of Happy Birthday, which is loud and sung simultaneously in an assortment of keys.

Then we drove up to the hospital to visit with CJ himself, who is having tests done and his treatment tweaked. More hugs and another uplifting, multi-keyed Happy Birthday ensued, as CJ’s birthday is Tuesday. Sadly, CJ’s treatments now seem divided into two categories, one which will kill him quickly but allow him some quality, and one which will kill him slowly but have him a bit ditzy. I don’t know how he stays so strong in the face of such choices but his handling of his nearing demise is truely inspirational. I only hope my sense of humour will be so resilient when death comes knocking.

Finally we arrived at Master19’s place just in time for lunch, which we bought on the way – a couple of chickens, buns, lettuce, tomato and mayo. Simple but filling. Watching The Boys eat, you’d wonder they’d been on some sort of hunger strike. I think it was the first real meat they’d eaten in a week. There’s only so long you can go on 2 minute noodles and tins of spaghetti.

In case you’re wondering, Miss7, Master5 & Miss3 are showing you their Pokemon

First impressions of The Boys’ place was…..well, it’s a shocker. The yardwork is inclusive in their rent, with the grass being mowed once a month and so I’m guessing from the grass height (not length mind you, height) the guy from Jim’s Mowing was due a week ago. Of course the first thing he’d have to do was pick up the neighbours’ newpaper and scrap metal collection from amongst the grass trees – it was like a cyclone had gone through a recycling center.

Once inside The Boys’ place it was a different story: their unit was spotless. From the kitchen to the lounge to each of their bedrooms they’d done a great job cleaning it up for our arrival. I’m guessing, from the reflection in the floor tiles and the crispness of the made beds, they were up at the same time we were this morning.

And despite the lack of street appeal, I’ll say this for the units – they’re indecently close to the university. Master19 took me on a tour of Griffith and where he’ll be taking lectures. He asked me to keep my head down though, because him and other boys have been making fun of young university students who brought their parents along with them to O week. For the next hour I called him “Son” whenever someone was within earshot.

As we drove around Master19 told me there were over a hundred social groups looking for members. He’s decided to join the Criminology group because they visit prisons and the like, which he thinks will be good experience for when he’s job hunting. He declined to join the Gay Marriage Supporters, though. I think he’s worried about the social stigma lol. He told them he’ll happily sign any petitions they care to place in front of him but he’s not interested in buying the shirt and he won’t wear the badge.

It was lovely to have a full reunion of all the kids, even though he’s only been gone a couple of weeks. Despite calling Master19 every day (sometimes multiple times I’m almost ashamed to say) we miss him: there’s a void. It’s like we’re all waiting for Master19 to walk out of his room and demand lunch.

All up our whirlwind tour took 10 hours and was exhausting, but seeing CJ and Master19 today has lifted my spirits  🙂

What do you think?

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