It’s ten years now since my mother died.  She had lung cancer and spent the last few months of her life in palliative care at a Sydney hospital.

My mother never smoked so it is rather cruel that she should suffer from a disease generally associated with smoking.

I had spent the Y2K new year with her at her home in Wauchope on the mid north coast. Together we watched TV as celebrations of the “new millenium” were shown from cities all around the world.  By mid January I was back in my rented apartment on the south coast.  I still clearly remember the day in late January when she called me.   After telling me of her diagnosis, she started to cry –  saying that she was only just getting to know me. ( I had told her of my transness in late 97 and had transitioned in late 98.).  So we were both crying a lot over the phone that night.

A couple of months later her partner called to say she had been admitted to the local hospital.  The next day I drove 8 hours to see how she was and sit by her side.  She had a loving partner and good friends there to ensure her needs were met so after a week I returned to the south coast and work.

By June she was transferred to a hospital in Sydney which made it easier for my brothers and sisters and their families to visit her often.  It was also easier for me and my daughters to travel to Sydney to see her.  As time went on, she was less responsive to us as she was very heavily medicated.

One Friday morning at 4am I got a call from a brother to say that our mother  had not much longer to live.  I jumped into the car and drove the 3 plus hours to Sydney.  My brother greeted me outside her room with the news that mum had died half an hour earlier.  The tears flowed as I entered her room and kissed my mother gently on her forehead.

I miss my mum.  She was very accepting of me and we were closer than ever after I was able to live as myself.


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