The first thing I remember is seeing my big cousin Shaun walking towards us, his eyes brimming over with tears. I knew it was bad the moment I saw him. I had never seen him this upset before, never seen a tear fall from his face, so I knew it must be foul news. We walked towards him and his wife Sarah, looking back the corridor seemed to stretch on for hours, when it was actually merely a few short strides. Shaun looked at my mum the full time, before greeting us with an unenthusiastic hello. “It’s cancer”, he whispered, the words must have felt like poison coming out from his sad mouth.
It was like someone had just came up and smacked me in the face. I couldn’t believe it. I know you heard about these things happening on the television and the radio but they never happened to you. Until then, this had been what myself and everyone around me believed.
I remember not knowing what to do, I was speechless, I had never seen my mother cry, properly at least, until that moment when everyone in my family’s world essentially came crashing down. I had been frightened, I felt like Shaun had ripped my heart out and torn it in half, the pain was so bad. I thought I would have cried at first, but I managed to keep the tears back, all we could do was stay positive and hope my beautiful big cousin Lee-Anne would survive this and make it through to live the brilliant life that lay ahead of her.
We walked slowly in silence towards the café, where we met my Aunt and Uncle, Lee-Anne’s brave parents. I...