My mother was an angel. The perfect personification of the concept of motherhood. She'd make sure I never had to eat hospital food (unless I wanted to), she made sure I never had to spend 1 night in hospital alone (she'd sleep on a too-small couch by my bedside every night) and she made sure that when I was in pain, I'd never have to move an inch more than I needed to.
My brother - he was the rock. The one who kept the family going. He somehow, on top of studying for the most imporant exams of his life and running around after his sick brother, managed to inspire my parents to be strong.
But it was my father who kept me smiling, even during the tough times, when I, and everyone around me, couldn't see anything to smile about.
He's done many hilarious things to get me through pain - a few of them I've already talked about here before, more I'll be sharing later - but there IS a fine line between funny and annoying.
Over the last few weeks, I've been getting this treatment called Extracorporeal Photopheresis - the long name behind a very interesting treatment (read about that here) - that essentially requires me to stay out of all sunlight for 24 hours after each treatment.
I've been getting those treatments twice a week now for the past 12 weeks and because the hospital I've been getting it at is about 45 minutes away by car, I've had to cover up fully on my way to and from hospital.
To keep outta the sun in the long drive home, I'd lie in the car in a blanket so no rays would hit me.
My brother hated how, when he stopped at lights and I'd speak, he'd look like an idiot talking to a blanket. Naturally, I ensured he was engaged in conversation every time we'd slow down at some traffic lights.
The past few weeks though - Dad's been driving me back from treatments.
My dad, brother and I play a game called "Yellow" when we're driving.
It's a simple game... one you may well play if you have a few boys in your family...
If you spot a yellow car, and call out "YELLOW!" first, you're allowed to hit your opposition. Wherever, however, and as hard as you want.
Dad's usually the worst at it. Not only was he driving most of the time (meaning he couldn't inspect side streets and front yards for potential YELLOWs), he's Red-Green colourblind too... so in the precious milliseconds it took him to squint and figure out whether a car was yellow, orange or light red, we'd already have called out and claimed our God-Given right to a punch.
But after the treatments... considering I was stuck under my blinding blanket... I was at a CONSIDERABLE disadvantage.
Yet that didn't stop Dad. He'd still keep calling out yellow and claim his punches... giggling as I cursed in frustration from under my blinding covers...
I guess it would seem funny to you reading on... but YOU don't have bruises and red spots all over from his slaps and punches.