Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Pressure, by J.C. Kavanagh

The award-winning Twisted Climb series

It's been a dreary, dark and damp winter season in southern Ontario, Canada. The lack of sunshine is a contributing factor to prolonging grief - at least for me. My Irish mother passed away last month after a nine month battle with bone and lung cancer. It was her wish to die in her home - no hospital or hospice for her. Whether we liked it or not, me and my two sisters (hereafter referred to as the 'bitch-witches'), were given the role of caregiver. The younger bitch-witch claimed that since I was an author and therefore 'unemployed,' as she put it, I should be the one to spend 4 days/3 nights per week caring for my mom. That might've worked except I lived two hours away, with no direct/close transit system to transport me to Toronto. To top it off, my truck died in the summer.  

Didn't matter to the bitch-witches. I received despicable texts and emails from the younger one, deriding me for not spending more time caring for our ailing mother, and at the same time, hurling abusive and malicious insults about me and even my children. My mom's mental health was deteriorating quicker than her body and she, too, after listening to their antagonistic statements, began insinuations and hurtful, snide comments, right to my face.  

We had sold our country home in the spring, but due to my caregiving duties, we were unable to find a place to call home. Everything we owned was stored in sea containers and with friends and family. So in the fall, after living on our sailboat for months, my partner and I moved to Toronto, signing a short-term lease on a downtown condo. The location was great as the transit system was a short walk from the condo and the trains/bus would bring me to mom's within an hour. 

However, the stress was building with every shift - to the point that it became a physical and psychological struggle just to get to her apartment. Not knowing what mom's state of mind would be and knowing that one of the bitch-witches might be in waiting, was eroding my own health. My heart would pound in my chest so hard that I thought for sure it was going to burst out.

It was during one of these episodes that I spent the night standing at my mom's bedside, praying. I truly thought I was going to die. "Please, God," I whispered. "Not before mom."

The next day, the nurse came to track mom's vitals. After she took mom's blood pressure, I asked her to take mine. She obliged. When she saw the results, her face dropped. 

"What is it?" I asked.

"I need to take it again," she responded. Pumping the cuff a second time, she waited for the numbers to light up the device. When the numbers were displayed, she peered at me in alarm. "Are you okay - do you have a headache - are you on medication?"  

"Why?" I countered, "What's my blood pressure?"

"It's 197 over 134."

"That's bad, right?" 

She nodded. "Perhaps you should go to the hospital. Blood pressure this high is a hypertensive crisis and a medical emergency. That's why it's referred to as the 'Silent Killer.' 

Well, as you can see from this blog, I made it through my mom's remaining days and was at her bedside when she passed. Putting her affairs in order should be completed by the end of the month. If I can get through just two more weeks of dealing with the bitch-witches as we clean out her apartment - I should be okay. 

Stress is a killer. If I had a hind leg, I would kick myself in the ass as a reminder to just let the badness flow over me - not through me.

I hate unnecessary, unjustified family drama. Which is why I could write about it so vividly in The Twisted Climb series and Jayden's relationship with her mother. While the drama is not pleasant, I offset it with tons of adventures and action and playful bits between the three main characters, Jayden, Connor and Max. You really need to check it out and see for yourself why this series won multiple awards.

So, stay safe and don't forget to tell the ones you love, that you love them!

J.C. Kavanagh, author of
The Twisted Climb - A Bright Darkness (Book 3)
The Twisted Climb - Darkness Descends (Book 2) voted BEST Young Adult Book 2018, Critters Readers Poll and Best YA Book FINALIST at The Word Guild, Canada
The Twisted Climb,
voted BEST Young Adult Book 2016, P&E Readers Poll
Voted Best Local Author, Simcoe County, Ontario, 2021
Novels for teens, young adults and adults young at heart
Email: author.j.c.kavanagh@gmail.com
Twitter @JCKavanagh1 (Author J.C. Kavanagh)
Instagram @authorjckavanagh


  1. So sorry you had to go through all that. Family can be stressful. Hope you find your calm again and write many more books. Thanks for sharing.

  2. So sorry you had to go through that. I'm fortunate to ahve only one sister and she was great during my mom's illness and death. Looking forward to reading a new story when you write one

  3. Thank you Janet. There's a new story brewing in the playground of my mind... ;)


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