Category Archives: loss

Compassion and kindness

I really can’t bear seeing videos of folk on Facebook “doing good deeds” like handing out clothes or food to the homeless and less fortunate.

Who are they doing it for?  Do they really think that person wants to be splashed all over Social Media?  Maybe all they have left is a little pride and self-respect – which is torn away when they are used in this way!

Please don’t stop giving – don’t stop caring – but do it from the heart.

Show you care via fund raising, which raises awareness and inspires others to do the same.

Do it simply because you care about your fellow man.

Do it because you feel compassion.

Do it because you have a roof over your head and food in your tummy.

Please don’t do it for praise or for “likes” on Facebook – because when you do – you cheapen the act of kindness.

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Loss 😞

For 40 years you have been my step-dad.  You were never a major influence in my life but then, to be fair, I had my wonderful Mom to give me all the positive influence I could ever need, but you were always there, in the background.

You have always been a difficult man, but you were “our difficult man” and I have always understood and accepted why you were the way you were.

When we all lost Mom my sister broke all contact with you – saying she had only ever tolerated you because of Mom.  I couldn’t do that – I didn’t want to do that 😞  You were upset and confused at her actions, you didn’t understand.

You’ve been a lovely Grampy to the girls and a friend to the boys, again, they have accepted you for the way you are and have always shown you love and kindness.  You were there the night Lana was born and, along with Mom, you were the first family to hold her and meet your little granddaughter ❤️

Since Mom died, nearly 18 months ago, you and I have spent hours on the phone, both crying for our loss, supporting each other and reminiscing.  I’ve rang you every week to make sure you are ok, making sure you are eating regularly and inviting you over for for dinner and all those special occasions like birthdays, Christmas and Easter.  I know you have no other family and I knew Mom would have wanted us to maintain the relationship we have.

You stopped ringing me regularly a few months ago.  You stopped returning my calls.  You began to decline my invitations to come over and spend some time with us, saying you had made other plans.  I’m happy you are building a life without Mom, but does that mean we don’t fit into that life anymore?  When I spoke to you I told you that I worry about you when I don’t hear from you.  I’ve told you that I will drive over to make sure you’re not poorly.  I’ve also told you that you have my blessing to move on if you meet another companion,  you’re still young enough to love again.  I tell you your granddaughters miss “Grampy” and don’t understand why they don’t see you.  You forgot to ring and wish me or Cam a happy birthday.

I rang you today and you told me you were rushed to hospital last week, you’ve had cancer twice and you were experiencing terrible stomach pains.  They kept you in and then released you saying you were ok.  Why didn’t you ring me? You rang a neighbour to bring you home – instead of your family 😔 You were quite blasé about the whole thing replying “you couldn’t have done anything” but I could have cared and made sure you were ok.

I feel we’ve lost you, along with Mom, and that makes me so sad.

 

Another year goes by 😄

I had such a lovely birthday yesterday 😄 I began the day by completely exploiting 3rd and 4th born and demanding cups of tea in bed – I stopped after 4 cups as we ran out of milk – I have a sneaky suspicion they tipped the milk down the sink to stop my nonsense 😳

I decided to take them swimming – they thought what a wonderful Mommy I was – taking them swimming, on my birthday – but I had a good book I wanted to finish 😄 So I sat by the side of the pool, drinking, yet more tea and reading happily.  I randomly waved and chuckled at their antics – well actually, I didn’t have my glasses with me, so I had no idea which child I randomly waved to – but I’m sure I struck lucky a few times 😜

1st and 2nd born picked us up from McDonald’s afterwards.  The girls have gone past the Happy Meal stage and now have adult portions – but I still have my Happy Meal 😜 – brilliant Nerf toys inside the Happy Meals at the moment 😜

We went home where the boys had bought me beautiful yellow roses and chocolates as well as a birthday cake 😍 which was lovely because my sister also bought me a birthday cake the day before and I had eaten it already 😃

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Jeff bought me a new little fish which I am busy bonding with 😍 I’ve named him Podrick and I’m over the moon with him!

I missed my Mom loads yesterday ❤️ She always made every birthday feel so special xx

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Have a lovely day folks xx

 

 

 

One year on ……

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21st March 2015 – one year on ……..

It’s been a long hard year without you.  There has been so many times I’ve heard or seen something and thought “Oh I must tell Mom about that” and then it hits me that I will never be able to do that again.

I still have your name on my phone, so everytime Paul rings me, it comes up “Mom” calling – and for that split second – I forget.

I had a dream whilst sleeping during the day, after a nightshift.  There was no one in the house, but I heard a noise downstairs.  In my sleepy state I remember thinking “It’s alright, it’s only Mom” I then laid there and thought I better go downstairs and put the tv on for you – you would be bored sat down there on your own whilst I slept. I then thought I should get up, maybe take you into town to look round the shops but I was so tired and fell back to sleep.  When I finally did wake up – and remembered – it made me so sad – so sad for every missed opportunity I had to spend time with you – I knew it was a dream – but I wished I had gone downstairs anyway – just in case.

On the brighter side, I don’t cry so much anymore – I know you would want us all to remember you with a smile on our face and laughter bubbling away inside.  But every now and again, when I’m walking Peppa I look up to the sky and wonder where you’ve gone.

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I can still hear your voice and your laughter.  I can still feel your poor little hands in mine and how I was the only one you let cut your finger nails.  Your hands were so twisted I would be laid on the floor nearly upside down to try and cut them – without cutting you.

I still haven’t been able to listen to our beloved Riverdance, but I think I will soon.  That music was ours, our shared love – and I know you will be kicking your legs alongside me when I finally play it again x

I hope you can see us all and share with all our happy moments and support us through the tough times we’ve had.  We’re all doing ok 😊

I love and miss you everyday – until I see you again – rest peacefully up your beautiful hills ❤️

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Memories ❤️

My Facebook status for this day – last year ………..

Took the girls up to visit Mom at the hospital this morning – they understand she’ll be on her journey soon and wanted to see her – Lana looked at me and said “Will there be tears today?” I replied “Hopefully not” ❤️

Afterwards I took them for some lunch before returning to school.  Lana said “Wait – before we eat, we must say Homen”

Me and Arowyn looked puzzled – till she put her little hands together, closed her eyes and said

“Dear Jesus, thank you for our food – Homen” 😊

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Happy Mother’s Day ❤️

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mom’s out there!

Happy Mother’s Day to all who never had the chance to show what wonderful mother’s they could be.

Happy Mother’s Day to all – because I believe everyone has mothered someone or something at some time in their life.

Happy Mother’s Day to my own beautiful Mom, who I miss every day since she passed away last year x

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❤️

I sat with her one afternoon whilst she was in hospital “Oh Mom, you have to get better, it’s my big birthday in August, you need to be there” she looked me in the eye and said “I’m not going to get better this time”  My heart was breaking as I then told her it was ok to go now, we were all fine, she need not worry anymore – she kept telling me she wanted to see everyone before she got on her train 😔 thing was she kept forgetting who she had seen and she hung on indefinitely ❤️

Last year on Mothering Sunday we were all at the hospital.  Me and my sister, our husbands, our step-dad and all 7 grandchildren.  We all took turns to sit next to Mom, holding her hand and wrapping her in the white fluffy blanket we had got her for Mother’s Day – she had the fluffy white rabbit that the girls had chosen, tucked in her bed.

We knew we were losing her this time 😔

Sure enough the following day she rapidly went downhill.  By the Wednesday she was no longer aware of anything, on morphine, so at least no pain anymore.

It was as if she had waited for Mother’s Day – to see us all together one more time.

Her train pulled into the station and this time wouldn’t leave without her.  She climbed on board on the Saturday morning.

I hope she can hear me when I say I love you Mom and I miss you more than you will ever know.

Happy Mother’s Day xxxxx

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Wisdom – my arse!

Dear Wisdom Tooth,

Why are you referred to as a “Wise Tooth?”

Now with a title called “Wisdom” I have viewed you as being the Gandalf of my teeth, leading them carefully through the vigours of life, advising the fat little molars beside you when it’s safe to chew or when to chuck that lump of toffee over to the other side to deal with!

I would have viewed you as the fatherly tooth to those incisors, who like to pretend they’re stronger and more sharper than anyone else in there – well I guess they are sharper, sharp enough to look romantic in a sexy vampire movie – and old fat molar going for the neck probably wouldn’t look as good!  However, I still rely on you as “the wisdom tooth” to keep them in line!

So if you are the Gandalf – the wise old tooth – why the fuck did you go in for the kill on Friday night with – lets face it – a small piece of “deep fried chilli beef” it was no where in the range of a tough old steak or one of “Nanny Beech’s hard butterscotch sweets – it was a soft bit of chilli beef from the Chinese Take-away – that I was so looking forward to after my crappy week 😳

You clearly didn’t assess the situation and just went in for the chew and – crunch – you are now fractured and broken 😳 and as a consequence you have cost me a weekend of acute pain, a visit to an emergency dentist, a course of antibiotics,  I am doped up with pain killers and awaiting your removal.

Don’t think for one moment the tooth fairy will come for you!

Not very fucking wise now are you! 😜

 

The Reunion

She was sat in the Foyer of the Hotel, a petite elderly lady. Her hair beautifully styled, her tiny hands twisting on her lap clearly showing her pretty pink nail polish, it was easy to notice that she had just reapplied a little perfume and powdered her nose.  There she sat, deliberately looking out of the window, almost as if she couldn’t bear to see anyone approaching.

I knew she was there, waiting, waiting for me.  I had waited 8 years for this moment.

I walked towards her, she turned, I held open my arms.  Her face crumpled and she began to cry.  I knelt on the floor beside her and wrapped my arms around her tiny frame.  She held me, stroking my hair, kissing my face and and softly whispered endearments to me

“You’re so beautiful” she said “I’ve never stopped thinking about you”

We both cried and held each other.

“I don’t know what to say to you” she said

“You don’t have to say anything” I reassured her “everything is fine”

“Did I do the right thing?”

“Yes” I smiled “yes you did”

She looked at me, holding my face in her hands and smiled

“You have your father’s eyes” ❤️

The mice in a tin leg ……..

The reason for starting my blog was not only to have a platform to waffle loads of thoughts that run through my head but also to leave something like an online journal for my children to read one day.  Not only so they could reminisce about all the humorous things they said and done but also to have an idea of what and who their Momma is/was and where she came from.

How many times I have thought “Oh I wish I had asked Mom or my grandparents about those things – What was it really like during the War as evacuees?  How did you manage?  How did you feel?” All those unanswered questions that I can never find the answers to now they’ve all gone.

My Mom wrote a short journal of memories which I pounced on after her death.  It gave me an insight as to the sort of child and woman she was.  We seem to view our parents as just that “Parents” never really giving a lot of thought to the “Individuals” they were and what shaped them into being the way they were.

As a consequence I`ve decided to write about my Dad.  Friends will know a little of the history of my Dad, and some of you may have heard me mention that he was an alcoholic – a very lovable alcoholic, never ever violent, he was also a compulsive gambler, which made our lives very hard from a financial point of view.

My earliest memory of my Dad was when I was 3 years old.  He was being helped in the front door by paramedics, he was on crutches and looked so very pale and ill.  In the weeks/months after this I remember him being in bed with a cradle to keep the covers off his lower body.  I don’t ever remember being told why or what had happened, maybe I`ve forgotten.  He had had his leg amputated.

Now one thing I do know is that my Dad was a Sportsman.  He loved football, cricket and horse racing.  I have photos of him as a young man playing for his football team, I believe he was only average but Sport was a huge part of his life.

Whilst playing in a cricket match he got hit in the leg by a cricket ball.  It bruised and didn’t heal properly.  After some weeks he complained to my Mom that his foot didn’t look right and his leg was still very painful.  She had a look, his toes had turned black.  I don’t know if he sought medical help then or whether he waited but gradually his foot and then his ankle turned black – it was gangrene.

I do know that by this time he was admitted to hospital where they told him they would have to amputate.  He had a deep-vein thrombosis in his leg.

My Dad refused surgery and said he would rather be dead than lose his leg.  My Mom told me she sat by his bedside and begged him to have the surgery – he would die without it – did he really want to leave her with 2 little girls to bring up alone?

By the time he agreed the gangrene had spread up to his knee.  Eventually he agreed.

As an adult I can`t comprehend such a major thing happening in my life that I was completely unaware of.  How terrible this time would have been for my parents – and yet – to my parents credit – life continued for me and my sister without any knowledge of what was happening.

So all I remember was Dad coming home after surgery.  Mom said he used to scream with pain – phantom pains in his missing leg and he was so very difficult to live with then.

Move on a few years and here was my Dad – with his artificial leg – made of tin – this was in the late 60`s – early 70`s – I’m sure things are more advanced now.

Here was my Dad – at the pub 7 days a week – even Christmas Day – coming home drunk with no money left to pay the rent or the bills.

Here was my Dad – refusing to ever come on holiday with us as he would miss a darts match or a cricket match, where he would umpire.

Here was my Dad – who was really no Dad at all to us – just a sad old drunk sat in the armchair waiting for the pub to open.

Here was my Mom – working 3 different jobs to make sure we had food on the table, make sure we were warm and had everything we needed.

It was no wonder I spent most of my teenage years thinking what a waste of space he was.  Seeing other Dads, supporting their children, looking out for them, protecting them and then there was mine.

Forward fast to my adulthood.

Here was my Dad – the most lovely grandfather to my Sons, gentle, kind, loving and fun – telling them he had mice living in his tin leg 🙂 – no longer drinking.

Here was my Dad – looking back with regret for losing his wife and children through divorce brought on by his unreasonable behaviour.

He passed away on 8 January 2000.  Emphysema and pneumonia.

I look back at my memories of him.  I can now see clearly that what drove him to drink wasn’t just a selfish choice but most probably depression from the lifestyle he had to adapt to.  The loss of his beloved sports and let`s not forget that in those times Men were Men, who had to look after their families – it wasn’t the done thing to show weakness.  How hard life would have been for both my parents and who am I to ever sit in judgement.

I can understand now.

 

 

Next ……….

I went to my lovely Auntie`s funeral last week.  It was a beautiful service for a beautiful lady 🙂

The service was held at the same Crematorium as we had my Mom`s last year, but in the smaller of the two chapels.  What really struck me was, at the end of the service, when they were playing her chosen music, the Minister went over to my Auntie`s Son and whispered gently “take your time, just sit and listen to the music, give me a sign when you feel able to leave and I`ll lead you out”.  It was lovely, respectful and thoughtful.

When my Mom was cremated last year, we were in the larger of the Chapels, I appreciate this Chapel was the busier of the two, because I remember at the end of the service as her music started, the Minister opened up the doors and motioned for us to lead the congregation out almost immediately.  My step-father and sister started to walk out.  I was obviously very emotional and distraught but even in this state, I felt a great sense of injustice.  This was “her music” our final moments with her – and I felt cheated and rushed.

I stood my ground 🙂 and I believe, subconsciously, refused to move.  The congregation stood behind me, not really knowing whether to walk out or stay, I physically couldn`t move until I had heard at least a little of her beloved Riverdance.  She would have howled with laughter at my behaviour, but joking aside, even now, I do feel cheated of her “last moment”.

I appreciate there was another grieving family behind us, also waiting to say their goodbyes to their loved one, however, this was me – saying goodbye to mine xx

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