A Different Day

Driving home after coffee with a friend today, I passed the cemetery. This is where the ashes of my late husband were put so many years ago.

I am not in the habit of visiting the cemetery. I don’t need to go there to feel near my DYS; he is here with me all the time. But today I was attracted to the place.

As it is so long since I have been there, I had to find out from the staff where he was. Once before when I went there, I told the woman I had lost my husband – but before I could explain she took me into the office and offered tea and tissues.

So today, I was very clear, explaining that it was a while since I had visited. So with map in hand, I found him.

 

it was a lovely day and a beautiful place to sit in quiet contemplation, thinking of all the years we had together, and the years I have spent without him.

It will probably be several years before I go back, but it was a lovely way to spend an hour on a sunny, autumn afternoon.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions,
they can take away your money, and they can take away your health.
But no one can ever take away your precious memories.”
Judith Baxter, Mother, ‘Grandmother, Sister,
Aunt and Friend

 

 

 

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Another week in the life of..

It has been a week of mixed emotions.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and as it was Mothers’ Day I was awakened by a visit from my son. A great start to a good day.

On Monday I wrote about a new life, the death of one friend and another friend who was spending time in the local hospice.

Wednesday was another mixed day. My grandson’s graduation and my friend’s Memorial service. A new life beginning and another one ending.

Vic

It’s at such times that I stop and think about all that is good in my life (I hope you do too). How lucky am I to have these four fine, upstanding young men whom I am pleased to call my Grandsons. And how lucky that I have a supportive son and daughter, and daughter-in-law.

Wendy’s life is now over, Drew’s new life is just beginning and I will continue to choose how I will spend the rest of my life – filled with gratitude, adventures, and love.

   Drew Graduation
My grandsons are all so tall – I look like a midget beside Drew.

And of course, no post would be complete without Mary Oliver

“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?” 

 

Another day in the life of

Yesterday here in Aotearoa was a beautiful autumn day, warm, bright sunshine and all was well with my world.

We welcomed Gabriella Isabel into this world and I celebrated with a proud grandmother.

At the end of the day, the news was not so good. I was no longer celebrating. A friend had succumbed at last to the cancer that was invading all parts of her body. She originally had breast cancer at about the same time as I had mine; I had radiation therapy, she had chemo.  A not unexpected death,  but hurt and grief nonetheless.

Next, I heard from a friend who is in the hospice for a few days while they sort out her medications. This is a woman whom I met following my misadventure in 2016 and who became a friend as we tried to get back into the real world. Unfortunately, her results were not as good as mine and were exacerbated when cancer was detected.

I mused deep and long on two friends, both of whom had the same problems I had but with such different results. And once again I thank whichever god is looking after me. Thanks for this fine body that knows how to heal and allows me to continue along this long journey we call life.

But then, my heart was lifted when I had dinner with my daughter, her friend and my number three grandson and girlfriend. Dinner was lovingly prepared for us by the young ones and much talk and laughter surrounded us for the next hour or so as we shared thoughts and told tales to each other. A perfect panacea.

So the day started and ended with joy. Then reading this post from my friend and sister-of-choice, Chris at Bridgesburning, (obviously written after I shared my day with her), I realised that this was indeed, a day perfectly depicting life.

So today’s another day. A day for meeting friends, sharing thoughts and rejoicing in the fact we are alive. And again more thanks for family and friends who help at times of loss and on whom I depend.

“To live in this world you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go.”
Mary Oliver

Guest Poem………

I have followed Wendy Mitchell on her journey with Dementia for some time. Here’s today’s post and I was so moved that I just had to share it.

Which me am I today?

I love sharing poems from other people living with dementia as every voice is important and if I can share that voice then that makes me happy.

I was recently sent an email from a lovely lady in New Zealand. She originally lived in Bradford and wrote “I was involved, way back in 1992 when Professor Tom Kitwood there ran his first dementia group” – how amazing…❤️

The other day Barbara emailed me this lovely letter and poem:

“Can I share with you a poem I wrote recently, in order
to try to share with other ‘how it is’, but knowing I could only do it
in advance by sitting quietly and letting the words flow. I found that
what I had written even surprised me, mentioning aspects I hadn’t yet
admitted to myself.”

She asked me to include her email at the bottom just in case anyone wanted to get…

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Living Up to Our Inner Hero

I can’t help wondering how I would react if put to the same test as Victoria’s mother. And now she is facing her own dilemma, This is well worth reading.

Cold

2010-07-27 23.55.01 A couple of days ago – on May 1st to be exact – my mother ambled over to me and eased  herself down onto our living room sofa, where I sat reading.

“It’s my anniversary,” she said.

Knowing that she and my late dad had been married in November, not May, it was clear she didn’t mean that anniversary.

“May 1st is when I celebrate going to jail,” she clarified.

In 1958, when my mother was nearly sixteen, she was caught trying to escape Communist Czechoslovakia and imprisoned. My grandfather, who had snuck back into his former homeland to retrieve his daughter, was roughed up, handcuffed and dragged into custody. In fact, he was hauled into the same cinder-block interrogation facility where my mother was locked up.

They’d been separated for ten years already at that point. My grandparents, who were viewed unfavorably by the new Czech regime (not only because they were…

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Andy’s Travels

It’s May 1 here in this far-flung corner of the world. Autumn is upon us, leaves turning colour and thoughts drifting to what I was thinking about on this day in earlier years. I looked back and found this post from 2012. Can it really be seven years since we had fun with Andy?
I enjoyed rereading this and I hope you will as well.

I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

Well we heard today that Andy’s next destination is Virginia Beach, Va.

Andy

This isn’t an area that I am familiar with and so I looked it up on our trusty friend Wikipedia.  I learned “Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay”.

I learned that the history of Virginia Beach  goes back to the Native Americans who lived in the area for thousands of years before the English colonists landed at Cape Henry in April 1607 and established their first permanent settlement at Jamestown a few weeks later.

I have read all the Kay Scarpetta novels by Patricia Cornwell and so I know that Richmond is the Capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia;  this is where the early the novels are set, Scarpetta being the Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth. …

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Making Memories, Finding Friends.

“Lazy Sunday afternoon
I’ve got no mind to worry
I close my eyes and drift away-a”
Small Faces  1960s –  an English rock band from East London 

Sunday afternoon and it’s here before anywhere else in the world. Well, this Sunday was great.

The day started with a late rising, followed by a chat with my daughter and then another chat this time on Facetime with my good friend Chris at Bridges Burning. We regularly chat and although we’ve never met in person, we are firm friends. Maybe if one of us wins the lottery we might get to meet. Waterloo, Ontario is far from Wellington, New Zealand. Aren’t we lucky we live in a time when the internet makes connecting with friends so easy?

Then after lunch, a ‘short’ run to the supermarket for a very few things. As my daughter says “why go to the supermarket on Sunday afternoon when you have all week?” No answer to that one.

Now it was time to sit in the sunshine and relax. So teapot and cup close at hand I logged into my site. I wondered what I had been posting about last year and the year before. I knew there wouldn’t be much in 2016; that’s when I had my misadventure.

Then I thought about the time when The Architect was first hospitalised and diagnosed with the brain tumour. What did I share with my blogging pals then?

I had been nominated by Cat at Catterel to take part in the Five Day Challenge – post a picture each day with some prose to accompany it. Well, I did that and as directed nominated another blogger each day to take part. Unfortunately, very soon after writing those posts, I was taken up with hospital and medical things so I really didn’t give those bloggers the attention they deserved. I have rectified it this afternoon.

Catterel a poet who was born in the UK, spent some years in Germany where she became a German citizen and now, after spending more than half her life in Switzerland, she has decided to apply for citizenship. Join her at Catterel.wordpress.com to see what else she has been up to.

So to Sallyann at Photographic Memories, Darlene at darlenefoster.wordpress.com; Patricia at Patricia’s Place and Granny at Granny 1947.wordpress.com, thanks for joining in and apologies again for not reading and commenting on your posts at the time. I have tried to remedy this but some posts were not available.

And Finding Friends? Well in reading the posts by the above-mentioned bloggers I discovered other bloggers and went over to see what they had to say. And now I have subscribed to some of the blogs.

I have a new friend. Marian Beaman was brought up as a Mennonite girl in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I’ve enjoyed reading about this. Her memories are so interesting: her childhood so very different from mine. Visit her at www.marianbeaman.com.

Barbara at March of Time Books lives in the UK.  Barbara  blogs about all things that interest her, “vintage books, postcards and ephemera” but as she says ‘you will also find me musing on many other topics.” Shoot over to her site to see what she is musing about now.

Barb at www.barbtaub.com Her blog is full of humour and easy reading for a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Chuck Jackson is a retired accountant living in South East Florida. He is a writer, having had three books published. You can read synopses and some excerpts from his books on www.chuckjacksonknowme.com

So another Sunday afternoon came to an end. There’s laundry to fold and dinner to make. But I shall go back to read more from/about these new friends soon.

“Many people will walk in and out of your life,
but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart” 
Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884 – 1962
 American political figure, diplomat and activist.

 

 

 

 

 

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On This Day

“If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.”
Wes Nisker author, radio commentator, comedian,
and Buddhist meditation instructor.
1942 –

On this day in 2012, as a reasonably new blogger, I wrote a Post on a woman who gave a kidney to her immediate supervisor and then shortly afterward was dismissed from her job.  This should be a lesson to all those selfless people out there who are considering offering a body part to an employer or supervisor.  Your generosity will not be appreciated and may even be thrown back in your face, as in this case where the recipient of the kidney said to the donor “Don’t expect to be treated special because of what you did for me”. A strange way to say thanks.

On this day in 1773, The British Parliament passed the Tea Act.  This Act forced Colonists to buy tea from the East India Company that controlled all tea imported into the colonies.  Direct action by a group calling itself the Sons of Liberty in Boston resulted in the tea contained in three trading ships being destroyed.  We are told by Wikipedia that “this was a key event in the growth of the American Revolution”.

On this day in 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opened.  The American Society of Civil Engineers declared it one of the modern Wonders of the World and  Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge “possibly the most beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world.

On this day in 1989, Beijing students took over Tiananmen Square in China.  In case you are too young to know about this thousands of students and other citizens started gathering in groups large and small, protesting many issues, centered on a desire for freedom and democratic reform.  By mid-May, hundreds of thousands of people occupied the Square.  Chinese authorities responded with a declaration of martial law, and on June 3rd  tanks and armored personnel carriers rolled into the square, killing and wounding many, mostly civilians – estimates vary widely, from several hundred to several thousand dead.

On this day in 2011, a lashing string of tornadoes tore through Alabama smashing buildings, snapping trees and ending at least 58 lives.

On this day in 2013, eight people are killed and dozens are injured after Taliban attacks on election officials in Pakistan.

On this day in  2014, two tornadoes from a powerful storm system killed at least 17 people in Arkansas and Oklahoma on Sunday. Authorities in Arkansas said the twister there killed 16. It touched down about 10 miles west of Little Rock and stretched a half-mile wide.

On this day in 2018,  Bill Gates announced he is giving $12 million for influenza research. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will partner with Larry Page, the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, to create a fund of $12 million to support research into  a universal flu vaccine.

So there you have it! And is it tea time yet?

Books - Baldacci

 

Six Word Saturday – Phobias

Really.  You say it’s Saturday again.  Time for Six Word Saturday

Six word Saturday button

You know what to do if you want to get involved.
Click on the above or on the link.  Now you’re all set to join in.

Trump’s phobia is  fear of sharks

We learn that he is Galeophobic which, Wikipedia tells us is “an abnormally
large and persistent fear of sharks.” So now we have found something which the all-powerful President fears.  What do you fear?

I used to be scared of cats – Ailurophobia is defined as “the persistent, irrational fear of cats.”  This fear was alleviated by a series of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and now I can even stroke my grandson’s cat. My late husband – the DYS – would be horrified. I always told him he couldn’t bring a Siamese cat into the house;  if he did so I would leave.

I don’t know that I have any other phobias, but I have an aversion to snow and Wikipedia tells me that is – Chionophobia – the extreme dislike or fear of snow. Of course, I don’t fear it, but having lived with it in both Scotland and Montreal I choose not to go where it is. I much prefer the beach.

“What are fears but voices airy?
Whispering harm where harm is not.
And deluding the unwary
Till the fatal bolt is shot.”
William Wordsworth, English Romantic poet. 1770 -1850.

 

Notes
1.  I see that this post was started on January 27, 2018. I wonder what exciting thing drew me away from it.
And after publishing this post. I find that Six Word Saturday runs no more and the domain showmyface.com is available for sale.

 

 

 

They Shall Grow Not Old

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We Will Remember Them.”
LAWRENCE BINYON 1869-1943,
English poet, dramatist and art scholar.

Last post being sounded at North Beach, Gallipoli.
Photo Mike Bowers, Sydney Morning Herald

April 25 in New Zealand and Australia is celebrated in remembrance of all those who have fought, suffered and died in wars. In both countries, it is a Public Holiday. Services of Remembrance are held throughout both lands. And on this day, in Gallipoli in Turkey, those brave souls who suffered and the many who died are also remembered.

During my recovering period in 2016, my number three Grandson Drew took me to an exhibition on Gallipoli. What follows is what I wrote after attending that exhibition. 

After a nasty accident that caused severe brain injury, I spent seven weeks in hospital and at ABI rehabilitation.  Now thanks to the teams at both places I’m well on the way to recovery. Back home again and ready to post on my blog.

One of the most annoying aspects is that with brain injury driving licences are suspended for six months until a doctor certifies you can drive. So currently I’m very dependent on family, friends and Driving Miss Daisy to take me around.

The entry to the exhibition

 

On Tuesday this week, my No 3 grandson Drew took me to our National Museum, Te Papa (Our Place in Maori) to see the Gallipoli Exhibition  This tells the story of the landings on April 25. 1915

On that day, thousands of young men, far from their homes, stormed the beaches on the Gallipoli Peninsula in what is now Turkey.

For eight long months, New Zealand troops, alongside those from Australia, Great Britain and Ireland, France, India, and Newfoundland battled harsh conditions and Ottoman forces desperately fighting to protect their homeland.

IMG_0700

Larger than life sized models

By the time the campaign ended, more than 130,000 men had died: at least 87,000 Ottoman soldiers and 44,000 Allied soldiers, including more than 8700 Australians. Among the dead were 2779 New Zealanders, about a sixth of all those who had landed on the peninsula.

New Zealand sent more men to fight in the First World War per head of population than any other nation. Of those killed, almost a third were buried half a world away in unmarked graves.

This exhibition tells the story from the standpoint of those young men.  It is incredibly detailed and we are shown where they stood their ground against an incredible army of Turks.  We see how they lived and we hear readings of letters home.

IMG_0699

 

One of the standout officers was Lieutenant-Colonel William Malone (1859-1915) , a Stratford farmer and lawyer, who commanded the Wellington Battalion at Gallipoli. The Wellington Battalion landed at Anzac Cove on 25-26 April 1915. Malone soon began to impose order, transforming weak defensive positions along the Anzac perimeter into strong garrisons. Between June and August, he helped consolidate critical positions at Courtney’s Post and Quin’s Post.  Just one of many no doubt.”

What a terrible waste of so many young lives, and yet, over a century later, we continue to send our young people to war – doing the same things all over again and expecting different results. Will we never learn !

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