Monthly Archives: May 2019

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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