Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Friday, February 21, 2014

Coping Mechanisms

When living with chronic pain, life can by tiring, frightening and frustrating.

A chronic pain patient has to learn ways of coping. It can become an emotional battleground, fighting against feelings of fear, anxiety, depression and even guilt. They have to find ways of relaxing and trying to clear their mind from the pain which can so easily take over their life. They have to find a way of keeping their identity so they do not become lost to their pain. Their pain must only be part of them - it cannot be allowed to take over.

The same applies for people living with someone else's chronic pain. Whether they are the patient's partner, parent, child or friend, their life can also be tiring, frightening and frustrating. In some ways, perhaps more so. They can get tired of watching the person they love struggle, frightened of the future, frightened of never seeing that person be free of pain. The frustration and guilt at times must be overwhelming, because they can do little, or sometimes nothing, to make that person's life easier.  It can be soul destroying for someone seeing a loved one in constant pain.

They also have to find ways of coping and relaxing so that they can also clear their mind of the pain. It is possibly even more important that they do this, so that they can continue to support the person they love.

Living with pain is certainly not easy....but living with someone else's pain is possibly even more difficult.





I have always been lucky. I think there is something in my genes which makes me just accept my pain for what it is, and cope with it as best I can. Maybe because I have grown up with pain, I simply don't know anything different, so I can just accept it more easily than some people who have had a normal life, then suddenly develop a chronic illness or condition. They then have a huge adjustment to make and have to learn to deal with that along with physical and emotional problems associated with their condition.

When I look at my life, I try not to focus on the negative parts. That would drag me down....and I can't let that happen. In fact, I think I try to take the negatives and turn them into something positive. Most of my blog posts are about my face pain, which is an extremely negative aspect of my life, so it could be said that I focus on that too much.....but my reason for focussing on that is to bring much needed awareness about Trigeminal Neuralgia. This helps myself as well as other people with the condition. That is my way of turning something very negative into something positive.

So my pain may be negative, but if I can take something positive from it, it helps me to deal with it.

I also look around me every day and find reasons to smile, and there are always plenty of reasons. I smile because I love where I live. I smile because I love that crazy guy I am married to. I smile because my family mean so much to me. I smile because my eight year old fox-red labrador still tries to climb up beside me for a cuddle. I smile when the cat talks to me (she does....she really does!)

I smile because I have started drawing again. I smiled because Ian made a pot of chicken soup this afternoon and it is delicious. There was a glimpse of sunshine and blue sky while I was out shopping...that made me smile thinking that Spring is somewhere just around the corner. Then on the way home, I saw the snow on the hills......that made me smile too because they just look beautiful covered in snow.

There is always something to smile about.

My life can be tiring, frightening and frustrating, but finding things to smile about, I think, is my coping mechanism. That is what helps get me through life.

Everybody living with pain (whether their own, or someone else's) has to find their own coping mechanism.

Finding it is the hard part, but once found, life can become so much easier.



Friday, December 06, 2013

My Mum

I've written about my Mum before in the posts Dear Mum and Mother's Day. She has also been in a few of my other posts, so I am sure you will have picked up that my Mum was very, very special.

To be honest, I didn't think I would ever write the post which I am about to write. But today, something is just making me write it.

Four years ago on this very day, my family and I were sitting around my Mum's bed waiting and hoping that she could have as peaceful an end to her life as possible. And thankfully she did, just a few minutes after midnight, my Mum passed away.

My Mum, out skipping with her granddaughter
Right up until the summer of that year, my Mum had been in perfect health. Better than perfect, in fact. My Mum was in her element when playing with her grandchildren. She would be outside 'running races' or skipping with my young niece. If the weather wasn't good enough to be outside doing that, she had the grandchildren in the kitchen baking pancakes, scones and cakes. If they were happy, she was happy.

But at the end of that summer, my Mum developed an irritating cough. A lot of people in the area had a similar irritating cough so nobody, including her doctor, thought it was anything to worry about. But it became persistant, and was dragging her down. The doctor was doing all the usual things doctors do for irritating coughs, but nothing was helping. I can remember visiting and I got a shock....she looked ghastly.

The doctor was coming in to visit the following day, and when he did, I think he got a shock too at how fast she seemed to be going downhill. He had her admitted to hospital. She was put on oxygen and looked so much better. But they had to find out the cause of the cough.

Turned out my Mum had cancer of the kidney and it had spread, and obviously now her lungs were affected. It was so widespread, and nothing could be done. She had no symptoms other than that cough, so there had been no reason to go to the doctor earlier. The doctor showed us the scan, and I remember asking if they were sure that was Mum's scan. She only went in with a cough, and now we were facing this.

We got Mum home, and just tried to make the most of the next few weeks. My Mum just faced up to this with a strength which was amazing, but didn't really surprise us.

I have told people in the past that those seven weeks were the worst weeks of my life, but in a strange way, they were also the best weeks of my life. The times we shared were more than special. I stayed there most of the time and we talked, we looked through photos together or we played scrabble. We laughed. We talked more. Sometimes we didn't talk. Sometimes we just looked at each other....no words were needed.

My Dad, sister and I kind of held each other together throughout those weeks. Actually, I think it was my Mum who was holding all of us together. But we get through it. And now today, four years on, it still feels as though she should answer the phone when I phone my Dad. It still feels like she should be in the kitchen when I visit, making me those treacle pancakes. It still feels like she should still be there. And I have realised that I like that feeling, and I never want it to stop. I like the memories and I don't want them to go. My Mum will always be part of me, part of who I am. She will always be in my head and she will always be in my heart giving me hope and strength when I need it.

So today is just one of those days when we have thought even more than usual about my Mum. And she has been there giving me and my family hope and strength today as always. And I know she always will be doing just that. She was special...very, very special.
My Mum at our wedding in 1992

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Smile, and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone?

With thanks to Nikki Samuel for allowing me to share
I saw the this post on Facebook today by a friend, Nikki Samuel. I asked if I could share it here because it inspired this blog post.

The last few months have felt a bit like this for me. It's not lke me to get down for long, but yep, I got down. And I hate myself for feeling like that. One part of me was helping with the End TN campaign, trying to give others support, and smiling.

Yes, smiling.

But behind that smile it was a completely different story. It wasn't something I could just shake off. Ian could see it and worried and did everything in his power to help me. Some days I felt like I was crying.....but only on the inside. I was still normal on the outside.

The pain, I have lived with for most of my life now, so it wasn't that. I'm used to the pain. I'm used to living my life around the pain. But there were other symptoms this year like vertigo and the numbness on my feet and legs which obviously concerned me. There was a big worry to do with benefits this year too - that has definitely played a part in my mood. As well as that, my father-in-law has had two mini strokes recently. My own Dad doesn't keep the best of health. And of course, regular readers of my blog will know about me having lost my niece last year.

Who knows why we go on a downward spiral sometimes. Thankfully, I didn't reach the bottom (not even very far down), but it is certainly easier to go down than it is to climb back up. I am climbing up though.

But seeing Nikki's post this morning really made me think.....none of us ever know what is behind a person's smile. There could be pain, emotional issues, family worries.

Some people may wear their heart on their sleeve. Other people keep theirs well hidden under thick layers.

Neither way is wrong.....but sometimes we should remember that a person's smile could be hiding a whole lot more than we will ever realise.



Friday, March 22, 2013

Cherishing Memories

Today would have been my Mum and Dad’s 55th anniversary.
 

In 2008 we celebrated their Golden Wedding, and to be honest, I don’t think it crossed my mind at that point that they wouldn’t be around forever. Sadly, cancer of the kidney took my Mum in December of the following year. 


But on their Golden wedding we had a party, just a small family gathering, and we all had a great day. And that is what I will remember every 22nd of March.

 We had done a fair bit of planning in advance, which wasn’t always easy. I think my Mum and Dad developed radars at that time, which told them when my sister and I were either making plans, or trying to get information or photos without their knowledge.

We managed though.

One of the things we did was make a photo book, called “50 Golden Moments”, in which we listed fifty special memories. Some were happy, some emotional and some were probably just plain silly. But Mum and Dad just loved their book. Mum especially seemed to be on a high for months afterwards. She showed that book to everybody. When she went into hospital the following year when she became ill, she even asked for her book, so she could show the nurses and other patients.


My Mum and Dad had something special between them. Everything they did, they did for each other and the three of us. I consider myself so lucky.


It’s impossible to put a whole fifty years worth of memories into a book, but it is possible to cherish every memory. And that’s what I do now......I cherish every single memory.




Thursday, October 11, 2012


 Sometimes there are just no words.......


We travelled about 400 miles down south for my niece’s funeral on the 28th of September. It was a beautiful celebration of her life and I was able to spend some special time with my sister. There weren’t a lot of words between the two of us, because there really aren’t any at a time like this, but there were lots of tears and lots of hugging.

Hugs just seem perfect when there are no words.

I’ve been trying to get back into writing my blog since then, but then I think, ‘how can I start writing about my life?’ Everything seems so unimportant in life in comparison to what my family has gone through recently. Everything seems so trivial in comparison to my sister losing her 27 year old, lovely, crazy, beautiful daughter. 

But all the trivial things do still go on. Even for my sister.


People have said to me in the past that they don’t know how I cope living with chronic pain. I have no option. I just have to get on with it. Sometimes people are strong because they have to be, sometimes there are just no options. Being strong and coping are the only options available.

Now I hear the question being asked about my sister. But she will cope. She is strong. She has to be. And I am so so proud of her.

I only wish there weren’t so many miles between us.

We may be many miles apart
But we will always be close at heart

As I hold you in my thoughts each day
Wishing I could help in some small way
To hold your hand to help you through
And show how much I think of you
If only I could take away the pain

The way the sun can dry the rain

If only words could take away
The pain you feel every day



Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tomorrow

Over the last ten days, all of our lives have changed so much. The loss of a loved one is so difficult, but when that loved one is young, it just seems so much worse. But it is frightening how quickly life can change.

Thankfully, we had nothing left unsaid, but I think due to the suddenness, it has made me think a lot. We can't always take life for granted. Sorry if it seems depressing......

 ❀❀❀

Tomorrow

Take a moment and think of this
There may be no tomorrow
But today something could be done
Meaning much less sorrow

Don’t let things be left unsaid
Don’t let distance grow
Sometimes all it takes is a call
Just to say hello

Take a minute and do those things
To save yourself some sorrow
Do it now. Do it today
For there may be no tomorrow
E.S.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Sadness

Back in February, I wrote a blog post about how lucky I was to have nieces and nephews. About how much I love them. About how much they make me laugh. I talked mainly about one niece in particular. I called her my crazy niece.........

crazy, but nice crazy.

Today I can’t put into words what I feel. Sadness just doesn’t cover it. We no longer have my beautiful, loving, crazy niece.


I was Heather's Godmother and from a young age, she called me her Fairy Godmother. I called her my Fairy Goddaughter as well as my crazy niece. I loved her so, so much and I just can’t get my head around the fact that I will never see her again.


This pain is worse than any physical pain I could ever suffer.


My poor sister and my other nieces. My pain is bad but I can’t begin to imagine what their pain must be like.


All we have now are memories. And she gave us so many beautiful memories. I can see her face and hear her voice. I can even hear her singing those Abba songs with that voice of hers. I can hear her laugh. I hope those memories never fade. She was such good fun and her heart was just so full of love. She was a special girl.

When I wrote that blog post in February, Heather read it, then wrote a comment under it in the form of a poem. I will treasure those words that she wrote. When I read it at the time, it made me laugh and cry at the same time. Today, I read it and I just cried.

Part of it I think is appropriate for the whole family right now. She said :-

How lucky I am to have a family like you,
my mum and her sisters are the best
as mine are too. 

We were the lucky ones Heather.  We were so, so lucky to have you in our lives. We all love you and will miss you forever. 



Saturday, July 07, 2012

Papa

The 8th of July would have been my Papa's birthday. Had he still been alive, he would have reached the ripe old age of 101, and I could guarantee that he would still have had us all chuckling with laughter.

My Papa, was a fantastic man. A gentleman, but boy, could he make us all laugh with his antics. He used to do things like handstands and yodel and make funny noises just because he could, and of course, because it made all of his grandchildren laugh. He even used to go to the swimming baths and dive of the top dale and he was so proud of himself for doing so. When he was in his eighties, his GP saw him doing that and asked him to stop!

I could tell many a story about my Papa......all of his grandchildren could. When I was a little girl,  my Gran and Papa used to come to our house for dinner every Wednesday night. When my Papa was still working, I was allowed to walk down to meet him coming off the bus. On our way home, my Papa used to stop and buy me a bar of Fry's chocolate cream, a huge treat for me. I ate it on the way home, and he kept telling me "not to tell my Mammy!", which of course I didn't. Of course, then I could never finish my dinner, but my Mum was never the wiser about that bar of chocolate.

He played Santa Claus at Sunday school Christmas parties, and I was there, sitting on his knee as he asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I didn't even know it was him.  I think he had that "Ho-ho-ho" down to perfection. Just like the yodelling. And just like the Tarzan call. Yes, he used to beat his chest and pretend to be Tarzan. And he didn't mind where he was when he did it.......I'm sure he did it while he was jumping of the top dale at the swimming baths. I know he did it once while he was in hospital and had nurses running from all directions.

But there are three things I am sure we all associate with my Papa - Aromatics, Guinness and......the bookies. He always had a bag of aromatics in his pocket and dished them out to us all. Only one and we had to see how long we could make it last. For those who don't know, aromatics were little brown or pink hard cinnamon flavoured sweets. I always lost that competition. I always crunched. My Papa was not a drinker, but he did enjoy his Guinness and when I was wee, I learned how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness. Then........I was allowed some of that white frothy stuff from the top. And so, we come to the bookies. My Papa's regular haunt, which none of us were meant to know about. All he did was bet about five pence (yes, pence!) on a horse so there was absolutely no harm in it, but he liked to make excuses for where he'd been. However, his memory wasn't that great, so he often forgot something. Could have been the milk he was supposed to get from the shop. Or it could have been our dog. Yes, on more than one occasion, my Papa tied our dog up outside the bookies while he went in to put his wee fly bet on the horses, then forgot to untie him when he was going home. Poor Patch.....but he did love my Papa for all of those walks.

My Gran and Papa used to travel to California to visit my Aunt, Uncle and my two cousins. They used to love going over there, then after my Gran passed away my Papa went almost every winter for several weeks. He became known to all the locals, and I am quite sure he became known to many quite simply as 'Papa'.  Everyone just loved him.....and I can understand why.

When Ian and I got our first computer years ago, we brought my Papa up to our house so we could do an MSN video call (old fashioned Skype) with the family in California. He was no longer able to fly over there, so this was a big thing for him to be able to chat to them and see them. Ian and I had a lump in our throats at the end, when my Papa actually thanked the computer screen for letting him see them. I think it made us realise how special that had been for him.

Like I said at the start, he was a man who could make anyone laugh, but he was gentleman too. We all loved him so much, and to this day, we all still miss him.

On his ninetieth birthday, I wrote him a poem.

Papa

A lot of memories come back to me
Of what you were like when I was wee
With your funny sayings and conundrums galore
You could certainly never be called a bore

With a pint of Guinness, you were a happy man
You’d even let me pour it from the can
You’d let me sup the froth from the top
But when I got to the black stuff, I had to stop

You were always trying to get us to do acrobatics
And holding competitions for sucking aromatics
You taught us how to yodel....yodel-eh-hee-hee
But it never did sound the same coming from me

You made us all laugh with your Tarzan call
But when you did it in hospital, they thought you’d had a fall
They thought you’d maybe had a cardiac arrest
Until they found you beating your chest

Remember when you used to take wee Patch for a walk
You’d say you were just going around the block
Then the heavens opened and it started to pour
And two hours later you’d walk through our door

But you were bone dry, not soaked to the skin
Then you’d explain, giving me a grin
“I stayed out of the rain, I stood under a tree”
That was the explanation you’d give to me

Stood under a tree!!
My foot! Hee-hee
I know how you never got wet
You were in the bookies having a wee fly bet!

I’ve so many memories - too many to tell
It just goes to show you’ve done your job well
You’ve given us love and laughter too
And that’s why everyone would like a Papa like you!
E.S.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Dad

Today is my Dad's birthday. He is seventy-nine......not that you would know it. He certainly doesn't look that age. He has a perfectly full head of hair. With not a single grey to be shown.  He probably makes a few men a fraction of his age a wee bit jealous of what he has growing on his head. And more than a few women. (Including yours truly!)


But, I don't just love him because of his hair. My Dad is a special man. Very quiet, he keeps himself in the background, but should anyone need his help, he is right there. He's always been like that.

I'm not having a very good time with my pain just now, otherwise I would have been down to see him today. I feel bad that I'm not there to say happy birthday to him in person, but he understands.

He always understands.

He has lived most of his life with chronic back pain too, so he really does understand pain.

I hope he has a lovely birthday today. I know my sister will do her best to make it a special day for him.



EDIT

I wanted to add this photo.

This is the birthday cake which my niece and her friend made for my Dad yesterday.




Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter


When I was a wee girl, Easter didn’t mean lots of chocolate eggs.

It meant decorating a boiled egg then going to the nearest hill, and rolling the egg down from the top. Then of course, I ate the egg, no matter what it was covered in, even if the shell had burst on the way down. I peeled off the remnants of the shell, the grass and who knows whatever else, then enjoyed my egg.

A few years ago when we moved here, my niece and nephew came here to do the same. Plenty of hills to choose from, we all decorated our eggs, then off we went. This was a sight to be seen. My Mum, then in her early seventies, climbed a hill with my niece, nephew, Red, the dog and the eggs.

My Dad, my sister, her husband, Ian and myself all stood at the bottom to cheer them on.

So, the first egg was rolled......my dog saw it and immediately ran after it, caught up with it before it even got half-way down the hill, crunched through the shell and ate it. Then the second egg came......oh, this was a great game for Red. A bit disappointing for my niece and nephew as they didn’t get the chance to see their eggs roll all the way to the bottom, but what a laugh we had that day.

By the time the fourth egg was on it’s way, I was shouting to hold Red back. “No more eggs!”

Everyone just laughed, “But he’s having fun!!!!” I couldn’t argue with that. He was having fun. We were all having fun.

But let me tell you.....it wasn’t much fun in our house later that night. There was a rather unpleasant smell in the air!

Happy Easter to all my friends. But, please don't eat too many eggs at one sitting, whether they be the chocolate or the plain old boiled variety.





Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mother's Day


It's Mother's Day here in the UK today.

Another one of those days for people who no longer have their Mums to sit and think, "I wish....."

Well, actually, it doesn't take Mother's Day to make me wish that my Mum was still here. That happens every day and I don't suppose I'll ever stop feeling like that. I loved her so much and I miss her so much.

But I still consider myself so lucky that I did have my Mum for so long. I was in my early forties when I lost her....not everyone has their Mum for as long as that. So I look back and I appreciate every moment I had with her.

She was very special and I was very lucky.


I still am lucky.....I have been married to Ian for nearly twenty years. After I had been going out with him for a wee while, he took me to meet his Mum for the first time. I was a bit nervous, but when I met her, I found I had no reason to be nervous. I just felt relaxed in her company. Ian and I got married, she became my mother-in-law, and the bond between us has grown so much over the last twenty years.

She has always been there offering help. An ear to listen to me, and a shoulder to lean on any time I've needed it.

I remember being in Ian's Mum and Dad's house on the morning before we took my Mum to the Beatson Hospital in Glasgow to see the cancer specialist. We were trying not to expect a miracle, but we still really hoped for one. I stood on the doorstep before leaving their house, and Ian's Mum gave me a hug, which I will never, ever forget.

Being in her arms,  I felt like I was in the safest place in the world that day. She was trying to hold back her own tears and she told me to go and be strong for my Mum. And I did try my hardest to be strong for my Mum that day, and over the following few weeks. But at that moment, that morning, I just wanted to stay in her arms forever.

She is very special and Ian and I are both so lucky. We both love her so much.

Nobody can ever replace my Mum. But nobody could ever replace Ian's Mum either.


 
Mums
Mums are extra special friends
Who are always there for you
They are there during the good times
And the not so good ones too
They are proud of your achievements
And hold your hand if you are shy
They laugh when you are laughing
And hold you close while you cry

Mums are extra special gifts
And I am so lucky to have been given you
Because I couldn’t have had better
And I know for sure that's true
 E.S.

So.......back to Mother's Day.......a day when people are meant to show their love and appreciation to their Mums. But in my mind, people shouldn't need a special day on the calendar to show that.

That should happen all the time.




Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Crazy, but nice crazy....


My last couple of posts have been a wee bit depressing about coping and about all my pain, whether it be on my face, my back or those silly ribs. I never wanted to have my blog full of doom and gloom all the time because, as I’ve said before, I am a positive person and I do try to keep a smile on my face every day. 

I said way back in the beginning that maybe I should compose a list of all the things which make me smile. I reckon a list is kind of impractical since if I started, well, I don’t think I’d know when to stop. Yes, there are that many things........

One of the things, well, it's not just one thing......it's my nieces and nephews. I have plenty of them and a few of them now have also had children, making us Great Auntie and Great Uncle. (But weren’t we always great???) That does make us feel old though!!!
  
Just a few nights ago, we got the news that one of our nieces had delivered a nice healthy baby girl. A beautiful girl with a beautiful name. Nothing better than a new baby to make you smile.

It is nice having a lot of nieces and nephews. Nothing like getting a hug from them when you see them. Nothing like being given a drawing or a painting especially made for you. When I was a bit fitter I used to get into the kitchen with them and we’d make cakes. Icing sugar everywhere, but I loved it. Now nearly all of them are old enough to be making cakes themselves, getting icing sugar everywhere in their own kitchens.

I always had great fun when we have had them come to visit. From nail painting to climbing mountains. (Actually, it wasn’t a mountain, and we drove up, but it felt like a very long climb!!) But I always enjoyed their visits. Not always relaxing, but always enjoyable. Acually, sometimes it was relaxing..... I used to pay some of them fifty pence for a foot massage. And they did it! I think I’d need to pay more than that nowadays.

One of my nieces Skyped me this morning. She is living is Spain and tells me that she has now grown up. And she is only 26!!! She is a bit crazy. Actually, not a bit crazy......she is very crazy. But crazy in a nice way. I won’t mention her name, but many people who read my blog will know exactly who I am talking about. There is only one of her. (Thank goodness......I don’t think the world could cope with two!)

Seriously, she is my niece and I love her........but she is definitely crazy. I really shouldn’t say too much, because she is a bit infectious, and whenever I am around her, I do become ever so slightly crazy too. Nice crazy though!  Maybe not even crazy - just a bit silly. We have this thing about singing.  But neither of us can sing. But we both love to. Normally Christmas songs. Oh, and Abba songs. We just get louder and louder and more and more out of tune and drive every one else crazy. Not so nice crazy though......

Anyway, none of my nieces or nephews are any more special than the others. But some are definitely crazier! But whether they’re crazy, quiet, shy, whatever......each one of them has made me smile.

And I think that my ‘crazy’ niece may be an example to everyone.  I'm not sure that I would like her to grow up completely. Maybe none of us should grow up 100%.

It's nice to keep a little bit of silliness in your life.




Tuesday, January 10, 2012

By my absence, you may have realized that I have had another bad spell. I won’t bore you with the details. I’ll just say that I’ve been very quiet, eaten not much other than porridge and soup and have done an awful lot of sleeping. I know I normally do a lot of sleeping, but I have done a bit more than usual.

One of the side effects of the the tablets I take is that I sleep a lot. And when I sleep, I dream. Well, I used to dream a lot, but now, with the tablets,  I dream so vividly, but when I wake up, I can hardly ever remember what I was dreaming about. I just have vague recollections of places and faces, but nothing specific. I hate that. I want to be able to remember them properly.

As I said, I used to dream a lot, and often I remembered every little detail. I remembered the places. I remembered the faces. So much so, that it was a topic of conversation in the house and at work every day. And sometimes my dreams came true.......

A long, long time ago, I woke up one morning absolutely exhausted. My Mum and Dad both said I looked like I had never slept. Yes, I had slept, but I had been dreaming all night, one dream after the other. I started to tell them about the dreams.

I was in a pub with some friends and I met ‘this guy’. He was tall, dark hair, wore glasses, and he had a red jacket. He also had a red car. I didn’t know what kind of car it was. I just knew that it was a ‘nice’ car. By the way, he was also handsome. But if I had added that after the tall, dark bit, it would have sounded a bit twee. But he was.

Next thing, I was going out on dates with this nice guy wearing the nice red jacket......in that nice red car.

Next bit, well, this was the shocker. I was shopping for a wedding dress! I was in a wedding dress shop (where else?) and I picked the perfect dress. I then asked for shoes. The woman in the shop brought me silly looking shoes. All fancy brocade lacy shoes. Not me at all.

It was my life, chapter after chapter.....but I didn’t get to read the final chapter because my alarm clock went off.

So I sat that morning telling this story to my Mum and Dad. They knew what my dreams were like and probably realised then that their youngest daughter was about to fly the nest.

I went into work that day and told the girls, and it then became an expensive task trying to find this guy. I say expensive because we started going out for bar lunches every day. And every guy we saw was scrutinized. “Is that him?” they asked every time a guy vaguely matched the description. Nope.......I just knew it wasn’t my man. None of them were.

After a while, I gave up looking.

And you know that saying, something will turn up when you’re not looking for it - well, it’s true.

A couple of months later, I was out one night for a drink with my sister and a friend, when I met this guy. I have to be honest and say that my dream didn’t even enter my head at that point.

A few days later he took me out on a date. He was tall, dark, and yes, he was handsome (I don’t care if it sounds twee!) He wore glasses. He had a red BMW. He had a red puffa jacket.

A couple of years later, I went with my Mum and my sister wedding dress shopping. I knew in my head what I wanted, I had even sketched a picture of what I wanted. And guess what......second dress I tried on was the one I wanted. Then I asked for shoes. You know what’s coming, don’t you? Fancy brocade lacy shoes. So I had to get my shoes elsewhere.

So, seeing as we will be celebrating our twentieth wedding anniversary later this year, I think I can honestly say that dreams can come true.



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dear Mum,

Today, just like this day every year, I want to pick up the phone to say “Happy Birthday”, then to come down to spend the day with you.

But, sadly, I can no longer do that.

It’s been almost two years now, but it still feels so recent. It still feels like you should answer the phone when I call the house to speak to Dad. It still feels like you should be there in your house when I visit Dad.

It’s strange. The memories are there.....so clear. You’re there in the kitchen taking some treacle scones out of the oven. You baked them because you knew I was visiting. I can almost smell those scones when I think of it.

Your smile. Your eyes. So happy always.

I have so many memories and they are all so good. I’m lucky to have them.

I am so so lucky and so proud to have had you as my Mum.

So wherever you are Mum, my very special Mum......happy birthday xx





When God created Betty.......

He looked down on earth one day
From that throne of His above
And decided to create a special lady
Whose heart would be full of love
She’d have extra special qualities
Like compassion and understanding
And an extra special nature
Which would never be demanding
He added patience and thoughtfulness
And lots of kindness too
Then he mixed them altogether
And the end result was you!

Love you forever Mum