25 Years – Silver is the colour

Mr. and Mrs.

The New Mr.and Mrs Seadog – 1989.

Twenty five years ago today

I became the proudest man alive

as she walked down the aisle.

I looked in to her eyes and saw her smile

and I knew I was doing the right thing,

Now here we are 25 years later, still in love.

 

Happy Silver Anniversary my sweet,

I loved you then,

I love you now,

and I will love you forever

xxx

What Goes Around….

For My Mum

A-penny-for-those-thoughts

Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away into the next room

I am I and you are you

Whatever we were to each other

That we are still

Call me by my old familiar name

Speak to me in the easy way you always used

Put no difference into your tone

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we always enjoyed together

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was

Let it be spoken without effort

Without the ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity

What is death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind

Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you for an interval

Somewhere very near

Just around the corner

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost

One brief moment and all will be as it was before

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Malaya Slides005

Mum,

 2 years ago today you were taken from us.

Two years on the pain of your loss still hurts. especially today.

R.I.P. my lovely Mum, I miss you so much.

Always in my thoughts, forever in my heart

All my love always

xxxx

a-mothers-smile

Two years later, and I’m back where I was when Mum died.

The same restaurant, the same place, the same people….It’s a tradition here that for anniversaries of a loss of a loved one, you go to a church to offer prayers ( which I haven’t managed to do ) and then get balistically drunk, which I intend to do.

It’s been a strange day, being here, reliving those awful days, especially today, looking at the clock, thinking this time two years ago, she only had x amount of hours / minutes left to live…and knowing now, that I had already seen her for the last time…

Sadness, tears, and a general feeling of loss and grief have been my companions for the last few days.

Time to move on, Mum would have hated it to think that she was spoiling our holiday.. so for today I’m wearing black and I will raise my glass ( more than one! ) to my dear lovely Mum.

Tomorrow is another day…..

With special thanks to Christina who has been through so much more than I have, and come through all those dark times, and Kathy, in whose footsteps I now follow.

Thank you to everyone that has written words of support and kindness.

I can’t tell you how much you’ve all helped and how much  I appreciate your kindess

xxx

Memories Of A Life Passed – Two Years On

Mum in Hospital Feb 2011 

I’ll never forget our last words and sights of my Mum… We were leaving her house about 10pm on the 28th June 2011. We had taken some food round for her, and she had eaten a good hearty meal for a change, and had come to the door to see us off.

She stood there in her night dress, with a light dressing gown draped around her to keep her warm, her thin pale face and white hair, with brown eyes watching as we got ready to go.

I went over and gave her a light hug ( not too hard because of her chest) and told her we would see her soon, it was only three weeks and that I  loved her.

She wished us a happy holiday, and said she hoped we would have a good time. Her last words to me were ” I’m going to miss you two ” I said ” I’m going to miss you too Mum”….

How prophetic that was.

As we got to the top of the drive, I looked back and I could see her standing there, 4ft 11 inches tall, a sad , forlorn, frail old lady who was  probably worried how she was going to manage without us and probably more than a little afraid.

 mum

Two years ago today, 28th June 2011 ( it was a Tuesday), was the last time I saw or spoke to my Mum.

If you’ve read the entries from this time last year, you’ll know the reasons why, if you haven’t I’ll give you a quick resume.

My Mum who was 80, had to have open heart surgery ( risky at any age, but more so for anyone of the age ), to replace a heart valve.

Initially she made an incredible recovery -physically, though there was some evidence of memory loss, but overall she was making good progress….so much so that we arranged to go on holiday for a few weeks , before we knuckled
down to the serious business of primary carers.

I had set up all sorts of procedures so that she would have some contact with somebody every day that we were away, carers, family, etc. and it
was while we were away, that she had a fall and wasn’t discovered for possibly 36 hours.

It wasn’t that serious at first, so much so that my family didn’t even tell me that she fallen, and was in hospital as they knew I would be worried and besides, she wasn’t that ill…

Little did we know.

At some time post op, she had managed to get an infection in her chest bones, they hadn’t knitted together properly, and the infection finally
overcame her on the 14th July, just as we were about to get on a plane and get back home.

My entries from last year tell the story of that awful time, and the aftermath of her death.

 

I’ve had a lot of problems coping with her loss, blaming myself for going on holiday, not being there when she really really needed me, and also for not being able to say goodbye, and being able to tell her how much I really did love her, how much I was going to miss her, and all the other things I had wanted to say but just never got round to.

The first few months after her death were particularly difficult, and I spent most of them in a daze of shock, continuing with my life the routines that I had been involved in before her death, but with one massive exception

– Mum –

and crying a lot.

Tears would come at the most inopportune
times, whilst driving my car, out in the pub, sometimes just talking to friends, and for a period of time I honestly thought I was going to lose it completely and descend in to the dark black hole of depression.

Birthdays and Christmas’s were particularly difficult,  Mum used to phone up and sing Happy Birthday, something I quite liked secretly, and something I miss so so much now.

She would spend hours ( and fortunes ) picking cards for us, studying the words so that the card would convey exactly what she wanted to say,
and this became part of the Christmas or Birthday present-

Again something I miss so much.

We cleared her possessions, all her clothes, shoes, little things that were part of my Mum, then sold the house, it was like erasing her from our lives, and it hurt so much.

 

Now, two years later, my thoughts have come back to those dark July days and the last time I saw her, and these last few weeks have seen all the raw emotions and memories from that time resurfacing.

 

Kathy from Healing From The Loss Of A Parent recently posted an entry “ Living in The Present “ in which she describes her feelings and state of
life after her Mum died.

She talks of living in the past, and of how grief makes you do that, and also of how you can get stuck there. She has emotionally been through what I’m going through now, reading her posts are almost as though I had written them.

Her words and experiences, descriptions of emotions and states of mind and how she has dealt with them  have really helped me. For me, the most important part of her entry is

But true acceptance of what has happened helped me to move forward and move into the
present. I still think about my mom every day. I still miss her. But I am now living again, and living fully in the present. It’s a good place to be, and most of the time I feel at peace.

 

My Mum would not want me to spend the rest of my life in mourning, remember her yes, never forget certainly, but mourn her forever…. no.

She would want me to get on with my life, and enjoy it, rather than existing in a world of shadows and grief.

 

This has got to be my aim, my goal.

If I don’t come out of the shadows

What choice is there for me?…….

I’m going to miss you Mum.

Christmas 2003

Christmas 2003

“The Shy Butterfly” is Published

In August 2009 I reblogged an entry from Reconstructing Christina called “ You said “, possibly one of the best things I have ever read.

Click here to read You Said……

Christina’s story, her loss, and her struggle to rebuild her and her families life reached out and touched me.
Now Christina’s Mum, Penny, has published this book in Duane’s memory.

As Penny says, all the monies she receives will go to Christina’s family for now and in the future.
I’ve already bought it from Amazon, will you do the same ?

For Christina and Duane and their lovely brilliant family xxx

The Why About This

~

The Shy Butterfly

The Shy Butterfly is published. Now available at Amazon.com. As I write this announcement there are tears running down my face. When I first wrote this story six years ago, the inspiration for the story (which I shared with him at the time) was Duane Brownlee. My daughter’s husband.

the brownlee familyA man endowed with an amazingly happy outlook on life and people. His, a gentle positive attitude about living each day to the fullest. This then was Duane. Three years ago on the weekend of his son’s tenth birthday, Duane was struck and killed by a drug using motorist, just several blocks from his home. I was there, a tragic traumatic event, his family’s lifeDad with children changed forever.

They’ve carried on. Filled with the memories of his loving and happy nature living within each of them.

This book is dedicated to Duane and all my monies received from the sale…

View original post 181 more words

Getting to know you – Canon John Redford

Canon John Redford

Canon John Redford

Father John passed away on November 6th 2013.

Our loss is heavens gain.

R.I.P. Father John,

I wish I had met you in better circumstances, and earlier in my life.

You will be missed.

‘O God, who raised up Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman to be a model of those who seek for the truth and find it in full communion with the Catholic Church, graciously grant as a sign of his full sanctity the miraculous healing of Canon John Redford, who followed the same spiritual path, in order that he may continue his work of teaching and writing for your glory, who live and reign for ever and ever, Amen.’

In my entry
Still here – Another breath of life,

I touched upon my short stay in hospital due to being unable to breathe, and a bit about my treatment in there.
What I didn’t go into detail about, was my time on the ward, and some of the folks on it.

When I finally got moved from A&E to the Acute Medical Unit (about 11.00am in the morning , after a night on a trolley), there were a few characters already in residence, including one poor old man who didn’t seem to know or care where he was, having a conversation with the whole of the ward about his house and how who ever Henry was wasn’t coming anywhere near it, and amongst the other patients, an elderly gentleman in the bed next door to me, who introduced himself as Cecil, who was in for a suspected heart attack, which happily for him turned out to be a case of severe indigestion.

As most of my first day was spent either asleep or on a nebuliser to clear my lungs, I didn’t really take much notice, or have much of a chat with Cecil, apart from wishing him all the best when he checked out later that evening, and to wonder who was going to be next through the door and in to the bed to replace him.
This turned out to be a rather tall, loud, jocular,elderly, but very well spoken man, who looked and sounded like he was one of those people you either liked instantly or couldn’t stand.
He came over and loudly installed himself in to the bed, proclaiming that he “wouldn’t be long, he was only in for a “ procedure “ and that he should be out of the way by tomorrow “

There was something about this man, the way he spoke and what he was saying that made me pay attention, and instinctively I knew here was a fellow I could get on with.
He ( unprompted) told me that he was in for an “ exploratory procedure “ and had been recommended by a friend who thought he looked unwell, to go and see his doctor, who had  immediately sent him to hospital for tests for suspected pancreatic cancer, possibly terminal, and this operation was to see if it was operable.
He was quite accepting of his possible fate, saying that he was 76, he had a good life and that if it was his time then so be it.

As we were swapping our hospital stories, I realised that we hadn’t been introduced so I asked him his name, to which he replied “ John… John Redford, but you can call me Father John”
Ahh , a man of the cloth and a Roman Catholic to boot, God was indeed on my side, and had sent me my very own direct contact if things went wrong!

As we chatted, Fr. John told me all about where he had worked, what he had done earlier in life and that he was now working at a place called the Maryvale Institute, which is an International Catholic Distance-Learning College for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education, and that he was a Course Director there.
His whole demeanour throughout the conversation was cheery, with no sense of forboding from him as he told me about events leading up to his admission in to hospital, and about of his life’s work as a servant of God.
As we were chatting away, I saw the familiar dog collar of another priest, and assumed this was a visitor for Fr. John.

Well I was half right and half wrong, as it turned out that it was the hospital R.C. chaplain, and that he had come to see Fr. John and give him a blessing before his operation.
He was also our parish priest, a gentleman called Fr. Michael Ho, originally from Vietnam, a very inspiring man and also the priest that had conducted my Mum’s funeral.
He recognised me instantly, and though very surprised, greeted me with the words “ What are you doing here ? “

Resisting all impulses to give a silly answer, I gave him a quick resumee about the nights drama, and in return he gave me a blessing for which although I’m not really a “ practising “ catholic, I was very grateful to receive, before turning back to his original purpose of visiting Fr. John.
As they pulled the curtains round Fr. Johns’ bed for a modicum of privacy, I thought I would google Maryvale and find out a little bit more about “ Father “ John.

It turns out that “ Father “ John is actually The Very Reverend CANON John Redford ( which is considerably better than just a priest ) and that this Very Reverend gent was also a highly educated man, and an expert in his field, having published many books on his chosen subject.

After his blessing, and Fr. Michael had gone, we chatted some more before settling in for a night of what loosely could be termed sleep. The A.M.U. is like a short term general sorting ward where patients are put to get them out of A&E before they go on the ward proper, and as such is a VERY busy place , with patients coming in and going out to other wards ( or dying ) at all times of the day and night. The lights are on 24 hours, doors bang all the time, and in general it’s not a very relaxing place to be.

However, the next morning, we both awoke, one of us obviously more trepidacious than the other, and after wishing Fr. John good luck he was put under and  taken down to the operating theatre. When I awoke a few hours later, all his stuff was gone, and a new patient was occupying his bed…. ” How is  Fr. John? ” I asked nervously, just in case, you know…. ” Oh he’s ok said the nurse, we just moved him to another space because this one has got equipment that the other bed hasn’t got “

Phew.. that’s a relief, so I went over to see how he was getting on. When I got to his bed, there was a plethora of relegious folk there, Priests and Nuns, so I quickly asked him how he was,wished him all the best and told him I hoped his results were favourable. We said our goodbyes and that was it, off he went back home, off I went to my hospital bed for a few more days.

Because of the rush of Christmas, New Year and just living in general, whilst not completely forgetting about Fr. John, I had neglected to remember him, and for some reason today I thought I would have a look on the Maryvale website to check up and see if I could find out how he was.

To my utter shock and horror I was greeted by these words :

Novena Prayer to Blessed John Henry Newman for the Healing of Canon John Redford
Towards the end of last year, the seriousness of the physical condition of Canon John Redford was made known. He is suffering from an inoperable cancer of the pancreas, which the best medical opinion has informed us, if untreated, leads to death in six months, and if treated by chemotherapy would extend his life possibly for another six months.

The words in bold jumped out of the page at me, and I’ve been knocked bowlegged by this news.

Although I only had the pleasure of his company for a relatively short time, I liked this gentle old man immensely and I feel full of sorrow and regrets.
Sorrow for him, that he only has a short time left on this world, regrets that I didn’t meet him earlier, or keep in contact with him when I could have.
Fr. John himself would no doubt laugh at me, and tell me not to worry, he’s had a good life, we all have to go sooner or later,and if the Lord wants me to be with him sooner, then so be it.
The rest of the text follows on:

We would like to invite all who those wish to participate to pray for the healing of Fr John through a novena – nine days of prayer – for the canonisation of the Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman.
The novena will begin on Friday 11th January, to end nine days later on January 20th. Prayers of course can be said anywhere, but would be most suitable during Mass. Perhaps a suggestion might be to begin with a Mass for the intention of a cure and for the canonisation of Cardinal Newman on January 11th, and with a Mass to end the novena on January 20th.

We will be saying the following prayer each day of the novena:
‘O God, who raised up Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman to be a model of those who seek for the truth and find it in full communion with the Catholic Church, graciously grant as a sign of his full sanctity the miraculous healing of Canon John Redford, who followed the same spiritual path, in order that he may continue his work of teaching and writing for your glory, who live and reign for ever and ever, Amen.’

With profound thanks to all who will be joining us for this novena.
Dr Petroc Willey
Acting Director, Maryvale Institute

Father John writes:
‘There is no question that the cancer as it now exists in my body is lethal, and treatment for it is only palliative, not with any hope of a medical cure.

Therefore, it seems clear, if by prayers offered to God asking for Cardinal Newman’s intercession, this cancer was cured, that there is no doubt that this would be a miracle.

The fact that there was no known cure, plus the coincidence of prayers for the canonisation of Cardinal Newman, would make this a miracle worthy of submission to Rome as one at least of the miracles required for John Henry Cardinal Newman Servant of God to be elevated to full sanctity.
‘I must insist (everyone who knows me will know that I would insist!) that we follow the doctrine of Holy Church here.

The Church is quite clear that such a miracle for which we pray is a gratia gratis data, ‘a grace gratuitously given’. It is distinct from a gratia by which we are saved, such as baptism and the eucharist.

Those are the blessings of the New Covenant in the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which will never be denied to any member of the human race who asks for such a grace, provided that a response of faith is given by the recipient.
‘On the contrary, a gratia gratis data is a purely gratuitous gift, like a vision or a private revelation (cf. CCC 66-67). That special gift will be given only if the Lord wishes so for his own purposes, perhaps a purpose which we shall never know on this earth.
‘If therefore our prayers for a miracle through the intercession of Blessed John Henry Newman are not successful, we may not conclude that there is something wrong (for example, and as is likely, with me!) It will be simply that the Almighty, for his own reasons, does not wish a miracle to happen through this means.

Perhaps he wants me to go fairly quickly to be with him, as Paul said so long ago, to the Philippian Christians:-
‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If it is to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.’ (Phil 1:21-24)’

Which sums the man up so much better than I can.

I’m not a really a religious person, but if anyone deserves a miracle or help from up above, then Father John certainly does, so if you can spare a minute, and you don’t mind,  please just read the prayer at the top of this post.

I don’t know if it will make any difference, but it’s worth a try,

Thank you.

Canon John Redford

Canon John Redford

The passage of time.. Does it get any easier?

the-melting-watch
Time
 
Time – He’s waiting in the wings
He speaks of sensless things
His script is you and me….
 Boy
***
Time…. now there’s a thing… friend or foe….
When you are young, time is an unquantifiable thing..
minutes seem like days, christmas never comes….
You get a bit older & all of a sudden days seem like minutes,
and you are left thinking ” where did that go?”
  
gran-middle-aged
7 years ago today my gran died age 99.
after a short ilness caused by a stroke. She had had a long and eventful life, but time finally caught up with her,
and it was just 6 weeks from admission to final release>
This time 7 years ago, time seemed to stand still,
as we rushed around all the legal departments
getting certificates, and making arrangements
for her funeral.
There was the  sudden realisation
that there was no more time for chats, and laughs, sharing stories, and enjoying each others company.
We had spent most of Christmas in the hospital,visiting my Gran, and supporting my Mum in her visits to the hospital.
Gran-Young
That last night we saw her was  Monday 9th January
 and I remember my Mum saying that she
was worried about my gran as she was getting weaker
and more confused and strugglingto breath,
and that she wanted to stay at the hospital longer
as she had a bad feeling about her.
To be honest I agreed, my Gran was going downhill
but because she was such a fighter
I thought she would last the week out
and that she might pass on the Friday.
Mum reluctantly agreed and we went home about 10.30pm….
How wrong can you be?
At 2.30am the hospital phoned my Mum to say that my Gran had inded taken a turn for the worse, and that she needed to get there quickly as she was dying.
Pre-War-1933
How do hospitals and nurses know this?
How many people have received that call
and got to the hospital to find their
loved one gone or just about to go?
Mum called us straight away to let us know,and we got to the hospital about 30 minutes after she had died.
For my Gran it was a release, she was 99, blind in one eye,
very short sighted in the other, doubly incontinent, and pretty much deaf in both ears and had stated that when her time came, she wasn’t afraid of what was coming after,
just the dying part of it, and that
really she was quite ready to go.

Grans Funeral

My Mum spent the rest of her life thinking about my gran,
full of regrets and should have’s and could have’s…..
which is ironic really because that
is just how I feel about my Mum…
A-penny-for-those-thoughts
If only’s and what if’s??? 
I look back at that Christmas and this time then and think…..
Was that really 7 years go???
Where did those 99 years  of her life go?
Forever in my heart
Till we meet again……
 
 
Catherine – My Gran
24.12.1906 – 10.1.2006
99 Years 17 days
R.I.P
*****************************
I originally published a version of this a few years ago 
and have repeated updated versions every
10th January, in her memory 
.
She was a formidable woman, but I still miss her.
Does it get any easier as the years go by?
I don’t think it does get easier,the loss of any one close to you is always a huge shock whether they are old or not.
What has happened is that as time has passed,  I have become used to that person not being around any more,
My Dad, My Mum, My Gran, people that I have loved and that have died, as the memories fade, so does the pain,
until it is triggered by a date, a sound, a smell,
or one particular thought that floats in to my mind,
then all those represssed memories come rushing to the surface again, bringing with them that familiar ache of grief,
 and the clock starts ticking until the next event.
 
Time – friend or foe?
One day I will work it out
tears
 
Aside

Still Here…..

Well here we are, the afternoon of 21st December 2012, and well, here we are!

According to the ancient Mayan calendar, the world should have ended this morning at 11.11am UK time, and we should all be dead.

For some of us that is very close to home.

For all the poor souls that got killed in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday, and for their families the world has ended.

They sent their children and loved ones off to school, that Friday morning, to a place of safety and for 26 families their loved ones never returned.

How will they cope with this?

How can they cope with this?

As I looked at the pictures of the children that they showed on the TV, their eyes and faces bright with the light of life and living, full of promise, I couldn’t even start to contemplate the hurt and pain they must be feeling.

For them Christmas will never be the same, and whatever your belief, just think about them on Christmas Day as we all sit around the table laughing and opening our presents, because for those 26 families it will be the hardest day in their lives.

Who’s to blame??

Obviously the crazed manic that marched in to the school and started to shoot anything that moved.

The N.R.A. ?

The right to bear arms is written into the American constitution, a constitution written when America was a lawless place, and a gun was a necessity.

Fair enough, I appreciate that for some areas, it is still a lawless place, and carrying a gun for your own self protection is essential, but the killer had access to weapons that only professional soldiers should have access to.

Bushmaster rifle

Semi automatic assault rifles have no place in the public forum, they are killing machines usually used by professionals, not your every day Joe, and the time has now come to restrict access to them before something like this happens again

Another Breath of Life….

Breathing… it’s the first and last thing you do, from that first deep gulp of air to the last gasp as your body shuts down…it’s also something that we all take for granted, until something happens and you can’t do it.

For quite some time now I’ve had a flu like symptoms, which has caused me quite a few problems, shortness of breath, coughing all night, sleeping downstairs on the settee so that I could be upright, and  not  disturb my wife, so after a couple of weeks of this I went to the doctors for a bit of help, thinking he was going to say “ Sorry Seadog, you’ve got the flu, it’s a virus, there’s nothing we can do about it, sling your hook! “ .

Instead he said I had a “bad “chest infection, put me on antibiotics and told me to come back if it hadn’t cleared up…

Which it didn’t.

So 2 weeks later there I was, back at the doctors again, who this time prescribed more antibiotics, steroids and an inhaler…. and a chest x-ray “just in case”

I was still coughing violently though to be fair the steroids and anti biotics had made a bit of a difference, but it just wouldn’t clear up, so 2 weeks later, back I went.

The doc was very nice, discussed the x-ray with me (clear thank God) listened to my chest and gave me some more anti biotics and steroids… which almost did the trick!

The course finished on the 5th December, at which stage I was ok, but as the days went on, I got worse and worse, until Sunday evening when the coughing was almost too much to bear.

The more I coughed, the more I took the inhaler, the worse I got, until I just couldn’t breathe.

The only was I can describe it was it was like being so out of puff that I was heaving breathing, and being right at the top of my breath, not able to breathe in anymore or get enough air, so by now in a state of considerably mounting panic, we called the emergency services, as I honestly thought that this was it.. The Mayan end of the world was correct, just a week (is) out, and all my questions about heaven and hell were soon to be answered.

The paramedics were brilliant, they gave me oxygen and nebulisers a machine that creates a mist of chemicals that opened the airways ) and stabilised me for an hour before popping me onto a trolley and taking to the local hospital, where they gave me more oxygen and drugs to open my airways.

After a few hours, my breathing had settled and I started to cough again, which made me breathless again so to cut a long story short they kept me in for 3 days when they let me out again, not cured, but certainly better off than when I went in, with the diagnosis of acute Bronchitis as a complication of the chest infection that I had.

Apparently because my bronchial tubes were inflamed, my lungs were producing loads of stuff to help to calm the inflammation down, which because my airways were narrowed, I couldn’t cough up as the stuff was too thick to pass through the tubes, so every time I coughed, I was blocking my airways and reducing my lung capacity so much so I couldn’t breath.

I’ve never had anything like this before, and the ability to breathe (out of water) is something that I‘ve just taken for granted.

I’m now on inhalers that I have to take morning and evening though a spacer device, watching my peak flow rate (a measure of how much puff I’ve got) and waiting for hospital appointments various specialists to see whether or not it is / was bronchitis or maybe Asthma, with the instructions “if you have problems breathing, get to hospital straight away”

When I was at school (along long time ago) there were kids there with bronchitis and Asthma… we all used to make fun of them, it  wasn’t a serious thing ho ho ho , but how must they have felt then, knowing that maybe the next breath might be nearly the last?

For me, my stay in hospital was ok. The doctors sorted me out, kept me in for a few days enforced rest and fed and watered me regularly.

Some of the food wasn’t up to much, and we won’t talk about the tea, but for 40 years I’ve been paying my National Insurance, and when the time came, I got looked after., so a big THANK YOU to the staff in the wards, and to Britain’s N.H.S. which sometimes (correctly) gets criticised heavily for lack of care and other issues not for right now.

Diagnosis wise my moneys on the bronchitis as I’ve been lucky and never had Asthma, or hay fever or really anything like that ( which is what made it so terrifying that Sunday night ) and I’m hoping that when I get to the chest specialist, he is going to give me the all clear, but it has made me think.

It’s made me think of a lot of things, sitting there on the ward surrounded by seriously ill people, some of whom were given the news that their next stop was either a hospice or somewhere to die, but the main one is that after all the trauma of last year and the upset of my Mum dying, despite the feeling of utter desolation and the depths of despair that nearly took me to the gates of hell, when push came to shove, and the choice to breathe or not to breathe had to be made, I chose life.

Perhaps this brush with the grim reaper is a watershed for me, an acceptance of life and death, and an appreciation that really, whatever you do, when your time is up, your time is up, and sadly for my dear mum, 14th July 2011 was HER time, and there was nothing I could have done about it.

mum-laughing-2

I will always miss her and life won’t ever be the same without her, but life is just that … life.

Which is a whole lot more than 20 children and 6 teachers in Newtown  have today.

God rest their souls, may they rest in peace, heaven has got 20 more angels now.

candles