Monthly Archives: December 2011

Christmas survived

Well Christmas Eve was a bit weird.

 We went out with some very good friends, had a curry (as we have done for the last few years ) and had a good a surreal are we really  doing this, scenario.


At 8pm last Christmas Eve,, we had a phone call from my sister, who had come down to stay with mum  for Christmas.

We were just on our way out of the door to the curry house, and I nearly didn’t answer the phone, but as mum’s first call if in trouble,  I had to answer the phone. I would never have forgiven myself if it was THE call and I hadn’t answered it.


My sister wanted to know if there was a 24 hour chemist that she could go and get some extremely important drugs for my mum from…

For fucks sake! It was 8pm , Christmas Eve, where on earth was she going to get these drugs from?? Drugs that I might add I had asked my mum if she needed,  so I could go and get them for her earlier that week.


Christ , I nearly blew a stack, I couldn’t believe it, but happily I didn’t get to speak to mum, and say something I would regret , and my sister sorted it out.

8pm this Christmas Eve, there we were, the same curry house, same friends, but this time no call…

How much would I have given that night to have had that call???


Christmas Day passed off without incident, eating , drinking, my other sister and her partner doing their best to look after us, feed us , keep our glasses topped up, all having a jolly time…  

But.. it was different ..we were eating and drinking, making Christmas piggies of ourselves, skirting round what everyone wanted to talk about, but nobody wanted to spoil the fun, because we all knew that no matter how hard we tried, it wasn’t the same..and we all knew it never would be again, but we all got on with the day and to be fair surprisingly (for me ) Christmas day was …o.k.


Then came Boxing day…all the emotions that I’ve been stifling came out… it took the most ridiculous of triggers.

Mum used to like garden gnomes,and proudly kept a small collection of the aforementioned fellows in her conservatory,  and when we cleared out her house, my sister had most of them, and they are placed under a tree in her garden.


What set me off, was not the gnomes as such, but where they were…The last time (and only time before Mum  became too ill ) that Mum came  to my sisters house, she gave both the trees in the garden a big hug and declared her everlasting love for trees…and these are the trees that the gnomes are under.


The realisation hit me like a train. I nearly burst out blarting there and then, but I managed to hold myself together, and get to our room, where I spent an hour reflecting, remembering, crying my eyes out, listening to every sad piece of music I could find.


The rest of the day has been really surreal. To be honest I’ve spent most of it in the company of a certain Jack Daniels, drinking and trying to get some sleep, listening to old stuff on my laptop, reminiscing, remembering times, happy Christmas times, times that are going to be so different from now on.


First Christmas nearly over, New year next, another time of reflection and remberance.

Merry Christmas everybody!!


Bricks and Mortar

The House is a structure made of bricks and mortar

No more the sounds of son and daughter

Father and mother both now passed

Christmas has ended there at last


For 47 years on Christmas day

The House has rung to sounds of play

Of children shouting and opening presents

Beaming  smiles on their faces shaped like crescents


No sound now of excited shrieks

No smiles of happiness on childrens’cheeks

Just silence apart from a few creaks and a groan

As we all pass yet another huge milestone


No shuffling of an old ladies feet

No decorations or Christmas treat

No last minute wrapping in the midst of night

No smells of cooking when awakening at first light.


No presents cascading under the tree

No cracker jokes laughed at raucously

No Christmas dinner round the family table

All just memories now, like a Christmas fable


Time has moved on, the people are gone

Where there was life, now there is none

The House is empty, all is quiet and dark

When mums life ended, with her went life’s spark




Tuesday the 20th  was my birthday..

53 years ago in a far away land I was born at 12.20am weighing 6lbs 12oz.


This birthday more than any other has been very difficult for me, because of the year that we have had, the loss of my mum, the disposal of her assets and the family home ,and  the loss of all the ever present constants in my life.


I was not expecting much of Tuesday, my birthday is so close to Christmas that it gets swamped by the aforementioned  festival, birthday presents in Christmas paper ( grrrr! ) and birthday presents AT Christmas ( double grrr!! ) but I was expecting a day of reflection, a morose day, during which I would do nothing but think about my mum, and mourn her abscence.


I DID think about her quite a lot, and did shed a tear or two in her rememberance.  Every year she used to call me at sometime during the day, and sweetly sing happy birthday to me down the telephone, or if I was lucky, would sing it to me in person. She knew that because it was so close to Christmas my birthday would get lost, and she always went out of her way to try to make it special,  picking special birthday cards and  chosing the words with such loving care, that the card became a present on it’s own, because part of her gift was the time she had taken to pick the card with the right words in, and the message that she wrote in it.


Most years I didn’t really take much notice to be honest, but the last few years, as I’ve aged, and become a bit more aware and appreciative  of the effort she was making, I looked forward to her call,  her card, and that message in it.

Not having that this year, that annual birthday confirmation of love and care, has hit me hard. The realisation that she is never going to sing happy birthday to me again, has been heart breaking and I’ve not been looking forward to this birthday at all.


 I won’t even mention Christmas.


Ever since she died, I’ve been waiting for her to come and visit me, every night looking at her picture beside my bed, a tear in my eye, wishing she would come and see me,so that we could  catch up and spend a few fleeting minutes together. 

Every morning I wake up ( after a night of sleeplessness tossing and turning) disappointed….

until the night of the 19th December. ..

I can’t remember all of my dream, and the circumstances within, but I do remember stroking her hair, kissing her on her cheeks, and on her forehead, and telling her that I loved her and missed her so so much….

And then I woke up.. I couldn’t get back into the dream, and I don’t know if she said anything to me, I seem to think she did, but I can’t remember what she said…BUT after nearly 5 months, and the day before my birthday, she had made it.


I can’t describe my state of mind now, I’m still upset, but I’m not on the edge of  the  flood of tears that have been bursting out. It’s been close a few times, and I know there will be tear filled episodes in the future, ( Christmas probably when we toast absent friends at dinner )  but I feel like she has helped me accept what has happenend, and maybe, just maybe I’ve turned that corner.


I know that I’ll  always love her and that  I will never forget her, and that I miss her more than I could have  ever imagined. Hopefully , when my time comes, she will there with my Dad to guide me into whatever there is after this life.


 Well, that’s my BIG milestone passed.. I’m still here, and feeling strangely calm.

The next biggie is Christmas…She used to love it, the occassion, all the family round her.

Christmas is full of happy memories for me, thanks to mum, and all my family.

I hope it stays that way.

Christmas 2003