Hi, just a quick introduction about me and what my site is about. I am a 50 something woman, a woman in my prime, some would say. I would say just a woman, getting on with life and learning and discovering along the way.
I like to write. I write about anything and everything. It all depends on my mood, on if I feel I have something to say or if something just pops into my head and turns out to be the first line of a new poem.
I like to write about my life, my experiences or my perceptions of things. I have no distinctive style or agenda, just thoughts, the good, the bad and the ugly and I like to relay them here. Whether it is a relationship with ourselves, our families, our friends, or the world and planet around us, we all have relationships and we all have an opinion, an observation or an impact in those relationships.
I hope you enjoy this journey with me and I hope you can relate with some of what I have to say or at least that you may get a bit of a giggle sometimes. I wish you all the best in all your Relay shun ships…….
There’s a first time for everything. Sometimes its very difficult, other times, not so bad. It is inevitable that special occasions, also have a 1st time, with or without….
Soon it will be father’s day and it keeps popping into my mind. It is only 6 days away now and usually by now I would be looking in the shops, looking at the cards, carefully choosing which one to buy.
I don’t like one that is too sloppy, or ones with a picture of golf clubs or racing cars on them. My dad was never into golf or racing cars.
Choosing a card is often very difficult when you are choosing it for someone you love, because you ‘know’ them. Their likes, their dislikes, their little idiosyncratic ways, so getting the right card, must reflect that, right?
Sometimes the right picture has the wrong verse and sometimes the right verse has the wrong picture, but still, I keep looking, if not in that shop then another and another until, I get the one that is ‘just right’. Like goldilocks with the porridge and the bed. It has to feel right.
The gift, was always easy….. Smokes, fags, ciggies, cigarettes; and money inside the card to buy more cigarettes, or scratch cards, where the excitement would be mighty if he only won 2 euro to get yet another scratch card and say ‘ah I might win the big one on that one’ and he would laugh.
The kids would usually give him scratch cards, but I would give him the ‘few bob’ to go buy more ciggies. Sure he’d been smoking most of his life, since he was 5 he said. Picking up his parent’s butts off the hearth and drawing in the toxic smoke, deep into his lungs till he coughed and spluttered and coughed some more. It wasn’t a deterrent, he kept going, till he got himself rightly hooked.
At 29 he collapsed with pneumonia and was taken to hospital. I was about 7 years old then. Gosh, that is 50 years ago! ‘’If you don’t quit smoking, you won’t see 40” the doctor had told him, but what did he know?
Ah, he tried quitting a few times, that I remember. He tried the pipe. The smell was nice, I remember that, it was a bit like smelling food cooking on a bar b q, you want to eat it and the smell of the pipe, would make me want to ‘taste’ it. I thought he looked funny, like Sherlock Holmes, puffing away on it. It didn’t last, gave him headaches he said. Back to the cigarettes it was then.
The doctor was wrong. He did see 40, and 50 and 60, 70, 80…… but at 81, I guess it was his time to go. He died 9 weeks ago, unexpectedly. He had got pneumonia again, like he did last year also and the year before. This time though, it was his heart that gave up on him while he was in hospital. We were expecting him to come home again, after being pumped with antibiotics and steroids for the pneumonia and make another full recovery, but it wasn’t to be. For him I am glad it was quick. He always said he’d like a nice quick ‘belt in the chest’ when it was his time, and so his wish was granted.
As I type this, a photograph of him, smiling at me, I will wish him peace and blessings and tell him, that I miss him, and that I am glad the doctor got it wrong when he was 29.
So this year, there will be no browsing or buying a father’s day card. No cigarettes or money to be given. No scratch cards to excitedly scratch in anticipation of ‘the big one’. So instead of cigarettes, I’ll light a candle for him and watch the smoke as it flickers up to the heavens…….
When going for a walk is more beneficial than you may have realised…get off the couch and get out in nature
What does a walk in the park do? Clears the head, calms the soul, fragrance lifts the mood and the sight of the flora and fauna bring a sense of peace, no matter what the stresses of daily life.
I read a couple of books called ‘The Salt Path’ and ‘The Wild Silence’ by Raynor Winn a couple of years ago. Her husband had been very poorly, they had lost their house and their income. They decided to go walk the South Western Coastal Path, about 630 miles of coastline starting in Somerset and finished in Cornwall or Dorset.
They pitched a tent, where ever they could and lived on very little means. These books inspired me so much, and made me realise that really, we need very little in life to be happy and free.
A good realtionship, one, where one trusts that the other always has their back, two, that money doesn’t really matter that much, it just buys things and, three, how looks are deceptive and how we are viewed and judged by others.
During their walk, once other walkers realised they were actually ‘homeless’ and not just walking a bit of the ‘path’ for recreational reasons, they looked down upon them and viewed them as vagrants…. how rude!
What they discovered, along the way, was that her husband’s health was actually improving. His mobility and mind (you will have to read the book !) all much improved and much better. So what was it? Well, in the book (the second one) she refers to a small study that a university lecturer spoke about where ‘Secondary Metabolites’ that plants emit to protect themselves from the environment’ may be the reason why there was a CHEMICAL CHANGE in people who exercised in the natural environment. Facinating!
So we all know that going for a good walk can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, soothes our pain and restores a sense of balance and well being , but knowing that whatever it is that is emitted from the plants, may be responsible for the Chemical change, is more reason why we should get out more often, and look after our well being.
The first image is a picture of me and my shadow, Banksy style, holding on to the Red Robin to help lift my spirits as well as the sound of the actual robin as I walk by the lake, in the wonderful grounds of the Lough Rynn Estate..
We don’t have to see them, to know they are there, beside us. But when we still hear their voice, it makes the heart sing.
They say you forget, after a while, what someone looks like or sounds like, after they have passed away. Photos are always a reminder of their faces and in this day and age, we all have so many photos, thanks to our smart phones.
Voices are another matter, unless we have voice messages or video clips to physically hear them. However, today, after unpacking more of my boxes since my move I came across my old letters.
These letters are one my prized possessions. I have had them since I was 14 years old…..quite a long time ago. I knew they were packed away safely in storage but whilst they were there, my dear dear friend Jackie died. We had our last facetime in September, the night before she passed, and said our goodbyes.
Today I re-read her letters which she had written to me back in 1980. As I read them I could hear her voice, her expression, her tone, her giggle, her humour and her warmth. It was truly wonderful. In reading them she brought me back to my teens when we were full of angst, emotion, humour, confusion, sorrow and love….pretty much the same as I feel now, so nothing changes!
To Dear Jackie,
I still miss you, but thanks for it all. Keep talking to me.
Hello God, remember me I used to write you, when i was wee A little child so innocent, I write to thank you, and to vent. You were my friend when i felt afraid, You kept me going whenever i strayed I couldnt see you, but knew you were there Listening and watching and answering my prayers. So now dear God ive a favour to ask, Take special care of my dear dad, He’s left us now, gone back to you and its hard to feel happy when I feel so blue. I know i miss the sound of his voice And all the times that we’ve enjoyed Please dont let him feel afraid And tell him that the love has stayed. Thank you dear God, for always being there Even when life,, just doesn’t seem fair…..
like night and day, sun and rain, one will follow the other and its our response and attitude that helps us survive
I love the drama of this tree. Its, been striped of leaves, its provided shelter, its been battered and bent, twisted and straight. Its reaching up and dancing in the rain… Its survived and continues to grow…. Gotta respect resilience and endurance…
Death, of course, is part of life. When it comes to our door, it is very hard to navigate through the pain and loss, but grieving means they were loved, as were we.
When a flower, a tree or person dies it doesn’t do so, without leaving its mark, its stamp, its impact or its seed behind. It may be un-living, but it leaves something behind that keeps it alive.
Nine days ago, my father died. It was a sudden passing, unexpected. It has shaken us, his family and left us unsteady on our feet. I am still grieving the loss of my very dear friend, who passed, Seven months ago.
What I have come to know in this grief, is that I must go through this process, feel this pain, navigate a way forward through the fog and learn to live with the fact that I will not see them again.
What I also know, is that, even though I won’t see them again, does not mean that they are not with me or near me. I think about them both, every minute of the day. I talk about them both several times a day and I talk to them both, every day too.
My grief and pain for my dad is still very raw and I guess, I have had a trial run at grief, when I lost my friend, so I know what to expect.
I also know I have to be thankful, for the time that we had, grateful for the good times and blessed to know that I was loved by them and happy in the knowledge that I loved them both dearly.
It is never easy to lose a parent and even though my dad was 81, we still hoped for more time with him. There is never a good time to die, I guess. Having said that, I am glad he did get to 81, because so many people do not, including my friend.
Those of us left behind, are the seeds, the impact, the mark and we have been stamped by them, with their love and affection and it is that, which will carry us through the pain and gravity of the loss. We must hold on to the good times, remember them fondly and know that we were loved.
R.I.P Dad, til we meet again……
Voices, noise, placed on hands
Staring ahead, nodding
Wetted cheeks, can’t stem the flow
The oak box raised on the
Shoulders of black suits
Slow uniformed steps, synchronised
And I am there, following
Disbelieving somehow, that the patriarch
No longer will walk beside me, hold me, comfort me
And as he is lowered into the dark deep hole
My heart breaks open
And his love, his spirit, his soul is stored deeper in it