It has been a sad year due to deaths in the family but there have been happy times as well.
My Dad died on the 27th February this year which was made worse for my sister as she was the one who found him. I am glad that we were able to spend time with my sister the evening before the funeral. She took us round to our Dad’s home so we could choose things we would like although I had already asked her if I could have the family bible. I have good memories of it so was happy to agree that the bible was either donated to a church or retained by the family.
At the end of May we rescued a staffie called Cassie who is a very happy dog. She has settled in well and is good with cats. Sadly our little Tinkerbelle died a few days after we got Cassie. She had been poorly throughout her three short years yet was a little angel. I am sure that Tinkerbelle knew she was loved and all the neighbours liked her.
We then got Grace who is a beautiful grey kitten with a white chest, tummy and white ‘toes’ on her hind paws. Grace has such a lovely nature, our friend Stewart has one of her sisters as well.
After that our eldest cat, Tasha, suffered an abscess behind her right eye so we took her to the vets. The vet who saw her managed to get quite a bit of pus from her face but Tasha was kept in overnight. The vet said that she believed removing Tasha’s eye was the best option but is the type who likes to get a second opinion. We collected Tasha the next morning and the vet we saw told us that she would be treated with pain relief and antibiotics. During the next two weeks more pus came from Tasha’s face so we could see a bit of improvement. Two weeks later we took Tasha back for a check up and were told to continue with pain relief and antibiotics. Both of us were concerned about this but as we believed the vet was making the right choice we continued with the treatment. A few days later Tasha disappeared which is unusual for her as she was a very timid cat who didn’t wander far. Last year Tasha disappeared for a week but came back looking dusty and it looked like she had been fed. This time we believe Tasha went off to die somewhere quiet. It has been a double blow losing two cats so quickly but we know they are in a better place and they are well.
On the last Sunday in October we got another kitten from the daughter of a friend. He is a beautiful ginger kitten who is very playful. It is funny having two kittens in the place and they get on very well, and, they even eat next to each other.
Since then my aunt by marriage to my mum’s twin brother has died and not too long after he died as well. None of my Mum’s brothers are alive now and only one aunt by marriage is alive. My Dad didn’t have any siblings and I don’t have any contact with family on his side anymore.
I have more contact with my sister now which has cheered me up more than I thought I would. It is something I hadn’t expected but I am really happy as I have always loved my sister.
For the first time since my Dad died I dreamed about him last night. It had been bothering me as I had dreams about both my parents before they died and I had dreams about my mum after she died. My Mum and I had a ‘difficult’ relationship; I wanted to be loved by her but didn’t feel loved, I loved my Mum but didn’t know how to love her how she wanted me to love her. For many years I felt so much anger towards my Mum because I never felt good enough for her and yet I don’t know how my Mum felt because we couldn’t communicate. Add into the mix that when I was in my twenties my Mum told me that my parents had included my son in their wills.
That may seem an odd sentence but I won’t expand as it’s not relevant to this blog.
After my Mum died over six years ago I soon started dreaming about her regularly. I found it wierd as we were talking and being completely normal in our relationship. Some time after her death I found out I had been written out of her will and my son wasn’t even mentioned. It didn’t bother me that I had been been hurt that my son wasn’t even mentioned even though legally he wasn’t entitled to anything anyway. It was the simple fact thar nobody had bothered to tell me.
It has been almmost four months since my Dad died and I was struggling a bit because I hadn’t dreamed of him. I loved my Dad so much even through the years I was very angry. What kept me going was that assurance he had died the way he wanted to at home and suddenly. It was one of those things that came up quite quickly with my sister and I wish I could have been with her when she found our Dad.
My sister and I had distanced ourselves from each other due to not being able to talk about what really matter and misunderstanding. If only I could turn back the clock and been completely honest with my sister and maybe our future would have been different. She is my sister and I love her more than she will ever know. I hope one day she will understand me better and how depression shaped my life due to being too ashamed to talk about it
My Dad’s funeral went as well as could be expected and the weather was beautiful. It was hard saying “goodbye” but I know he has gone to a better place, isn’t suffering and with my Mum. It was good to catch up with people that I haven’t seen for 6 years, except for one of my cousins whom I haven’t seen since our Nanna’s funeral. I enjoyed holding the newest edition to the family who was 17 days old on the day of the funeral. It brought back memories of my nieces when they were babies and the second youngest who is 7 months old arrived a little while later. We got to see the three great nieces and great nephew before leaving which made my day. All six children are beautiful and the older ones were well behaved for the short time we saw them.
I appreciated my sister giving me the family bible which I will always cherish. It brings back good memories which is how I want to remember my Dad. My sister’s one request is that it is either donated to a church or kept within the family which is an easy one to honour. She gave me three old photographs which includes one of our parents on their honeymoon. My sister found three of my reports from primary school which made me smile and I have them along with some books, glass tray with a dish and lid, candle holder and ring holder, an ornament that we bought for my parents, a glass ashtray and a ltter holder with a letter opener knife. Most have good memories but most of the books are ones I want to read, other than the bible the only other book I remember is one of newspaper articles from WW1. It felt as if the big bust up we had years ago hadn’t happened. I always have loved my sister but I just didn’t like her for a while and it was a typical ‘the longer we didn’t communicate the harder it got.’ We have sent text messages and mewssages through Facebook which has been great.
It was a relieve to find out the my sister was able to book the funeral as we need to say our ‘goodbyes’ to our Dad. An autopsy was done which upset me a bit as he was elderly, frail and had his health worries. My sister asked me if I wanted to view my Dad’s body but I can’t face that and I want my memories of my Dad to be the good ones. I have mentioned to Rick that it feels a bit wierd that I haven’t dreamed about my Dad. When my Mum died I had dreams about her, still do, but none with my Dad.
This past week has been a bit different to the norm. Our budgie died aged about 7 so survived his ‘friend’ by 3 1/2 years and it does feel strange not having a bird in our home. On the other hand our youngest cat, Tinkerbelle, ‘chose’ to live at our neighbour’s home and the neighbour’s cat, Bella, moved in with us. We have a cat flap which Bella liked as it meant she could come and go as she pleased. Another neighbours cat, Sooty, also visits and I have a bowl of cat biscuits down permantly for him.
There were issues when Bella was put down and we got Tinkerbelle to the vets because she had sick several times. We knew the neighbour was keeping our furbaby in when she was at home but then I found out she had been locking Tinkerbelle in when she went out. Neither Rick or myself were happy about that. We knew Bella could get out of our home if she was in when we went out but that is completely different to locking a cat in. I let the neighbour know that Tinkerbelle was on a special diet and not to keep her in all of the time so we could feed her. There was an uproar and I was told we ‘were being cruel’ to Tinkerbelle by not letting her stay in the neighbour’s home. I made it quite clear we didn’t mind Tinkerbelle visiting but not to be kept in for so long. Now our lil Tinkerbelle, ‘who chose a new home’, is back to her normal self, loves curling up by my feet, spends quite a bit of time with us and hasn’t been sick. She still goes to see our neighbour but doesn’t attempt to go in.
I wish I could say it’s been a tough few days but it’s been over two weeks now. Mary seems to have gradually got better which I am thankful for and I believe in prayer. So many people have prayed for Mary as she is loved for who she is. She has learning disabilities yet she has lived perfectly well without extra help for at least all the time we have known her which is over two years. We went to see Mary on the return home from our brief visit to London. Soon after we got home we had a phone call from Mary’s grand daughter to let is know Mary has been taken to James Cook Hospital for surgery.
Mary’s life has been sad. Her father was murdered in a pub which we found out from her youngest brother, Steven. Mary went out shopping for her mother one day for vegetables then on her return found her mother dead in the bathroom. We have been told by Mary that she has been married twice. The first husband was the father of her daughter and died years ago then her second husband was violent but died some time ago. We also found out that Mary’s eldest brother died two months ago and she still doesn’t know. Steven asked us with other friends present whether he should tell her or not. We all agreed it would be better to wait until she is better. Mary’s daughter has had her problems including minimal(?) learning disabilities and having a violent ex partner (husband). She has four children who all have their issues. She is also disabled now.
It’s been hard enough dealing with Mary’s diagnosis of bleeds on the brain causing falls or falls causing bleeds but we are also having to be strong for Mary’s family. What has helped me going is that I believe God is looking after Mary and is relatively pain free. Getting to know Mary’s family has also helped. May’s daughter and grandchildren are vulnerable and need love / support. I have grown to be quite protective of them without knowing them very well. They are in desperate need of unjudgemental people in their lives.
…. to waste it but I am suffering the opposite problem of not getting enough rest. I am completely exhausted at the moment and won’t get a ‘me’ day until Wednesday.
Yesterday was a long day as we had our last Encounter session. It is amazing how quickly the past year has flown by. I have changed which has included becoming more confident and finding it easier to speak out about what is important to me. We have one more session which is the commissioning one and I don’t have a clue what will be happening that evening.
Over about the past month I have heard about five deaths. Two are people I don’t know, one lady called Iris who went to the Shildon Methodist Church lunch club and another lady called Eileen who was one of the founders of Woodhouse Close Church. The saddest death has been a two day old baby. The mother is a paid member of staff at the church and she must be absolutely devasted. She and her partner have another child but that doesn’t make it any easier as they need to think about her as well as dealing with their grief. I have written a poem so I am hoping she won’t be too upset by it.
It is at times like this I am thankful that I believe in God as it is a comfort and a source of strength. This quote from Luke 18:16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.” sums it up about children.
Life just feels pointless at the moment and I am just going through the motions. It takes time for me to get to sleep then when I do I wake up regularly. Last night wasn’t any different so I am constantly tired. I no longer get any pleasure out of anything I do yet haven’t got the energy to speak out that I don’t want to do volunteering for the time being. Even eating is a struggle now and I am losing the will to do even that. I know I should see my doctor but that feels pointless as well as I’ve already had my anti depressant – Sertraline – increased. Before that I was on Citalopram which worked for a while then stopped helping so how many times do I have to go back to get my head sorted?
For too many years I did what I told and kept quiet that I was a mother. Except. My parents hoped my son had gone away forever. He came back but my mother still didn’t want to acknowledge him. Her only grandson. My family ‘won’ in the long term. He and I don’t communicate. I have a grandson but I’m not allowed to be a grandmother. It hurts when I know someone becomes a grandparent and they can be one in the real sense. No matter how I try to put my pain to bed I suffer triggers but I can’t tell anybody. All I ever wanted was to be a mother to my son. Instead I hide my pain. Too many triggers. Too much pain. Will it ever end?
Death will be the only healing I will get. Too many years of being made to feel a bad person. I was never a good enough daughter for my parents. I was never a good enough sister for my sister. Too many years of being the black sheep of the family. Too many times of being accused of things I hadn’t said or did. I have made mistakes in my life but why should I be blamed for things I haven’t done?