Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Grown up thoughts and childlike ambition

“I'm still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid”

I don’t know what it is about those lines from the Elton John song but they are the ones that always stand out when I hear it.  I heard it again on the radio a couple of months ago and wrote those lyrics down in my diary as once again they fitted the way I was feeling.

I recollect watching the video on Top of the Pops and I seem to remember a queue of people toppling like dominoes.

I keep being told I am strong and people admire the way I am coping with so much.  I never thought I was good at hiding my true self but maybe I’m better than I think because there are times when inside I am as wobbly as a jelly! 

Just like the line in the song I may look like a “survivor” but inside I feel like a child.

Being a grown up is so hard.  Life is full of so many responsibilities and decisions.   None of mine seem to be getting any easier.

Once you have your own children they look up to you and think you know the answers.  Even teenagers who know it all themselves still need you to be there – an unseen guiding force perhaps?  Or maybe more realistically they need the person who puts food on the table and provides them with their personal taxi service!

My parents stayed with me last week and it’s been lovely to slip back into the comfortable position of being the child.  There has been someone else here to help out with the boys, to cook the dinner and take charge of the garden.

I really needed this time of someone else being here, taking care of me and I hadn’t realised how much.

When you reach adulthood and have your own family you like to believe you don’t need so much help.  Neither do you usually take kindly to it until something bad happens….

This week I’ve also been in touch with some of my cousins.

My dad is the youngest of nine children so I have lots of cousins and most of them are older than me.

When we were growing up in the seventies and eighties we seemed to have family weddings or engagement parties to go to every year.  I remember vividly being the little girl running around in my party dress.  Never quite old enough to join in with the big ones who were several stages ahead of me.

Some of my cousins used to take me and my brother out for the day – an image of an outing in an open top car over a hump back bridge spring to mind!

Sometimes I still feel like that little girl.  Unsure of how I fit into the bigger picture but jostling to be seen and heard.

Yet now I’ve been plunged into widowhood.  The word itself sounds old and forbidding.  It’s an experience not shared by many of my older relatives yet.  I’m out of sync and it makes me wonder even more where I belong in the grand scheme of thing.

I am a little child.  I don’t want to be strong or know all the answers, I want someone to hold my hand and show me where to go and tell me what to do.

I am thankful for my family.  My parents and others, who are older and wiser, who help me.

Mostly I am thankful that in the Bible it says God adopts us in his family. We are his children.

In Psalm 68 it says God is a “Father to the fatherless and defender of widows.”

For now these are the thoughts that I'm clinging to.

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