Thursday, 29 December 2011

Last Year we had Snow and Fog!

A whole twelve months ago, sometime between Christmas and New Year we travelled to see my parents.  We’d already had the thick snow and slippery ice by then but this particular journey was hampered by severe fog.  You can read about it here – following foglights

We’ve just made similar journeys back and forth, actually making it to my parents for Christmas this year which was wonderful; I’ll be writing more about it tomorrow on re-ravelling.

This time around the visibility was clear and there was none of that white stuff hanging around.

I drove a new car.
In so many ways I am a different person, although paradoxically the same.

As I begin to look back over 2011 I can see how I’ve grown, how we’ve all changed and adapted to life without Andrew.

Sharp jagged edges have been rounded off.  Loose threads stitched in.  We are creating something new.

Youngest son just popped in to see what I am doing – delaying tactic he should be in bed reading by now.

“What’s this?” he asked picking something up from the desk.

There are some little angels in bottles by the laptop; each has a quotation tied round the neck (of the bottle not angel!)  I bought them for presents last year and never got round to wrapping them.

One has a quote from Albert Einstein, 

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

He was a wise man which is probably why he made it into our nativity this Christmas.

It’s a great quote too, especially at this time of year when we stand on the threshold of saying goodbye to 2011 and welcoming in 2012.

Now I wonder just what that 2012 bring?  

What I will be writing about this time next year?  

But most importantly and being frightfully British - what will the weather be like?

Friday, 16 December 2011

...and the names get less and less…

Last night I finally got round to writing my Christmas cards.

Last year I wrote none and maybe I have been postponing the inevitable wondering how I would feel writing our cards with only three names.

Actually it didn’t upset me as much as it might.

Receiving cards addressed to just “Mrs” and not “Mr and Mrs” has made me stop and think, but only for the briefest moment.

It was a card from one of my aunts that made me pause the longest.  Where there once were six names altogether there is now one missing from the top and one gone from the bottom.

I remember the time when every year there would be new names in nearly every Christmas card that arrived.  It was the time of the year when you found out about everyone’s new partners and additional children.  The address book then updated accordingly.

I remember clearly the first Christmas we added oldest son to the names at the bottom of our cards.  It was early morning and sleep deprived but wonderfully happy I sat on the floor by the bed watching Andrew and baby soundly sleeping as I leaned on a book and wrote in an extra special name.

There are times in our lives when we add names and periods when the names get fewer (actually is it fewer or less?  I’m sure someone good at grammar will correct me, it’s not my strong point!).

One day I’m sure the names on my card list will grow again as the next generation move on, get married and have children.  It the ebb and flow of life.

For this year I am grateful to be able to write my cards with a smile, wishing friends and family a joyful and peaceful Christmas, or whatever the printed greeting said.

The cards are supporting the British Heart Foundation because Andrew died of a heart attack, festive and jolly with a Christmas tree made out of presents.

On each one I drew holly leaves and berries in red and green, both in the card and on the envelope, just as I have always done since being a teenager.  It felt good to once more partake of my own little Christmas tradition.

I'm off to the post office now to send my greetings....

A Merry Christmas to you all!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Where’s that mad woman now?

It was about a year ago I wrote about a rather fraught and explosive incident I had in our local supermarket.

I was accused by being a “mad woman” by another shopper as my emotions and grief over-spilled at the checkout.  With an almighty roar I exclaimed I had a right to be angry as my husband had recently died.

Not my proudest moment but a typically very honest one.

So where is the “mad woman” now?

She’s a little bit calmer and wiser, adapting to a different life but the emotions are still there.  No longer as raw or as close to the surface but they do occasionally escape.

Far more often now it is when I am alone with my thoughts that the tears well up but now the sad tears are mixed with a sprinkling of happier ones.

It is astonishing to realise how far I have already come and sometimes I can't believe over a year has already passed.  Looking back is a good way of showing progress.

Looking forward shows a new way ahead but I always keep an eye on the photo of Andrew that sits by my laptop.  Ever smiling, ever present, gently urging me to not get mad and not stay sad.  Still encouraging me to carry on.