Happy birthday! 

You may have noticed it’s been my birthday this week! I’m  of no massively significant age but I make a fuss of my own birthday! I get excited about my own birthday. I love opening cards and receiving messages. I get merry at the idea of a family get together with cake. Like a giggling toddler I rip open up presents and I love the dancing pink balloons.
Why?

I ask myself this. Why do I love my birthday? I’m getting older and wrinklier and my hips hurt now and again! My hair is speckled with some ‘alternative highlights’ and if I haven’t got my reading glasses with me it’s a major catastrophe.

In addition to this obviously I have no Tes. This week was the fifth birthday without her and all day I felt it like a heavy small but significant weight inside my stomach. I visited ‘her’ but as usual I get little comfort from her purple flowered plot with teddies and letters. Who would? I kiss the silver teddy with the letter T as I do ever time and I say …I hate you not being here. Then I blow her a kiss. And I leave.

So why and how do I still enjoy my birthday? I think the main answer is because I can.

 Because I’m healthy and I have super friends and a  partner who makes me smile and an AMaZInG son, and even a fab ex husband and his lovely wife and their gorgeous son in my life. I have brothers who tower over me that make me so proud. I’ve a mum that I’ve driven mad at times who loves me nevertheless and a step dad who is gentle and inspiring. I have nephews and a sister in law and grandparents and cousins and uncles and aunts.. . ……. and of course my lovely dogs.

I’m surrounded by hills and mountains and rivers and lakes and empty beautiful beaches . And there’s theatre and markets and galleries to visit.  There’s writing and painting and cycling and piano playing and photos to take.

This whole blog may be me, yet again, justifying how I can have fun despite what has happened.   Maybe I have to justify it to myself whatever the reason. This is why I like birthdays because ……I CAN.

Have a beautiful Sunday xxx

The message

I receive her text early in the day. I read it quickly. Time stops for part of a second.  I close my phone and I park the text in the part of my brain that means I can only go back there when I can give it my proper time.

After a 12 hr day, a presentation, two dog walks, caring for my boy with a temperature, cobbling some dinner together, putting away some washing, getting the bins ready….. I think about dealing with the text.
First I open some post. There’s one for Tes from the bank. They say now that she’s in Uni would she like to know about the right account for her. It’s my fault. I’ve still not found the courage to go in and tell them. And sometimes, I like getting post for her. 

I pour a glass of wine and get my phone out. I read her text again. 

She. My counsellor says. It’s been a while since we met, is it ok to close your file now? 

She says I can go back anytime.

I want to text. You saved me. But I know she’d say. No. You saved you. 

That’s what she’s like. She takes no credit.
She’s wrong and she’s also right. Her safe space and insight gave me hope and she taught me that answers and strength lay within me.

I’m scared to sever this tie.
I know it’s right after three years to let it go. Sometimes I’ve had as much of a break as 12 months.  Then I had to go back.  It’s taken 3 years, 5 months and about 9 days to finally feel I can let her go.  Properly.  My counsellor.  With that I wrap myself in guilt which I also know is ridiculous. 

I’d like to share my reply. I meant every word

Hi. Yes that’ll be OK as long as I know I can delve in if I ever need. It’s not an exaggeration to say that you helped me survive. I’ll never ever forget your kindness empathy honesty and humanity. That’s not just someone doing their job. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

My blog has never been to advise or to preach but I do believe in learning from each other. Good and bad. If you ever find yourself in a place where things remain heavy and blurry always ask for help, it’s not weak. It takes strength.

Love to you all this Sunday.

Xx

A day

This week has been a roller coaster. 

A level results day meant I found myself on a warm Thursday morning finishing my walk at 7am with Tes. Pooch runs through the gates of the church and bears left.   She knows her way to where I sometimes sit to hold the silver teddy bear inscribed with a T as I chat briefly to the open air.

Tears involuntarily appear but are kept at bay all day.  I couldn’t help but feel hard done by, deprived. Today I felt sorry for myself.  

With that I genuinely was excited for all her friends who were starting new journeys.  But I wanted her to be on that journey too. As I said. Today I felt sorry for me. 

A person can change all of that though.  It was an exchange of messages that day that also simply said …call over if you like. I declined saying I planned to spend the evening under a blanket.

However at about 9 I decided to wander over and found myself at a mini gathering of family and friends. We sat out, giggled a lot and of course consumed a few vinos. Children played. Adults laughed naughtily. Presents were opened. Dark chocolate brownies were consumed.   

Like that, one person changed my day. 

It made me think how we can change a persons day. We can even change a persons life. 

On the radio this week I heard about a guy who had been hospitalised for 5 years with huge mental health problems.  His life has completely recovered. What changed him? Understanding.  Listening. Believing.  Compassion. Love.

I reflected on my week and wondered had  I had made a positive change to someone’s day this week? 

I did catch a large spider for a receptionist that was about to faint!! I also made mum a filled burrito and we sat in the sunshine with a large pot of tea. Hopefully I made the new person at work feel comfortable and I’m trying to be a listening ear to a friend in need. 

The great thing about trying to make life a bit better for someone else, as cheesy as it sounds, is how much better we feel about ourselves. 

I can change someone’s day. You can change someone’s day. Imagine the world we could live in!!

Happy Sunday everyone X 

Which way?

I was walking early (again) this week.
The sun was just rising and its burnt orange body partly hid behind lit up grey clouds.  We passed the spaniel without problem but a gang of rebellious younger sheep were in the corner of the field looking quite mischievous. Their heads poked through the fence as far as they could stretch. They clearly felt that the grass was certainly greener on the other side. For pooch this gathering was too tempting and in order to protect me from these hungry animals she quickly gathered pace and began barking at them from her side of the fence. 

 She’s about 12 inches tall. She thinks she’s 112 inches tall.

The sheep for some reason are scared of tiny dog and run away. However one is a bit naughtier than the rest and I hadn’t realised this leader of the pack had managed to squeeze it’s woolly oversized body under the fence. Panic set in and rebellious sheep made a run for it down the narrow leafy road towards the village, followed by tiny pooch. After a promise of a treat pooch strolls back towards me and I get her pink lead out while we sort out this sheep situation. Pooch is far from impressed.
I walk towards the corner bearing left and see the sheep about 25 yds away, it has stopped and is staring at us trying to make out whether the threat still exists. I squash us into the hedges as I try to create as much distance as I can trying to pass but sheep decides we’re too close and makes a further dart. We’re now at the periphery of the village. I don’t have time to walk all the way back so I have to keep going, playing the game with the sheep.
Finally the sheep takes a right and decides to run into the drive of a bungalow. I quicken my step in the hope that I can get by and the sheep will feel safe. Just as I get to the house the sheep has got its timing wrong and started to come back to the gate. The sheep literally has a look of surprise (somehow) on its face and takes a quick step back to safety. Pooch and I pass without further crisis and sheep then makes a run for it all the way back to where we first met this morning.
As I walk on it made me think about decisions we make. Decisions we have to make on the spot or decisions we linger about. The fact being that quite often there are only a limited number of choices and that we either have the choice to face up and make a decision, to hide and hope the decision goes away or to let that decision be made for us.

I had a conversation with someone this week about the age old saying glass half full or glass half empty. I was questioned about my positivity. Why be positive, I was asked. It felt clear that based on what’s happened in our family this positivity wasn’t really understood. What’s do you get from making a decision not to be positive, I asked. 
These days there’s so much stuff about mindfulness and positivity that it can sometimes feel we’re being dictated to being a perfect  all practicing yoga eating kale and drinking green tea with the gaze of *smug* oozing from our perfect natural eyes. Rubbish! 

Positivity to me is making that choice to *try* to be positive.
Decisions can be tough. 

This week I walked across a park and saw a toddler with golden brown shoulder length curled hair. She held her mums hand tightly. Trusting. She looked just like Tes at that age. I was in the middle of a field and for some reason in that instant my whole body was in pain from grief. I stood and looked. I didn’t move and my brain was tempting me to stay put. I imagined briefly not going back to work and just sitting in the field until someone asked why. And then I would tell them why. Instead I decided to take one last look. Then I decided to walk back to work. 

Just like the sheep we have big and small decisions all the time. Making it as positive a one for you as it can be has to be the best option. 

May Sunday be very good to you!
Lots of love x Dwysan x

 

Tes.

It’s an understatement to say I’m no royal family fan however this week it was hard to read how prince Harry hadn’t spoken about his grief of losing his mum until the last 3 years. I’m on holiday in Spain when I read his words and it pinches at my heart.
We’re on holiday. Without you. Again.

We laugh. We swim. I take pictures. I walk alone through graffiti walled narrow lanes. We play cards. We do the crosswords and we literally jump through (inflatable) hoops. We devour books. We sleep without covers and we sit on balconies. We find  new ice cream. We try different restaurants. We eat chocolate for breakfast. We get on trains. We take in the beautiful turquoise sea. We watch people. We drink coffee overlooking the beach. We buy a ball. We chat to strangers. We walk on the hot sand. 

None of this I do without thinking of you Tes. Yet it’s still hard to stamp on the guilt rising in my stomach. I read prince Harry’s words and I worry do we talk about you enough?  Sometimes I stop myself. I don’t want to hurt or saddened anyone but I’ve learnt people aren’t saddened or hurt or even if they are they’re glad to hear about you even if sometimes they don’t know what to say.
I was lifted to hear your nephew talk on holiday about how you were good at sucking up ice cubes from a cold drink and balancing it at the end of a straw! You come up in coversation a lot. Some of it doesn’t hurt. Some of it is painful and I find myself on the train wiping silent tears away as a memory catches in my throat. A young boy sees me and stares. I look out of the window.
It was a lovely week Tes. You’d have loved it. 

Whether you’re spoken about or not spoken about you’re in our hearts and minds all the time and always will be.
I love you darling 
Mum

x x x

Living the dream?

I’m writing this on Friday at 12.21. I have to write while I’m waiting.   I’m waiting to go to Trystans funeral at 1pm. I woke up thinking about it and inevitably about Tes. My mind wanders and worries about everything I possibly can and then I got up.

I open the dark brown curtains of my bedroom. I’m surprised by all the mist hiding the stone bridge and the tops of the cottages. It’s going to be a beautiful day I thought to myself. Of course it is.

I wanted to find a quote for some reason. To sum up these feelings inside. The feeling of love, life and loss. Also the feelings of hope.

There has to be hope.

I finally come across one.

Live your dream, don’t dream your life.

I thought it encapsulated what I knew of Trystans very well. He seemed to be living the life he had dreamed of.

I then left the house early and walked in what had now turned into beautiful sunshine. Lolly took our usual turn to the left as we got to the top of the hill but today I carried on. I wanted to be somewhere new. I wanted to feel.  To see.  To hear. New things.  I think I also wanted my mind filled with the enormous quiet empty peaceful space. There was no sound bar the quiet rumbling of a tractor in the distance. I stop to gaze at the beautiful view of the rural emerald countryside.  It’s magnificent.

As I keep walking I thought about the quote and gave myself a bit of a talking to. Are you living your dreams Dwysan? I asked myself! No. Not all of them. And with that I made a few decisions in my head. Some big. Some small. I’ll keep you posted!

I must leave now and say goodbye to a friend. A young man who lived his life.

Let’s all live our life.

Now.

X

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What if?

Where to start this week. On Tuesday I came home to learn that a popular and kind young local man, also a friend to both of my children and myself, tragically  died in a car crash.  I grabbed a chair to support my legs as the news seeped in.  I’d only seen him on Sunday and in a second he was gone.

It’s a terrible terrible feeling to think of someone we know now treading the same path as we do.  For families  who’ve lost their child.. it feels like a secret club because there are no words that express the loss or to express what has to go on to make you get up ever day.

Not a particularly positive blog this week. How can it be in the face of such rawness?

The only small glimpse of brightness I could take was to recount the conversation I had with him on Sunday.  I was busy and I walked past but I realised it was him getting out of his car.  He was in a rush too but we both stopped what we were doing and had a chat.  I’m so glad we did.

Life is full of what ifs and last moments.  You can’t live your life making sure every moment is a good one or making it special just incase. However I’ve learnt that it can take effort and it takes slowing down and listening and seeing to make those moments a bit sweeter. 

I’ve learnt to be myself and let things go because they make me unhappy so I have more time for what makes me happy.  I’ve learnt that I have to say yes when sometimes my heart says no ensuring others aren’t stifled by my worries. I understand I can’t be everything to everyone no matter how hard I try, freeing my time . I’ve learnt to slow down a teeny bit …to appreciate the small moments.  

I ran with my pooch this week and tried to catch the ball in her mouth. She darted around and I ran after her in the sunshine. I giggled out loud as I failed to keep up with her.   I felt like a kid.  It was a moment.

Like that one, life is a collection of moments that are happening now.  It’s what we have that eventually make up our life. People often wait for their life to start or for money or the right time. 

Now is the right time.

Love to you all on this Sunday and special thoughts to Trystans family and friends. I’m glad to have been fortunate enough to have had some memories and moments with him that I’ll forever cherish.  The last being his cheeky smile.

Xxx

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