I will, always.

I’m into Whitney Houston at the moment.

I was driving along to meet my very gorgeous friend during the week and had ‘I will always love you’ on LOUD! I drove through my small town towards the traffic lights passing the painted white houses and the restaurant with the blue chairs outside.

And Iiiiiiiiii will always love you…..I SING out loud, I even dance a little in my seat Also in those few seconds I have my usual little day dream while singing. Though this one was an extension of my normal one. The daydream is the one where I have had secret singing lessons and all of the sudden I can actually sing because I do know I can’t sing even though I sound like I CAN sing when I’m singing along. I know I can’t because I’ve done that thing where I’ve pressed mute during the song and I actually then hear my cat like screeches rather than the Whitney esque tone that I think I sound like.

Anyway, in my little day dream I’ve had some singing lessons and I’ve applied for X factor secretly and I get to audition for Simon and I go through the story in my head and the fact he rolls his eyes at my age and then I start to sing and the whole judging panel smile in awe of this Welsh beautiful perfect sweet voice and they get up on their feet and the audience is dancing and it ends with a standing ovation. In addition, in this little day dream, it’s televised too and I imagine the faces of my family and friends watching me on TV, shocked at my new singing talent.

We all have these daydreams right??!!

Anyway I drive towards the traffic lights, I’m so excited to see my mate – we haven’t had a proper catch up in months and she’s one of those that just makes you feel good inside, you can cry with, you can laugh until you almost pee yourself with, you can talk politics or talk lipstick with. I’m singing along and I’m going through the X factor dream and I catch myself thinking, I’m happy. I’m feeling happy.

I am happy much of the time I’m sure but I rarely catch myself knowing and recognising that happy feeling in my belly.

BANG!

The whole world stops for the tiniest of seconds and there it is.

GUILT.

This won’t be pleasant to read but I say it as it is – a voice comes into my head and immediately tells me off. Don’t you remember your daughter has died?… it says. Don’t you remember you are a bereaved mother? How can you be happy? How could you feel happy? Don’t you remember??

It feels like my life has stopped, it really does.

It feels like a breezeblock has been placed on my head and it has the word GUILT painted on it.

I can’t hear Whitney any more as my happiness drains from my body through my feet making a dart for the car door, I almost forget where I am but I realise I’m at the traffic lights and it has just turned green, my concentration is poor for a portion of that second because I think I can turn right but just realise in time I can’t and I have to give way to oncoming traffic. Because I’m distracted away from guilt for that split second, I gain a little bit of energy and I have slightly dented GUILT because I had to remove focus from it to concentrate on driving. It’s all it takes, it has taken many years of practicing to get here but I have just gained the upper hand against guilt because I have taken away it’s power by focussing on something else. With that I gain momentum and I kill the last bit of guilt by turning up the volume to the highest level, imagine myself back on the X factor stage and continue to sing (using that term very loosely) out loud along with Whitney.

And I… will always love you, ooh…..Will always love you…You….My darling, you…

I will always love you. We always will love them. Those we loved who aren’t here. We will always love them. We are also allowed to be happy.

Guilt 0. Happy 1.

Happy Sunday XXX

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Sauces and scrabble

Firstly. Still no bed. I’m trying to convince myself that I’m living in a Japanese themed bedroom and the mattress on the floor is all part of some unplanned feng shui phase.  Reality is I still have no date for my new house and I’m still mainly eating pizza or mostly going out to eat because I feel quite disasociated in my temporary home.  The house is fine but it is not my ‘home’.

It got me thinking what is a home. I’ve lived in a few houses through my life. 12 actually. Some of those houses I lived in for years and they never really felt like a home. Some for much shorter periods of time that became home.  What makes a place your ‘home’?.   You know that kind of home that even after a lovely holiday you’re excited and glad to step back into it.

For me.

The family inside, the pencil on the wall marking your children’s growth, a flower that miraculously grew from the seed you threw into the soil, the birds that visit regularly, the patch in the garden where the sun warms your skin, the ingredients in the cupboard waiting to be cooked, the postcard on the fridge and the scribbled note kept safely. The pooches playing with a new toy. The red nose that has been left on the wall from a home made Christmas party game. That tea set you had to buy. Heart decorations bought just for you. A box of collected memorabilia. The shells picked up from your favourite beach. A special photo that always makes you smile. Music that you have to dance to. A piece of furniture that you love. A charity shop bought jug full of your favourite flowers. A suitcase of letters from a time before Facebook.  The phone ringing with someone just checking in. A friend popping in for coffee (or wine!). Snuggling under a throw with your favourite film. A game of scrabble. Books.  Chats over dinnertime. Hugs on tap.  A notebook of dreams.  Pennies collecting in a jar.  Candles and fairy lights.   Pillows.  A box of crafts to be made into cards.  Recipes photocopied bearing food splashes.  A favourite mug filled with camomile tea.  The smell of home made tomato and basil sauce simmering. A piano waiting for you to finally learn that piece.  And of course. Most importantly…

Family (furry or not!).

Moments.

Memories.

Safety.

Security.

Love.

…….and also perhaps……..a  comfy bed!!!

I’m so excited to build all these memories again in my new home that will add to life’s memories of my last….

Join me next week for the next episode of…. ‘is Dwysan still sleeping on the floor?’ ….

Happy Sunday everyone xx 

Assumptions 

I should have known better!

I saw her walking towards me.  We don’t know each other that well but we say hello and sometimes exchange a few words about the weather.  That morning the wind made my cheeks burn a little but the sun also made a strong appearance meaning I could leave my hat at home for a change.

As she approached she made no eye contact. Like I wasn’t there. We passed each other and she barely saw me. She was gone again.  Weird, I thought.  Rude, I thought. Then of course I wondered what I could have possibly done to her. Because it had to be that.  Despite hardly knowing her.  I must’ve done something. 

It was two days later when I found out her mum is really poorly. 

We’re always learning things aren’t we and that was a reminder to me that sometimes I need to remember to simply ask, are you OK? Not walk on and chat to myself about how this is obviously my fault. Not helpful to anyone!

We make assumptions all the time. Sometimes we need to dig a little deeper and the next time a colleague is in a mood or that child next door is being ‘naughty’ or a friend is being distant.  We need to be brave and think what’s going on for them and if the chance comes up, ask. Are you OK?

Hope you’re all OK this morning and if you’re not that’s OK too xx

Dwys x

What’s your role?

​I drove to work this week listening to the radio as usual, there was a woman speaking about role models, she said everyone girl should have a role model.  It made me think about the importance of influencing each other and also I have to say I feel that boys need as much as ever to have positive role models particularly when we look around at the males currently dominating our media.

 

What is a role model?

 

Are you one?

 

Am I one?? I thought to myself. 

 

Taking on the position of a role model isn’t an easy task. If people look up to or admire someone that role model has to constantly be on their best behavior don’t they.  Look at David Beckham this week… a few emails with a few expletives (I have to be honest I haven’t seeked out the full story) – he seems to have gone from an untouchable unquestionable respectable man to one now viewed with suspicion and mistrust.  He’s not allowed to be human.  


Role models are not allowed faults – which to be frank is absolutely ridiculous.

 

A role model to me is someone real, with imperfections and weaknesses but who also is striving to be the best person they can at that moment.  A role model is someone who wants to encourage other people, who resists jealous and envy, someone who generally see’s the best in someone and wants that someone to succeed.  A role model tries to be kind and compassionate not just to who they know but who they don’t know either.  A role model treats children with love and devotion and know that animals are an extension of the human race to be cared for and cherished.  A role model is a decent and good friend, withholds malicious judgement and is inclusive.  A role model is someone wanting to do all those things while accepting that all those things aren’t always possible, but keeps  trying.

 

I don’t find myself wanting to be like anyone else.  For me that breeds jealousy but I do know that I am drawn to people I view as positive role models, from Mrs Thomas my kind primary school teacher to a friend who put a pair of trainers on for the first time, to a woman who despite enormous loss found a way to happiness, the group who stands up despite adversity for what they believe in and especially the encouragers in life where resentment doesn’t exist.

 

I think we can all be role models and by acknowledging yourself as a role model it gives you some responsibility because there’s no choice –  we do all influence everyone around us.  It may sound nonsensical but if you’re a role model anyway, isn’t it worth trying to be the best one you can be?

 

Lots of love and a happy Sunday x  x

What happened to skipping??

I drove to work the other day. The weather was bleak, the fault light had come on my car. Again. It was misty, visibility was poor. I’d been up for two hours, tired already I begin the hour drive to work. 

Coming into the next village I slow down as a family cross in front of me. Holding hands with her mum is a blonde girl in a chequered dress of about 8, skipping. I thought to myself…. What happened to skipping? I thought to myself, when did I stop skipping? When did WE stop skipping?! 

As I do ……I give that a lot more thought as I drive on. What stopped the skipping? If I skipped to work now people would think I was a bit crazy. I’d feel so self conscious. What happened?

Why do we lose that freedom to express the joy we feel? When did we somehow learn that we shouldn’t express that we’re having a great day. When did it become un cool to shout out and express wildly……I’m happy!!

If you look back at a conversation you’ve had recently with a few friends I’m sure like me you’ll notice it’s far easier to complain than to talk about how great you’re life is today. It’s much easier to moan about work than say you love it, it’s far easier to pick holes in your partner than say how wonderful they are. 

As I drive on, Mariah Carey came on the radio singing her song… …. I went from sleepy to singy as I join in crooning that…. All I want for Christmas is you. With that although I couldn’t physically skip …..I smile and dance in my seat and sing out loud, not caring who’s watching and guess what, it made me happier.  
So thank you skipping girl for reminding me that there’s definitely a need to fill my life with more skipping, maybe in yours too?

Happy Sunday everyone xxxx

Where’s me?! 

I read a few words that got me right there this week. It was simply a few words by someone that described the desperate  need of wanting  her old self back.

This time of year can sometimes magnify loss. I still love Christmas but of course I still want Tes to be in my Christmas. The Facebook annual review is doing the rounds. Mine was full of favourite pics.  They made me smile. There was none of Tes and for that reason I couldn’t post it. I was actually a little envious of some, that doesn’t happen often. 

So…. wanting your old self back when you’ve been through trauma is natural. I remember sitting with a nurse before the surgery had even opened 2 years after losing Tes and saying those exact words through tears and gulps. I want me back. I want me back. 

I didn’t want to be this person that found every day so tough.That smiled when I wanted to cry. A person that worried  about everything all of a sudden. An angry person. A person without patience.  A person who couldn’t  laugh. 

That day changed me. it was a mixture of the help I got and the fact I admitted that I wasn’t ok. I wasn’t ok. 

Did I get the old me back? You’re  changed forever after some experiences and losing a child has to be one of them.  I recognise parts of the old me but I have a layer of sadness and ‘hiraeth’ (only that Welsh word fully covers it) that I wear like an invisible coat. Every day. I can feel it.  

But…. There is also the new me. Some of it is a pain because I don’t have the same drive to please or be liked which has made me a little bit selfish. I find it hard to be around unwarranted  negativity or meanness and end up taking a big step backwards from those situations.  I strive to be happy.  I overwhelm myself with trying to do it all… but I’m also loving trying to do it all. I’ve become really  good at having some time  for me…..now and again I even go back to bed for an hour after walking the dogs because  …. I want to! It might just be an hour here and there of proper doing nothing but it’s more than I used to give myself. I’m more relaxed about work. I feel way less stressed than ever before. Of course these things may change again. The old me and the new me will probably always keep changing. 

So for those wanting the old you back….. there’s bad and good news. The old us doesn’t really exist to have back. Every day we’re a new me. With that new me we can make it what we want it to be. It may take time and even help but if you’re on that journey I’m sure  you too will eventually find the new you that makes you happy too, in a different way but nonetheless in a new way. 

Lots of love to you all xx Happy Sunday xx 

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