Thursday 24th November 2011


I haven't been much in the zone for updating of late - so my apologies to site visitors who enjoy some regular houseboy entertainment. I’ve been a wee bit down if truth be told. I don’t really know why. It might be the time of year, the change in the season heralded by the change in the clocks at the end of October. It’s horrible to feel constantly sad without being able to pinpoint exactly why. The men folk have been very good with me, plenty of loving cuddles when needed, but coupled with a tightening of house rules and permissions, which does actually help because it gives me a structure to hang things on. I like the security it gives me.


I’m feeling a bit better now and hope to be back with some chitchat soon. Watch this space. ;-)


Wednesday 30th November 2011


All About Yesterday:


My mother was on my mind when I woke up yesterday morning. Perhaps I’d dreamed of her, though I have no recollection of a dream. I felt an intense and impossible longing to see her. Maybe some of my melancholy of late is to do with missing her, though I feel a hypocrite saying so, because when she was alive and physically accessible there were long periods of time when I didn't see or speak to her at all. By the time we reconnected her life star was already beginning to diminish.

Anyway, I decided to pay her a belated visit and set off bearing flowers.   

The cemetery where she’s buried has a busy main road running alongside it. Cars and buses, bikes and lorries roll along in an endless flow, day and night. Sometimes it seems to me that humanity is constantly in motion, a blur of sound and movement.

The strange thing about cemeteries, apart from them being filled with dead people of course, is that once you enter them everything quietens and the world seems to fade a little. The roar of traffic hushes, as if the road it’s travelling along has been relocated a distance away. It’s almost like cemeteries have an invisible barrier over them. They’re a pause, a breath held between life and death. Other sounds come to the fore: birdsong, the sigh of the breeze moving through foliage. Some people might describe it as peaceful, a place of rest. Not me.

One of the reasons I can’t bring myself to visit my mother’s grave very often is that I personally don’t find peace or comfort there. I walk through the wrought iron gates and stand for a moment, struggling to cope with that odd abatement of noise. It seems to emphasise that the people buried there have fallen away from the world, their voices faded to silence, including my mother’s. It makes me feel unbearably sad and alone. I think we are alone when we grieve. Grief is an intensely personal experience. There might be other people who miss my mother, but they’ll miss her in a different way to me.

The graves alongside my mother’s were all well tended, covered in fresh flowers, plants and ornaments. In comparison her grave looked neglected. Frank is with someone else now and obviously tending his dead wife’s grave is not a priority. It made me feel guilty and angry on so many levels.

I tidied the grave and arranged the pink and white carnations I’d bought in the flower holder. They looked nice against the dark granite.  I traced a finger over her name, trying to get a sense of her, but there was nothing. She has gone completely from the world and from my life. Sometimes I find it hard to picture what she looked like.

I tried to talk to her, not out loud, I’m not that much of a loony, but in my head, but could find no words. All I felt was the usual confusion of emotions that I’d felt when she was alive. I loved my mother, but we had our issues, some of which I have not yet resolved within myself. Perhaps I never will.  The longing to see her intensified to the point of physical pain and I had to leave.

On a foolish whim I went to where she used to live and stood for a few moments staring at the house, as if hoping she’d open the door and invite me in. I thought back to the day that sparked our reunion a few years ago. Dick and Shane were away and I was visiting my friend Lee, calling in on her on impulse before going home.

I then went to the house where I’d lived with her before Frank came on the scene. None of it did me any good. I realised I was chasing the past, trying to go back to something that no longer exists. I wasn’t even sure what it was or if it had ever really existed at all.

When I’d set off I’d intended to call on Lee’s family after visiting the cemetery, but I was too emotionally strung out and headed home instead.

I got home and stepped inside, closing the door behind me and there it was again - a fall of silence, a sense of absence. Anxiety swept over me, a sick fear for painful partings yet to come, of having to say a permanent goodbye to Shane, to Dick, to friends.

I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately, not just the deaths of those I love, but my own death. It scares me. I don’t want to leave the world too soon, but neither do I want to be left behind for too long when those I care about have gone. I fear being alone.

I turned on the television in the lounge and the radio in the kitchen just to fend off the silence and then immersed myself in activity, preparing dinner. The men folk came home and we went through the evening routine of greetings, showers, dressing for dinner.

I thought I was being ordinary, a bit quieter than usual perhaps, but then Shane usually counts me being quiet as an answer to a prayer and a sign that he’s in God’s favour. We ate dinner. I cleared the dining room table, made coffee and took it into the lounge. Dick and Shane were sitting together on the couch. They exchanged glances as I came into the room. I set out their coffees and then made to go back to the kitchen to finish washing up, but Shane reached for me, pulling me down between him and Dick, asking, ‘tough day, baby?’

The floodgates opened.

Dick was all soft sympathy, but Shane was cross because I hadn’t discussed my plans beforehand. Given my recent mood he would have forbidden the journey. He reckoned I was seeking sadness as a way of trying to justify and augment the depression, instead of accepting it as a low period that will pass. Not for the first time he told me I think far too much about things and overanalyse everything. I need to learn to live in the present moment and enjoy what it has to offer, instead of mourning the past and fearing the future. He’s right, naggy, but right.

We went on to spend a quiet evening together. The television was turned off and the lights turned down. We talked and Dick got out his guitar and played a few songs for us. Then we listened to some CD’s. Shane put on ‘It’s a beautiful Day’ by Lighthouse Family. Taking me in his arms he softly sang the lyrics into my ear as we slow danced to it. Such moments of gentle and meaningful romance are uncommon with him and I was moved almost to tears again. Instead I took a deep breath and took on board the message being given, putting into practice the policy of living in the moment and enjoying it.

Closing my eyes I let the day take over. I savoured being held close against his body as we moved in time to the music. I felt safe, comforted, loved and cared for and what more can you ask from life than that.

Wherever you are, whoever you are, I hope you have a beautiful day, or at least some beautiful moments in your day. If there’s sadness in your life then hold on, because it will pass, don’t give up.


December 2011


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