Thoughts

When the timing is right.

2018 has been a year of significant change for this Sussex girl in the Midlands, and avid ‘rose tinted spectacle’ wearer.  Looking back as I come to the end of the first week of 2019,  I am amazed at the changes that have occurred, and am immensely proud of the way in which my family and I have adapted and adjusted to those changes.

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Oh how true I find this quote to be.  Sometimes we yearn for change when we are stuck in a difficult situation, especially when it goes on for a long time, and we can see no light at the end of the tunnel.  For those of you who have been following my blog, you will know that I have been mum and carer to my son Simon for the last 32 years.  As a single mum for 20 of those years I’m sure you can imagine that there were many times when change was needed, if only in the form of a break.  I longed for the wind to blow in a different direction, but as my mum would often say to me,  “keep plodding on Alison”  so I would adjust my sails and continue to float, wondering if the wind would ever blow my way.

This time last year we were busy packing, buying and preparing for a change that I really never thought would happen.  Simon had been given the opportunity to move into supported living accommodation.  He would have his own flat, but there would be on site carers to help him with the daily tasks in life that he finds too challenging, and sometimes too unsafe to cope with alone.  The day he was handed his key is a day that I will never forget, and a day that brought positive change for both of us.  And although Simon will always keep us on our toes with his antics, I guess I could say that it’s a day when the wind definitely blew in a different direction.

This massive, unexpected change has taken some adjusting too.  Over Christmas, Simon was sat chatting with me and said: “Mum, when I spent my first night in Parklands I felt like crying, I felt so alone”.  My heart broke a little as I sat listening to him, but also gave a little jump of pride as I sat looking at my son, who with all his difficulties has stuck with his new situation, however hard he found it at first.  He now has far more support not just from me but from his family as a whole, and our relationship is vastly improved.

Meanwhile, as we were working our way through the Simon Changes there was another rather lovely life change on its way.  My first grandchild Arlo Frank was born on the  21st of July.  A lovely healthy baby boy and thankfully safely delivered at home.  Over the next few days Mum, Dad, and baby Arlo began to work their way through those first tentative days as a new little family.  I have to say that I am so proud of those two newbie parents, and the amazing job they are doing of caring for my grandson and each other.

Well, what a year!  I became an empty nester and a Nonna in the space of a few months. I’m sure those of you reading this who are already grandparents, will know what I mean when I say that the unexpected love I feel for that little boy is incredible.

Just over two years ago I had a bad fall downstairs which my body is still recovering from, but looking back on 2018, a year of major change, I am also proud of myself for what I have achieved during a time of personal difficulty.  I have also learnt to look after myself, to pace myself and to have faith in the adage that ‘time is a great healer’.

We can I’m sure be proactive in making changes in our lives, but sometimes we have to be willing to sail through the storm however long or hard it may be.  We have to learn to adjust our sails and take a day at a time, until one day the wind begins to gently blow our way……….when the ‘timing is right’.

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Now here’s to a great 2019!!

 

 

 

Love Alison x

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Thoughts

The faces of Christmas.

Another Christmas now is past

a Santa sack full of  memories made,

of smiles and laughter, and love expressed

as gifts were shared, and games were played.

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And carols were sung across the world,

and fires were lit, in houses both big, and small

and hearts overflowed, with emotions raw, and new

remembering those who’ve gone, but warmed by those held close.

And as the days of Christmas fall silently behind

hope stirs in our hearts, of what is to come.

A new year ahead, an unwritten page,

an adventure waiting,

a new journey…….yet to be taken.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL X.

 

 

Love Alison xx

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Thoughts

Wrapped in Love.

A few days ago I was having a conversation with one of my grown-up sons about our families’ Christmas traditions.  After talking for a while he said:  “Mum, Christmas is all about the presents”.  For a minute I was a little shocked.  Having been brought up in a religious family, but not having religiously followed that route I felt momentarily sad, and a little guilty that my son held that view.  But then I started thinking about our Christmases as a family over the years, and the joy of our present giving ceremony,  and I realized that my sons’ sentence held a lot more meaning than I had at first thought.

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I always love this time of year when conversations start to turn to what everyone would like.  I have always encouraged my children to either buy or make presents for each other, as well as expecting a present from me or a stocking from Santa.  It’s never been a competition, there has never been any expectation to spend a certain amount, but I love the fact that at this celebratory time of the year they all have a reason to stop for a moment, think about one another, and decide what they can give to show their love.

It made me realize that the presents we give to each other are not just about the gift inside, but about the process of giving.  We take time to think about that special person, we consider their needs and wants, we talk about it, we shop for it, and then we choose the paper and ‘wrap it in love’.  Seeing my Christmas tree surrounded by presents is like seeing all the love our family holds for each other in one place on one day

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As a family, we sit down after a scrumptious breakfast and then one by one, each family member gets their presents from under the tree and hands them out to those around them.  We wait patiently until the last person has their present then we all open them together.  A chorus of thanks is heard, quite often accompanied by a little surprise or laughter at what was inside and at times maybe a few tears.   It’s a special time and I always feel a real sense of pride as I see the love they have for each other, expressed in the gifts they are giving.

After a little thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that Christmas might not be all about the presents, but it is definitely about the gift.  The gift of love that is expressed through our traditions, whatever religious beliefs we might hold in our hearts, and the gift of a family,  who having faced the highs and the lows of the year,  take time to wrap each other in love around the Christmas tree.

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Love Alison x

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Thoughts

I Want My Way

While sat on my sofa, comfortably watching tv in the home that I have known and loved for the last 12 years, my thoughts turned to Gary and his family, who over the last few weeks have suffered a loss that I personally find unimaginable.  I have followed Gary’s blog since I joined this lovely WordPress family and have so enjoyed reading about his life’s journey, until a couple of weeks ago when I read his blog and my heart broke.

I am quite sure if you have time to read it that you will understand why.

Thoughts are with you and your family Gary.

Love Alison x

Another Picture On The Wall

I lived in a house, no let me start over. I lived in a home that echoed with 30 years worth of our laughter, sweat, anxiety, celebrations, arguments, prayers, tears, Easter egg hunts, middle of the night conversations, daughters’ boyfriends I did not approve of, memories initiated from old photos, music, and hundreds of birthday candles being blown out just after a personal wish that was never, ever shared but always well contemplated before being chosen.

A fire swept through that home 12 days ago and now those echoes have been turned to ashes and blown miles from Paradise California. Perhaps some will eventually mingle with the echoes of your life and loves.

I want to go home. I want all those things back. I want thousands of people’s sufferings to be reversed. I want to wake up from the nightmare. Just like that toddler throwing a tantrum in the…

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Thoughts

Lifes ever changing landscape.

On friday last week I was sat by my mums grave having put some flowers in the vase, it would have been her 89th birthday.  I miss her, but the sun was shining and as I looked across the fields I felt at peace,  knowing that she had lived a good long life.

A few days earlier my neighbour was found laying in his garden, he had been suffering with ill-health for a while.  His life came to an end at the age of 48, and although we didn’t have a lot to do with each other I am really feeling his absence in the street.  He lived opposite me so I would often see him coming and going, but the fact that he is no longer there has changed the landscape of my life.

The natural landscape is changing all around us at the moment as mother nature begins to paint a new scene before our eyes.  She is taking her time over it but autumn is slowly emerging, and life is becoming full of colour and breath-taking beauty.  One thing we can always rely on is the ever-changing landscape of the seasons and we adjust and adapt fairly quickly.  A quick dig around for our favourite jumpers, jeans and boots and we are ready to go, but when the people who are part of that landscape are no longer there it takes a lot more time to adjust, and we are forced to take stock of our own lives.

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When those we know or love are taken from us whether through old age or an unexpected event it’s as if the artist has erased that figure from the canvas, everything else looks the same but a vital part of our life’s painting is missing.  We have to gently and gradually work our way through until one day we can look at that painting again realizing that it actually looks ok, different but ok.

Isnt it so easy to take people for granted at times?  We can be so wrapped up in the busyness of our lives that we can forget to acknowledge our neighbours, those people who make up our daily landscape.  It seems a sad but true fact that we are sometimes more aware of their absence when the unexpected occurs than we were of their presence.

As we work our way through the beauty of this amazing season and take time to applaud the vibrancy of autumns best, why not take time to acknowledge those little strokes of colour that add interest and depth to our life’s landscape.  They may be a family member a neighbour, a shop worker or even the postman.  They all play a part.  And who knows how much colour you could add to their landscape with just an unexpected “hello” or “how are you?” or even an unexpected hug and “I love you”  (the postman would be smiling all the way down the road!!)

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Why not give it a try, I’m quite sure that the landscape of your life will be all the more beautiful for it.

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Love Alison x

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Thoughts

Grandog Day!

For those of you who follow my blog you will know that I have just been blessed with a lovely healthy grandson.  We are all so thankful for the safe arrival of Arlo Frank and Im sure our roles in his little life will gradually find their definition, but while mum, dad and baby are learning the ropes of parenthood I am left with a very different kind of role,  that of looking after my grandog!

A couple of weeks before Arlo frank was born, my eldest sons girlfriend lost her best friend during childbirth.  Sadly having just given birth to a healthy baby boy and having held him for a few minutes there were complications, and mum lost her life.  This was shocking on so many levels, heartbreaking for the family, devastating for Shona and of course with the awaited arrival of a new baby in our own family it was deeply shocking. The funeral is today and my thoughts are so with them all as they say goodbye to such a young and beautiful life.  We could ask so many questions, but I think the best way forward is to love and support those who need it, and my part in doing that for now is looking out for this little chap for the day as they say their goodbyes.

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This is Elvis.  Sausage dog extraordinaire!  Looking a little serious in this photo but don’t be fooled, he’s a little scamp.

Elvis came along at a good time.  When family spirits for various reasons are a little low there is nothing quite like a four pawed furry friend to add a bit of spice and laughter to life, especially a puppy that needs lots of love and attention which for at least a short while removes us from our own worries.

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Elvis taking time to ‘smell the roses’ or in this case apple mint.

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Hmmm this little chap seems to have a thing about flowers! although something tells me he might have had a little help from the photographer to get in there as those little legs are really not built for climbing.

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Everything in Nonnas’ garden is so exciting and so worth a sniff and an explore.

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Luckily there is someone a little older and wiser to keep Elvis in check every now and then.  Thanks Jess.

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Phew!  All this adventure is tiring for a little chap with little legs.

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My favourite pic, and Elvis..thanks for keeping me well and truly entertained, and for bringing lots of pleasure to all who know you.  I know that you will work your magic over the coming weeks as you bring your unique sense of fun and joy into the lives of those who love you.  Your cheeky presence will be invaluable in the healing process of hearts that are broken.

Your one ‘Houndog’ for sure!

 

 

Love Alison x

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