Monday, August 29, 2011

It's that time of the year...Love slumbers On......

Dusk came and with it a sense of loss. A certain and secure feeling that all was not well. Stillness preceded the telephone's shrill call and in that second my eye captured the stark cruelty of what was to come. "An accident," the stranger spoke the irreversible truth. Dusk and forever I would know the shade of light that extinguished his life. Now a decade later, as I prepare the evening meal, I have no need to consult the wall clock ticking the hours away. The early evening shadows are my time piece now and as the light fades so does my strength. I relive that moment at this time each evening and wonder what would have happened has dusk not fallen on that day.
I wrote this five years ago today as I contemplated another anniversary of loss. One of the things that I remember vividly from the day Craig was killed was the eerie palour of dusk - twilight! Each of us grieve quite differently but there is a pattern to grief - Denial, Anger, Bargaining and finally Acceptance. I could tell what time it was without looking at the clock for several months after that day, as if time was ticking away inside of me - counting the seconds and at this time of year it's that moment of dusk that I find the hardest.

I always said that I could never bear the loss of a child - I bet you have too - but guess what - you don't get a choice! That night the sun went down and when it arose, I faced a world without my son in it and I had no choice but to breathe and count the seconds ticking away. Learning to accept - learning to live with a piece of glass in my heart. What I hated most was the sympathetic look in people's eyes when they encountered me. I had never been an object of pity and it didn't sit well with me. Three months later - I made a conscious decision to LIVE again..... and so I have. Making that decision was the easy part - the LIVING has been the hard part! I have thought of him everyday and today will be no different.

Now, sisteen years on, I can remember my son with love, laugh at his mischief and know that wherever he is the is the centre of attention and much loved.
Those of you who knew and loved him will also remember him.....
......and that is all I ask ..... that he is not forgotten.   

"And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone,  Love itself shall slumber on."   

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Time flies when you are having fun!


I can't understand people who say they are bored - truly! I never seem to have enough time for everything that I want to do. Take today - I wanted to walk, garden, read, stitch and sort my wardrobe out. I managed to do none of that - I made the error of looking through my scrapbooking stuff! Before I knew what I was doing - my photographs were out and then I remember very little until 8pm. I was lost in paper heaven!

I love recording my travels and I relive the pleasure of my journeys as I am organising my photographs, choose colours and paper and embellish the pages. Today I was following a swan's progress on the River Leven in Cumbria. Playing with the photographs taken in May, I remember the light dancing on the river, the rush of water as it gushed under the bridge and towards the weir, the wild flowers peeping in the hedgerows and the scent of rain on the breeze. Its hard to put all of that into a page - but I enjoyed trying.

I also scrapbooked a page of flower close ups that I took on my visit to the Uk this Spring - I used pinks, lilacs and purple to back my photographs and called my page -The earth laughs in flowers! I enjoyed every bloom and can remember where I took the photograph of each one. A peony in Julia's garden, heady lilacs by the boat mooring, wisteria tumbling around a doorway in Tonbridge and a perfect emerald leaf on the forest floor in Wiltshire.

My third page of the day took me to a visit to the family in Pretoria where I watched Jessica playing in water fountains at the Irene shopping mall  - simple fun, enjoying the moment, dodging the splashes and getting a soaking. Life is built one moment at a time to be lived and enjoyed! Whilst she was playing a group of singers were performing opera and we listened to Andrea Bocceli's favourite 'Con Te Patiro' which always bring a lump to my throat and a smile to my lips at the same time! I am making albums for Jessica and Craig and limit myself to two pages a year so that I can give them a couple of albums each and a record of thier growing up. Its hard to be so disciplined so the pleasure of finishing one of Jessica's pages is super special!

A day well spent I think - The garden, stitching and my wardrobe will have to wait until another day!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Governments don't raise children - Parents do!


 I can't believe my eyes as I watch BBC showing the rioting and lawlessness that some cities in Britain are being subjected to! Instantly the state of the nation and the government is blamed but actually governments don't raise children - parents do!
I have relations with children who are the same age as those who are smashing shop windows and helping themselves to iPhones and TV sets, and they aren't doing this. Why? Because they know that if they brought anything home that was stolen or they couldn't explain where the money to buy it had come from - then they would be punished and quite likely be marched down to the police station to explain to the authorities where they had got it from. No - I don't blame the government or the police - these thugs have parents - who have been too busy or too lazy to raise their children with discipline and to value responsibility and respect.

Having had four sons - I know the challenges that parents face. We once took one of our own sons to Kabega Park Police station for some misdemenour and told them to lock him up for the night! Of course they didn't (but we were quite prepared to leave him there) but the message was clear - If you break the law don't expect us to protect you - and if you are old enough to do wrong then you must be prepared to suffer the consequences.
Sadly a lot of modern parents seem to have opted out of the responsibility that comes with having children - preferring to be a 'friend' to their child or buying good behaviour with expensive rewards. This is to the detriment of all of society as once they are an adult they have no respect for authority and little idea of their role to serve the community.
Now the same parents are being held to ransom by lawless mobs but so too is everyone else. I am not sure how they are going to undo a generation of bad parenting but perhaps if you know your child was involved then some tough love is in order. The last few nights have been a violent reality check and its time to take ownership of your responsibility as a parent. Don't blame the government - blame  yourself!

Monday, August 8, 2011

My month so far....

All work and no play maketh me a dull person! I have had a hectic schedule this month but I have tried to find interesting things to do to relieve the monotony of work. Books and movies have been a welcome distraction when its dark by 6pm.

I have been watching a British DVD series Irene) and Ann Reid (Vera). Vera and Irene reveal their exploits and adventures to each other in their letters and e-mails, but sometimes their correspondence becomes fractious when one accuses the other of being an alcoholic or engages in too much one-upmanship. Nevertheless, when the chips are down and the going gets tough, each is instantly there for the other, like a charge of the cavalry albeit with a rather sarcastic bugle call.
Other recurring characters include people like :-   Howard Small ("Howie"), Vera's gay son, who runs a sheep farm near the village of Great Shagthorn with his business and personal partner, Anthony Flowers ("Ants"). Howie and Ants have a daughter, "Small-Flowers". Kare n, Vera's daughter, with whom she has a difficult relationship. Karen's second husband, St. John (pronounced "sin-john"), is a vet with whom Vera has an excellent relationship. St. John is also revealed to be the biological father of Baby Small-Flowers; They have two children together - Nelson (who has unusually long legs) and Millie (so-named after her premature arrival around the time of the new "Minnellium" ) Sabrina Small is Karen's daughter from her first marriage;  Lesleyis Irene's daughter, who lives in Australia with her second husband Brian and their two children, Cheryl-Marie (from Lesley's first marriage; 'Cheryl' pronounced "CHAIR-ull") and Bubbles. Brian has noticeably had a hair transplant, and he has a squint that Lesley finds embarrassing.
Vera and Irene always strive to outdo each other, whether with their recipes, holiday destinations or who has the best grandchildren. Each episode kept me laughing and I am very reassured that there are families out there wackier than my own - I am so sorry that I  have finished watching both series - I believe there are more for me to order.

On the dowside I went to see a movie on Saturday, Horrible Bosses, that got 4 stars and was the worst piece of cinema that I have seen in a long time. How Kevin Spacey, who I really admire, got conned into getting involved with it I dont know but it was neither funny or entertaining - just badly acted gross attempt at humour!

I have read a book by S J Watson about a woman who forgets everything each night when she sleeps and has to start ( I can relate to memory loss) each day afresh - a well written debut novel. I believe the film rights have been sold and look forward to seeing this on the big screen.

I have just started reading  A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marena De Blasi which has captivated me from its opening scene of an impromptu alfresco village feast of fried zucchini blossoms, fennel-roasted pork, and pudding made from the cream of a local blue-eyed cow. It is a memoir of the seasons in a small Tuscan village that is rich with food, weather, romance and, above all, life! I loved her Thousand Nights in Venice so much as I had been to Venice - I know when I have read this I will want to go to Tuscany!

I have skyped S & N in Melborne and managed to do a little scrap booking and plan to do more in the breathing space that this week brings.  I am tired now of rain, cold and long winter nights - roll on Spring and new adventures.