I haven’t done a “life” update for a while. To be honest, it’s all been a bit of a shit show of late. A number of family dramas that are all too sensitive to talk about and I’m single again as well. But rather than dwell on the drama and misery, I’m going to focus on the good things that have been happening recently and talk about why I think that friends and family are so important.
“After your darkest day comes your finest hour.”
It sounds like something Winston Churchill would have said, but it’s a quote taken from “To Kill A Mockingbird” (which I’ve just seen at the Gielgud Theatre – excellent – powerful and emotional and well worth seeing – they got a standing ovation).
In August all my plans went awry, but on the upside, it gave me valuable time to spend with my friend being treated for Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (as mentioned in a separate post) as well as valuable time to simply sit still and reflect. It was a welcome change to my otherwise busy schedule. Friends rallied around me and it was a reminder that the best therapy ever is quality time spent with your girlfriends. They listen without judgement, laugh easily, are unashamedly themselves and offer their time (and their wine) for free in order to remind you of your worth, repeating it again and again until you start believing them again. They are like the copper and nickel needed to build a new battery, shining a torch at you until your dimmed light burns brightly again. We’ve all helped each other over the years, spreading all those broken pieces of ourselves on the floor like a jigsaw puzzle, before piecing everything back together with wine, laughter and music – chucking out all of the jagged bits that hurt, until we are whole again, even stronger and better than before.
I LOVE MY FRIENDS.
I LOVE MY FAMILY TOO.
My firstborn son has just flown to Columbia (BY HIMSELF) for THREE WEEKS. So that’s something else to worry about. I can’t help but remind him to learn a few phone numbers off by heart in case he loses his phone, take a couple of bank cards, in case they get nicked, ask him if he’s had all his jabs (he hadn’t, so I made him, which means they won’t be particularly useful because he hasn’t built up any immunity) but at least he’s got some Malaria tables (didn’t he know there’s a malaria outbreak out there of BIBLICAL proportions??). However, it was my brother who had to remind him not to pee into the Amazon in case that nasty little Penis Fish (the Candiru) swims upstream and into his willy. God. What about if he accepts packages from strangers to travel with? Is Pablo Escobar dead? I must try not to worry – everyone says that Columbia is now safe and one of the most beautiful countries in the world to visit and I’m sure he’ll have a wonderful time.
On a more positive note (despite the sad reason for the get together in the first place), we had a very successful weekend recently to release our mother’s ashes back where she wanted to be, close to my father again. My brother found us a yurt (much to my initial dismay) to stay in and we cooked on an open fire, danced wildly, talked about her, toasted her (and ourselves), all under the stars in the middle of nowhere and then we fell asleep together, in one big room. It was perfect and I was wrong to doubt my brother’s choice of accommodation. Our mother would have loved it – all the cousins together, ranging in age from 9-29 and all getting on like a house on fire (which literally it almost did as the warming fire was in the middle of the yurt and we could barely breathe:-
Our little video to toast “Grandma!”
We also had my nephew’s birthday to celebrate recently and here are the wonderful cakes his big sister made for him:-
And I’m doing a lot of walking and communing with nature and this walk recently along the river was just perfect:-