LIFE | the tree …

I find that out of all the months of the year December is the hardest … my Birthday and Christmas falling within days of each other, spent without my Mum around just doesn’t feel the same.

While everybody is looking forward , I have this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. Tears come from nowhere.

Don’t get me wrong I am looking forward to Christmas this year [ last year it didn’t even happen ] and I put the Christmas tree up last Sunday. Which is progress of sorts I guess

It’s not the best tree…

I found it squashed at the bottom of a box amongst a mix-match of pink, gold and purple baubles. I bodged it together and it’ll do. Its decidedly wonky and some of the branches are limp … but hey I’m not quite at the buy an all singing and dancing tree yet.

As the world gets more and more materialistic I find myself stepping away from it all ; does any of that matter in the big scheme of things? Does me having a crappy little tree make my Christmas any better , or worse than the lady across the road with her flashy , 6ft fancy tree…

No is the answer.

Christmas is much, much more than that . It’s about spirit , it is about remembering Christmas’s past and all those loved one who are no longer with us.

It is spending time with the people you love [ even those with a crappy tree.] I think it’s sadly lost in the buy, buy, buy culture.

My mum absolutely loved Christmas and I’m sure given time I will again… but just like my tree I’m a little bodged together at the moment , a work in progress 💗

#missyoumum

LIFE | Alcohol and I … the early years

Before we start can I just say it’s not big and it’s not clever to drink and get drunk … but let’s be fair it is bloody good fun!

I can remember my first experience with alcohol like it was yesterday …[ not including the Baby Cham mum used to let us have on special occasions and the glass of Sherry I had with my Grandad on Christmas Eve ] … it was actually 30-odd years ago!

Let me take you back. It was my first and only Jamboree [Brownie/ Guide/ Scout Camp] over in Luxemburg. I was only 13 ; I guess Mum and Dad thought I was in safe hands.

On our first night of freedom my friend Jackie [ lived next door but one, year older than me, pretty, big boobs, all the boys loved her] and I bought a bottle of Advocaat each . Luckily Jackie looked older than her years and like I said –  boobs. She got served.

Advocaat was thick and creamy like custard and I remember I didn’t really enjoy the taste. We hid in a bush just off camp and necked it all. Let’s just say half an hour later I had literally turned green and began throwing up. I was sent to bed … the Camp Leaders believing I had picked a bug up while travelling. [Face of an angel me …far too sweet and innocent to even consider I had been drinking ] Continue reading

LIFE | 47 things I’ve learnt in my 47 years

It suddenly dawned on me today that I am 48 in a-round-about a month [15th December if you’re contemplating sending a card] … or as the BF keeps reminding me – You are 50 in 2 years!

Firstly how the bloody hell did that happen; it only seems two minutes since my 40th which I celebrated in some style if I say so myself. I can party hard when I set my mind to it. I love nothing better than letting loose and having a good time. My celebrations dragged out over a whole 3 weeks and included amongst lots of other things a weekend in Manchester with the girls, The Kings Of Lyon at Sheffield Arena, lots of family and work meals / nights out. Lots and lots of champagne and cake.

40th Birthday celebrations in full swing

Well you are only 40 once…

I thought it might be fun today to  list ‘47 things I’ve learnt in my 47 years’… some serious, some silly … If I can muster that many up that is.

I’m older but definitely [when it comes to somethings] not wiser. I still feel like a child at times and I’m constantly evolving… which for some bizarre reason makes me sound like a chuffing monkey.

So here goes …

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LIFE | the walk …

We walk . I talk mostly . Mollie annoyingly stops every 2 seconds to sniff anything and everything [mainly other dogs bums] and my dad asks me for the 16th time “you have got poo bags haven’t you?”

Have I got poo bags?

I’m queen bloody poo bag

Today they are strategically stuck in the top of my pants. The jacket and trousers I’m wearing have no pockets , the bags are easily accessible via the top of my leggings. I show dad the corner of one of the them popping out . He just gives me ‘that’ look and shakes his head. Yes dad I have poo bags.

In-between the ‘chit-chat’ I talk about mum in an attempt to get him to open up more. Sometimes it’s awkward; I sense it makes him uncomfortable. Dad gets teary and quickly changes the subject … but today it’s somehow ok .

He tells me it’s their 51st wedding anniversary in a few weeks and we reminisce for a while. I love talking about mum. This pleases me.

Over the past months I’ve learnt to become ‘friends’ with my grief. That may sound ridiculous but for as long as I am around I never want to forget a thing about my mum . I want to keep her alive; to talk about her, remember her … that’s normal behaviour right?

I guess I can’t have one without the other so I welcome my emotions wholeheartedly ; I figure the only way to move forward is to let them wash over me any which way they choose – come and go as they please so to say .Be that in the way of tears , laughter or everything in-between.

I’ve found nobody talks about death ; how to deal with losing a parent . It’s a conversation nobody wants , so you muggle through the best you can. In the dark without a torch.

Grief has no pattern. It hits you at unexpected times and places . It can be short and quick – a fleeting memory that strikes you down [ remember Portuguese tarts in Sainsbury’s ] Sometimes it lingers and your stuck on an emotional roller-coaster for however long that ride decides to last.

I guess grief will become my norm. Just like breathing, eating and sleeping it will become routine…not always so raw, but always there bubbling underneath the surface.

So please bear with me I am still ‘healing and adjusting’ … at the same time please don’t ever tell me to get over my grief because that would be like saying get over your mum …

I pondered over these thoughts today with dad . He is used to me , I was a ‘deep’ child. I didn’t think I was making much sense to be honest , but he nodded his head in agreement, his eyes glazed over and he said

“If there’s one thing I’ll never forget Tracey it’s your mum … never ever … how could I ?…”

[ I smile and we carry on walking in silence for a few seconds]

“Now you did say you had poo bags didn’t you ?”

x

MUSINGS | adjusting my sails

It’s funny how things change isn’t it?

I used to spend every Saturday morning having coffee and putting the world to rights with my Mum. We would sit and chat ; happy in each other’s company. I used to look forward to our few hours together. Talking about everything and nothing.

Mum & Daughter time 💗

Saturday mornings these days are spent with my Dad in Sainsbury’s . I take him for his weekly ‘big’ shop, to make sure he’s eating and to have a little chat as we wander aimlessly up and down the aisles.

While I’d move heaven, earth and more to turn back the clock and have a coffee with Mum, hear her laughter, see her beautiful smile, give her a cuddle … I kinda appreciate the time I’m spending with my Dad, even if it is only deciding which ‘ready meal’ he should have…

Life is a whole load of highs and lows, good times and bad . I guess we move through life adjusting to our circumstances … even when sometimes we don’t want too.

If there’s one piece of advice I could give you it’s this:

Thrive in the good times, make lots of beautiful memories and love unconditionally ; believe me these will help you get through the low and sad times .

If you’re really lucky you’ll find it brings you closer to someone you’ve known all your life …

Your Dad 💗

x

Today’s post is actually something I wrote on Instagram earlier but felt I wanted to share on here too …

One year on …

I wasn’t sure whether to write this post . I fear I’m just going over the same old ground, repeating myself … but then that’s grief for you. You are constantly reliving moments , remembering and dealing with them. How you felt at the time. How you feel now. I guess that’s what it will be like forever … only maybe [ and hopefully] not so raw?

Firstly there is nothing pretty about death. It is what it is …

Death is an all-consuming sadness , it’s dark and it’s morbid. It’s feeling constantly sick and not being able to catch your breath. Death is final.

Our memories however… they don’t have to be. Our memories can be whatever we want them to be – fluffy, bright pink and vibrant just-like the person whose passed .

How’s that saying go…. “there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel”. I figure I’m still in my tunnel , bumbling around in the dark. Somewhere in the middle, scrapping away and searching for answers. I occasionally catch glimpses but mostly I’m still in darkness grabbing the light where I can.

On July 10th it will be a year … 365 days … 52 weeks … since we lost my mum. Vicious, beautiful, full of life. She was 72 and taken far too early .

Cancer is one cruel bastard.

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Gone … but not forgotten. Mums cancer journey

I’ve ‘hummed and arrhhed’ about posting this for fear of offending people , for fear of coming across depressive. I’m not here to conform, and it is just my thoughts, my musings of the last few months.

I braved it and hit publish.

* * * * * * * *’

As regular readers  will be aware my mum died on July 10th 2017.

The official cause of death Endometrioid Carcinoma of the Upper Vagina and end stage Kidney Disease. 

I was there as she took her last breath.

Just like that … after 2 weeks in palliative care she gave up the good fight.

It took me a while to be able to say it and not feel terrible… but it was a relief.

To see somebody you love who had always been so active –  bed-bound and in pain, with no prospect of getting better is gut-wrenching. The helplessness you feel, the aching, the love, the anger, the sadness … it a real mix of emotion, it’s confusing.

It caused me anxiety, sleepless nights and pangs of guilt. Continue reading

Life goes on …

It’s been just under a month since we said our last goodbyes to mum.

Despite the boyfriends pleas that I don’t talk about it [ to the world that is ; he’s been a rock and is a great listener] apparently I am being morbid. I am single handily depressing and boring the blogosphere. I thought I’d go a head and do an update anyway .. on life.

Life after mum.  Continue reading