Sunday, June 22, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Flavour of the Month

The weather might have turned distinctly Mediterranean,  the sun might be shining on Scotland but despite the light that old familiar darkness has come creeping in.

I can hold it at bay, I need to withdraw further than I already am (isolation is luckily a talent many only children possess).  I shall sit in the sunshine, absorb that good Vitamin D while avoiding the burn.  Quietly, assuredly I will hold my own counsel as I always do.

The flavour of this darkness is irrelevance, I feel irrelevant to all except my sons.   Well I am irrelevant to all except my sons but the trick is to remember that.  I keep my head and heart focused on that one thing that keeps me from being overwhelmed and swallowed completely.  I don't matter to anyone but them and that has to be enough.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Can't See The Wood...

My sons returned from summer Scout camp today and amongst the mountain of washing they also brought this little gem from the campfire -

Each boy is asked to talk for 30 seconds on one subject so if someone says ticket all you are allowed to talk about is tickets.  It's harder than it sounds.

One lad was given the subject "trees" and came up with this

"You can make trees from wood..."

Indeed you can.  Son 2of2 doesn't get why I find that so funny but maybe it's just my weird sense of humour.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

D-Day + 1

Yesterday the Western world took pause to reflect on the 70th anniversary of D-day.  It was, considering the way of the world now, a respectful event.  In particular the memorial held in France.

I particularly loved the report than an 89-year-old man, told by his care home staff he couldn't go, snuck out and went anyway.  Good on you mate and shame on the care home staff forgetting they are dealing with adults who would rather risk an all important journey like this than sit vegetating.

Read today that the actor who played the original Scotty in Star Trek was shot six times, losing part of a finger in the process.  He was part of the Canadian forces.  There have been so many humbling yet amazing stories from heroes who never thought of themselves as anything other than ordinary young men doing their duty.

My own thoughts yesterday - the men known cruelly as the D-Day Dodgers.  Fighting an equally brutal battle in Italy.  I think my dad must have been stationed in Bari with the RAF at the time.  He had plenty of tales of his own, rarely recounted but devastating when he did, therefore I know the places he went (Burma, North Africa, Italy) but the only one I could possibly put a date on was that he was in North Africa when the Italians capitulated. 

He recalled lying in a ditch with some of the crew while a large part of the Italian army stationed there marched past.  They didn't know the Italians were going to surrender so spent the whole time thinking that if they were found that would be it.  To experience such things as a teenager and then a young man - he was only five years older than my sons are now when he signed up.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Strangest Month

As a good part of it is spent on holiday and all routine is thrown to the wind, this does feel like an odd month.  Stranger still is that I realised today there is not going to be a point any time soon when I walk down to the town and don't still expect to go to my mother's flat.

I pass by even though I should turn left and through the automatic doors, greeted by the smells of food from the kitchens as we trot upstairs to the little flat after first checking to see if she was in the common room.

Routine has all gone and things are uncertain.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mothering Sunday

My competence as a daughter may have been questionable however I am hopeful that I make a much better mum. 

As the first mothers day where I've not had to think of presents or outings it did feel more than a little strange.  My boys put a lot of effort in to this morning, home made pancakes from one and chocolates and a card from the other.  Lovely.

So here is chubby little me with my ever unimpressed mother at the old cafe near Millport.  The site of the cafe is now where my dad's bench is, where her plaque is in the process of being added.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

The Business of Death

Sunday morning my mother gave up her fight against pneumonia.   Getting on with the business of death is much easier than when my dad died but holding off the sledgehammer of grief is just as hard.

Last time it was because I had to be there completely for my mother.  She relied on me entirely and grief was closed away in a box.  Now I go about the informing of relatives and friends, an ever shrinking group - what once took me two evenings now took just over an hour.

Tomorrow I will clear out what I want from her little flat and donate the rest - clothes, books and furniture to the other residents.  I've already contacted the council to get her plaque beside dad's on the bench at Fintry Bay.  It's a machine in motion and at some point I'll get off, clear my head and be able to untangle these confused emotions and think.

We had a difficult relationship over the years but what does that matter?  Next Monday we will see who comes to pay their respects but I'm of the mind that it's their conscience on how they treated her in life.