So, on the morning of our four-year old grandson’s funeral my car parking abilities were at their absolute best. Unbeknown to me, my brother-in-law had watched it all from the car behind me. I had it right at one point and then ended up partly on the grass verge and partly on the road. Oh sod it! At least I wasn’t blocking the hearse that carried our grandson’s white coffin.
In my defence, I had been somewhat distracted by the sea of people who rolled towards us and the entrance of the crematorium’s chapel, like a huge wave.
“Are these people all for Daniel?” I asked the funeral director who walked along side us and the vicar.
” They are,” she gently replied.
” Wow,” I said. ” So many people for him.”
Daniel arrived and we, the immediate family followed his coffin in. I was worried about crying. I always try to get a tight grip of myself at funerals. The room was quickly filled with heavy sobs and I joined in.
The vicar led us in a beautiful celebration of Daniel’s life. We cried, we laughed and we smiled at the memories. We saw photos of him and outside, a bubble machine reminded us of his love of bubbles. This grandma still has tubs of bubble mix all over the house.
A blue Thomas The Train floral wreath adorned his coffin and elsewhere yellow ( his favourite colour) flowers had been made into a teddy bear.
Julie, the vicar told me that there had in fact been 80 mourners at the funeral. In his short life our grandson had touched quite a few folk.
We left the funeral service to the sound of Meghan Trainor. Daniel loved to dance.
And he had some rather cool moves.
Julie’s closing words to Daniel were :
” We love you. We miss you. We want you to be happy.
Go safely. Go dancing. Go running home.”
Those words and this song will remain with me forever and I’m sure Daniel did dance his way home.
I will be writing some more about Daniel, in the future.
Sometimes life deals you a tragic blow and you are catapulted into a nightmarish existence.
A week ago our youngest grandson, Daniel, who was four, was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, from our local hospital. At 11.30 the previous evening his parents, our daughter and her partner, had been informed that he had Leukaemia. He had been admitted to the hospital for complications with chickenpox.
Basically, what followed over the next two and half days was like being in a twilight zone. He eventually had a machine working away for just about every major organ in his body. Daniel fought a brave battle for his life. But, on Sunday morning his parents were told that he was dying and they took the tremendously brave decision to let him slip away peacefully in their arms, rather than risk him having a heart attack and a violent passing.
This afternoon, with a hell of a lot of trepidation and shaking legs, I went to the Chapel of Rest to see Daniel. I needed to replace the image of him lying in the Intensive Care Unit after he had passed, with something more peaceful. I am glad to say I found my peace. I spent some time holding his hand, stroking his lovely brown hair and chatting to him. He may well have been listening in from somewhere thinking please shut up grandma! I talked about the many happy things we did together and fun times we had – such as counting our stairs to make sure that one hadn’t gone missing, making dens under tables, generally turning our lounge into a tip, walking the Daisy Dog and running around the house like lunatics!
I left the Chapel of Rest a changed person… no longer deranged with grief.
This isn’t to say that the grief won’t return. As anyone who has experienced a bereavement (and I’m guessing that is a lot of us) knows, it hits you in waves doesn’t it? You think you have it all under control and then that one little thing can reduce you to tears… yes?
As for Daniel’s parents… they are being so brave and strong. They have a rather dark and scary road to travel down. But we, the family will be with them all the way. And we are gathering some HUGE torches to light our way.
So Daniel my little sweetheart, next week your funeral will be a celebration of your life… with colours, balloons and some pop star called Megan Trainer ( yeah, grandma has that wrong again) who you rather liked. You had a few cool moves when you danced to her tracks. Not for you a dark and dreary event.
My daughter and her partner have surprised and filled me with hope with their take on the cruel event that wrenched their beautiful son away from them. His dad told me :
” We were all on a journey together. Now Daniel has had to go on a journey of his own and we must find ourselves another journey. But, he will always be with us. We carry him in our hearts and we wouldn’t have missed our journey with him for anything.”
Are not our children brilliant? Do they not make us proud? Do they not inspire us?
Rest in peace Daniel Christopher. You were a one-off. And your mummy and daddy although broken-hearted will be just fine given the passage of time, because they made a promise to you as you passed. They understood that your journey together was over, but they promised you that they would somehow find a new way – in time. The better for having had you in their lives, albeit it for four short years. Mummies and daddies don’t break promises.
We all benefited from knowing you… our special, gorgeous little man.
Enjoy your journey sweetheart and don’t forget to come back and haunt us all on a regular basis. Particularly at the dead of night when we all can’t sleep.
And this grandma of yours will continue to talk to you… you don’t get away with it that easily!
This post is not written to depress or disturb you, nor to draw sympathy. On Write Dorne I write about all aspects of my life. Death is a part of life and we can not escape it. But, I think as we face up to it, it becomes less scary – well that’s the plan anyway.
I plan to write about Daniel a bit more. In fact a lot more… he was a large part of my life.
In an attempt to feel a bit better and lose some weight I’ve been gluten-free since the beginning of this year. This week sees my hubby’s seventieth birthday and so today we gathered the kids and their kids together and headed off to our local fish restaurant – for an early birthday bash.
Some would argue that this is hardly diet food… but, what the heck. I’ll be walking the Daisy dog that bit faster and further – to walk it off. ( She can’t wait for that!)
There’s something special about Saturdays. I was born on a Saturday night, just as Jack Warner as Sergeant Dixon in Dixon of Dock Green said “Evening all!” I’m led to believe that this was about 9.20 pm. My paternal grandma watching it downstairs, turned up the sound on the television as I screamed upstairs,throughout the episode. When it had finished she investigated the source of the noise pollution. She loved me really… and me her.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with 1960’s television shows in the UK, here’s a clip of the opening titles.
You’ve got to admit that’s pretty gripping stuff. Cor blimey! This show went on for many years. Sergeant Dixon brought me into the world and accompanied me throughout most of my childhood.
As a very naughty six-year-old that crawled the length of the children’s hospital ward underneath the beds, to hide from the nurses; used the beds as trampolines and swung from the toilet chains, I had my tonsils removed. I also pretended to be falling asleep and then made my bid for freedom, as the poor surgical staff tried to anaesthetise me. Round and round the room I raced, like a caged animal trying to escape. Someone opened a door and I saw my escape… only to be captured by a mad scramble of frustrated, but relieved hands.
“I’m going to sleep now.” I told them and waited for that awful black mask to be removed from my face.
I woke up on the ward, minus my tonsils and feeling cross with myself for letting them get the better of me.
For being such a good girl? I got a Lady Penelope doll. I was Thunderbirds crazy. My Lady Penelope wasn’t chauffeured around by Parker in a pink Rolls Royce, no… she drove herself in a blue, plastic jeep. She drove like a mad woman and did things for herself. She didn’t wear the shop bought costumes. I made my own creations for her and I think mum might have chipped in as well with a few items. She was a hippy with headbands, maxi dresses and was nothing like her television personality. She talked with a Yorkshire accent and didn’t brush her hair very much. She climbed trees, played in mud and sand and just lived like a child.
Here’s the Thunderbird’s version of her Ladyship in action.
Later on, as a teenager, Saturday meant pay-day for my paper round and a free Mars bar. I’d buy a can of coke and slurp, and munch my way around my paper round. Then I’d head off to Music College for the morning. I played clarinet. I still have it and occasionally I try the odd Clarinet concerto… as one does. My mouth is not used to the reeds these days and I get blisters. Also, it sounds like a cat on heat! The poor thing can’t get any relief.
These days Saturdays are still special to me. It’s almost as if I can feel them. The traffic that meanders its way through the village and past our cottage sounds different and feels different. I can almost feel that Saturday shopping anticipation/ going to the match/ to visit friends. No work – for some. At this time of the year Christmas shopping is picking up and the excitement levels of guys being dragged off to shopping centres is at an all time high.
Early on a Saturday morning I roam the sleeping village streets with the Daisy dog and imagine the snoring folk behind the closed blinds and curtains. Eventually, they will rise, without the aid of an alarm and sleepily wander into their Saturday.
The only part of Saturday I can’t abide is the evening television. It’s all stupid game shows, dancing, prancing and mindless garbage for morons. Yeah, I love it. I persuade hubby to binge watch zombies, controlling presidents/politicians and aliens. A bit like Brexit and the Amercian Presidential Election really!
So, that’s a muddled up post about Saturdays/ childhood memories and a bit of other stuff thrown into the mix.
And to think that this all started off with some fog and frost this morning. It got me out of bed… to photograph it and it got me thinking about Saturday.
There may be some of you who would have preferred the fog and frost… SORRY! But, memory lane got in there first.
So, did any of you have a Lady Penelope doll? Watch Thunderbirds? Play clarinet? Do you remember Dixon of Dock Green? Have your tonsils removed in childhood? Climb trees?
I’m off to walk the Daisy dog now and climb a few trees! Oh, and I forgot to mention the roller skating. Maybe next time.
Monday will be my daughter’s birthday. At 5.34 pm she will be 36 years old. (Gosh, I feel old. But, in a warm fuzzy kind of way.) This post is by way of saying Happy Birthday to her.
Here’s what I remember.
She made her screaming entrance into the 80’s world on a snowy, Friday tea time. We were in a rather traditional, old hospital ( we had an extremely efficient and quite frankly scary matron! Think Hatty Jacques in the Carry on movies!) in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
I still vividly recall studying the tiny baby/ living doll in the crib at the bottom of the bed that I , YES ME ! had just delivered.
I’d waited so long for her to arrive. She’d made me sick just about every day of my pregnancy and as is often the norm, had performed gymnastics – whenever I’d tried to rest. I’d been pretty sure I was about to give birth to a football team.
We’d had a dress rehearsal with the first labour pains… when I was up a step-ladder, painting her nursery in neutral colours. ( We didn’t know what we were getting back in my day.)
We’d got the baby stuff together and had three of everything. One on, one in the wash and one ready. Generous folk had knitted me a huge collection of cardigans and booties in an assortment of colours. They’d made me bedding sets for her pram and cot and our tiny house was full of all things baby.
I loved pegging out her brilliant white terry nappies on the washing line. (In fact I made it my mission to get them the brightest white I could and soft… as, and for my baby’s bottom!) I could have watched that beautiful statement to the world that I was now a mum, blow in the breeze all day; except I had a few other things to do.
As she grew.
Sadly things didn’t work out between her dad and I and we went our separate ways. As a single parent there was challenges to be met and overcome. Money was tight and very carefully budgeted. We had a house that was well lived in. It suited us and our numerous pets. She once wrote about our magical house. I couldn’t have had a better compliment and I like to think that I got something right…though not everything. Does anyone?
I remarried and through the rebellious, teenage years we battled on. Aliens abducted her and left us with an argumentative. very messy and hormonal clone for quite a few years. They returned a more grown up, calmer version of her and peace returned.
Then she flew the nest.
” You see much more of your children once they leave home. “
Lucille Ball (1911 – 1989)
Now she is grown.
With a four-year old son of her own, she is a brilliant, working mum and partner.
Next September my grandson will go to school and I hope I will get to stand outside school with the other mums and grandmas, as I collect him from school.
I love my grandson to bits. My baby has a baby . I still find that amazing, even after four years. I’ll say it again… my baby has a baby! Because, as parents our children grow up, but they’re still our babies, aren’t they? They have their own children and we get to watch them from a different angle, as they parent their children. Feeling proud of them does not even start to describe how you feel.
I peered into another crib and saw a familiar tiny baby/doll with perfect little fingers and toes. Two beautiful blue eyes looked back at me. Seeing my grandson for the first time was the most amazing experience. I won’t forget it.
“There came a moment quite suddenly a mother realized that a child was no longer hers…without bothering to ask or even give notice, her daughter had just grown up.”
And so the cycle goes on.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful, clever and loving daughter. I will never be able to thank you enough for making me a mum and grandma.
So, how about you? How do feel about being a parent/ grandparent? Do you remember how you felt when they were born? Do they continue to surprise you? (I’m guessing they do.)
On my long trawl through my blog archives I’ve found this. It isn’t brilliant, but it beats some of the cringe-worthy stuff that resides in the colon of my blog.
I am still guilty of making endless lists. I have now left the sexy red phone (see below) behind…the Daisy dog got hold of it. I have a more super-duper model…black and sporting a purple cover. (Just so you know!)
I very carefully and methodically type in my day’s lists. They pop up at the appointed time…I snooze them. They pop up again, I snooze them. They try again to remind and inspire me. I snooze then until the next day or I swear at them and delete them!
There’s no hope really.
When I penned the offending post below, I was about to go to my sister’s wedding. My sexy red phone had gone on the blink and was in for repairs. I’d been given something that kind of passed as a phone as a temporary measure. I was not a happy bunny.
I received word that my sexy red phone was waiting for me, in Scarborough…on the morning of the wedding…and I was in Gloucestershire.
I went on to get very badly lost in the car ( Sat Nav on sexy red phone…not on the dinosaur I took with me) , was very late and I got quite drunk on whisky that night. The wedding was lovely and my sis and brother-in-law looked fab and very happy.
I’m a great lover of lists of things to do. They decorate my fridge door and I have them dotted around the heap, that I call my desk.
In addition to this, I also keep a diary [ Myslexia], use my diary on my laptop and, when I’m in possession of my sexy red phone, I use the diary and notebook on there as well.
We won’t mention the mobile phone, as I am still stuck with the ‘ Samsung inadequate ‘ and unless some miracle happens today, it looks like I will be stuck with it until next week. I fully expect to receive an email when I arrive in Gloucester tomorrow, informing me that my phone is awaiting me in Scarborough.
As well as using my lists to get myself organised on a daily basis, I also use them to organise my writing.
If find that if I arrive at what I call my desk, others might call a tip, with a list, I might be in with a fair chance of actually doing something productive. And I get to cross off the things as I do them. Or, they sit and stare at me, as I fail to cross them off. This worries me somewhat and I add this to my list. Then, I add to my list that I have added this and then add that, as well.
I’m a sad case. [We know that, don’t we?] If I need a boost, I will add things to my list that I’ve already done and cross them off, for the sense of achievement and excitement. [ Yeah, I need to get out more.]
At other times, I will methodically write out a detailed list and plan of action and then lose it…in my drawers. I’VE LOST SO MANY THINGS IN MY DRAWERS, IT’S UNBELIEVABLE! Don’t even go there!
So to recap:
I write lists.
I still can’t get organised.
There’s no hope for me.
I don’t go out.
I just write lists all of the time.
I lose them in my massive drawers.
Lists go in those places and never come out again.
In fact, quite a few things go in those places and never come out again.
It’s a whole new world in there.
Do you write lists, to help with your writing or daily routine? Do you lose them? Do you need to get out more? Do you even care? Do you know what I’m going on about now? Please tell me.
I must go now and continue to plough through ‘the mother of all lists’ that I have set myself for today.
I suspect that I am going to need another list, to help me with the original list. And then there’s prioritising the list. OMG!
When I get down to Gloucester I can make a list for what I need to do there. [Gloucester will never be the same again.] Then, I can make a list of things to do, to get us back up the country. And of course, on my return I will have another list of things to do, at home.
I think I will be spending Monday in bed, getting over the b****y lists.
Of course, I could just throw caution to the wind and wing it!
Yeah, I might just do that and arrive at my sister’s wedding wearing my posh dress, with my muck boots. Because I didn’t have a list to remind me to take my high heels with me.
I’m off to burn my list now and live dangerously. Why not join me and create a f*ck it list, as in the image!
I love winter. That may have something to do with the fact that I was and am a winter baby. Yes I know it’s cold and some days it can be quite dark and grey. But, for me winter has a magic all of its own.
Here’s how my perfect winter’s day would look.
It’s a time to get cosy in soft, woollens. I knit on a knitting loom, which is a bit like knitting and weaving all thrown in together. Put me in a wool shop and I’m in wool heaven, choosing my colours and yarns.
I love to venture out into a cold and frosty morning. Wrapped up against the elements I feel as if I am in a warm bubble. My dog and I crunch our way through the frozen grass, breathing in the sharp air. The beautiful, still landscape sets me up for the day.
We return home to
Yes, I know fattening. But, I have just tramped around the field with my dog. Besides, warm crumpets with melted butter gliding down the side of them, make the perfect companions to
a mug of steaming hot coffee and a good read. You have to read and drink coffee to write…right?
Tomato soup is a good substitute. The thicker and creamier the better. ( I’m never going to lose those stubborn pounds!)
If I’m really lucky, it’ll snow …really heavily and then it’ll be back out with the dog and maybe my grandson to play in it.
After all that playing there can only be one more perfect thing, in this the most perfect of winter days…
dumplings! And yes…I’m looking like one now. The next phase of dieting rapidly approaches.
The grandson goes home with mum and I’m left to recover with a glass of wine, by a red-hot fire. Not too close though…don’t want chilblains.
I sit in my home which looks like something out of a country house magazine. All cushions, throws, beautifully coordinated and no clutter. (Yeah, right…I am the QUEEN of clutter.) And I don’t do minimalist – I’m a hippy. I actually thrive on colour and things to look at …and dust. I love dusting…not. You dust, it goes up and comes down again. Why do I dust? Why has no one invented a way to keep dust at bay? Or why can it not be fashionable to have dust and dead skin adorn your television cabinet and bookcases? Why do I not feel at peace with the world until I have dusted?
My wellies and muck boots are never ever this clean. I love my mud and so does the pooch. Life is too short to clean off the muddy boots to go back into the mud and make them muddy again…right? This and dusting are time – wasting chores. I could be knitting, or stuffing my fat face with dumplings and drinking wine!
I love the quiet, stillness of winter days. The laid back and hopeful birdsong. The darker days (I’m a migraineur and bright light does not always do it for me…in fact it sometimes does for me!)
I love the naked trees and their skeletal shapes, the fog and mist, the sunsets, the sunrises. The frost on the pavements and the black ice that creeps up on you and nearly catches you out. How I laugh, as I hit the ground yet again and scrabble for the dog lead…before she makes a dash for it.
I’ve found this poem which I feel describes winter perfectly.
Come, oh most glorious Winter Be quick to lay your silence down Blanket us with your white coverlet And i will wear my Green Christmas gown… We will revel in your snowflakes- Delight in a skate upon your iced over pond Build forts and ramparts with much glee Form a White Winter Bond…; Come, oh most glorious Winter We welcome your haunting White Noise… All your white lanes all aglitter Trees branches weighted-with White Winter Poise; All agleaming and crisp making… Comes thru the Decembers quick air Completely dressed up in your Winter White Oh, most Glorious White Winter, so fair!
I was going to start this ranting post (yes again…sorry!) by saying that this rather lovely naked guy, having his undies nicked by this cute, little pooch had nothing whatsoever to do with the post that follows. But, that would be untrue, as although my undies are intact, or they were when I last checked, I do feel a bit powerless at the moment. As if I have had my undies nicked and I am defenceless, with the wind howling around places it shouldn’t howl. Let me enlighten you…or bore you! And it’s a bit of eye candy for us gals and guys!
Hubby has Parkinson’s …fine. Well, no, not fine actually, but we get on with it …right? Trips into town and to sprawling shopping malls are a thing of the past. So it’s over to internet shopping. Now , don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for internet shopping, because without it I would be stuffed…BIG TIME!
Most of the time it all works and stuff gets delivered. But, when it goes wrong…you have to make THE phone call, don’t you?
A parcel was delivered, but not to me. It was left in a porch…I don’t have a porch. I rang the powers that be and explained. They spent two days trying to track down the courier who had committed the devilish deed and then when I rang them back to enquire what was happening and when he would be whipped for his actions…THEN and only THEN, did they decide to send out the order again. Hooray! It arrived the next day and all was well with my rather, strange world.
Today, I received word that they’d delivered another package to me…only they hadn’t …again. So, I rang them… again.
It’s a simple process:
Choose from these choices:
Press 1: If you suspect there is something b****y funny going on with your account and you’re pulling your already greying hair out!
Press 2: If you have a porch we can deliver someone else’s parcel to.
Press 3: If you know your blood group and the exact time you were born at.
I listened to the mind – numbing music…again. And then an actual human being on the end of the line, persuaded me that I wasn’t living in a twilight zone where all of my parcels go missing, to a huge porch and I end up like the guy on the beach…with nothing to wear. It appears Mulder and Scully will not have another case for their X-files.
They’ve amended their records and I will be able to sleep soundly in my padded cell tonight…until the next email to say …they’ve delivered yet another parcel to my non-existent porch.
So, that’s another rant done. That is all I seem to do these days…but, I do play hell rather well. I begin by being friendly and professional and gradually lose it as the person at the other end tells me that their system won’t allow them to do that, once too often.
I’ve been on the other end of complaints, haven’t we all? So, I try to remember that. But, sometimes we all need a bloody, good punch bag and I’m afraid a position in customer services puts you right in my firing line! And… I’m as ratty as hell at the moment, due to a medication change.
Now, all I have to do is sort out hubby’s glasses (following on from the dog cuddling them), which is not easy when you have a disabled hubby, who struggles to get to the opticians now and a well-known high street optician doesn’t do home visits! All I can say is …they won’t be gaining any points there and our boots are doing the walking! But, that is a different story and another rant.