I didn’t want a Birthday this year.

I was dreading my birthday after losing Dad at the end of January.  It was unbearable to think of a birthday with both of my parents not here as Mom followed Dad so quickly.  I was quite happy to just let the day pass unnoticed.  Family, friends and himself had other thoughts.

A treat at my local hairdressers.  On your birthday they give you a choice of gifts so I chose the wash and blow dry – always cheers me up.  I also had a recommendation voucher which I used for a manicure – what a treat!

One of my lovely friends then treated me to a celebration afternoon tea at a beautiful local hotel. It was a beautiful sunny and warm day so we sat outside, batted away wasps and enjoyed hundreds of calories.

Himself took me for my first night away from home in four years to Lichfield which is a small but beautiful city not too far from where I live.  We used to go there for New Year’s Eve back in the day, go to our favourite Indian restaurant, have a few cocktails, stop over and head for home the next day.  And that’s exactly what we did the night before my birthday and I was fine.  Not a tear.  It felt very strange to turn my phone off when I went to bed, no-one was going to be calling me and I’m finding that hard to deal with.

Huge brunch which meant I didn’t eat until very late Saturday night.  I received lots of flowers, chocolates and my very best friend bought me a rather large and sturdy suitcase with the words “get travelling woman”.  The sobbing started when I opened up my birthday cards, that was very tough indeed.

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I bought this bottle of Champagne last Christmas and I was saving it for a “special occasion”. I’m no longer going to save things, if I have them I’m going to enjoy them and live for today.  As the saying goes, tomorrow is never promised and it takes pure heartbreaking events for us to really understand this. As my Dad would say “life is for living”.  I drank the whole bottle over the course of three days and I don’t regret it one little bit.

With love and sparkles xx

 

Filling Time.

It’s so strange to have time on my hands.  I’ve gone from being on the go 24/7 to nothing. Those first few weeks alone after Mom rejoined Dad, I was up most of the night.  I was watching “Now 90’s” on TV which revisited my clubbing days and I still love dance music. There was an 80’s music TV channel which I discovered and loved.  4 am to bed was early for me.  I wasn’t tired and I didn’t want to go to bed and I didn’t want to go to sleep. Sleep meant forgetting what had happened and then when I woke the nightmare of truth just hit me all over again so no, I didn’t want to go to sleep.

I’ve been watching films galore.  “Pitch Perfect” – oh how I enjoyed that one and also “Mamma Mia”.  “Searching” was really good and I loved “Oblivion”.  I escaped into these films, they engrossed me for the length of time they were on.  When they were over though, once again reality hit and so did the tears.  I struggle with evenings and overnight although thankfully I had a word with myself and I am now getting to bed at a much more reasonable hour.

With the recent good weather I decided to get out in the garden and plant some flowers in the empty, discarded and unloved plant pots.  I was out there for four hours in the sunshine, birds singing, gentle breeze and the sound of children playing in nearby gardens.  It lifted my heart somewhat.  I’ll never be as good a gardener as my parents but I didn’t do too badly on my four hour shift.

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And so we begin…
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The objects of my gardening affection.
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I really hope these grow and trail as they should.
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So pretty.
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All done!
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Very proud of this one, I grew it from seeds planted in March this year.
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I can’t lay claim to these, I bought them as I love Geranium’s. Mom and I used to plant some each year, we never managed to keep them alive to the following year.

I’m definitely a have a go gardener xx

First Steps.

Going out for a walk with himself and then having lunch was an experience.  It was perfectly pleasant, a normal kind of thing to do except that we haven’t done anything like that for a very long time.  It was a strange experience for me.  If I did pop out over the last three years I had the phone almost always in my hand, just in case I received a call to come home quickly.  I was forever checking the time to ensure I was back before the carer who was covering for me had to leave.  This gentle stroll and going for lunch was an experience for me as I no longer need to check my phone for missed calls.  I no longer need to be back home by a certain time.  There is no one at home that needs me anymore.  My brain is having huge problems processing this information.  “New Normal” has not yet kicked in.  For now I shall continue to write about my journey from carer to former carer, from daughter to…what?  I suppose I still am a daughter but my parents are gone ahead and I can’t see them although I talk to them all the time, it helps.

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Yes, another glass of Kir Royale kind Sir.

 

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Bistrot Pierre – reasonably priced and always, always busy.

 

 

Thank you for your wonderful support xx

No words.

Yes, I have no words.  I feel the need to write about how I’m feeling yet I cannot seem to find the words.  How do you describe “this”?  I have no idea how to convey the feelings of loss.  Loss of my Dad, loss of my Mom and a loss of me.  I don’t know who I am anymore. I was a full time carer.  I was on the go all the time and I do mean, all the time.  Sleep was a premium item, you just keep going because you have to.  Now I have all the time in the world to sleep and can’t.  When I do wake up in the morning a feeling of complete emptiness consumes me.  What do I do?  There isn’t anything to do.  No-one to look after, no meals to prepare, no washing to do, no phone calls to health professionals, appointments to keep, prescriptions to renew, nothing, absolutely nothing.

The carer’s who were assisting me no longer need to call, no further need for the district nurses to call in nor for the Doctor to visit.

When I go out I am still constantly checking my phone for a missed call or a voicemail to tell me to come home, I still watch the time so as I am not out too long as I need to be back as the carer will be leaving and I still get up from my seat at certain times to get Dad’s medication or to put the music on for Mom.  It’s all just too much and it’s all happened too close together.  That’s life, this is what happens, none of us escape these losses.  I sob and sob and sob, I let it out, I scream for my Mom, I talk to my Dad, I feel them near, I am comfortable at home, I’m close to them here.  This is the one occasion in life that no one can make better, no one can make this right again.  I just don’t know who I am anymore my identity has been stripped away.

It’s early days of course, just six weeks for Mom and just over five months for Dad.  I get through each day, I have amazing friends, fabulous cousins, a wonderful man and lots of fantastic online connections all of whom are rooting for me, supporting me and helping me through.  I’m blessed.  I get strength from my faith.

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Treated myself to scone and cappuccino when I went to arrange Mom’s flowers.

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I’ve made a small altar next to the two chairs Mom and Dad always sat in.  For now I have Mom’s Mass cards there but I will take them down when I feel ready.

 

After Mom’s funeral I stayed at my chap’s home for the weekend and helped him with his Mom.  He’s a great cook, above are freshly made poppadum’s and onion bhaji’s. My current diet consists of mostly Prosecco and chocolate…not good I know but that’s just how it is for now.

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A Vanilla Espresso Martini – one of many drinks I have raised in celebration of my parents and yes that includes Mom’s favourite, the cup of tea.

Thank you for bearing with my blackness, I just don’t have any sparkle at the moment.

So Far.

So far I have managed to put one foot in front of the other everyday and keep going. Some days have been easier than others and some days I just haven’t done anything, because I just haven’t been able to.  I have become very conscious of looking after myself because I am all my Mom has.  I didn’t really think too much about self care before, Dad was here, he always knew what to do, who to contact and make the decisions.  Now Dad isn’t here, it’s all down to me and once you start thinking about that, it’s scary.

So far I have managed to get Dad’s memorial cards designed, printed and I have sent the majority of them out.  I have had a meeting at the hospital about the disgraceful lack of care my Dad received (I will blog about this separately).  The meeting really took it out of me, I was physically and emotionally drained, but it had to be done.

So far I have gone back to my music slowly.  I never feel like singing or picking up the guitar but once I do, I feel so much better.  Because I concentrate so much on what I am doing it releases stress and pressure for a little while and that feels good.

So far I thought I was doing well, coming to terms with things, not crying too much and then all of a sudden on Sunday night I had a huge outpouring of tears which came on suddenly and without warning.  Thankfully my man was here visiting and I could leave the room so that Mom didn’t witness these tears.

So far I haven’t done anything about the website I was putting together for my music. I have made a slow start to this.  With the website building taking place I will be downgrading my blogging plan here on WordPress.  I will still be blogging, I enjoy it and it helps me plus the wonderful fellow bloggers I have met on here which I certainly wouldn’t want to lose.  From July when I have the blogger plan I think any videos I have to share with you will have to be on the website.

And so far finally I haven’t really been up to that much.  At the moment I like it this way. I don’t want to have a full diary, or things planned ahead, I’m just not in that mindset yet. I want to take things slowly, to spend as much time as possible with my Mom, to plan my music and try to plan for the future.  As we know, the future doesn’t always go to plan.

A few photo’s of life over the past couple of weeks.

With love and sparkles xxx

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Tears totally out of the blue and when you least expect it.

Some delicious Irish Soda bread my cousin gave to me on her recent visit.

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Prayer is what works for me, it keeps me calmer, it soothes me and it makes me feel closer to my Dad, my Sister and all those who have gone before me.

And a little Snapchat to make me smile, take away the black circles and remove wrinkles 🙂