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Footsteps in your heart..

Posted in Personal Blog

Footprints In Your Heart by Eleanor Roosevelt

Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.

To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.

Anger is only one letter short of danger.

If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.

Great minds discuss ideas,
Average minds discuss events,
Small minds discuss people.

He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses much more;
He who loses faith, loses all.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.

Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

Friends, you and me.
You brought another friend,
And then there were three.

We started our group,
Our circle of friends,
And like that circle –
There is no beginning or end.

Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.

That’s why it’s called the present.

December ~ I find the final month of each year daunting and slightly unnerving. It holds events, memories, fears, milestones and markers in time which are deeply emotional for me.

As the month approaches I have to clench my fists tightly around the lead of my black dog to stop him running amok. My core wobbles, my emotions are unpredictable, I cry, laugh and occasionally do both together ~ it can be unnerving for those around me.

Love is unconditional, unnerving and frightening. You realise that you have no control of the events in life that can pull the rug from under your feet.

December used to be a month full of love and laughter, a month full of parties, socialising and celebrations.

Mum was born on 6th December 1943, her parents were in their 40’s and she had no siblings. Losing her father, who she worshipped, at the tender age of 15 left her living alone with her mother. My grandmother was wonderful but I could see how my mother thought her childhood stifling as her mother did everything for her and relied on her for company and her happiness.

Mum on holiday in Spain when I was a teenager
Mum Christmas 2008, her last one with us

When mum and dad were married on 27th of December, my Grandmother, who we called Nanna, was kept close and eventually came to live with us when I was 3 years old.

Nanna Morton enjoying a sherry

My dads mother was visited regularly, plus when I was a teenager at boarding school in Abingdon I spent weekends with her, as she lived outside of Oxfordshire and not too far away. On occasion when we holidayed we took both Grandmas with us. We also called dads mother Nanna, so we had Nanna Morton and Nanna Taylor.

Dad with his mum aka Nanna Taylor

Both my Nannas had their birthdays in December, Nanna Morton on Christmas Eve and Nanna Taylor on 29th December.

Can you see a pattern forming?

Mums birthday, both Nannas birthdays and mum and dads wedding anniversary ALL in December.

Mum loved to party we always had a Christmas light “switch on” on her birthday  (the festive lights on the outside of our house) followed by a large and exhuberant party ~ mum and dad had so many friends who were all as excellent at partying as they were. Each year the lights were more extravagent and the parties more lively.

December seemed to come alive from the 6th ~ everything was a celebration and the run up to Christmas always a joy as mum loved Christmas. When I married Dave we spent most of our Christmases together with mum and dad, the magic always bigger and better  with each passing year and especially when the children came along.

We lost my Nanna Morton when I was 18 and only very recently lost my Nanna Taylor.  We lost mum on 13th December 2009, after almost a week in intensive care surrounded by myself, my brother, sister and father, we camped out and didn’t leave her side except to visit the toilet or have something to eat. I wore a cap to cover my unswashed greasy hair ~ we used wet wipes to wash and hastily brushed teeth in the toilets. The family room was not available to us as another family were using it. Eventually, after asking for help from the doctor in ICU, she was transferred to a quiet side room where she finally found peace. Mums death led to her having an autopsy to try and find the primary tumour that caused her demise, then we had her funeral on 23rd December. Too many sad dates to hold in my heart, too many Decembers holding memories I wished I could forget.

December is a difficult month, I have so very many happy memories which were made during this month ~ however I also have too many dark and worrying ones.

I find myself almost catching my breath each and every day from the 1st to the 31st, just willing each day to bring nothing but mundane normality.

My wonderful husband Dave, my soul mate and best friend, has had a number of heart attacks ~ two Decembers marked by two different stent operations to keep his poor old heart pumping effectively. Nothing is as terrifying as seeing him suffer the pain of a heart attack, the vulnerablitity of him in pyjamas on the cardiac unit. I hold fear in my heart whenever he says he “feels peculiar” words spoken before his heart attacks. Whenever he feels off colour or extra tired I worry, I try not to but I simply can’t help it.

My wonderful funny man

I have drafted my living will and funeral service to be added to my now updated will. I will be collecting the witnessed documents along with my will next week and delivering a copy to my GP to hold with my records. Mums death, where I couldn’t uphold her dying wishes as I wasn’t next of kin, tore at me then and still does now. Only after asking the ICU doctor repeatedly did he relent after a few long and distressing days to discuss it with the rest of the family to gain consent to remove all treatment and allow mum to pass quietly to the other realm.

With having my will updated and including my living will and funeral arrangements in with it, I feel that I have done all I can to protect my family from having to make difficult decisions on my behalf. This way there will be no question as to what I want and it avoids differences of opinion within the family.

I don’t know when December will stop being a black shadow following my every thought. I hope, one day in the future, that the month of December will fill me with joy and not apprehension, excitement and not fear.

I am all over the place at the end of each year with so many mixed emotions ~ I feel strangely young yet old, vulnerable but somehow strong, innocent yet guilty, naive and also wise. I am child and adult in the one body, memories take you back to that point in time, it can be confusing and most definately emotional.

So, December ~ please be kind to me, please look after everyone I love and keep them safe. As REM say “If you think you’ve had too much of this life.Well, hang on ‘Cause everybody hurts ~ you are not alone!”

When your day is long
And the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life
Well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on)
(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)
If you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
Well, hang on
‘Cause everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts
Don’t throw your hand
Oh, no
Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone
No, no, no, you’re not alone
If you’re on your own
In this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
To hang on
Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts
You are not alone

Songwriters: Bill Berry / Michael Stipe / Peter Buck / Michael Mills
Everybody Hurts lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc


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