Friday 2nd October 2020

Women of Courage Series. #31. Cathy. 21/2020.

Women of Courage Series. #31. Cathy. 21/2020.

 

A series of blog posts on Denyse Whelan Blogs to be found here from mid-May 2019: Wednesdays: each week until the series concludes in 2020.

Here is the introduction to the series.

Courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. It’s doing something that frightens you. We face situations that demand courage every day. These situations provide us with choices, and the way we respond to those choices determines our future. Dayne Shuda.

 

Like other women who chose to take part in this series after I sent through a request, Cathy is someone I know “virtually”. She’s been a blogger, on social media and a writer. We have one common bond too. I was born in the city where she now lives. Cathy, I thank you for deciding to be able to share your story here and honour the way in which you drew on courage to do so. Here is Cathy, aged 48, answering the now familiar questions as part of the response to being a Woman of Courage.

 

image by: https://www.instagram.com/jam.on.your.collar.photography/

 

What have you faced in your life where you have had to be courageous?

When my grandparents died. It was a sudden and traumatic time in everyone’s lives. We got that phone call at about 1am to tell my mum that her parents had died in a tragic car accident. I was 18. My parents at the time were running their own business and at 1am in the morning in the early 90s there were no mobile phones and no way of contacting anyone else to run the shop. They had a newsagency and at the time there was a legal requirement that every day that a newspaper was printed the newsagency had to be open. So this meant that I along with my brother had to stay at home and run the shop until we could locate someone to do it for us. The hardest thing I have ever had to do is put my parents in a car and say goodbye to them knowing my grand parents had died in a car accident. At the time we didn’t know when we would see mum & dad again. We joined them on the Saturday.

 

How did this change you in any way? Please outline further if this has been the case.

This forever changed me. I found a strength that I didn’t know I had. I knew that if I could do that I could face anything in the future and that as it turns out was a courage I would need time and again throughout the next few years and beyond.

 

Is there something you learned from this that you could recommend to help others who need courage?

Ask for help. Put your hand up and tell people what you are going through and that you need your friends. Anyone can face anything if you have people you love alongside you. It is part of the human condition to want to be there for others but as is the nature of our lives today we are both more connected (through the socials) yet more disconnected than ever before. So people will stand back and wait to be asked when I believe a generation ago they would have just arrived on the doorstep.

 

Do you think you are able to be more courageous now if the life situation calls for it? Why is that?

Absolutely. I have had to more times than I would like since then be courageous and each time it gets a little bit easier. I know that I survived the last time so I know I can get through this next time. I have learned to be much better at asking for help too. Asking is not a sign of weakness it is a recognition that with others around you it is easier to get through.

 

Is there any message you would give to others facing a situation where courage could be needed?

That you absolutely do not have to do it along. You will be surprised at how much love and support you have around you. We all think we are Robinson Crusoe and doing it alone but we simply don’t have to be. People want to be there for you but as is part of life today they will stand back and wait until you ask or invite them in. Don’t leave it so long that it is awkward or has become too hard to ask.

 

Do add anything else that you think would help others who read your post.

I live by sharing my story because I have learnt that the more we share the less alone we feel. So share your story. As I say “don’t be afraid of your story, it will inspire others.”

 

Thank you. What great words to end this story…I too agree with Cathy about sharing our stories.

Denyse

 

 

Social Media:

Blog/Website: lifethroughthehaze.com

Twitter: @lifehazey

Facebook Page : facebook.com/lifethroughthehaze

Instagram: instagram.com/lifethroughthehaze

 

Joining each Wednesday with Sue and Leanne here for Mid Life Share the Love Linky.

On Thursdays I link here for Lovin Life with Leanne and friends.

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Comments

  1. Hi cathy and Denyse, I totally agree with you Cathy that we have to ask for help and can’t do it alone. Thanks for sharing your story of courage and it’s obviously something that has had an impact on your life. #mlstl

    • Thank you for reading and commenting.

      My recent cataract surgeries (Mon 9 and Wed 11)allows me to read a little bit at a time using my old glasses! So I am just replying generically until my sight improves. Doing well.

      Thank you Cathy for sharing.

      Denyse.

    • Thank you Debbie
      It wasn’t an easy lesson in life to learn hopefully it will help others. xo

  2. Thankyou Denyse and Cathy for sharing. It bought a tear to my eye. Women supporting each other is so important in the community. Why do we find it so difficult to ask for help when we are in need of it? Thank you brave women!

    • Thank you for reading and commenting.

      My recent cataract surgeries (Mon 9 and Wed 11) allows me to read a little bit at a time using my old glasses! So I am just replying generically until my sight improves. Doing well.

      Thank you Cathy for sharing.

      Denyse.

    • Thanks Shelley
      It is a lesson that took me a very long time to learn and to find my community. Thank you for your kind words.
      Cathy xo

  3. Hi Cathy and Denyse I agree with you that sharing our stories is very important. This is why the Women of Courage series is so popular. People get inspiration from people like both of you who can talk about surviving I’ll Essex and tragedies. Thanks for sharing your story Cathy #MLSTL Sharing

    • Thank you for reading and commenting.

      My recent cataract surgeries (Mon 9 and Wed 11)allows me to read a little bit at a time using my old glasses! So I am just replying generically until my sight improves. Doing well.

      Thank you Cathy for sharing.

      Denyse.

    • Thank you for your kind words Jennifer. I feel so privileged to be a part of such amazing women.
      Cathy

  4. Good post. I think we are quite surprising creatures, to ourselves more so than anyone else. And I love the advice about asking for help. It really is a curse that we see it as weakness rather than common sense. #MLSTL

    • Thank you for reading and commenting.

      My recent cataract surgeries (Mon 9 and Wed 11)allows me to read a little bit at a time using my old glasses! So I am just replying generically until my sight improves. Doing well.

      Thank you Cathy for sharing.

      Denyse.

    • Hi Lydia
      I will never understand why it is so hard to ask for help. We do need to push past the concept that asking for help is a weakness.
      Cathy

  5. Cathy, I can only imagine the mixed emotions putting your parents in a car after one tragic accident, especially at that age.
    You are so right, though, when you say that people want to help but they don’t know what you need or what they can do until you ask. That actually goes for more than just the major necessities in our lives – I find it true for more minor things too – and I know I am quick to try and find ways to help when one of my friends is in need, especially if they have been strong for me.
    “A friend in need is a friend indeed!”
    Great guest, Denyse!

    • Thank you for reading and commenting.

      My recent cataract surgeries (Mon 9 and Wed 11)allows me to read a little bit at a time using my old glasses! So I am just replying generically until my sight improves. Doing well.

      Thank you Cathy for sharing.

      Denyse.

    • Thank you Agnes for your kind words. It was and still is an incredibly difficult time to think about, but I learnt a lot about resilience from it.
      xx

  6. Hi Denyse and Cathy

    Asking for help is I think one of life’s hardest challenges and can be the most unburdening of them all. Certainly makes life easier when constructive support is at hand. Grandparents have a unique role to play, and for your parents to lose theirs together at an early age would’ve been very hard to handle. #MSTL

    • Thank you for reading and commenting.

      My recent cataract surgeries (Mon 9 and Wed 11)allows me to read a little bit at a time using my old glasses! So I am just replying generically until my sight improves. Doing well.

      Thank you Cathy for sharing.

      Denyse.

      • Thank you Suzanne, my children have an amazing relationship with my parents and I miss my grandparents every day.

        Thanks for reading.

  7. Hi Cathy – lovely to meet you and to hear how you turned an awful life event into a courageous choice to stay strong and move forward. Losing close family members is always gut wrenching and your parents would have been so grateful that their children could step in for them at such a difficult time – and that has obviously stood you in good stead throughout life.
    Denyse, thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM

    • Thank you for reading and commenting.

      My recent cataract surgeries (Mon 9 and Wed 11)allows me to read a little bit at a time using my old glasses! So I am just replying generically until my sight improves. Doing well.

      Thank you Cathy for sharing.

      Denyse.

    • Hi Leanne

      Thanks for your kind words and gut wrenching indeed. They were the first of many deaths in the following 8yrs that profoundly changed me as a person.
      Thanks for sharing too.
      Cathy

  8. Thanks for sharing this Denyse and Cathy. It’s an almost impossible decision isn’t it? Having people we love die suddenly or slowly… when we know it’s coming.

    I agree that asking for help is really important and is something I find hard to do.

    I wasn’t close to my grandparents. The grandmother I would have been close to died before I was born and my Poppy remarried. We saw them often but they were ‘distant’ people. My mum’s grandparents lived at the other side of the state so we saw them once a year or so, and it didn’t feel like I knew them very well. Sadly all of my grandparents (except my Poppy) died before they were 70 so I didn’t have them around for long. xx

    • Thank you for reading and commenting.

      My recent cataract surgeries (Mon 9 and Wed 11)allows me to read a little bit at a time using my old glasses! So I am just replying generically until my sight improves. Doing well.

      Thank you Cathy for sharing.

      Denyse.

    • Deborah it is an impossible decision. I had two taken suddenly together and two taken slowly from azheimers/parkinson’s and age neither is easy and if I could I would choose neither. But sadly that isn’t life.
      My children have an amazing relationship with my parents and I love that they have treasured grandparents. I miss all four of my grandparents everyday.
      Thank you for commenting and sharing your story.
      xx

      • Cathy, thank you so much for sharing your story.

        By doing this, as have others, we can support each other snd firm our connections as humans even more.

        I am so glad you agreed to be a Woman of Courage on the blog.

        Sending my best wishes to you and yours.

        Denyse.