Tuesday 24th May 2022

Fifteen Years Ago. Why 5 March Matters To Me. 14/2022.

Fifteen Years Ago. Why 5 March Matters To Me. 14/2022.

CW: death, mourning, grief

 

Today is Saturday 5th March 2022 and it marks 15 years since my dear mother died.

I say “died”…because the messages/words around death need to be used as they are meant to…to  convey meaning, not to confuse. I heard recently of a person being told on the phone, that a loved on, in a care home, was “gone” and that confused the recipient even more, because “where had he gone?”

About her 80th Birthday.

Mum said to Dad after attending yet another person’s funeral, “why do people wait till others die before telling them what they meant to them?” She was right. So, for her 80th Birthday, 6.12.2004, we hosted a Family Birthday Dinner and Celebration of Mum. I made a timeline with photos and the story of her life, and we were all there for her. Her husband, her adult kids and their partners, her adult grandkids and 3 grandchildren…and we shared words to her, in written form, cards and a speech of sorts. In looking back at the night, because I recently found the photos, there is a little video of Mum speaking about the gratitude she has for us all. I found that very touching and I am so glad I have it.

over 17 years ago! My brother & I with our parents.

Mum & Dad with B & Me, and our two children. 2004

Mum was the birthday cake maker….but not for her 80th. The look is so much my Mum…and the 3 great grandkids helped her with those candles.

I wrote back in 2017 for Telling My Story, a little of Mum’s history and what happened to her health after the celebration of her 80th Birthday.

Up until Mum’s 80th Birthday in December 2004 she had been quite well. A few so-called minor things were wrong and I know where my worry/anxiety gene comes from. But my mum, just as I do, could put on a smile no matter what.

So, we as a family watched over our Mum as her health, and with that her demeanour changed. Speaking to Dad now he says “she just wasn’t the same” and I know now why. In the course of her eventual hospitalisation in late January 2007 and an MRI, Mum was diagnosed with secondary brain tumours. Her downward health spiral the 2 or so years before had including symptoms of bad pain and some tremor but despite some doctors’ advice and care, Mum was a very scared reluctant visitor to doctors and specialists…and to hospitals. Obviously it was based on fear and Dad had to do what he could to convince Mum to get help and care. A big challenge. So, after the diagnosis of the secondary brain tumours, there was some ideas of what her primary cancers might have been but there was no way to know and Dad decided against an autopsy.

And now it’s the 15 Years Anniversary.

I don’t really know WHY this one is standing out to me but I am making some guesses:

  • Dad had a stay in hospital this week and whilst he is now back home, he is a visually impaired and mobility challenged, fully cognisant 98 year old. So, yes, I did get concerned “this may be his time” early this week.
  • Dad has no more peers, nor family members alive. Those who are his friends where he lives are in their 70s and 80s.
  • Dad says he missed Mum more than ever. I suspect with the added loneliness and covid restrictions he IS indeed lonely.
  • I finally accepted that his death will be a shock despite what I logically know
  • I am now, thank goodness, well enough and better in myself emotionally, to realise the significant of my Mum dying
  • I was a pretty distant daughter in my own way but that was because of “my” views of me, and perceived critical views of me by my mum.

Here’s why I needed to write and post today.

  • I appreciate now more than ever the mother Mum was to me
  • I was, and still can be, someone who is a challenge in relationships…mostly fuelled by my old ways of seeing me
  • I know that she gave me unconditional love
  • I know I WAS loved
  • I know that by sharing this now, I may be feeling more loving towards my Dad too.

He and I will chat today on the phone and I will listen to his thoughts.

We only have one chance at this thing called LIFE and I wanted to write more to enable this to be seen and viewed by me and others.

My Tribute in This Image & Words. 5.3.2022.

 

This was going to be a facebook tribute but then I changed to a blog post. I now am pleased to have done this.

Today, Mum, it’s 15 years since you died.

Wow. You had been quite unwell for around 2 years before this, and it was via secondary brain tumours that you succumbed.

Dad is missing you more than ever as he ages alone at 98, having left the home you shared together 4 years after your passing, to live at Dee Why.

Thanks for your love, presence, care and support in my life growing up. And then when Ibecomea mum, a very young one, married to B, another teacher & living in remote northern NSW.

Thanks too for the love, care and cooking for our family too,as I was a full time teacher. Taking our kids to stay and have holidays with you and Dad gave me respite. And they loved Noreen’s porridge and rice custard!

Your life was a busy one, and you gave a lot to the community. Thank you. And before you turned 80, we decided as you always said, it was better to tell people how much they meant to you before you died!

We listened, and your family, including by then, great grandchildren, did so on 6.12.2004.

What joyful photos and memories there are here!

You are missed by many, Mum & Noreen.

 

 

Love is a wonderful and necessary human connection to sustain life, but to love someone is to mourn for them once they are dead. I know that there is a saying along the lines of grieving is the price we pay for loving.

If this post has brought up memories or more grief from your past, there are people who will listen here: at Lifeline 131114.

Grieving is on-going and shows itself in all kinds of ways. It is something we live with. I know my grief today is heightened as it is an anniversary day.

I am going gently and kindly and thinking of my Mum and all she brought to my life…by giving me life.

Vale Noreen Simpson nee Chapple. Mum.

Mum’s Memories. After her cremation, Dad placed some of her ashes in pots, along with her favourite flower. Other family members did similarly.

Thank you for reading. I hope that it has not been too sad.

I am finding the power of writing on my blog a force for good.

Denyse.

 

 

Joining in with Natalie for Weekend Coffee Share today

Thank you Natalie.

https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/

 

 

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Being Me: February 2022 Review. #WOTYLinkParty. 11/2022.

Being Me: February 2022 Review. #WOTYLinkParty. 11/2022.

Last month I wrote here and joined in this new linky party.

Back again to this new linky hosted by friends Deb, Sue,  Donna and  Jo too.

 

I am glad to have the chance to write about my Word of The Year progress

….even though mine are two…and despite being little actually are BIG in terms of making changes.

For me, it’s often easier to link my progress and review with photos as they have the memories of the time embedded. It helps me anyway!

Being Me: Health-wise.

  • I admit I held quite a bit of stress and anxiety relating to not being well from late November onwards.
  • I know that ‘it’s me’ and how I am and can BE yet I would like to manage this with greater ease.

THIS got me through really tough times….and now, I have to soften…and go slower…

  • I went to my general practitioners’ rooms a couple of times because I still was not well and wanted reassurance more than anything.
  • That wasn’t quite forthcoming until I got the results of the tests I’d had. One related to ‘my bowels’ and whilst I knew it was most likely I.B.S. it was necessary for a pathology confirmation.
  • That turned out fine.

In fact my main G.P. when I finally saw him after his 3 weeks on holiday was pleased to hear of my better healthy days. Yet still.

I did need to ‘fess up about I.B.S. and my constancy of worry about it after its long absence.

And I surprised myself (and him) when I said

“I think I am going to see any I.B.S. as a barometer of my health. In fact, I now know, that last year, after the virus, I probably continued to try to do too much (again) and back it came”.

I might get some help but in the end I am the one who does what I can…to BE ME

So, from this conversation and into reality I now:

accept

this

as

part

of

me

and

offer

myself

compassion

now

not blame.

 

But, I hear you and me say…”that is HARD and now you are not being hard on yourself but self-compassionate, HOW is it working for you”?

In January 2022 I signed up for a very helpful and much needed program right for me, now, called Self-Compassion App. I found it initially via the App store (iphone) and then when they offered a 20% off subscription after the 3 free days, I took that up.

 

The Self-Compassion App: app icon

The Self-Compassion App

 

I have written about it here but the various reflections, learnings and actions have all contributed to me being:

  • Kind(er) in my self-talk
  • Encouraging when I may be feeling a little anxious
  • Able to see these things (feelings, thoughts) do eventually pass

A human BEING with all the frailties and qualities that make me the ME I am more comfy with these days.

How I Help Myself.

The first time I realised I could choose to do less to be more I couldn’t quite believe it.

As a life-time doing person, helping person, sharing and teaching person, I was not sure that I could until I realised this:

I

Had

Little

Choice

Now

because I was/am keen not to fall back into the behaviours of ‘older’ me but not yet quite as wise me!

After making adjustments for myself and then in discussion with Head and Neck Cancer Australia CEO, I know I can continue my role into my 4th year but in a less active one and with fewer needs to drive and attend meetings. This graphic is from my twitter header.

February is FREE for Me to Plan…or Not! 

So, this is/was new. Very new.

I can plan my own February…..

It took me a bit to give myself permission to enjoy a morning tea out with me. Half the muffin came home for B. I really loved being back ‘people watching’ too.

Change Takes Time:

I have always I guess since I was a kid, been ready to throw myself into whatever the first term of school, whether as student or teacher brought.

In retirement back in Sydney, it often meant, back to grandchild care some days a week, and perhaps school pick ups.

In volunteer land (we have both inhabited that for many years) it meant the gearing up of activities to plan, places to be and work of some kind to do, for others.

Meetings. Face to face or via zoom and writing and helping others.

It often meant, since 2017 appointments for my head and neck cancer checks, surgeries, treatments with the prosthodontist and more.

I gave myself permission to STOP.

I am learning so much about myself from freeing myself too.

I am learning that I am a valuable person to myself and my husband and family.

I am learning that I do not need to DO as much now, to continue my life moving forward and that the last almost 5 years have taken a toll of sorts.

I was always ready to go, to drive, to put up with a lot of time waiting, to recover, to do without eating for ages, to not plan too far ahead, and to keep trusting that my head and neck cancer professional team knew exactly what they were doing…but

I felt a great deal of emotional stress and some physical stress over those years.

I now realise I am was can feel emotionally worn out….but definitely NOT out!

So now I self- nurture.

And I wrote about the unexpected but actual GRIEF that overtook me recently here.

 

And so far, I am loving that I am giving back to me to be me…..Sunday solo excursions listening to an audible book or some fave music. I love these times

And I continue to be grateful and remembering how to BE ME in a different time in my life. I may be ageing (aren’t we all) and into my early 70s but I am also learning to BE which is a challenge I am prepared to take!

Thanks for your interest in my post for Word of The Year.

I look forward to catching up with yours and others soon too.

Denyse.

P.S. For regular readers and those who link up with me on Mondays, come on over this coming Monday, 28th February to catch up on some N E W S.

 

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Celestial Picks. #SundayStills. 69/2021.

Celestial Picks. #SundayStills. 69/2021.

Terri here has now  moved into her new abode and I will share this post soon as ‘my’ Sunday becomes Monday here. Terri is in the northern hemisphere. I do enjoy sharing and am happy to wait till Monday.

I am being somewhat tongue-in-cheek in my title. Picks for Pics ….because I have not that many photos I thought to pick from meet the ‘celestial’ prompt. Nevertheless, I am ready to share five

celestial: positioned in or relating to the sky, or outer space as observed in astronomy.

 

Sun flare over the beach on a recent visit to walk and check out the waves.

 

The beautiful blood moon about to be eclipsed. I was seeing others’ images on social media, and even though I was in bed, I thought, hang on, go outside….and there she was. Amazing. My husband even popped out too. What a sight shared all over the world it was.

 

Sunset outside our place in suburbia…clouds capturing the last of the pink!

 

Watching the dawn begin on Australia’s A.N.Z.A.C. Day was a privilege and then to see the sun creep up from the horizon into the sky was magnificent.

 

This was an amazing sky at night! So clear thanks to the moon and my iphone 11 ProMax (it knows what to do, I just hold the phone). In our backyard.

 

I admit I love looking up to the sky. It is one very effective way to feel grounded too!

Denyse.

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