Sometimes something really simple (but pretty) just does you heart good!
Many of you know my thoughts and feelings about Alzheimers and its treatment. These are as a result of firstly bad and then exceptionally good treatment of my mother. A friend sent me the link to this site. It sounds perfect. How can we arrange for something like that over here?
Sorting some bits earlier I came across this
An old tin. Battered and bashed, but I knew what it contained. I lifted the lid
Sure enough the bits and pieces were neatly stashed inside – and there on top was the last piece of work, incomplete. It was the handy collection that my mother took with her when she travelled – so that she would always have something to keep her hands busy. I was prepared – but it still brought a lump to my throat – especially as the thread on top was one of my hand-dyes. I can remember the last time she took it on holiday – with us, to Wales. She opened and closed the tin, but couldn’t remember what she had to do with the things inside.
The inscription on the bottom of the tin intrigued me, I’m not old enough to remember the name, but I think I’ve heard it mentioned somewhere in the dim and distant past. Looking online there are a few photographs – and also this little bit of history.
Sorry, I have to go and wipe my eyes.
I rarely post family photographs on this blog, but today is special.
This is a photograph of me with my mother. It isn’t the most recent as her condition has deteriorated somewhat in the meantime. She will be 96 towards the end of this month. As a; young woman she was one of the few girls to be called up into the services during the Second World War. She played an important role in intercepting enemy messages. This little personal tribute is a way of saying ‘Thank you’ to all who sacrificed their lives, and also to all those thousands who served so valiantly during that time.
During the month of June donations for the Alzheimers Society can be made via this page where you can also read more detail of why I’m collecting money for this wonderful organisation.
And now for something just a little different.
Today we met our family for lunch. We celebrated two birthdays – two generations in fact, and had a lovely time. A cooked lunch on a Sunday is a rarerity. Our main meal of the day is usually in the evening, nothing to prepare tonight, though. Instead of travelling home by the direct route we took a ramble around the countryside. It was almost a Sunday afternoon drive (the weather was perfect for such an event) but our way was more directed – we were visiting a friend who has a farm.
The farmhouse is surrounded by a perfect cottage garden. The plants are all waking up but two, by the gate, were absolutely stunning.
I couldn’t resist a closeup of one.
The flowers reminded me of little ballet dancers.
Normally I take detailed shots for my 100 steps. Today, though, I was too involved in the general views. And why not? Just look at what was in store just a few steps away from the trees
However, only a few more steps and we were able to see the reason for our visit today
And all within 100 steps
You probably gather that this isn’t my badge – if it was I would play ‘left-outside’
Family always evokes memories. Some memories are dim and distant, but sometimes they are sharpened by a sight.
This recipe was passed down from (if not before) my great-grandmother. These were made by our daughter and enjoyed by us and our grand-children.
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I had a phone call today, completely out of the blue. My aunt has died.
Although I was very fond of her it was a difficult relationship. She was married to my maternal uncle, whom I love and see often, but they were divorced almost 60 years ago and she disappeared from our lives. It was many years later that my parents managed to contact her again, so from time to time I visited, but, as she lived over 300 miles away, mostly kept in touch via letters and the odd phone call. I last spoke to her after her 90th birthday in August. Last week I posted her Christmas card, and I was going to phone her this evening. Sadly her brother phoned at lunchtime to say that she had had a stroke and quietly slipped away.
I would like to be able to tell my mother, sadly it won’t mean anything. She won’t remember the happy times we all spent together nor will she remember her name. To be honest, she may not even remember that I have visited, but visit I will. I’ve left a message on my brother’s phone, and no doubt he will ring me at some point, but as he is younger than me his memories will be vastly different and he will feel much further removed from the event than I do.
Now, the object of this post is not to ask for sympathy, but it does bring bereavement nicely into the Christmas picture. This morning, while I was out walking, I met a friend – actually the mother of an old school friend of our son. She is the same age as me, but unlike me has no grandchildren in spite of having two sons. The younger (our son’s friend) is married but so far childless, his brother, however, died in 5 years ago in December in horrendous circumstances. As you can imagine he is uppermost in her thoughts at the moment, and, although she misses him every day, her sense of loss at this time of year is enormous. She hides away because she knows that others don’t want to see her distress because they no longer know what to say.
Grief takes a long time to work its way through. Sometimes it never goes. It’s easy to talk to someone about their loss immediately after it has happened, and then to move on – after all, life is for the living, isn’t it?
Please make a point of making Christmas just a little more bearable for someone this year. Instead of passing on the other side of the road – or scurrying past – or just ignoring them – take some time to visit and talk about a lost one. Husbands missing wives, wives missing husbands, parents missing children, children missing parents.
Probably not the post you were expecting from me today, but please remember that memories aren’t just for Christmas. Spread a little happiness – it lasts much longer than Santa.
You have seen these before. I don’t think I told you much about them – and that’s because they are really just samples in preparation for a new body of work. I’ve done a few more since then, and am slowly working my way, now around stitching techniques.
I spent some time this afternoon creating a few more surfaces – both fabric and paper – like the above. I’ll probably collage a few of them to get the feel of the colours and textures, and then it will time to get on with the stitching. The project is around Dementia and Alzheimers. As I’ve mentioned before my mother has the disease, and I know that it has had an emotional effect on every member of our family. I also know that there are more and more families being affected, and from what we hear the situation will become more and more widespread.
Have you been affected? If so I’d love to hear from you. I would like to hear about thoughts and feelings specifically, but anything you want to add will be treated in the strictest confidence. Some words might be included in the finished artwork, but anonymously and only with permission. If you aren’t specifically affected but know someone who is, please will you point them to this blog – or to the page accessed via the header above.
This will be a longterm project. If you wish to add to your initial information you can do so at any time. Please pass the word.