Thursday, 12 February 2009

In No Particular Order

  • This is going to be one of those bullet point posts.

  • I hardly know where to start on this last week. Forgive me if I sound disengaged from all this - I'm not - but I'm writing this on my work computer (see below) and now is not the time for me to start crying.

  • So first the easy stuff. Our internet at home is on the fritz (<--------- joke for the benefit of my sister) and it's making me crazy. I was ordering beads(!) on Saturday and I had to keep restarting the computer so often (to kick the modem into life) that I nearly threw it against the wall. Only the thought of finally being able to send off some beads out kept me going. Now those days of restarting to make it work seem joyous because now all it will say is 'remote computer is not responding' or 'modem is not responding to poll commands'. We've got to get a proper internet connection. But (as I'm sure everyone else has noticed) the most efficient way to arrange an internet connection is ... over the internet. Which we don't have. We'll have to sort it out from work, but in the meantime I'm reading blogs on my phone but that won't let me comment. Which is making me crazy.

  • Trivial but annoying. On monday I broke a tooth on a stone in my breakfast cereal. It's only chipped, really, but I wish it hadn't happened. I keep trying to make a dental appointment with my local NHS practice, but I feel like I'm trapped in a Kafka novel again. I do not want to be That Person - the person who demands payment from a breakfast cereal company for a dental repair - but if I have to get this done privately that may happen. On the realities of the NHS - all I can say is, if you saw 'Sicko', don't believe everything Michael Moore tells you about healthcare in the UK. But hopefully you would already know that.

  • Harder. J's father got the results of his tests back, and much to our relief his c.ancer seems to be operable. Three weeks ago, I would never have believed that we would be so pleased that J's father would be going into hospital for such a serious operation. We know this is the best outcome we could have hoped for but it's really tough for him, for the family, and especially J's mother. He's going in on the 24th.

  • Harder still. The funeral of J's uncle Peter (known in the family as U.P.) was on Tuesday, in Yorkshire, which is about 3 hours from where we live. It was a really difficult, long day - in some ways much harder than I expected. By the time I met U.P, about five years ago, he was beginning to be very infirm in body and mind, and I never really knew him properly because of that. This makes me sad - and I feel sadder about it after his death than I did during his life. In stark contrast to my family, whose motto seems to be 'breed early and breed often', J's family is very very small. UP was J's father's only sibling, and he never married, so J's parents, together with J, me, his two brothers and their wives, were 'The Family' at the services. And I hardly knew him, really. It was a hard day.

  • Hardest. I spoke to my mother yesterday and it seems that my beloved Grandmother is rapidly approaching death. I feel like I cannot bear the thought that she will go. I keep feeling - 'It's too early! You can't take her yet! She's only 82!' and I know how stupid that sounds, but it's never, never going to feel like I'm ready to lose her. And not only that I'm not ready, (although I'm not) as that I know she is not. I could face losing her, despite the pain it would cause me, if I could look forward with joyful hope to knowing she was passing from death into life, and going to meet her saviour (I know that sounds hokey to some of you. I don't care). But her mix of atheism / agnosticism doesn't allow me that hope. It would be disrespectful if I were to talk as if she was looking forward to going to a heaven she doesn't believe in, to meet a God she has rejected. Disrespectful both of her and of God, both of whom I love. So I cannot. But I wish I could.

  • On Sunday, before I found out about my grandmother, I was telling a friend that it feels like every time we get a phone call it is unwelcome news. She said - at the moment, it probably feels like you can't take any more. But other things will happen, and you will bear them too. Wise words, as it turns out.

  • Emotionally, I'm still having a really hard time with the 'hey I'm an expectant parent too' feelings. Not all the spare baby equipment needs to go to someone who is physically pregnant, surely? I'm sitting right here, right next to the pregnant lady who you just gave that stuff to 'because she might need it'. Do I need to carry a placard?

  • I'm going to see this tonight. Really looking forward to it. How can I not want to see a person who describes himself as the child of an unlikely liaison between Ethiopia, Eritrea and Wigan Social Services?

  • One bright spot - my bead order has arrived. I'm hoping to send out some today. Incidentally, people, I can't send you a bead unless I have your address. Just sayin'.

  • I'm exhausted now. Thanks for sticking with it.


  1. rough times. I lost my beloved Nan when she was 82, almost 7 years ago and I still miss her terribly. Although she was in the UK at the time, she had spent half the year with us every year since we moved to the states when I was a kid and I used to spend summers in England with her. The best thing I ever did was take a month off work to stay with her during an illness the year before she died. I wish she had met Matt, my step sons and our eventual baby, but I also have to believe that she would be happy for my happiness no matter what. I dream about her quite often and always on her birthday. The dreams are very real and help me feel connected to her still.
    Wow! what a downer of a comment!!
    Life has thrown truck loads of lemons at me from time to time and as long as I have kept walking, I have ended up drinking lemonade :)
    I like, and belive the saying "God will never give you more than you can carry." I just sometimes wish he thought I were weaker!! :)
    I will keep you in my prayers,

  2. I'm terribly sorry to read about your grandmother's condition and the difficult passing of U.P. Slightly relieved though to hear about J's father. I wish the best in his surgery.

    Also, more than slightly envious you're going to the Lem Sissay performance. (I know I just spelled that wrong.) Can you beam me over?

    BTW, there is a bead for you on the way, but I have no clue how long it takes to travel from this mid-region overseas to your island-country-of-sorts.


  3. Oh and I send you a big hug and wet Bob Laurence smooches. That always lifts the soul a bit. :)


  4. Wow, hun, you have really been getting dumped on lately. I'm so sorry for all that is going on - for the loss, worry, and heartache you are facing.

    I am glad you are finding a few bright spots to help you get through it all. We're here so keep letting it all out.


  5. I'm sorry to hear about all these unwelcome, sad news phone calls. What a dreary time you are in right now. I know it's not a solution in any way, but I can't help hoping that the arrival of beads won't help buoy your spirit a little. Thinking of you.


Over to you!