Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas eve we had an early start and all went to the cemetery with our wreath and candles. It was cold but bright and no rain so perfect for a walk through the park to the old church and cemetery.

We met my aunt and cousin there and after laying our wreath, lighting and lighting our candles we went inside the curch to have a warm up and a drink. The girls helped put some baubles on the church Christmas tree. It really is a lovely old church. I got married there in 1986 on it's 200th anniversary.

Then it was back home on the bus, stopping by the local post office for our Christmas booze!
Back home the girls just couldn't wait to go to bed and were tucked up fast asleep by 7.30pm. Then Graham went to his mum's and I decided to retire myself at around 10pm.

Christmas morning began with Lucy waking at 5am. she couldn't get back to sleep but what 6 year old could! So I got up with her and allowed her to open 1 present while I made a cuppa and some breakfast. Then Joseph woke at 6am and I woke Leila and Graham up. Then followed a present opening frenzy.
Craige got up to join in and Cassie came down shortly after the main frenzy. Then Graham went back to bed.
Then Craige went back to bed. Then Cassie went back to bed and it was just me and the little ones as usual.

Graham got up again and went around his mum's again for a couple of hours. I put the turkey in and got the veggies ready. I jotted down a schedule so that everything would be cooked on time. My aim was 3.30pm. At 2.30pm, I decided do check the oven and that's when I discovered that it had kindly switched itself off, probably five minutes after my putting the turkey in. So after a little flap, I re-scheduled dinner for 6pm and cooked a big greasy late lunch! We ended up having dinner at 5.30pm and it was lovely, so worth the wait.
 After dinner, Graham went around his mum's for an hour, but this time he took the kids with him so I had chance to clean up a bit and watch the first 1/2hour of Dr Who in peace. When they got back it was time for the kids to go to bed. 
Then we settled down to watch Eastenders and afterwards, surprise, surprise, Graham went around his mum's. I had a glass of wine and went to bed.

All in all, not a bad day. It could have been better, Graham could have spent more time with us, the cooker could have co-operated a bit more and not turned itself off and I could have done without an uplanned visit from auntie flo, but as Cassie kindly pointed out to me, I've had much much worse Christmas'

Friday, 16 December 2011

3 years ago!

3 years ago today I'd been to visit my mum twice in the hospice, the place she didn't want to be. Me and Sim had taken her out of hospital (Against everyones wishes except mum's who's wishes were the only ones that mattered) and taken her home to die, she wanted to die at home. Then within just a day of being home she went downhill so quickly my other brother had her put in a hospice. I guess he thought he was doing the right thing. He was angry at me for taking her out of the hospital. Although shocking, I knew what was happening, mum knew she was going home to die that's why she wanted to go home when she did, she knew she didn't have long left, but my brother believed that taking her out of hospital was what made her go downhill so quickly, he believed that she had much longer left, he was scared that we couldn't look after her at home it would be too difficult. So that's it in a nutshell...and we still haven't really forgiven each other. My worst regret is her not having her last wish of dying at home. No matter how difficult it would have been I know we could have done whatever was needed. It was only for a week in the end.
I still send my brother a xmas card, although I don't get one in return.

I've bought a beautiful angel candle holder for the grave for mum, I've also bought some candles for the rest of my family and will spend some time with them all on Christmas Eve. I will light a candle at home in her memory on Christmas day at 4pm, the time she passed away.
I'm finding this year so hard, last year I had baby Joe to keep me focused, the year before I was pregnant, but this year has been a sad and lonely one, I've wanted to speak to mum so many times. I've missed her so much.
I've found some comfort in my faith. If I'm honest, I only went back to church because I wanted Leila and Joseph Christened, but I've barely missed a week for the last six months. I've found a new, friendly community to be part of, and plenty that has assured and comforted me in times of need.

So now as I approach Christmas, a time of joy and of dread, I have my back-ups in place and my wonderful family to keep me grounded. So even when I feel the only place I want to be is the same place as my mum, there is always something or someone that can hold me back.