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Aug. 12th, 2014

I wrote that entry a couple of days ago and just had chance to post it - I'd written it in word you see when there were people around and no space to LJ.

I'm sad and I'm angry and this is the third friend who has died in 2 years and 2 months and its so damn unfair.

Marie Helene was 31, died on the operating table having her first child. A Procedure i've had twice now and still dont' understand how it claimed her life.

Sandra was 61 and had bowel cancer which unfortunately turned terminal brain cancer shortly before her death when it all seemed so well and came as a big surprise to us all.

And Jenny was 30 and appears to have fallen down the stairs at home. How can it be that its ok for 30 year olds to fall down the stairs and die? That we may never know for sure how or when. Though hopefully today's postmortem will clarify some of that.

I want to rage and to shout, to cry and to storm but I can't because I have a breastfed baby who I can't really leave long enough to do it. I want to walk in the rain and the wind and feel but as I realised the other night when we were all walking back from the goats being a mum means you don't get the chance to feel at the moments you previously would have. No it's a case of gritting your teeth and waiting until you can have 5 minutes for yourself.

Both Jenny and Marie Helene would have been fantastic mothers, far more patient and tactile than I was pre children. Far more gentle and inspiring, like San they were warm and kind and had time for other people often putting others before themselves too much. No they weren't perfect, no one is and I hate that people insist on making perfect after death. Let's not strip away the negatives completely, otherwise we strip away a sense of the person, no instead let's wilfully focus on the good.

I don't know where I am going with this, only that in the absence of space to grieve properly I am instead writing in here trying to make some space for thoughts as my head is full.
And how ironic that as I was in the hospital waiting to hear if I had some awful disease which would result in a lot of medicine and a long recovery Jenny was having the last few moments of her life. I of course am fine, couple of weeks of pills and rest and hey presto good as new.

I wish we were all so lucky.

A post to get out what's in my head

When I met you, you seemed impossibly quiet and aloof, then I found out you were just shy but had the most beautiful smile whenever we managed to see it.

Later came the heartache and the frustrations, the trying to protect you from yourself and from others. The knowledge that you were indeed a tortured soul in need of love.

You were loyal and kind, frustrating and late. You drove us around and let us practice our gear changes in your Nova and what fun we had 4 girls “driving one car”. You steered and braked and between us other 3 we did signals, gear and handbrake!

You introduced me to many bands and authors I’d never heard of, way before they went mainstream, introduced me to aspects of France I’d never have found on my own. I still can't think Douglas Coupland without thinking "Hello Jed."

Couldn’t buy cutlery sets because they contained knives and we didn’t have any ID.

Came in and out as your mood dictated and harmed yourself in ways I couldn’t appreciate until later. I wish you could have seen yourself through my eyes. I wish I’d had half of your courage and strength to remain outside the box and try so many things while the rest of us settled down and moved on. I won’t say grown up as I’m not sure that’s true! Not for you, or for me!

It seems so unfair your light has gone out already, 30 is no age and I am truly going to miss you. Rest in peace Madame Jenny - and no I still don't know why you were Madame and not Madamoiselle .

Je t'aime et tu me manques - toujours et tous les jours.

Random thoughts

My brain is whirring too much to sleep and there's a 1000 thoughts running through my head so I thought trying to capture some on here might help. (I knew my nap yesterday was too late in the day.)

It's amazing how much different both this pregnancy and me as a person are this time around. My biggest concern currently is what will I forget to take to the hospital and the fact I really must tidy my side of the bed!
Midwife comes today to make the birth plan and Chris and I were so relaxed over it last night it took forever to discuss as we kept getting swept off onto other things.

My pelvis isn't great but it's definitely been worse. I'm not counting down the days manically as I force myself up the stairs.
Nathan is massively excited about baby and must kiss bump 100 times a day! I don't even get a kiss or a hug on a morning now until after baby.

I've probably not bought enough stuff clothes wise, if we don't get the right sort of stuff gifted Chris will be off to Asda lol but we've got enough for the first while and nappies galore!

Once this headache is more manageable I shall clean the house one last full clean with the steamer, should probably fill my freezer and then hey presto just the final wait.

It's funny how Dre's comment about never knowing how strong your relationship is until you add kids keeps popping back into my mind. She's right of course, it's the biggest test but also a lovely addition. With Nathan it brought Chris and I physically closer in that he had to do so much for me, emotionally as I was so unsteady but romantically didn't improve us at all.

This time around we're much closer romantically and couple wise and the support we give and get is far greater. I literally know I couldn't do pregnancy or labour without him.

Not having work has given me such a lovely time with Nathan, I'm actually quite sad he's going to start nursery and leave me so many hours a week but practically with a new baby and spd its probably for the best. This way he gets his time and my poor pelvis gets some recovery time. Hopefully there will be no section recovery time this time!

Being pregnant this time has seen a shift in some of my friendships and alas not really for the best which is a shame. But having less support has been ok as I didn't get depressed so it all worked out. Whether things will change once again once baby is on the scene I'm not sure.

I am disapointed with a few people, but partially I think not having worked for the past year has given me more time and opportunity to spot cracks and problems that were already there and has given me more time to concerntrate on what I actually want rather than what I will accept for a quiet life.
I'm aware my standards are high but lowering them any doesn't make me any happier so what's the point?

Typically now i've realised I'm hungry my pregnant brain has taken over and all I can think about is wanting to eat hoops so I might as well stop now and go get a bowl. At least the ending goes with the randomness of the entry ;)
Learning more about San and how she died today has been both great and bad. I learnt she didn't suffer and that she was her cheeky self right to the end but its still so sad that she was so weak in the end. I hate the idea of someone so vibrant and full of life being so "small" towards the end.

I can't believe that in August I was telling her about baby and we were making plans and now she's gone before baby arrives. I am so glad i went to see Hilda, I was nervous about how it would go, would we be upset? would my hormones get the better of me? but it was funny and nice and we shared our memories and there wasn't a single tear in sight. San would be proud!

We're still undecided on our future and that's ok. We have one, we have the time to make plans and also to take one day at a time. San was still making plans all through her original diagnosis, hard to believe that was only 3 and a bit years ago. Nathan was weeks old and it was all a blur of Nana being ill and the anger at her being asked to wait while someone else was treated and then the whirlwhind of knowing it was Sandra and that she was most definitely worse than Nana. Hearing almost a year ago it had spread to her brain was hard, but then hearing all was well was great and then there was the stroke just before christmas and then alas the downside.

Not really sure where I am going with this.

What a difference a year makes

This time last year I had finished work for the last time at HH and was just looking forward to a relaxing weekend when we got the call we'd been dreading. So instead of a quiet last weekend at home we'd packed the car and supposedly everything we needed and hit the road in under 3 hours. We travelled all night and arrived in Holland about half 8 ish which coincidently with time difference is when I'm writing this.

I spent the next few days helping and learning and wondering just when my husband would fall apart and yet it was a true learning experience as we all moved into our new roles.

I can't believe it's been a year already since Opa died. It has been the quickest year ever and as I write this only 9 weeks to go until baby is due!

This past year has seen friendships change and drift apart, relationships within family boundaries change and change and then change again and yet through it all as other things have slipped my realtionship with my boys has grown in leaps and bounds.

At this stage pregnant with Nathan I was stressed with work and struggling with my spd and lack of sleeping and really wondering how we would manage when I felt so disconected to and with everything. This time we may be lacking in some practical preoperation - which I can soon remedy, but we are so much stronger in love and support and I really feel more like we are doing this together rather than alongside each other. Thankfully when Nathan was born we became the start of the team we are now and we do parent together as opposed to alongside and it really is us against him - sorry baby!

I'm not looking forward to newborn nappies or newborn sleeping habits but I am looking forward to seeing how my little man interacts with the baby he talks about so much and seems to adore already!

Wonder what the next year holds for us? :)

Sep. 30th, 2012

An update to the last post about Marie Helene.

I wrote Pascal a letter and S-J a card. I tortured myself writing drafts, then abandoned them all and tried to write from the heart. He says he was touched and would like to keep in contact so hopefully I did get across some of the love I had from her and some of the horror at what they are now going through.

I can't believe that more than 3 months down the line they still have no news on what actually claimed her life. It seems so unreal. She was always so trim and fit, she danced, she climbed mountains.

Not having been able to go to the funeral has definitely affected me. I'd not seen her in the flesh in a few years but thanks to the internet we'd kept in touch and I just can't get over the whole expecting an email! or facebook news..

I'm hoping seeing Pascal will bring me that closure. I'm also hoping I can be strong and not too weepy as the poor man has enough on his plate.

All in all I'm looking forward to seeing Nancy again. I will always have a special place in my heart for it and can't wait to show Nathan some things even though he's too little to appreciate it! I definitely owe Chris a summer trip though.
Few days and chance to show him Verdun will be great too. Especially as we didn't do Vaux last time and we didn't get proper chance to see Fleury.

Just thinking about going has brought a smile to my face. Glad we're seeing a little of Verdun before Nancy then back to Verdun. It will help me brace myself for Pascal. Wonder what my little man will make of the Citadelle? Definitely need a blanket this time.

Chocolate croissants on the steps and driving past Marguerite and of course staying in Thierville, even if the house will look completely different. My kind of holiday :D It's been a while!!

Ah Verdun tu me manques!         

White Noise

My head is full tonight. Not sure where this entry is going to go but I just have the urge to write and the need to empty my head. If I was at home and I felt like this I'd go for a drive or work out or etc but Im at the in laws and such things would probably cause a commotion. Also in this rather large house of glass I'm not sure I want the entire street to see me shaking about.

I know it's the news about poor Marie Helene that has got me shaken up. 31 is too young to die and to go in such a manner is beyond awful. I want to do something to show Pascal I care and so I'm going to follow Ann's suggestion and write a little card for Sarah Jade but what to write?

Your mum was wonderful, I should have made more effort to keep in touch? I know that's not how life works and people come in and out of our lives whether we mean to let things slip or despite how hard we try. But!

What exactly to write? It feels like all my memories are so tiny compared to other people's or that I can't put them out there with enough reasonance to get my point across.

She was kind and gentle and graceful in the sense of always holding herself above other people's nonesense. She made me feel welcome and less alone in a foreign place. SHe made it easy for me to fit in and be welcomed after the nightmare of the previous assistant. She was beautiful in such an innocent and fragile way that I simply can't explain it.
Looking at her pictures now reminds me of her warmth and how her eyes always held such light and how for someone so good she could look so mischevious!

It really is only the good that die young. I feel so sorry for Pascal, they've been together since they were 15/16 and so for his entire adult life he has had her by his side and now he's 31, not at all old by any imagination and with a new baby and alone.
And we're supposed to write something that even takes the edge of that? I don't think any of us even know such words.

Feb. 10th, 2012

Some time last year, before I even went back to work so around 10/11/12 months ago I was sitting here writing about Motherhood and how amazing it had turned out and how well it was going and etc. I wrote about how much I loved le plonk and what a great time we were having and we still are don't get me wrong.

I just didn't expect Motherhood to mean as much to me as it did in relation to other people. I remember a LONG time ago Dre telling me it made her closer to Nana now she could understand what she'd gone through and how she needed that help from someone who understood. Now it's weird because that resonates with me for a whole different reason.

I've never had a proper or remotely normal relationship with Mum. I've come to terms with the fact we never will. I'm just not sure if I can come to terms with our relationship being as it is at the moment. I feel like I've had to make a choice between my baby and my mother and it doesn't seem quite fair.

He's 15 months and she's seen him once. We haven't even settled on what he will call her and this saddens me. I spent so long while I was pregnant being frightened of turning into her or frightened of the impact she might be able to have on him and just when I'd decided i'd take the risk and let her into our lives a little, poof she's gone.

I've not seen her in months and she's been in and out for 18 months now. I'm so angry that the mental health "professionals" and her so called friends made decisions without me that have cost her so dearly. I'm cross that there's nothing I can do to help her right now especially because no one "professional" seems to want to get her help or even help me to help her.

But then on the other hand my relationship with Mieke has been cemented by having Nathan and she to many purposes is the mother I never had. Don't get me wrong I already had 2 wonderful "mum" stand ins in Dre and Nana and I love them dearly and I'm still in Hartlepool now because I want to be here near to them and to keep an eye on Nana but Mieke's the version of a mum that all daughters should get when they become Mums.

I don't know where this is going. I'm sad tonight because work is hard at the moment and with Nathan having been so ill I'm beyond tired. I'm sad that we apparently have to "work smarter" and instead of any appreciation of our efforts we only got derision. I'm sad that I'm out 40 hrs a week doing a job I normally love and being away form my baby and getting no appreciation of my efforts.

Except that isn't strictly true. I've had 4 compliments and gifts from customers since we started doing the appointments. Compared to precisely 0 from the forms. So I am making some difference to the people who do matter. My little old dears, and my single mums and my vulnerables who need that TLC. I'm just not going to get any support from my colleagues or management it seems.
Good job I'm thick skinned!

But when I think about walking away I think of all the people who won't get helped if i'm replaced by either N or S and I can't leave. I know it's only a simple job on paper, that I fill in forms and make housing decisions and visit confused people but in reality I take a lot of fear/doubt away from people. I deal with people that no one else wants to help and I help them because I want to, not because I have to.

So why can't someone out there help Mum? There must be someone out there like me who she can find, who can get through to her the way I get through to the "lovelies?"

It's bloody typical that I spent all those years wondering what the hell to do with her and how to fit her alongside everything else in my life and just where I get to a point where she finally fits and she could have a proper part and fit in well she ups and bloody leaves and turns it all upside down again.

I love you mum, I just wish you'ld make it easier to love you at times!
That said, I hope you're safe and well and when you finally get bored of this and come back I'll help you get another house and more furniture and we'll replace the things you lost from when I was little with Plonky Pictures and drawings and all the mother's day and birthdays and christmas' you've missed.

I think it's times like this that I appreciate being a christian the most. I can take comfort in the idea that all this is going somewhere, that there's a reason behind the madness even if I don't know what it is. It makes me glad that I have trust and faith.
But now I'm going to believe in love and go and find the husband because I need a hug!!  

marriage vows

Hmm just logged into LJ to think about writing an entry rather than just reading others and found this already saved...

So many people cheat nowadays that I wonder why the majority of people bother to get married in the first place. Is it the fancy frock and massive party? Is it pressure from family/friends? Simply the idea that people should?

A friend on fb just posted about how she hates married men and how they all cheat, as she's an unmarried woman I'm taking it that a married man tried to pick her up last night. I hate that too.

I understand that it's easy to cheat, that there's the thrill and chase and people can fool their selves their partner will not find out and no one will get hurt but when it all comes down to it what's the point? If you're that unhappy you should walk away. However, saying that I think walking away from a marriage should only be done as the truly last resort whereas walking away from a relationship is easier.

I wonder where I was going with this or why I stopped. Oh well might as well post it since I wrote it.

Dec. 13th, 2011

Poor LJ, you only get a proper entry now when I want a moan. In saying that, that is a big part of why I've come here tonight.

I have a dreadful headache and I'm not sure if it's again or still. (It started Sunday and I'm not convinced it ever went properly away).
I'm tired and cranky and Nana is in the hospital and to be honest the longer things drag on with her the more tired and cranky I'm going to get really.

There's also the confusion over Christmas plans in Holland. I just want to know what's happening really. We're getting closer and closer, how hard is it for someone to make a decision. I'm probably right in thinking this would not happen if I lived there as by now I'd have steamed in, taken charge and voila we'd have a plan. Alas they're all too typically laid back, super polite and well erm dutch.

I'm getting into hibernation mode too at a time when really I could do without it. I'm sleeping a lot but it can't be the right kind of sleep as I just feel sooo tired from the minute I get up until the mintute I go to bed. But then the constant (albeit fairly regular periods don't help) Damn you Dr Smith for ordering so many urine tests for the lergy when you know I always bleed when I need to take a urine test!

I can't wait to get to Holland now. I need some r&r. Nice food, few glasses of wine and some lovely peace and quiet and I'll be back on my feet in no time. Who would ever have believed that going to stay with your mother in law would ever be something to look forward to? But then she's obviously my reward for the all the toads I had to put up with when I was dating.

Looking forward to some quiet time and catching up with people and of course our trip to Belgium (note to self get that organised!)

Looking forward as well to time off work and away from the constant moaning from my team. Also by the time I get there nana should be home from hospital, have had the op and be on her way to recovering. (fingers crossed)

So really if i survive the next 2 weeks it's all downhill from there \o/

oh man I wish it was Chrismas sooner!!