Divided

10662129_10152321953920064_4737426000016795237_oAfter all the fiasco of the 2016 Presidential election in America, I thought things might calm down a bit. Having watched quietly in the background as years long friendships were ended over a difference of opinion.

I admit to having very strong urges to end a few myself. It really wasn’t about Trump. Or Hillary. It was simply about wanting my inner circle to be filled with people who were accepting of each other…regardless of opinion, colour, religion, or nationality. It was about tolerance.

However, it’s a bit hypocritical to state you want tolerance yet refuse to have someone in your inner circle because of their intolerance.

Oh well, fuck it…it’s my circle and I can do what I want. No one has to sleep with me at night other than myself. I am the only one that has to lie awake after nightmares of intolerance awaken me in the night. Yea…some days it really is that bad. But it started long before this election.

Perhaps it even started when I was a teenager, smacked in the face for the first time by a father I loved so much. All because I fancied myself in love with someone who wasn’t acceptable. More than the pain of the blow, was the crushing of my soul…

It’s still not something I talk or share with anyone this day…but maybe it’s time to stop. Please don’t think you can assume anything about my parents from this post…I am 100% that I was not the only one with a crushed soul that day…

The thing is my parents obviously didn’t share my viewpoints. I obviously didn’t share theirs. As time went by I like to think my father’s views had changed. I never got the chance to ask him before he passed.

Regardless, I am so thankful that I never shut him out of my life.

I see people posting passive aggressive posts daily. I see them speaking of blocking one another. I see long time friendships ending. Over a difference of views.

I understand why. As I said, there have been times I have almost clicked that button to banish someone from my life. Not because I am a sore loser. Not because I hated for one party to win over another (I really don’t consider myself either TBH). I don’t see how anyone in good conscience can support someone who is so blatantly full of hate and set on dividing, not a nation, but humanity. However, I wouldn’t put someone out of my life for their support of him, as maybe they see things differently than I. However, people who have no shame in saying they don’t believe in equality of others. That has always been a reason to place someone outside of my inner circle. Someone that encourages hate speech or body shaming…that truly bothers me and I want none of it.

I like to kid myself and think I’m this all accepting person. That I refuse to judge someone based on body size, their gender identity, their choice of partners, their nationality, their colour, or their religion. The truth is, I just relate a lot to how they must feel. No, I am not a member of the LGBT community. No I am not a person of colour. I am not one of a million things people are judged for. However, I am any of other things that people judge someone for. I am also my own worst critic. I know what it means to feel alone in a crowd and to feel as if I am not accepted. Sure, it might be only in my head. But really, what does it matter? If the feeling is there, it is there. That makes it real. I can sympathize with anyone that feels that way…be it real or imagined. I don’t want ANYONE to feel that way. Especially because of something they can’t help. I want people to know that they are not alone. I might not be like them…however I am not UNLIKE them either. The things that divide us pale in comparison to those things that unite us. I want to embrace these things that unite us. I want a world where those are the things that matter most.

Then we get to the whole choice of people to live as they chose wish. I refuse to put milk in my tea. I now live in a nation where most everyone puts milk in their tea FFS! It doesn’t matter. I don’t like it. I think it’s wrong. On so many levels. However, I wouldn’t dare presume to know what’s best for others. Hell, I ain’t even going to mention it to them. I certainly am not going to take away their milk and tell them they can’t use it!

Perhaps it’s a bad analogy, but that’s the beauty of this being my blog…I can’t write stupid stuff all day and no one can stop me. The thing is, I wouldn’t dare tell someone who they can’t marry another. Even if I didn’t believe in it. I wouldn’t dare tell a woman what she could or couldn’t do with her body. I wouldn’t dare presume to even begin to judge her for making what might or might not be the most difficult decision of her life. I wouldn’t dare be so presumptuous to tell someone that my religion is better than theirs and fuck them and their religion, you now have to follow my rules and I get to decide what you can and can’t do in life. Now you can’t get married to the one you love and you can’t have an abortion…just because my religion tells me it’s wrong and mine is more important than yours.

But I see people do this daily. You don’t have to believe in something or do something to believe that other’s have the right to make their own choices in life. Even choices you do not agree with. That once they know the consequences of their actions, that they are free to act in whatever way they believe the best course of action for their lives might be…Why is that so difficult for others to understand and see?

Finally, back on topic…sorry, all of this stuff is just bubbling up in my head day after day and it’s all I can do just to vomit it all out for you enjoyment…

Seeing these friendships end…seeing all the hurt. Again, I can’t imagine my life had I shut some people out of it because of disagreements. Yes, again, I, like many others, don’t want hateful people in my inner circle. But I can continue to be Pollyanna in my belief that if enough people let others know that behaviour isn’t acceptable, well maybe they might start to question why they have believed it was acceptable….and maybe perhaps change their own beliefs…

HOWEVER….this is a big light bulb moment for me….I won’t shut these people out…even if they don’t change their beliefs. If they want to remove me, they are free to do so. However, I want my voice to be heard. Not just by those that share my viewpoints. I want it heard even more by people who do not share my view points. I want the body shamers to hear me. I want the bigots to hear me. I want the homophobic to hear me. I want the misogynist to hear me. I want the xenophobic to hear me. I want anyone that thinks they have the right to tell others what they can and can’t do with their bodies or their personal relationships to hear me. I will not be silent. I will not quietly push you aside and speak outside of your hearing…as if I am the one ashamed of my views…

Sure, they can continue to quietly post the shite they post. But I will not quietly go into the night…I will be heard….I am going to fucking roar….and if you don’t like…well…FTFRO…

What is This Thing Called Life…

10659088_10152250479220064_2609910462906457939_o-2Another friend passed away today…That’s three in the last month…It’s really hitting me hard…

I’m not even that old…or at least I don’t think I am (only 46). One passing has really shook me up (they all have, don’t misunderstand me). I’ve sometimes found it difficult to sleep and when I do, the dreams aren’t always pleasant. It leaves me waking up feeling a bit hopeless.

Then I turn on the news…okay, I don’t actually turn on the telly and watch the news…so I lied…but I see the news on my Facebook feed…I see the alerts come across my phone…and I would have to live in a cave to not see all the wrong that is in the world…

I suddenly feel mortal. I am having a hard time of it. I am not in a good place. I love my husband. I love where I live. I love the people in my life. I know I am very lucky and fortunate. I’m okay with not having loads of money. And stuff (who am I kidding, I have tonnes of tarantulas and books…and jackets…I have more stuff than I will ever need). Really what I am saying is that I love my life. But I can’t shake the feeling that I’m not doing enough. Or that I shouldn’t feel secure. That it can all be gone in an instant…I would be lost without my husband…and I can’t stop thinking about mortality…if I am gone tomorrow who will remember me? What will it matter?

Then there is the whole public awareness thing…

Is it enough that I try to be a good and accepting person? That I try to not spread negativity.

It’s frustrating that no matter what opinion one voices this day that someone always takes it personally. That you can’t support one issue without someone else thinking you are anti the other side. Why can’t there be good and bad on all sides? Why can’t we pick and choose the good and try to rid the world of the bad? Why must one pick a side and in by doing so accept both the bad and the good? I want to reject the bad. I want to change things. I don’t want to fight. Except for good…Sigh…

I think I could get angry with myself for letting things beyond my control upset me…but then I feel at the exact same moment that if I don’t let these things bother and upset me that I am part of the problem…

So feeling like this (really, does it even matter what the issues are? Be it politics, equality, religion, racism, or whatever, it all boils down to the same problems) what’s the fucking point?

I warned you…I’m not in a good place right now…

Don’t worry, I shall carry on carrying on…I’m not depressed…I’m just despondent…which might even be worse in some ways…

I don’t even know what the point of this rambling is…I just am saddened that my mates are gone…and saddened that no one seems to get along these days…that we let issues that should pull us together to work as a whole to fix things we see wrong in the world, instead seems to just put more distance between us and tear us down…that we are so determined to defend our stance that we no longer seek a middle ground…humanity is losing…I know this can’t be true…there is so much good in the world…but lately…I just feel that humanity is losing…

What is the point I ask again? I know I am not the first person to feel this way…I know many more will feel this way long after I am gone…but it helps me naught…

I just keep climbing this mountain and I am waiting for the sun to show itself…afraid that I shall arrive at the other side and find it even more desolate…

Okay, enough for now…chin up…

as Scarlett O’Hara would say…

“After all, tomorrow is another day.”

If you’re still reading this…thank you…much love to you xx

Carnival – The Best Time of the Year

14322646_10153725876690064_3529434382230669721_nWhat is it about carnival? Someone said it’s like a grown up’s Christmas….I can see how that can be said…However, I think it’s a bit more than that…Christmas often boils down to time spent with family…Carnival is time spent with community that is family!

I can’t tell you how many people I heard say, “Carnival is my favourite time of year!”. But why? It’s hard to put into words, but once you experience Pewsey Carnival there is no doubt that you’ll feel the same. The chill of upcoming autumn is in the air. The streets are decorated in lights. You can smell all the food…burgers, curries, chips and more…You can hear the Fair in the distance. Pewsey still has people who travel from all over the country to see carnival just because they grew up here. You’ll always hear at least one person afterwards in the pub that is still a wee bit shocked, confessing that it was their first carnival and they can’t believe it! How they now wish to move to Pewsey…ha!

It’s a time that you can put on a costume and be anyone you want to be. It’s also a time where you can take off your every day mask and be the person you are…

It’s amazing to me as an outsider to watch normally quiet people talking to everyone they see. To walk up time after time and hug and kiss each other. To see the Police Officers walking the street, not looking to intimidate, but just to be there to share a laugh and to offer assistance if need be. I love to watch the children’s faces as they look at all the flashing lights…and to have them come up shyly and ask a question….and then to become bold and ask a thousand more…It magical to watch everyone line the streets…from infants in prams all the way to their great great nans….

To be part of that crowd and to watch the participants all dancing, laughing and smiling is wonderful….we’re usually sat outside the pub and making way for the dozens of small children eager to get their pennies into the buckets of their favourite entry.

As part of the procession it is a totally different experience. The gathering at the Carnival field where the party truly starts….the last minute rushes to finish it off….You can see all of the smiling faces…you can hear the shouts of people calling out, “Well done” and “Over here”. You take a walk around and wonder at the imagination and hard work that everyone has put into their entries for the procession. All for the love of Carnival and community!

Once the procession starts, you can see the wide eyes of the children…the groups of teenagers running about, forgetting to act cool and indifferent…the adults acting as happy and carefree as children…you see the garden parties with dozens sat on garden chairs and having a laugh…you see the lines at the food trucks…you are surrounded by music…and you, yourself, are too happy to worry about tired feet or the stops and gos….you’ll try hard to figure out where that voice from crowd that is calling your name is coming from…you giggle at the children that are so excited that they don’t understand to save their pennies and hand them out one by one so they don’t run out too soon….you’ll make sure you bend down and get on their level so they can easily donate their pence…and then solemnly thank you for being so generous…and you’ll make sure to match their shy smiles as well…you gain a new respect for the older hands that are so eager to give to a great cause as well…

You realise just how wonderful Pewsey Carnival is for the community….you see the hard-working volunteers before and after….and you’re a bit amazed at how happy they are to be working so bloody hard for free….and then you realise that it’s not for free afterall….you see their payment is confidence in knowing they are such an important part…that Carnival wouldn’t exist without them…you see the laughs and the shared pride….it’s a payment that can’t be measured in coin…

You too feel the community pride and you think there is no better place to be in all the world….

Finally, on a more personal level, I often watch me husband and marvel at the man I am married to….we won’t go into all the hours he spend making our entry (if you really want to know about it, just ask him and you’re sure to get plenty of time wasted listening to him moan, but he actually loves it…both the moaning and the making)…what I’m talking about is all the fun he so obviously has being part of the community….the happiness upon his face when he sees old mates that he hadn’t seen in years…after, when the float is tucked safely away, and we make our way to village to the local, then on to the Cooper’s Field for the band…seeing all the people cut loose knowing that their job is well done. That this is the final time to cut loose until next year’s Carnival…I love to see the expressions on everyone’s face as they see someone who they “haven’t seen in ages”. First confusion, then disbelief, then finally, laughter and joy.

I love to hear the stories I’ve never heard before. To meet new people who have played such important parts in the lives of people I love. To hear the stories of Carnivals past and how it’s really much more than just a big party. Carnival means so much to so many simply because it’s where the happier times with family and friends took place. I doubt if there is anyone in all of Pewsey that doesn’t have some wonderful Carnival memory of someone no longer here. I hear me husband, his family and friends reminisce. The stories I hear of people I will sadly never meet…and to to meet the new people who I never knew existed that played such a big part in everyone’s lives…I can only marvel at what it was like to grow up with Carnival. To progress from that shy toddler trying to get someone’s attention to donate their pence…to that awkward teen trying to sneak in some extra fun thinking they are the first to do so…to finally becoming that adult that they are today, understanding that Carnival isn’t just about the party, it’s about the people….the community…

Carnival….Best time of the year….

My Thoughts as I Watch the World these Days

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I’ve tried to remain somewhat quiet about this whole thing (admittedly not always successfully)…however, I would just like to put this out there to remove any doubt about what I truly feel…

I love England…

As many know (or not) I grew up in the deep south…unless you’ve grown up in the deep south you can’t possibly understand what that was like…

Once I moved away (far away), I can’t even express how I felt…how much a weight was lifted off my heart…

I always knew things weren’t right…I often felt uncomfortable with the things I saw and heard….but after moving away and distancing myself I really came to understand how truly fucked up some of the culture is down there…

When I moved to the pacific northwest I couldn’t believe how everyone was treated equally…then one day, some of my coworkers sat me down and explained how they were followed around whilst shopping in certain areas. How people looked down on them, although they were born and raised in the USA, just because they had a darker shade of skin or their parents didn’t speak English well without an accent.

Yes, I’m naive…even as an old(er) person. I’ve always assumed people are just like me…if you know a really cool, funny, and caring person it doesn’t matter what their name is or what colour their skin is, what God they believe in or don’t believe in, or what the gender of the person that they love is…

Moving to England was even more of a surprise…I couldn’t believe the diversity here…and secretly I embraced it daily and danced with glee…until one day it became the norm and I took it for granted…

Then this happened…this whole bexit…

Again, I can be a bit naive…daft even…

I don’t really care how you voted…we all make our choices and at the end of the day we all live by those choices…

What I do care about is WHY you make those choices…

So I should be very clear here…

If English Pride to you means White Pride, you can just go the fuck on…

No really….I wish you well…I just don’t wish you in my life…

If Southern Pride to you means White Pride, again, just go the fuck on…

If American Pride to you means White Pride, yes, you guessed it…I don’t want to know you…

I don’t know if you’ve ever realised this, but being born in America, or England, or Germany, or Poland, or Syria, or any other place on this earth…it’s all just a crap shoot…Where you are born doesn’t make you better than anyone else..the same of skin colour…it doesn’t make you more entitled to a better life…all of it’s just a big crap shoot and some of us are luckier than others…the luck of the draw…

This isn’t about the bexit vote. This isn’t about Trump (don’t get me started on that topic). This isn’t about where you stand on gun rights…or a person’s right to marry whomever they wish….this is about how we have an entire sector of the population now think they have permission to spew their hatred and intolerance of others based solely on their own racist beliefs…it’s about how people are missing the point entirely and instead of calling out this blatant hatred, they are instead pointing fingers at each other trying to deny the blame or to place the blame…

So finally, let’s get this straight as well…

Making anything great doesn’t take one race or one nationality, one religion or one skin colour to make it happen…

It takes good, honest, hard-working, accepting PEOPLE of all sorts to make anything great…be it America, Britain or the whole damned world…

Falling Down the Spirals of Despair

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Sometimes it seems that it never stops. You find yourself forever going down into the depths of despair. For years it seemed that I had no destination to head to. I just continued to sink further down. Connections I had in the “real” world were easy to ignore. I could continue to close myself off from connections in the outside world. My smile and my sarcasm could continue to mask the lack of connection I felt in the world. I could fool myself that sleepless nights that turned into weeks that suddenly turned into years really had no purpose. That it was okay that all my clothes hung off my body after a bit. I could continue to, in some ways, embrace my lack of fulfillment. Telling myself that it was normal to feel so adrift. I could continue to tell myself it was okay, even it wasn’t normal, because I was surviving. That I didn’t mind cutting myself off more and more. That the minutes spent alone in my room were fine…even after they turned into hours, then days. Surrounded by only myself, my never-ending thoughts, and my books for company. After a time, the more I isolated myself, the easier it became…

The point being is that at the end of the day, that journey down the darkened staircase of my mind…the one that I thought had no destination…the one I thought would never end…that I would travel down for the rest of my day…well it turned out that I finally did hit the bottom…one day I finally came to a crossroads…

I didn’t get to the bottom by falling headfirst and cracking my noggin…I just finally had someone offer me the hand that I needed…totally unexpected, yet totally expected. Perhaps someone who had been traveling down his own hopeless spiral himself. No, love won’t solve all your problems. That isn’t what saved me. It was finally just deciding enough was enough and that perhaps that spiral that I thought was despair was just, in actuality, just a way I had of trying to protect myself. That the darkness was just shadows that I used to hide behind. after all, there’s no way I would have to worry about not fitting in if I never even tried. The more isolated my life became, the easier it seemed…The trick was to just finally reach the bottom that I had to reach to finally be able to walk forth…to realise that down doesn’t always mean total darkness…

Sometimes it just takes you to a different path…and if you look off to the left…or the right…you will see a door, and if you’re brave enough to open it, you might discover sunshine, enchantment, and companions that embrace the real you and never try to change you or mould you into someone who fits society’s image of conformity…

Once you start to look beyond the downward spirals, and you see a different path, once you’re in the light…rather it be alone or holding someone’s hand, that sunshine and the light will make it easier for you to hold your head high…you’ll no longer need the shadows to hide behind…and those that don’t support you, or try to bring you down? They too shall be blinded by the brightness that is in you…

Assumptions in a Lonely World

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I thanked someone for taking the time to always make me feel welcome in a world where I often felt lonely surrounded by people. I don’t think she understood the depth of that simple thank you.

I’m not sure why. I think it has something to do with my sharp and witty personality. Okay, don’t go and start thinking I’m being boastful. It’s time you know, not everyone appreciates or even understand cutting sarcasm. However, I’ve found it quite effective in masking my true emotions and my true nature.

Since thanking that person I have came to assume that most people assume (see how bad assumptions can be? Especially multiple assumptions!) that introverts are quite, painfully shy, and rarely speak out in social situations.

I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think there are plenty of introverts that are actually the life of the party (Keep in mind, I am most certainly not one of those introverts!).

I’m very lucky…Not only am I an introvert, I am married to one as well. Or perhaps he’s just anti social….nah…I jest! He can hold his own in most social situations, but I think he much prefers his own company, even to my own.

My point being, he doesn’t get too upset (or at least he doesn’t tell me) if I go upstairs an hour before bed…or even the entire evening. He doesn’t feel the need to fill up the minutes that turn into hours with mindless chatter.

The problem with being an introvert isn’t figuring out how to act in public. After all, we were taught the same manners as everyone else. We went to the same schools. We often have jobs (some are even paying jobs!). We often deal with the public on a daily basis. The problem is dealing with stress of keeping up with the public persona. We all have them you know. We’re rarely the same in private as we are in the public eye.

For me it’s the knowing that in a small way I want to be somewhere with people but knowing that once I’m actually there I won’t be 100% at ease with myself. I won’t be able to relax 100%. I won’t be able to shut down my mind that is always watching and wondering if people are judging me or wondering what those people are really thinking about. Are some people really that at ease and so confident with themselves? It’s knowing that at the end of the day, no matter how much I am enjoying myself, or how long I looked forward to it, the truth is, I would much rather be at home with my spiders, or a good book…

So that means that the sad reality is I would rather just stay at home in the first place…and if I plan an outing days or weeks in advance I often dread it as much as I look forward to it.

The only time that doesn’t happen is if it’s a day out with my husband. Of course, that’s because with him I never feel the need to be witty or charming. We all know that’s because it just comes naturally (See! That’s that witty and cutting sarcasm right there!)

I don’t think non introverts understand what a blessing and curse social media can be. I mean, look at me! If not for a little, often unused, blog such as this, I wouldn’t be able to voice my random thoughts like this. Instead they would just be forever bouncing about in me head. We can connect with people whilst still in the safety of our own home. We don’t have the build up and the stress of knowing we’ll be with actual people. It’s a wonderful thing. We can get to know people and charm them with our wit and humour before we actually have to do that in person.

However, it will, in time, prevent us from much-needed alone time. We will battle often with shutting down accounts and going off grid, if only for a few weeks. Or even days. We will have to deal with people making the assumptions that we deactivate accounts because something awful has happened in our life. Or that we are seeking attention. Or many other numerous things that have actually nothing to do with the reality of just wanting to withdraw. Of giving our minds a much-needed break. Of giving a rest to our anxieties.

I don’t think anyone can understand how PM’s can stress you out. Text messages that go on and on are the same. You don’t want to offend people, however you don’t want that connection all the time. How multiple tags can have you dreading signing on. It doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, Instagram or any of the other countless Social Media sites there are. How you go quite on the web and then someone asks you what’s wrong. There are times you just want to go on there and sit in a quite corner and watch the web go by. You don’t always want to participate in it! How the pressure can be just as bad as actually being in a public setting. It starts to become a job, but a job without a break time. Having said all of that, I suppose that it can be a blessing and a curse for just about everyone, introvert or not!

I know many of you are reading this and thinking, Hmmmmmm….Drama much!

Honestly, just give me a cup of coffee and a day spent in solitude listening to an audiobook and feeding/photographing my spiders and I couldn’t be happier. I understand that would drive some people mental. But for me it’s much more relaxing than going out for an evening meal with friends, or having a chinwag over a cuppa, or even going to the local for a pint with my mates…

The point of all these ramblings?

Who said there was a fucking point….that’s why they are just ramblings…

Lesson to be learnt? Don’t ever underestimate how much simple kindness means to someone who is a lonely introvert surrounded by people in a social world…

An Old Friend

FullSizeRender-3As my dad’s birthday draws closer I find myself thinking about him more often than naught. More and more of the ordinary things in life that one wouldn’t give a second thought to bring forth strong memories of him.

I don’t put a lot of faith in sharing of myself with others…so when these moments hit, I often slink off and hide myself away and try to deal quietly with my grief. Often I feel very much alone and don’t even know how to begin to share these feelings, so that, in effect, makes me feel even more alone. You see, once you lose someone you love, you almost feel guilty sharing your memories with someone else…it’s almost at times like people feel they have to tell you how sorry they are…when the reality is that you’re not looking for pity, you’re just sharing a happy time. Suddenly that sharing a happy thing turns into even more sadness because in that sharing you’ve made someone feel pity for you…

So many people are quick to cover their awkward feelings of helplessness by telling someone who has suffered a loss that it will soon be alright…that the grief will go away in time. Because they want to help a situation that really can’t be helped and they don’t want to feel as if there is nothing they can do (there isn’t) they are often full of *good* advice…Trying there best to help someone overcome their grief…I ask you now, why?

Why do I need to overcome my grief? Will it change the loss? So how is it even possible for grief to go away?

Here’s the thing…when I am hit by a sudden wave of grief, at times it truly is a bit painful. For no reason, I feel completely helpless and utterly alone…it can come from out of the blue…one might never know when it will hit…At first is almost crushing it can hurt so badly….but once that first wave hits us, okay, sometimes it is several waves, but once it passes, it always gives us the opportunity to catch our breath and remember happier times of the one we have now lost.

As I said, I often feel very alone when I think of my dad. I think of how much I miss him. I think of how often I missed him when he was still alive and like we all do, I always said, maybe tomorrow I will give him a call and see what’s happening in his life. I did this so often, until finally, there wasn’t a tomorrow to call him. The finality of that fact is what often hurts the most…knowing that there won’t be a time I can actually pick up my mobile and call my dad. Death has taken that opportunity away from me.

Death has made that a finality…but grief…maybe not? Maybe we shouldn’t look at grief that way. I’ve learned that once those initial waves of grief and sadness hit me, when I go and find place of solitude (even if it’s all just me off in my own mind) and cry, that once those initial waves subside, that it allows my head to clear of all of the other stuff that might be going on in my mind and life. Once that happens it allows the happier memories of my dad to come to surface. Suddenly I realize that the suffocating grief that had made me feel so very alone, is in reality, a friend I should welcome. A friend that reminds me that I am never really alone. No I can’t pick up my mobile and call me dad. However, he is there with me just the same. That is the connection that death can not sever. One that grief is quick to point to me…as long as I grieve for my dad, I shall never forget him…I shall never be without him…

In short, I hope I never overcome my grief. No matter how many suggestions well-meaning people give me to do exactly that. I hope that as times goes by that I welcome that friend, called grief, more and more. I hope that those first incoming waves lessen and lessen in time, making the good memories easier to come forth. Grief isn’t something to avoid, its something to welcome and to remind me of how lucky I am to have the memories that I do. How I wouldn’t even have grief if I didn’t at first, have love…How wonderful the man was that left me with such memories…