Posted by: christinelaennec | November 26, 2011

Much to be thankful for

Thank you to everyone for your very kind comments and wishes recently.  Our family had a wonderful Thanksgiving today.  I am very pleased to tell you that the Dafter’s health is beginning to show improvement.  Her ears and throat are still bothering her, but she has a bit more energy, and she enjoyed her day:

The Dafter and her big brother, Thanksgiving 2011.

And here are the Old Folks – the cook and his wife:

Mom and Dad - photo courtesy of the Dafter, Thanksgiving 2011. The meal was entirely prepared by Michael, as always. (Though I did bake a pumpkin pie.)

We had a fire:

Thanksgiving: afternoon fire.

And the sunset at 3:15 was beautiful:

Sunset, 26th November 2011 3:15 pm, Aberdeen.

We did feel truly grateful for our blessings:

After the meal: Thanksgiving table with angels.

The Dafter’s school has been meeting with the three of us, and as the amount of work she has already missed is quite enormous, they offered that she could go down a year.  Naturally, the Dafter was sad about this for all the reasons you can imagine, but she herself said that it was the only realistic way forward.  It means that, in her words, she will have a fourth new start in a year and a half (High School 1; High School 2; current year of High School 3; and now another year and class).  But it takes an enormous amount of pressure off, and that can only help her to recover.  We will have to continue to take one day at a time, and not have specific expectations.  Another good thing is that my work, and also Michael’s, have agreed that we can rearrange our working hours after Christmas so that either one or the other of us can be working at home with the Dafter during the week.  As our helper is leaving Aberdeen, and doesn’t drive, this will allow us to take the Dafter places in the car (school, doctor’s) until she’s fit enough to walk.

So we have a great deal to be thankful for, not least the Dafter’s enormous inner resilience through such a trying time.  I continue to work on being calm and hopeful about the future.   I can’t believe tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent!  I hope you’re all having a very good weekend.



  1. Hello Christine, I’ve been absent from blogging for a while, and delighted to come here and read such good news. I don’t think I told you (maybe I did, but my brain is rather foggy just now) that when our son moved school he repeated the year he’d just finished. Partly because his old school did GCSEs and his new one did Scottish qualifications. He had just made his subject choice for GCSE at the end of S2, and we thought that doing S2 again would give him the chance to be sure about his choices and to experience new subjects that he hadn’t been offered at his old school. Sure enough, he made a few changes, including taking Art. The reason he hadn’t selected it at his old school, despite being very good at it, was that his classmates kept trying to cut off his ears with the scalpels used for lino cuts, and the teacher was oblivious to this. He went on to do outstandingly well at Art, and to take a great deal of joy in it. The other reason was that his previous school was single sex and the new one had GIRLS, and we felt that he should get used to this before the girls suddenly grew up in S3 and became young women. It all worked out for the best, and I would think it will give the Dafter just the space she needs to settle into her new school. There is usually quite a range of ages within one year, and by the time university comes around no-one cares whether you’re 18 or 19.

    Your Thanksgiving meal looks delicious, and a real fire provides the finishing touch.

  2. Wonderful family pictures. what a special day and the fire makes everything so warm and Christmassy looking.

  3. Just happened on your blog (I am a devoted lurker/reader of Roobeedoo”s blog) and noticed your daughter had been ill and was going to repeat or take over this year again. When I was fourteen (2nd year High School in the USA), my family moved in January or February. I was in a new school in a city instead of a small town, and, in many of the classes I was taking, the other students were all third or fourth year. I was a year younger than everyone in my proper class. I was really struggling with the work and knew no one – then I got sick. I really don’t remember how everything started. I just remember going to school and being exhausted and too tired to do my work or do anything. My mother took me to various doctors and finally one doctor diagnosed mono. Mono was very new at that time – at least doctors thinking to look for it or test for it was. I always joked that I was the first person i ever knew who had mono.

    The treatment was rest. I tried to keep on going to school- go a day, stay home the rest of the week. Finally the doctor said, “Stay home until I say you can go back.” I’m sure I was home at least 6 weeks. My grades was terrible. I failed my math, I was going back to school far into vacation to finish making up my English Lit class (reports, papers). I am sure the American History grade was low. My mother finished whatever I was supposed to be sewing, and the gym teacher’s expectations of me were low anyway, LOL.

    Thinking back, I would have been so much better off if the school and my parents had just let me do that year over. I would have also been the same age as my classmates for the first time since Kindergarten. Also, thinking back, it probably would have been good if I had been given some sort of projects to do at home, although I did cook a lot and read a lot and, while I watched lots of television, daytime television was a bit more education in those days – or what I watched was.

    Best to your family – wonderful holidays ahead I hope.

    One more thing – I was plagued (mild word) with bad reoccurring sinus infections for a few years. My allergist finally sent me to an ENT in 2007 and, after trying a course of heavy duty antibiotics, said I needed sinus surgery. I am so glad I did this. I have had the occasional sinus infection since – but it clears up quickly.

    Again, best to you all.

    Linda C.

  4. You look like a very warm and close family. The fire looks cosy too. I’m happy to hear your daughter is on the road to recovery

  5. The love and strength of your wonderful family shines through in words and pictures. My very best wishes to you all. So glad to hear that the dafter is making progress. Great news, indeed.

  6. This is all sounding so positive 🙂
    And the commenters who tell you to take it slow – they are right! But you know that 🙂

  7. Looks like you had a lovely day, great to see the Dafter smiling and glad things are looking up. Totally understand that going down a year at school is a disappointment but it must take a lot of pressure off. Take care of yourself too!

  8. What a lovely post. So much positivity. Your daughter is beautiful (and your son!) Happy Thanksgiving.

  9. Glad to see that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and also to hear of continued good health 🙂

  10. I’m glad you all obviously had a lovely day. I think going down a year is a very good idea for the Dafter – it should remove a great deal of stress. Also I’m so glad you have a working arrangement that will make things easier after Christmas.
    All good wishes to all of you.

  11. I am so happy to hear the Dafter is starting to feel better. You have a lovely family and your home is so cozy. I hope things continue to improve for your Dafter. It must give you a little peace of mind to know that school and work are so willing to work with your family during this difficult time.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  12. I am so very glad that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and I think the ‘wise’ Dafter has made the right decision on going down a year. Hugs and xx

  13. Sounds like a lovely day, and it looks like you are turning a corner toward recovery. What maturity of your daughter to accept the the re-do. I think my son would fight it tooth and nail and end up totally stressed out. And having a plan makes it so much easier to move forward.

  14. Beautiful family photos! Glad things are settling down and your daughter is feeling better. Tough but wise decision made by your daughter in regards to school. She sounds quite mature for her age. Blessings to all of you!

  15. Hopefully just relieving the pressure will help her improve. So glad your co-workers are understanding.

    One day I hope I have a fireplace like that. I may live in Georgia, but I miss sitting in front of a fire.

  16. Dear Everyone,

    Truly we are blessed by all these helpful, kind and encouraging comments! Thank you very, very much. You really can’t know how much I appreciate them because it’s been a very isolating time. Most of the people we know here have stopped asking for updates, or just frown with concern when they do ask and we answer truthfully.

    It’s very interesting to hear your stories (Linda and Linda C.) about going back and year – or not – and recovery from illness. And yes, we are very fortunate to have the backing of both the Dafter’s school and also our employers. I’ll let the Dafter know that she’s considered mature and wise! We still have a ways to go before she is better and back in school. But as you say, Sigrid, having a plan makes it much easier.

    Thanks so much again, everyone, for your warm wishes.

  17. I am so very pleased that things are looking up!!! I think the solution to go down a year is a perfect one. Your family looks so happy!!! What blessings you have 🙂
    And your Thanksgiving meal looks delicious!
    Pumpkin pie is one of my absolute favourite puddings in the world 🙂

    • Thank you Suzy! We have a very small family compared to yours, but luckily love is infinite. I wish I could have sent you some pumpkin pie. My children tell me it’s an acquired taste! More for me, hee hee.

  18. So glad she’s doing better…what a beautiful girl she is…so fun to see photos of your wonderful family. Glad your Thanksgiving was a great one!

    • Dear Lisa,

      Thank you so much. I wish she was doing even better than she is, but I have to accept what I can’t change. She has a beautiful spirit and that’s what I try to focus on.

  19. Hi – I have been having some broadband problems for a couple of weeks, so have missed a lot of what has been happening. The Dafter looks great – so good to see her lovely smile. I hope your Thanksgiving dinner went well – it certainly looks like it did. You will all come through this so much stronger in your selves, and as a family. Sending much loved and Advent blessings to you. xxx

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