Posted by: christinelaennec | March 6, 2016

Mothering Sunday and coming into spring

Hello again!  I don’t know where the time has flown.  Today is Mothering Sunday:  look at all the lovely treats I was given by Michael and the Dafter!

Mother's Day flowers and gifts.  6 March 2016.

Mother’s Day flowers and gifts. 6 March 2016.

Before church this morning a few of us were talking about how Mother’s Day can be painful for some people.  For many years I thought I would never have the privilege of being a mother, and it was a sad day for me.  The Dafter has a friend whose mother died just over a year ago, so today will be a hard one for her.  Then someone in our conversation pointed out that it is in fact “Mothering Sunday” – and you don’t have to be a mother in order to be mothering.  So very true.

I’ve written briefly about the traditions of Mothering Sunday, in case you’re interested.

What have I been doing the past three weeks?  Mostly looking after the Dafter, and not because she has been any worse, but because she has been doing pretty well.  She still needs a great deal of support with leading her life, and I will write a separate post to update you.  I’ve also been quite busy with my singing, and being the music librarian, which is a wee job I love.

The weather has been particularly lovely in recent weeks.  We’ve had lots of frosty, sunny days, and I have gone on as many walks as I’ve been able to:

Frost melting

Frost melting, late February 2016.

One evening, the Dafter was able to go to a concert at The Hydro, a huge auditorium in Glasgow.  She was with a friend and had her crutches, but we didn’t want to be too far away.  So we had dinner at a hotel across the river.  We tried, and failed, to remember the last time we’d had a meal out together!  It was freezing cold, but the river was like a mirror.  There is a certain beauty to Glasgow.  You may be able to see the Finnieston crane in the photo – it’s one of a few that remain as a testament to the days when the river was a hive of shipbuilding activity:

The River Clyde at night, February 2016.

The River Clyde at night, February 2016.  The Hydro is on the left, lit up in blue at the moment I took the photo.  The colours tend to change subtly.  The bridge lit in purple is nicknamed “The Squinty Bridge” because it crosses the river at an angle.

I have been making progress on my two knitting projects.  Here is the bottom of the Oregon cardigan:

Oregon cardigan, late Feb 2016.

Oregon cardigan, late Feb 2016.

The moment I moved it away, Tilly lay down to sunbathe:

Tilly in a spot of sun.  Late February 2016.

Tilly in a spot of sun. Late February 2016.

The shawl I’m making with gradient yarn is coming along as well.  It’s good fun to watch the raspberry colour slowly begin to dominate as the yarn runs through my fingers:

Apple and raspberry shawl.

Apple and raspberry shawl. 

I feel so glad that winter will soon be behind us.  Somehow this past winter has been very tiring to get through.  Last weekend was the Service of Thanksgiving for our lovely locum minister who fell unwell just two weeks after retiring (for the fifth time) at age 75, and died just a few months later.  The church was literally packed to the rafters.  Every possible seat was taken, except I noticed there was a Sikh gentleman who stood at the back throughout – I think by choice, though.  There were over 600 people there, and the force of all of us singing “Immortal, invisible, God only wise” was tremendous, like being hit by a wave.

The fact that several people we know have died recently is hard.  But, as a friend wrote to me, it’s a “reminder to treasure all that is good in life”.  Lately, with sunny days, and the Dafter having some normal teenage experiences, and me not being quite so isolated as when she was so severely ill, that has been pretty easy to do.

Life has a strange way of communicating with us.  On Monday afternoon, I spent quite some time consoling the Dafter.  She was understandably in tears because one of her friends is having a weekend-long party for her 18th, but the girl’s parents have banned the Dafter from coming, saying they can’t take responsibility for her health problems.  Such is life when you are a chronically ill teenager.  However, later that day the Dafter learned that a friend of a friend has just been diagnosed with ME/CFS.  The Dafter said to me, “Earlier today I was so upset because my illness means I’m left out of things.  But now I feel so much better because, although I would never wish ME on anyone, maybe my experiences can help someone else.”

The Dafter said to me, “When she asked me how long I’d been ill for [over four and a half years], my heart just broke.  But it won’t do any good to hide the truth from her.” I recently met up with the mother, who is exhausted and in shock, but strikes me as being a particularly wise and insightful person.  My main advice to her was to know that her daughter is going to make a full recovery, and also to accept that the timescale is unknowable.  That is both helpful and difficult:  you’d like someone to tell you when it will be over, and yet it’s comforting to think that it might only be six months or a year, especially when you read about people who have suffered for decades.

Yet one more reminder to treasure all that is good in life.  Happy Mothering Sunday to all of you!

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Responses

  1. Glad to hear all is good.

  2. Happy Mother’s Day! What a lovely selection of flowers and gifts. Thank you for the reminder to treasure the good in life. There is much to be thankful for, and the coming of spring seems particularly gladdening after the winter. Good on the Dafter for wanting to support others with the same condition. Knowing that someone else understands your situation from the inside can be a wonderful relief.

  3. I’m sorry the Dafter is very understandably disappointed at being left out of the weekend party. But also, having experienced my children’s teenage sleepovers, I’m a bit stunned at the thought of a weekend-long event! And I’m very impressed that the Dafter is able to be so thoughtful about the friend of a friend who has developed this distressing illness.
    And your Mother’s Day flowers are beautiful.

  4. Happy Mothering Sunday to you. If ever a mum deserved a day, its you! I will send you an email soon. xx

  5. Happy Mothering Sunday, Christine! I am glad that you have been mostly happily busy. I love the colors and patterns of both of your stitching projects, and very much admire your technical ability. The different feelings about mothering I have had, have definitely changed from year to year depending on my circumstances as have my feelings about marriage. Today the pastor focused his teaching on marriage and I found myself restless and with mixed feelings as I tried to listen and glean something positive 🙂 I am sorry for dafter’s disappointment, and find her tender and caring heart for others to be precious. Oh, I especially love your beautiful river photo and am so glad you got to have a special night out with Michael! xxxx

  6. Happy Mothering Sunday, Christine! Love and hugs to you and the Dafter x

  7. Sounds like you had a great Mothering Sunday, so nice to hear someone else call it that. My prayers and thought are hoping you are all well.

  8. I am glad you had a lovely day. I think this day is for all women. Hugs to Dafter.

  9. Yet another brilliant post. Such sound advise re the me diagnosis.

    I find mothers day tough as one of my late 17 week miscarriages occurred over this weekend. I spent the day knowing the baby had died and I would be hospital the next day. But each mothers day I mourn just a little and then count my blessings for a whole lot longer.

    Life is hard but you see it as it is and how we can cope and that is why I come here.
    L.x.

  10. Such nice gifts, and what a wonderful outlook your daughter has. So sorry about her missing the party. Glad you shared that, it might make some people look at themselves a bit and realize how their actions affect others. Happy Mothering Day to you. Ours isn’t until early in May.

  11. Happy belated Mothering Sunday to you. It looks like you had a lovely day and lots of nice gifts, too. My heart goes out to the dear Dafter but she is so wise to take this situation and help someone else. She has such a kind, sincere, caring nature. Please give her a hug from me and Lilly sends her meows to Tilly! Your sweater is looking amazing, by the way. Hugs, Pat

  12. Your Mother’s Day flowers are lovely! And I like the mug too 🙂 (Probably Cath Kidston?) Glad the Dafter is continuing to have some energy for things like going out to a concert! Makes me so sad to hear that parents didn’t want to “take responsibility” for having her over. But glad to hear the Dafter sees how her struggles can be an encouragement to others. Your knitting is coming along beautifully!!!! Will be in touch….

  13. Thank you all very much for your comments and kind wishes. I’m glad you think the knitting is okay! I hope to show you the finished shawl soon.

    Yes, people are very ignorant about conditions like ME. It isn’t as if it’s contagious… However, all we can do is look forwards.

    Gracie, I am intrigued to know what your mixed feelings about marriage are! Especially given what you’ve written about your late husband. But perhaps you are meaning marriage in general rather than your own marriage. In any case, I think there are few things in life that aren’t a mixture of easy/hard, etc.

    Lynn, thank you very much for your kind words. That kind of loss is quite invisible to others, but remains with us always. I’m glad you are able to feel thankful as well.

    Heather, the mug is a Cath Kidston knock-off from a supermarket. It is lovely and big – I am a hog when it comes to tea, and I love having a nice big cup to take off somewhere and have plenty to keep me going without having to get up for a refill! I realise this is very unrefined…


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