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!
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:
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:
I have been making progress on my two knitting projects. Here is the bottom of the Oregon cardigan:
The moment I moved it away, Tilly lay down to sunbathe:
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:
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!