Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
I’ve been trying to get this blog going for ages. I keep a journal where I have been trying out all the things I might write about on here. The main thing is that I don’t want this to be a depressing place that people don’t want to visit. I’ve blogged before some years ago but that was very lighthearted stuff, and I deliberately kept my MS out of it, I didn’t want to be defined by it. Things have changed since then. The MS has progressed sure, but many other things have changed too, not only in my life but in the country, in the world. So, I have to write about my life with MS but I also want to write about daily life in other respects as well. There are many things on which I have opinions and would like to share them, hopefully to provoke discussion and debate but also to raise awareness of issues that many people don’t know about.
This all sounds very deep, I don’t mean it to. I just want to give a heads up on what’s coming! Be ready 😄😄
just one more thing, I won’t be writing everyday, sometimes it will be totally beyond me!
I seem to have been unreasonably busy the last few weeks, and yet when I think about it I’m not exactly sure why. Since I don’t really go out in February (or any cold time) I can hardly be said to be rushing about!! I have had a lot of visitors. Some have been MS related – occupational therapists, neurology nurses and the like – but I have had friends calling which is lovely. There are two reasons for this, my youngest daughter has given birth to a beautiful baby boy who is 3 weeks old today and I’m in love! This has involved some trips out to the hospital for example, and to her house, and we have looked after her now 4 year old (as of yesterday) a few times. So all my friends have wanted to know all about that, mostly because they have known Claire all her life. So instead of being Mums Inc. we are now all Grandmothers United!
But there is another reason. I also have a 6 year old grandson with cancer, specifically in his liver. He was rushed into hospital a day or two after his sixth birthday. He was critically ill and it was touch and go for a while but he came through. He was subsequently diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare childhood cancer, which does not present symptoms until fairly advanced. He is stage 4. He has had chemo and is waiting for a transplant. My friends have known Adele for most of her life too. So they’ve rallied round as true friends always do. My daughter is now gaunt and distraught. The worst thing is because of being wheelchair bound I have not been able to get to see her or my grandson, I find this totally soul destroying. Anyway, last night I made the decision to get to her in whatever way I can. This has been an emotional rollercoaster for the whole family. We find it difficult to talk about so I thought I’d get it off my chest here. I send big love and thanks to my friends.
This could explain why I feel I’ve been unusually occupied. Life is a funny thing. We feel like we are living two lives, one joyful and the other heartbreaking. I find it difficult to reconcile the cruelty and kindness life gives us. I’m not sure either if that is in equal measure either. But I am ever hopeful that everything will be ok. Remaining positive, for me, is the only way to live with what cruelties life throws at us.
Sorry if this post seems self-indulgent.
I did say that I wouldn’t write every day and that there would be times when I wouldn’t be able to write at all. The last month has been just such a time. For some reason (?) I lost my mojo. I’ve been finding it really difficult to motivate myself, which I think must be a common problem amongst the disabled community. Sometimes I have so much energy it becomes like something is going to explode! When this happens I find that I withdraw into myself and I have no inclination to interact with anyone. Of course, this is impossible as I have carers twice every day and my grandchildren, friends who want to visit. So, this builds and builds making me more and more tired and depressed. The only way to try and break this cycle is to take to my bed. Just for one day. Where I can be warm and sleep when I want to. I did this yesterday and wow was it just the right thing to do. Today I feel 100 times better than I have for weeks. I upped the dose of my sleep meds last and had the best nights sleep.
So I’m writing today and the view from my wheelchair looks better today!
I knew when I started this blog back in May that I would struggle to keep it going regularly. But now the summer holidays have passed and Autumn approaches I should have more time. At the end of May we went home to our house in South-Western France for 6 weeks. We came back in time to see Hollie (our granddaughter on a soccer scholarship in the States) before she left to go back. After that a spell pin hospital with a chest infection having all sorts pumped into me, home for bed recovery. Two weeks later a recurrence of a virus I have every year more than once which gives me bronchitis and more antibiotics! Add to that three weeks of cold turkey trying to wean myself off one of my meds to see if I could do without it – I couldn’t- only to have to go straight back on it! So the Summer was not at all straightforward.
Now I feel ready to write again but where to start? Brexit? Boris Johnson? Donald Trump? It’s actually all too much I’d be writing for hours and much of it would be boring and probably unacceptable.
What I will say is this; when did we stop doing politics in the way we are known for? In other words when did we forget what democracy in this country means? We had a referendum on whether we should leave the EU, the majority, however small, voted that we should. 4 years ago a in a referendum Scotland voted to stay in the union. Yet, there are people from all sides in England and in Scotland making an almighty din calling for second votes. I find it tedious in the extreme. I’m also aghast at the behaviour of those in government, even those in the cabinet, making the Brexit negotiations so difficult for the PM and Dominic Raab as they are facing the EU from what looks like a position of horrible weakness. A referendum is a democratic vote, therefore the result should be honoured as such. Those who are privileged to govern us should put up, shut up and get on with delivering the people’s decision.
Those of you, like me, who revel in Royal Weddings, will have taken a lot of pleasure from yesterday’s spectacle. I loved watching all the hats and commenting on outfits etc with my friends and a glass of fizz!
However, not everyone is interested in watching something that seems remote from them and their lives. To people who are struggling with how they feed their kids, where they live, whether they can get work or if they are in work whether they can earn enough to keep the rent paid and a roof over their heads. I was horrified when I realised that even people who are working are being evicted because they don’t even earn enough to pay the rent and buy food. This is a disgraceful state of affairs and must be tackled by government. To these people a Royal wedding must seem like rich people having a party to which they know they would never receive an invitation.
Except for one thing, this particular wedding broke with established tradition on several levels. It’s the first time that a girl of mixed race has married into the Royal Family and with her she brought a very different looking wedding than anything seen before. Her mother was her only family and was very dignified, Prince Charles walked her down the aisle and looked after her mother readily and kindly. The wonderful Bishop Michael Curry preached a sermon such as no one had ever seen, incredibly inspiring. And you can’t forget the British Gospel Choir and young black cellist.
But the most important thing to me was that the couple invited people from all the charities they support and from all walks of life. These included people from mental health charities to children taking part in mentoring schemes to injured servicemen.
And this is where we come to the legacy left to those two brothers by their mother Diana, Princess of Wales. She was the first to open her heart to AIDS sufferers, to children in Africa and to the effects of landmines in countries affected by war. That open heart has been evident in her sons, no more so than in Harry and Meghan’s wedding.
All the talk amongst commentators, the newspapers and ordinary members of the public is of change brought about by the wedding, and there is no doubt about the change in Royal traditions. But the real change has been brought about by Harry and his open heart, which in turn was brought about by his mother. Luckily for him he has found a kindred spirit who opens her heart in the same way. They have a fantastic opportunity to do good in the world. I wish them luck.