My life as a Mum to an angel

Please don’t ignore this. It’s potentially the start of them taking away our rights completely.

The Blog

Have you been paying attention to all the hubbub online about the proposed U.S. legislation (SOPA/PIPA) that threatens internet freedom? I wrote about it last week over on, but the gist is this: there’s a bill in the U.S. Senate that if passed would put publishing freedom severely at risk, and could shut down entire sites at the whim of media companies. Fight for the Future created this nifty video to sum it up better than I can.

On January 18, 2012, sites all over the internet will be blacking out to protest and try to mobilize more people to speak out against this bill coming up in the Senate next week — S. 968: the Protect IP Act (PIPA) — in an attempt to let U.S. lawmakers know how much opposition there is., Wikipedia, and even VIP I Can Has Cheezburger? will be participating in the blackout to…

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First of all let me apologise for taking so long to sit down and blog. I have been doing so much better these days, not harping over my grief, partly because I let a huge weight go when I visited my mum and dad in England, but also partly because I think my head has accepted that my time is up, no more grieving for me, it is my husband’s turn to express his grief and learn to live with what has happened to us and to our son. It is his time to have that internal struggle that he has so graciously put on the back burner while I dealt with mine. Seems only one of us in this house can be an emotional wreck at any given time, and bless his heart, it seems to be me most of the time, which I absolutely hate.

Anyway, this is all beside the point and not the reason why I have sat down to blog today. I have been trying to keep tabs on what has been going on in the motherland. I hear very little on the media here but get a lot of information from Facebook and other social network sites, thankfully. I am not sure exactly why things over in Britain got so massively crazy but it seems to have all started because someone got shot by the police for some reason or another which I still have not heard. It seems the person was black, in a black area which is renowned for drug, gun and sex crimes. The police were apparently there to fight the large amount of crime in that area when the guy was shot and killed. Now, I am not sure why this had such a huge ripple effect across the UK. The only thing I can think of is that there are some people out there who are just looking for an excuse and this gave it to them. Then we get mass hysteria and the ability to get lost in a crowd, all reasons why people would loot en mass. That added to tough economic times, thrill factors, low education levels, lack of discipline, poor policing blah blah blah. I have to say I am really not that surprised and I think the USA would be fools if they didn’t prick up their ears and pay very careful attention to what is going on over there.

On the other side of this story there is an amazing thing occurring that I thought had about vanished from modern society, that is the sense of community. I know people have a pride in their roots, where they were born, raised, places they love/have memories in but I was made all warm and fuzzy inside to see people standing up and uniting against these looters and rioters and saying “bring it on” if you loot, riot and burn we will clean it up. Sounds futile but it sends out a very powerful message that communities will not be beaten down by those who have no love or respect for these places. It’s like standing up to the bullies and I love it. Its very hard to do but as a united front of a community its very powerful and very inspiring. Here was me thinking that women’s liberation had broken down our sense of community and destroyed neighbourhoods so much so that we have become intraverted and intraspective, but that’s a whole other blog I suppose.

I love my home land. I am very proud to be English. We have a very special culture ( as does every country) that I miss beyond expression, I drag small pieces of it with me as a comfort to my cultural side in food and on you tube and BBC America. I just wonder why it is if people are so unhappy in their lives that these are the things they feel they need to do, why not use that energy to create something positive instead of negative. Probably because thankfully I have never had to see the things they have or do the things they have just to survive and that gives me an unsteady soap box from which to speak but I can never walk in their shoes, but I believe that people can drag themselves out of the shit and make something of themselves if they really want to.

Idealist? Perhaps.

Facing up to things

Well, I am currently sitting in Philadelphia airport at a free charging station (wow)  killing some time between my flights. I have a 6 hour layover and I am only half way through it so I thought I would come and share some of my thoughts with you (whoever you may be reading this)

Whilst sitting here in the airport I cannot help but think about the first part of Fight Club where he talks about single serving friends. I don’t know if friends is the right word for my fellow travelers here unless that one common factor of being travelers makes us friends even if in a single serving. I was actually sitting here thinking about how we separate ourselves for fear of attempting to strike up a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak a word of a common language. Me being the way I am tried to make jokes about the fact that the electricity being free and wanting to run a 2000 mile long extension to my house with a guy it seems was not English speaking predominantly but had some words here and there and laughed politely after seeing my face light up amused by my own hilarity. Don’t bother putting me on the stage, I wouldn’t make a dime lol.

So, I am at Philadelphia airport en route to my mum and dad’s house in Manchester, England. I have been seriously procrastinating about going over and seeing them. Not because I don’t love them, far from it, but because I hate to do anything without my husband there. I hate being away from him, and I hate that I get the benefit of a holiday while he stays home dealing with the daily crap alone. Although I have to admit I do need this holiday seriously!!

I had planned on surprising my parents with my arrival, not just because of the fun factor of that (who doesn’t like surprises?) but mainly because I didn’t want my mum fussing and going out of her way for me when she has enough to do. The surprise was almost spoiled by my husband who had a moment of airheadeded-ness and posted on Facebook about my imminent vacation. Damage limitation saw to that and my parents were none the wiser. Although a few family members had to be sworn to secrecy.

The whistle was well and truly blown on the whole scheme when the taxi firm that I had called to collect me from the airport showed up on the wrong day and thinking I had been kidnapped or that they had it the wrong way round went to my parents house to see if I was there. Obviously this drove my parents into a frenzy and they called our house this morning about 5 mins after our alarm had woken us to leave for the airport!! At 2am my brain isn’t fast enough to explain why a taxi attempting to collect me was standing at their front door lol.

So why am I facing up to things? Well this will be the first time since Terence was born that I have seen my parents, I have lived a lifetime in that time and I have to face up to their outpouring of grief with and for me and also the guilt that I never got around to taking my son to meet his grandparents. I feel tentative about the whole thing and we shall see how it goes.

Expect an update in the coming days!!


Chutes and Ladders

Life is all about chutes and ladders.

It seems that it takes forever to achieve something you can be proud of about yourself or that others can value in you and yet it seems in a single heartbeat we can slide back down to the bottom of our estimations or those of others.

I think though if it was the other way around and we had to fight hard for the bottom of those expectations we would perhaps end up being proud of ourselves for the wrong things.

How is it then that so many people can get it so wrong and persist with behaviour they know is wrong, destructive and bad for themselves and others around them, even those they say they love?

How can they continue to do those things even with the displeasure they see in others eyes and hear from their mouths?

Lack of self-esteem or just plain laziness? Can’t be arsed to climb the ladder but satisfied to slide down those chutes? Really? Come on people where’s the pride and honour to the gifts we have in life?

BTW Hubby and I threw this topic around while watching the movie “What women want” :o)

Life after life

I am feeling this morning like I want to write about my opinions on what happens to us after we die. Since losing our son Terence I have surrounded much of my online time with people in similar situations. They tend to consist of people, mainly women, who have suffered the loss of a child in some way or another. I felt comfort in knowing we were not alone in our situation.

It is quite amazing that despite friends and family rallying around, doing the only things they can think of to do, you are filled with this deep emptiness and loneliness. In some ways I even felt lonely when it came to my husband, because his expression of grief is so radically different from mine. We each allow each other to express it in whichever way we feel is necessary, even though I was left with no kitchen chairs. ( Thank you Paul and Terry for the seemingly long term replacements) So I surround myself with these other baby loss mamas as we call ourselves.

Anyway, I see a lot of these BLM’s have a strong faith in God. I have never been an especially religious person despite the fact that my maternal grandfather was a captain in the salvation army and we went to Sunday school every week, and the strong religious undertones in school assemblies (remember back in the days when religion was in schools and we couldn’t care less if people got offended?)

I have always seemed to find it easier to believe the explanations that the scientific community has given us, which has also been compounded by my choice in reading material even if some of it is purely fiction. I always seemed to be more spiritually open to those theories. (I’m sure my grandad is turning in his grave) I read books like The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy and Terry Pratchett novels. The most interesting of which, to me, was Terry’s collaborations with scientists Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen on the “science of Discworld” series.

A trilogy as you can see, it explores our world from the scientific point of view without being too boring or overwhelming (although there were parts I had to read over again just to make sure I understood them) with interjections of comedic humour from the story of the wizards of Discworld’s unseen university to lighten the book for the scientifically challenged like myself. I found the books to be very enlightening, and challenging to myself and to the world as we understand it. Also let me say that I do like to get different perspectives on things. I know and understand that every story has multiple facets and a person can only really make a true informed decision if they have information from all of those facets. In my line of work we call this “informed consent”, so I am also trying to (slowly I admit) read the “Left behind” series of books. Just to get that side of the story.

Now, before I get stuck into my theory on what happens after we die, don’t for one minute think that I am denying the existence of God or some sort of higher power or whatever it is you choose to believe. I am yet to really draw any kind of conclusion on that and really feel a bit strange saying that the majority of the world’s population is wrong or somehow under some sort of mass delusion. Far from it. I am in absolutely no position to make that claim and I am open to the idea that my theory is possibly just part of “God’s plan” or whatever you’d call it, but I am fairly certain that I believe what I believe, and if I am wrong and there is a heaven and hell, can I really be condemned for using the intelligence I have and drawing my own conclusions when nature or God gave me the ability to do that?

OK, here goes.

We know that the human body is run by the brain which consists of lots of electrical impulses going off here and there causing our thoughts, reactions, emotions, mood actions, movements etc etc, and these little electrical impulses travel all over our body via nerves. For the sake of this explaination I will call this “energy” With me so far?

OK, we also know that, pretty much everything around us has some kind of energy flowing through it with atoms and what have you. Right?

We also know that electricity which powers our lights and TV’s has to travel on a circuit, basically even when we’re done with it making our light bulb glow it doesn’t simply cease to exist,, it has to go somewhere, either to the ground or wherever. Right?

So my theory is that the “energy” that powers us is the same. It doesn’t simply cease to exist, it goes “to ground” or into the world that surrounds us and is then available to travel through just about anything that consists of atoms etc. or similar “energy” to us, and after we die, there is no distinction between our energies, we all simply become a part of the mass of energy flowing through the earth and everything on it. Make sense? It certainly does to me and I receive great comfort in believing that Terence’s energy or even just part of it is able to flow through something around us at any time, keeping him close somehow. I also feel comfort that  our energies will be combined once more when I die and we can zip through things as one.

I also feel that this is how Kylie (my youngest step-daughter) was visited by a hummingbird that flew directly in front of her face shortly after Terence passed, and Kimberley (my eldest step-daughter) had the same experience with a dragonfly which even landed on her finger just a few days later. When I asked the “Did you feel like it was Terence letting you know he was ok?” Both replied “YES” and I, armed with my theory on the afterlife, wholeheartedly believe them. I had the same thing with flies!!

Japan and me

It may seem a little odd but today I really felt a strange familiarity with something the recent earthquake and tsunami left with some survivors with.

Whilst at work, I was watching some day time show on the TV in the staff lounge. I usually don’t concern myself with such shows but this one is usually chattering away in the background at work. The reason it especially caught my attention today was an interview with Petra Nemkova.

Now I have never heard of Petra Nemkova before today (Sorry Petra) and apparently she is a model and TV show host. This is not what caught my attention. What did was that she survived the tsunami in Thailand in December 2004 by climbing a tree. She described how while she was clinging to that tree she watched her then-fiancé, photographer Simon Atlee, get washed away by the water, along with many other people and her feeling of complete inability to do anything about it.

During the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Němcová was at the Khao Lak resort in Thailand with her main photographer and boyfriend, Simon Atlee, when the tsunami struck where they were staying. Initially, Atlee was presumed missing, but his body was found and identified on 3 March 2005, on the shores of Sumatra (near the epicenter of the earthquake that caused the tsunami).

Atlee had drowned, and Němcová suffered a broken pelvis and serious internal injuries, but she managed to hold onto the top of a palm tree, reportedly for eight hours, until she was rescued by Thai civilians and airlifted to an inland hospital nearby. Němcová spent three weeks in a Thai hospital, and then flew home to the Czech Republic, where she spent an additional three weeks in the hospital.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So now the question remains, why would I feel a sense of familiarity with her and the Japanese people? Well I am sure that there were many people in Japan recently who had a very similar experience to Miss Nemkova. She had a great deal of guilt about not being able to help those around her whose fate was inevitably death from the events around her. I can totally relate to her feeling of helplessness. I had exactly the same feelings when my son was in hospital slowly dying from meningitis. I had an overwhelming feeling of not being able to do anything to help him or make him feel any better. Hell, neither the doctor or I knew what was wrong until a couple of hours before he lost his fight against it. So I can so completely relate to that feeling and it gave me a real pause for thought. I suppose we can all have similar feelings in many different situations, despite the vast array of emotions humans have.

I really wanted to put the video on here of her interview but couldn’t figure it out…practice practice practice!!

Short fuse??

I am not sure if it’s true or not. I think sometimes it’s a natural progression when there is a lot of change in a person’s life, but I feel like I  have a very short fuse these days. I have also noticed that I react very explosively to stressful events in my life and feel very overwhelmed very quickly by seemingly huge lists of what turn out to be simple things.

First of all, I had to make the adjustment to having a baby in my life. I felt I was adjusting well and actually lots better at it than I ever thought I would be. Then suddenly in July 2009 that all changed again when Terence passed. That change was extremely hard to deal with (understandably so) and I still deal with it every day.

Secondly, my boss quit at work, she was a good boss but work demanded too much of her and she made a decision to be nearer to her family. I am very happy for her to have made that move even though I miss her friendship. After floating around on the ocean of no direction, work finally hired a new boss last June. He is very dynamic and wants to make our department very efficient. We have always had a way of working, that was used when the facility was much smaller than it is now and we bumbled through with teamwork, but we have gone so much further beyond that and our new boss doesn’t want us to work like that anymore. So much fell back on us as a department and he says he wants change in other departments to carry their own weight and responsibilities. Not an easy task and it is being met with much stubbornness.  Within the department things are tense and morale appears to be as low as I’ve ever seen it. He sets new rules and sticks to them in order to create a fairer work environment, while old habits of favoritism continue and make others quite frankly pissed off!!

All this change happening makes for a very tumultuous existence for me, and seeing as I spend the majority of my waking hours at work, they see the worst of my short fuse. Then when I get home my poor husband sees the aftermath. I am sorry to him for that, but he is my best friend so who am I going to vent to? him. He wants to solve the problems for me, then that gets me in trouble at work, virtually castrating him from protecting me. (He has a very strong instinct for that)

I so wish I had control over this fuse that I have these days. Would a change of job help? I doubt it, it would be a matter of time before it all started again with different faces in different places. So, do I go and see a doctor and see if there’s some kind of magic pill I can take or something? I really would rather not do that. I’m not really suicidal or homicidal, and I worry about getting onto those kind of medications and never being able to get off them. So what next? Maybe this too shall pass. Perhaps time will heal things and the chaos at work will settle down enough so that I am able to enjoy going to work each day instead of wondering what crap is going to hit me in the face that day. Oh or perhaps a vacation…Hmmmmm All I know is that it had better hurry up and settle soon before I get fired lol

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