Thank you little one

The other night I went for a run and I ran avoiding hills at all costs (not easy when running in Sheffield) but I found myself totally out of run and faced with a long walk home in the dark up lots of hills – on my walk home I walked along a certain road in Sheffield which always makes me think of my sister-in-law as she loves the houses along this road. I then got to think about my nephew or niece (currently at home in my sister-in-law’s belly) who will be here in 2 months time and I became a little overwhelmed and a little tearful – this little person will be right up there as one of the most important people in my life, someone I will have an overwhelming love for but yet I don’t know them, I have no idea what they will look like or what they will be like.

It got me to thinking – it was a very long walk – about how we don’t know who or what is ahead and I had a sense of excitement and anticipation and hope. Those blessings when they come can be big or small but equally life giving.

My thoughts then led me to reflect on a couple of encounters over the past few weeks – all with total strangers which were so full of encouragement, hope and reassurance and each little thing has allowed life to bubble up inside me a little more.

The other week I had to go into Lucy’s school to sort some teddies out for a charity I have been helping with a bit – I knew the task ahead of me was fairly large and that I could do with some help and after exhausting obvious avenues I put a note out on the charity’s Facebook page to see if any fellow parents could help and a lovely lady responded saying she could. We spent a lovely few hours as we sorted through literally hundreds of teddies talking life, families, and careers. A few days later I got a message from her asking if she could sponsor me for my run – it was only something small but I was so blessed by it.

A few weeks later I took Lucy to a party and got talking to a gorgeous lady I had never met before but it was totally a conversation I needed to have – to anyone listening in the conversation may have sounded slightly depressing but to me, and hopefully her, it was totally full of life – a couple of hours of chatting shared experiences, feelings, questions. That conversation felt like a real gift.

Then only on Friday I was meeting with a lady that supports the charity I work for about the possibility of her appearing in a video I am putting together. I had never met this woman before and had never heard of her before. The first thing this lovely old lady asked me was was I the girl whose husband had died when she was pregnant and I said that I was and she told me that her and her friends had regularly prayed for me and Lucy over the years – I really had to compose myself to get through the rest of our time together. I was blown away that a stranger who didn’t know me had not just said a few prayers in the weeks after John’s death but for years after had faithfully upheld us in prayer and that years later our paths crossed– I was completely humbled and massively impacted.

These three incidents were small and passing but have encouraged, inspired and lifted my spirit so much.

6 months ago I didn’t know the group of people I spend my working days with now– didn’t know that these wonderful people existed, these people that inspire me, challenge me, care for me and make me laugh (and reintroduce me to the music of Whitney – thanks Mrs W) – these people who have become lovely friends.

So little one I can’t wait to know you, to love you and to be your auntie and thank you for reminding me on a cold, dark autumn evening always to try and hold onto hope and anticipation – that the unknowns of what is ahead, big and small, are worth pushing through for.

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Sucking the marrow out of life!

So I have not written for a while because whilst life is good in so so many ways there has been a big wave of grief in the last few weeks – all I have wanted is John and my dad. Quite frankly I am pretty sick of these waves – they make me angry, they make me sad, they make me feel like a failure and I end up lashing out. I am not always sure why they come when they do – sometimes there is a trigger sometimes not. I feel misunderstood and I feel very alone. To put it bluntly I become a little irrational because the pain just feels too big.

As always there are angels in the midst of it– one of my besties who sat outside in the cold with me on a Sunday morning and cried with me, my friend in another country who let me rant over text, didn’t preach at me and told me she will always be there even if I need to rant in 10 years time, my lovely boss who listened (and is probably thinking he has recruited a nutcase) and told me it was ok. I am so thankful for those who don’t judge me, who love me and hold my hand (literally and metarophically).

This time there was a trigger – this time it was going back into one of John’s environments and him being remembered by his people – it is rare he is talked about these days especially by people who were part of his life and whilst it was lovely it made me think what could have been and what might life have looked liked. That and the processing of my mother being hospitalised in intensive care and receiving one of those phone calls you never want to receive telling you to come quick (fortunately this time all ended well).

In my head I know God loves me but in my heart I am not so sure right now. I know that I have a call to the broken and hurting to love them but I personally feel a little forgotten and a little abandoned – again a sentence full of contradictions but grief often doesn’t make much sense.

Alongside all of those struggles this last 6 months have been incredible on so many levels, experiencing some amazing experiences – skydiving, career changes, travel, running a race – they have been life giving, exciting and I have loved every moment – well maybe not that final hill of the 10km!

Life is flipping weird, I feel I have lots of questions again, – the amazing sits along side the struggles but I am not giving up – tonight I have sat writing a bucket list, from big things to little things – I want to go and dance in the rain, I am going to get that tattoo, I was to stargaze, I want to turn up at an airport and get on a plane to wherever, I want to sing more, to make a difference to people’s lives, to skydive again, to write more.

So whatever your battles, your struggles let stand together and not give up- lets keep loving, and as one friend recently said to me keep sucking the marrow out of life.