Advent 2016 – reasons to be thankful

As Christmas approaches again I am beginning what is my fifth year of Advent writing. For new readers during Advent I choose a topic and write each day leading up to Christmas. Previous topics have been People, Music, Places and Happy times.

I think it is fair to say that 2016 will be long remembered.  A year that saw so many wonderful people pass away, many far too young and the year the world as we know it shifted ever so slightly and left many of us feeling a bit wrong footed.  It is easy to reflect on the sad things, the bad things, the senseless murders and the bigoted politicians, but for me that is the way that madness lies.  The only thing that chases away dark times is light.  A small candle glowing in the midst of darkness gives hope and warmth, all of which is much needed just now.

So the theme for this years Advent is going to be thankfulness and hope.  I aim to write each day about a candle in the darkness, to remind myself that there is much more good in this world that we may think.

So day one of Advent 2016 and I am thinking of my home city of Liverpool, a place where so many different people have lived alongside each other for centuries.  A port with links to Ireland and Wales, the mixture of souls arriving and staying has created a mood and and soul that reaches across the city and beyond.

In the news this week, a city centre bank had installed a step to ensure that no one would be able to take shelter and sleep in the doorway.  A metal slope designed to discourage those who may need to seek a dry spot to spend the night.  Now aside from the hopelessness of homelessness, without feeling despair at the sheer numbers of people sleeping in the open air, in the winter time, this new piece of street furniture was cruel and unnecessary.  The papers covered the story and people had their view.

What happened next is so typical of this city it was no surprise to me. People came along, they set up a table in the very doorway, and they served hot drinks and food to all that needed it.  The message was clear.  People who need help will be helped.

So today I am thankful for my upbringing, raised by women came from and understood this city and its attitude, who in turn taught me by example how important it is to help and support wherever I can.  I am thankful for the hundreds of meals I have received,  that I have never had a day when I knew hunger.  I am thankful I have been able to prepare food often and to share it with people I love.  I am thankful for all of the meals that say, you are welcome, I hope you are well, I understand your pain or I celebrate your joy.

I am thankful for the gathering of friends and strangers coming together in hope and solidarity. The candles are burning bright, you just have to be open to the light in the darkness.

 

 

 

million Steps – day 36 – ups and downs

 

Today finds me once again in the Welsh hills and it is a warm and sunny morning.  Walking along the sea front I am regretting wearing my leggings, it is far too warm.  I love the sea, but today there is no wind and for once the three mile walk is too hot to be comfortable.

Back at base and hubby is up and about.  We chat about how to spend the rest of the day.  Perhaps another walk?  There are some new circular routes I want to try, but hubby is not convinced.  I suggest the Great Orme, and he says this is a great idea.

For those not familiar with the North Wales landscape the Great and Little Ormes  are hills that sit opposite each other either side of the bay at Llandudno.  The Great Orme being the biggest has a railway and cable cars to take you to the summit.  We decided to try and walk up there.

We walk up a passageway and at the top there is a choice of which way to walk.  We plump for the Invalids Walk, surely that won’t be too difficult.  It isn’t at all but we seem to be walking away from the summit.  We find a path heading up but after a short while we abandon it, the steep drops and uneven ground are not for me.

Heading back we pick up the road and head uphill.  To say the road is steep is not doing it justice.  It is very, very steep.  It is still warm and sunny and soon we are very hot indeed.  We pause for breath and talk about giving up, walking back down to the sea front and getting an ice cream perhaps.  Hubby and I are more determined than that and begin to climb again.  Steeper and steeper, this is not an easy walk, and yet when we pause to look behind up the view is amazing.  Encouraged we continue.  Eventually the road flattens out and we follow grassy paths up towards the top.  By now we are feeling a little bit full of ourselves and are looking on those driving to the top with disdain.

Another couple of stops, this time for photos, not to get our breath back, and we are at the summit.  The views from here are stunning, we can see for miles and miles.  We stop to purchase our ice cream and sit enjoying the view.  How quickly we have forgotten the strain of those first hills, how good do we feel? this is a real achievement.  I am reminded of how life used to be.  When I wouldn’t dare walk far at all as the pains in my joints could at times seize up completely.  Now here I am walking up the Great Orme!!

Ice cream and self-congratulations finished we set off around the summit and begin to climb down. The view on the other side is of a vast expanse of the Irish Sea, and below us we can see the remains of an ancient village on the side of the hill.  I begin to wonder about the families that lived here, it must have been a hard life.

As we wend our way down the grassy paths, we are in great spirits.  Tired, obviously, but buoyed by our determination not to give up and our success on reaching the top.  I find downhill hard on my knees but with my hubby to hold my hand anything is possible.

It makes me think of the life we have built together, how we have faced really tricky times, times when it would have been so easy to give up, and yet we didn’t.  Together we made it through.  In fact life has been just like our walk today.  Times when progress was slow, when we needed to stop and breathe, to make decisions, do we carry on or change our route? Times when I was too tired and sore to move, and times when the sun has been on our backs and life is good.

It seems to me that we are not only defined by what we achieve, but we also defined by what we try to achieve, and what we learn along the way.

Eventually we are back in town and we decide to treat ourselves to fish and chips. As we sit in the late afternoon sunshine, we decide that this has been a wonderful day.  I am once again thankful to Diabetes UK for giving me the motivation to move, and to my hubby for always walking by my side throughout all our ups and downs.

Today I added over 21,000 steps to my total, the million is firmly in sight. Tomorrow I may rest awhile.

on love – it really is all you need

Joyous June on the second day of the month turned out to be full of happiness. Yesterday we went to a wedding.  The bride is a dear friend, we have travelled the ups and downs of life together for close on twenty years.  The groom has also become a friend, his cheeky charm and wonderful anarchist ways endeared me to him the second I met him. My friend loves him and he loves her back.  What a happy, happy day.  She looked amazing in cream lace, she walked to meet him holding the hand of a tiny girl, her granddaughter, who made a fabulous flower girl. Family and friends all around, everyone dressed in bright summery colours, hats a plenty, and lots of smiles.  The bride took her place next to her love sitting beside him.

There will be many, many June weddings, lots of couples, loved up, sharing their vows with family and friends.  There will be honeymoons and happy ever afters.  This wedding was slightly different.  For this couple the happy ever after is likely to be counted in weeks rather than years, their honeymoon will be spent at the hospice where the groom is cared for and loved by everyone around him. The hospice that held the wedding yesterday.  How sad, we all say, and we are right, it is sad.  Sad that they won’t grow old together, they won’t ever get to have ‘the remember when we were first married’ conversations. Yes is could be all sad.  Yet this wedding was something quite amazing. It was simply a reminder to live in the present.  To be today as we are, to be grateful for the love around us and to live in the moment.

The speeches came, everyone wished them well, and the bride and groom both spoke to the wedding party.  I was struck by their courage, by their humour and by their honesty. The groom especially, for whom talking was difficult, spoke of finding love, of holding on and of joy and smiles.  It was amazing.  They both talked about all the things they had shared since diagnosis, when the decision was made to live the life they wanted and not worry about what was to be.  They talked of the opera they have seen, the camping, the holidays, the walks in countryside, the fun with family and friends.  This couple have lived a lifetime in a couple of years.  So many memories to cherish, so much fun has been had. It became hard to be sad for them. It was as if they were showing us all what really is important in this thing we all call life.

When the groom spoke of dying, as indeed did the bride, it was almost matter of fact, in fact that is exactly what it is, a matter of fact. One day, soon the groom will no longer be here.  Again this was incredibly emotional but inspirational in the courage they showed. They are at peace with what is to be, and they did not for one second allow sadness to determine the mood on this, their wedding day.  A day full of love, hope, courage and kindness. A day when children played, photographs were taken and confetti thrown.  A wedding like any other, and yet unlike any I have ever known.

It has made me reflect on how it would be if we all knew what was to come.  How would we spend these precious days of ours, days in the sunshine with people we love.  This Bride and Groom have been able to talk about all the things most of us are scared of discussing, they are facing life, and ultimately death, together.  It reminded me that none of us know what is around our corner. How important it is to live now, today, for in truth it is all any of us has.

The end of the wedding everyone sang along to a favourite Beatles tune, the choice was perfect as indeed was the whole day.  A June wedding like no other, full of happiness, courage and love we all sang with great heart ‘All You Need is Love’

Yesterday. I learned that actually love is indeed all you need.

 

 

 

 

on losing your way

It has been a funny old year so far.  2016 arrived with the usual fireworks and fun, then January sloped through the door, nothing much happening.  No snow, lots of rain, a birthday came and went and now it is the middle of February.  Six weeks into the New Year and it is feeling just like the old year. Perhaps this is the way.  Maybe things don’t, after all, change with the turn of the calendar.

As I sit in my kitchen it is another grey soggy day.  Rain has fallen often this year, and, although we are lucky not to be affected by flooding, the constant dampness does nothing for the spirit.

Yesterday there was a brief break in the clouds, weak sunshine and blue sky above gave the hope of Spring, perhaps it is just around the corner after all.  The bulbs in pots certainly think so, they are already standing tall above the earth and have little regard for the lack of sunlight.  Perhaps it is always so.

I think it is fortunate that February is the shortest month of all, as it is my least favourite. Weeks between now and warm sunny days, the tiny change in the length of the days does not console me, we are still stuck in Winter.  Twenty nine days is long enough.  Once March bursts in,  blowing away the wintry blues, the days will begin to stretch and the sun remembers to shine through the cloudy skies.  But for now we are in the midst of February.

I am wondering if it is just this end of winter blues that is making me feel lost.  Somehow I am less sure than I have ever been about who I am and what I should be doing.  Autumn and Winter have whizzed past in a whirl of collecting and sending aid to people in need. My email and social media is full of tragedy and heartache.  Even the positivity and kindness of strangers, who over this past six months have become friends, is not enough to make my heart stop aching.

I am thinking of the other times, when a younger, braver me juggled house and home, work and play.  When children are small, when you are working to make a life it is so easy to forget to remember the life you have.  I am struck by the thought of all the beds I used to make, all the meals I used to cook, the mucky faces I wiped and the cuddles we had,all the battles I used to fight, the shirts I have ironed and the love I have been surrounded by. It seems impossible to me that my children are off into the world, making their own lives and although they keep in touch, in some ways, my job here is done.

So, no longer the mother hen, no longer the working parent, not even working anywhere, it is perhaps unsurprising that I do at times feel a little lost.  I used to wonder what was the purpose of me, now that the mothering is largely over, now I am no longer employed.  I often thought that days spent writing and thinking did not in any way make up for a real purposeful life. In February, in the rain, this feels even more real.

When lost it is always advisable to use a map, to look ahead and to chose the road you are going to take.  This is what I am in the process of doing.  My map is one of opportunity, the road ahead is full of promise. I need to focus on the future.  I may not have my own babies any more but I do have my Granddaughter who brings laughter and love into the room with her every time she arrives at Nana’s house.  l need to remember every day spent with this little one. Time with her is pure joy, no juggling work and packing school bags, just love and cuddles and reading stories.

You see it turns out I am not lost after all.  I am just on a different road, and this time I am choosing my path carefully. It has taken a while to realise that although this is a new route the journey is one I have done before. I am making memories and friends along the way.  I am open to helping others but also I am learning to be selfish.  Learning to put me first and to seize the opportunities in front of me. As with every other road taken, the destination will probably not be what was first expected, but one thing I am good at is adapting to the real world and I have every confidence in myself.

So February, you will soon be gone, leaving just a memory of rainy days and cold weather, and as you go I will be feeling the warmth of the sun in preparation for the Spring.  I am choosing happy, choosing life and although sometimes still lost, I am loving this journey, for what it is.  Life and it really is for living.

 

 

on the journey – a mothers tale

We walk to the harbour, I am considering just how dangerous can it be, we will be in the boat for such a short hop and then to safety. The boys are quiet, they appear worried, perhaps they can feel my inner panic, the panic I am ignoring.  I am good at ignoring these feelings, in the last months I have ignored the pain in my legs, the ache in my arms, the fear in my heart, but the children can sense it.  Maybe it is the noise of the water, unfamiliar and black, black as the night sky above that is making them so.

The waves are crashing to shore, suddenly I think that perhaps in another time, another situation this maybe a romantic place,  somewhere to stroll hand in hand, but not now, not tonight for me it is only a place of fear.  The boat seems small, too small for so many, a quick glance around and I see faces I have seen many times on this journey, yet we have no eye contact, no smiles, we are all keeping it together, if only just.  Onto the boat and there is no room for us all to sit together, I gather the littlest one on my lap, the other two sit across and down the bench from me, I don’t like it but take comfort in that they are used to looking out for each other, since we lost their Dad they have been as one.

We move off from the land, I hear voices are shouting, loud in the night, I am glad I could afford the life jackets they will keep us safe

We are out in the sea now, bobbing along the waves, I remember a time when we went as a family to a river, a sunny day when the children paddled and we smiled so much. I often find myself remembering and imagining, putting myself back into the happy times.  It helps a bit.

The darkness of the night seems kinder out here, it envelops our craft and offers an anonymity,  I am sure that all will be well.

I have heard the stories of how kindness will meet us on the beach, how we will be fed and clothed and safe.  Safe is all I need.  The boys are relaxing, this is one more adventure for them, tears have gone, now there are smiles, unless you look into their eyes. As their mother I know how the pain they have seen is reflected in their eyes.  I weep for their lost childhood, for their sorrow and most of all because I couldn’t change anything.

We are nearing the shore now, men are shouting, lights are flashing, it seems we are heading for the wrong beach. I reach to grab the boys trying to pull them closer to me, they are too far away. The boat rocks, the people on the other side are shouting, someone stands up, there is more rocking, the waves are crashing and suddenly we are not safe. Still not safe.

I watch in horror as people start to jump into the water, I sit frozen to my seat, holding the baby and the only bag I have left, I don’t have enough arms for all my children.  I call out, too late they have jumped together, of course they have, they do everything together. I cannot see them in the dark water.

A pain I didn’t know I could feel hits me, I cling to the baby, we have come through so much together, walked so far, and now just minutes from safety I have lost them.  I need to leave the boat, but I have the baby, it is cold, so very cold, but I have to find my boys.  I lower myself into the water, thankfully it is not deep I can stand, just about, I hold the baby high, she won’t survive the cold water. My bag is still on my back and I can hear my boys, they are calling me.  I fall over into the water and suddenly I cannot breathe, everything is wet and cold.  I stand and fall again, then suddenly strong arms are holding me, they reach for the baby I hold on tight.  Together we reach the shore.  We reach safety.

Around me it is chaos, there are screams and tears, but there is hope, we have blankets put around us, the baby cries, she lives, I am thankful.  I still can’t see my boys, but I have faith they are here and safe.

Later, much later, there will be a bus and a camp and I have hope that we will be helped. My boys find me and I hold them so tight I fear I will never let them go.  We are the lucky ones, we have made it through hell and have found freedom.  Nothing can ever be as bad as it has been. My boys will not have to fight in an unwinnable war, my baby girl will not be used and abused.  I have done it.  I am Mother and I have brought my children to safety.

Sometimes I think about our other life, where our home was beautiful, where my babies were born, and they slept in their own beds, with toys around, where they squabbled and played and learned to read, the house where their Daddy and I lived a life so wonderful. We had love and friendship and we didn’t know, we just didn’t know how wonderful it was until everything changed.

I know we will never see their Daddy again, my strong and handsome husband is no more.  He is with me in spirit, in my heart and he is proud of me.  Proud that I have done this, I have brought our babies to safety. Nothing else matters.

 

 

 

on being a Hummingbird

Late this afternoon I walked home from our little shop, where we sort and pack donations from kind people who want to reach out and help the Refugees who are travelling across Europe.

The road I walk along, where I live, is a quiet street with houses along one side and an open space on the other.  Across the trees there is a great view of the hills and the sky.  As I am walking it begins to snow.  The flakes fall softly on my shoulder, the temperature is dropping and the sky is heavy.

I am thinking of other women who used to have homes to go to.  Women who have seen their families parted, sometimes through death and often through the destruction of their cities and towns. Women carrying their babies and walking for miles towards a safer life. I am watching the sky and the snow falling and thinking that they too can see the same sky and perhaps also have snowfall on their shoulders.

I am seeing in my minds eye the pictures of the children without winter shoes, standing on frosty ground in summer sandals.  I am seeing the babies, who are so cold and quietly trying to sleep, I am their Mother.  We are all their Mother or Father.  These children are all our children and the sooner the world accepts this the better it will be for all.

I am fortunate, I have a key to my home, and when I arrive, shaking the snow from my coat I enter into warmth and light.  I have familiar things around me and a family, safe and well. I have a fridge and cupboards full of food and a warm bed to sleep in later.  Yet my thoughts are never far from those other women, my sisters under the skin. They have the same hopes and dreams as I do.  They once had jobs and warm comfortable homes.  Their children used to sleep in bedrooms, under blankets and be safe.  Woman to woman I feel the need to help as best I can.

The shop this afternoon was busy as dozens of people arrived carrying warm clothes, winter shoes and many other wonderful things,  Such things have taken on a whole new importance for me, from seeing the absence of these things and the fear and cold in the eyes of those who are struggling.  I know that within the month all these donations will be distributed to people in need, and for a little while I feel content that we have been able to help.

People keep saying thank you to us, in our little shop, thank you for letting us help, thank you for finding a way to send things, thank you for stepping up, thank you for inspiring us. To all of them I say no, thank you, for restoring my faith in people, for helping and for being a part of the change we want to see in this world.

Hummingbirds every one.

 

on the year of change

When I look back at the year just ending there will be so many things to reflect on.  Watching my gorgeous Granddaughter change from baby to toddler, taking her first steps and finding her voice.  Delighting in every stage, we simply could not love her more.  Taking equal pride in her Mum and Dad, who have come through tough times, now more positive than ever, they are an amazing team.

A summer spent in a Welsh garden, nestling in the hills, our own little bit of paradise.  We were joined this year by friends and family, creating happy memories of fun in the sunshine.  We built a shed, we planted and watched the flowers bloom.  We laughed here, perhaps more than I ever have before.  Getting to know new friends, joining neighbours for Pimms and beer, swapping stories and finding shared interests.

Waving my daughter off on her adventures, hoping that the world will love her as much as I do was tricky, but then finding to my delight that she makes friends easily and is living in the moment every day.  I couldn’t ask for more for her than what she wishes for herself.  Her spirit, her sense of fun and her friendliness equips her well wherever she chooses to be.

In the middle of family life I was beginning to feel a bit rootless, wondering what I should be doing with myself and how I could find my own place in the world again.  Social media brought new friends, people from across the world and I have loved getting to know these people, talking often, sometimes too often.

Then came the end of the summer and with it news of the refugee’s walking across Europe in search of a new normality,  their homes destroyed and lives threatened they set off to in hope towards a new life. Shocking images leapt into the living room and were not forgotten. They are not forgotten yet.  It took me weeks to work out if there was anything I could do to help them on their journey, but once I worked it out a whole world I had never imagined lay before me.

Once I saw into this world there was no going back.  In the midst of helplessness and despair there was one amazing focus.  There are lots of people, just like me, coming together to help.  All my life I have wanted to change the world, this year was the year I worked out how to do it!  I know whatever I do, here in England may not change very much for very many, but there are hundreds of people just like me, everywhere, and together we are changing things.

I understand that we cannot stop bombing and war, that some people will continue to hate, and there will sadly be many more babies dying in the seas.  But the wonderful network of people across the world and especially within Europe are making a difference every day.  The small acts of kindness together are comforting those on the journey.  A new pair of shoes, a warm coat, a kind word and food in the belly.  All provided with love and care from strangers, some of whom are now amongst my dearest friends. The strong and brave people who put their lives on hold and give time and love to those arriving on the shores of Europe, guiding boats into safe beaches, treating the sick, feeding the crowds.

So in a year when so many governments across the world turned away from those in need, when the mega force of media magnates raged against people who happened to live and love in a place of war, when my country inexplicitly elected politicians that were never going to care about anyone but themselves,  where we could have given up hope, we didn’t.  Instead we got off our sofas and did something, and this alone meant that we were joined with many more people who also did the same.

As we leave this year behind and move into 2016 I cannot help but think that 2015 will be remembered forever as the year the world began to change.  The year that ordinary people worked together in spite of governments, in spite of people telling them it was hopeless.  A wave of hope and friendship was forged, where it no longer was enough to give a bit of cash to an appeal, when people power was harnessed and help was offered.

As I watched my Granddaughter this afternoon, working out her world, laughing and playing, safe, loved, warm and well, a part of my heart was lost to all the other toddlers, the Mums and Dads, the Nana’s and Pop’s who love as passionately as I do, to the people still walking towards safety, those sleeping in tents in the snow and the children playing in the mud in a camp. I hope they know ordinary people are coming to help them, that we care and we will not longer leave it up to someone else.

I start this new year in a positive yet reflective mood.  I have hope that the human race may yet be won with kindness and love, and that we will all choose to offer the hand of friendship to others.  I understand I am the luckiest of people, I have all that I need and most of what I want.  May 2016 be kind to you all.

on singing

today I had the great pleasure to be in a group who were serenaded by a flash mob choir at an event I was involved with.

They came in all shapes and sizes.  I first saw them waiting to cross the road, standing on the kerb smiling, lots of smiles.  There were men and women there were young people.  Some tall, some small and everyone single one with a huge voice and a heart to match.  They started slowly,  as the song developed they each took their own part, the melody echoing around the room. My tears fell freely, this was a song of inspiration, of hope and of challenging oppression, then the tears gave way to smiles as the positive energy bounced from the walls and into everyone’s soul.

There is a tremendous connection between music and feelings, no more so than hearing voices singing in harmony, singing a song that has meaning and relevance to the time and the place.  In truth the song was perfect but the reason for that was the singing was heartfelt, honest and wonderful.  A whole bunch of people on a Saturday afternoon bringing happiness where ever they go.

If I live to be a hundred this experience will stay with me.  One of those memories that will keep me going when times are not great, will make me smile as I remember the happy feelings.  For that I will always be grateful

If you have a voice, you must use your voice.  Use it to sing loud and proud and take happiness to the world.  It will lift, it will cheer and it will spread happiness from the heart to the soul.

on generosity

to be generous is a gift.  To give to others what they need and not think of yourself is one of the happiest things anyone can do.

There are so many people who have very little, so many struggling to survive and to live a life worth living.  From those sleeping on the streets of our cities to the families landing on beaches running from war, their reality is not what anyone would hope for.

No one plans for this sort of life, not one person wakes up and thinks today I will make my life truly difficult.  Whether it is bombs and bullets or family breakdown, mental health problems or despair, those in need, need help.

How wonderful it is then, that there are many people, often who have little to spare themselves who are generous of spirit and offer the helping hand.  The pensioner knitting hats and scarves for cold babies on beaches, the young Mum who is collecting duvets for homeless people, the children giving a favourite bear to a child who has left all their toys in a war zone. Small gifts with great consequences.  Then there are those who give money, lots of money to support and help where it is most needed.

I think it is fair to say that these generous acts make us all happy.  Happy that we can do that one small thing to show another we care.  Happy that people are coming together and together are making a difference.  Those in need,  I hope are also made less miserable, they must know that someone cared, cared enough to write a note, to bag a teddy bear, to pack new underwear and to say, here is our hand, take it and we will hold you.

So, to be generous is to be the best of humankind.  Everyone has something to give, their time, their friendship, their money, their Teddy Bear, all will make the difference.

Maybe we will never change the world, but we can make it better one Teddy at a time.

on precious moments in time

It was quite something this morning when a tiny bundle of love and fun settled onto my chest as I rocked and soothed the tired tears away.  Sitting on the sofa, with the Autumn misty morning outside the window, obscuring the hills in the distance where the leaves are gently falling to the ground, the grey sky giving no hint of the blue of summer that was, I hold you tightly and love you.

Soon you settle, your little fists unclench and tiny fingers wrap around mine.  You snuggle yourself into me and your eyes, drooping at first, close gently.  Your breath is regular and I find myself taking the air at the same time, our breathing co-ordinating as you slumber.

Looking at you I am remembering another time, over thirty years ago now, when it was another child who snuggled and slept on my lap.  If I close my eyes I can see the living room with the second hand sofa, the unmatched cushions and the huge old television.  The gas fire on the wall gave us warmth on another Autumn day all those years ago. The same tables I now have in my living room sat in that room, I think of this the only furniture that has lasted the years with me.  I can remember the feelings of love, of hope and of joy, coupled with the unimaginable responsibility that was mine, to care and grow this little person into adulthood, would I ever manage to do it?

The view from the window then was not the hills and trees of our home today. Then, we looked out as pilot boats chugged out to the big ships to guide them safely into port, we saw the white waves splash against the sea wall as the sky competed for greyness with the water below and ferry boats plied their way backwards and forwards across the river.

Another time, another place, but feelings remain the same, the love and amazement at the wonderful child in my arms.  The promise of what is to come, of who you will be, where you will go and what you will teach us all.  I lay you down next to me, softly you are snoring as I write these words.  Dreaming perhaps of fun to be had, there is much to do.  You are growing and learning everyday and I am so blessed to share this time with you.

Sleep well my little one, when you awake we will read the stories I once read to your Daddy, we will play the same games and we will eat our lunch together.  The circle of life is all around. Everyday you make my heart happy.