on closing doors

The optimist in me says that when one door closes another opens, which is true,however there are some doors that once shut will remain so forever.

I have been thinking a lot this week about someone close who has more than her fair share of sadness in recent times.  In the midst of illness and death she has also had to see to all the practical issues that remain once someone we love is no more. Empting cupboards, sorting furniture and selling up a home.

This has made me think about a time when, as a young Mum, I was also closing up a home forever, to hand it to another family to live, love, argue and laugh in.  Houses are just bricks and mortar, a big kitchen or a tiny bathroom, a small garden, or a back yard, it doesn’t matter.  It is the people who live their lives within the walls that make a house a home.

Closing the door for the last time on the house you have grown up in is a tricky thing to do. The symbol of the keys, they are no longer yours, and the thought that very soon a whole load of strangers will be opening the door for their brand new start.

As you walk away for that final time you are followed by a thousand memories. Remembering walking the path coming home from school, of carrying shopping bags, of opening the door to see friends and family, and most of all the memory of the people who once carried you towards your home and who now are no longer here.  These are all seen in clear and present memory.

From the outside a front door is no more than an entrance to those who don’t know what went on beyond.  In my childhood home the front door step was a place as children we loved to sit, to chat and to simply be.  Once opened the wide hallway offered a glimpse of the rooms beyond, and within those rooms were the people we loved.

It seems to me that closing a door forever means that there are no more memories to be made here.  That all that was to be has been. As we walk away we take our memories with us for they are the essence of a family that made us the adults we are today and will be carried in our hearts forever.

on Dads

today as every Fathers Day my social media is full of loving messages for lots of Fathers.  Some are yet to be Dads, some are young parents, some are old and some not here any more.  No matter, the love is there to see all over the page.

As a woman and a Mother I have always wondered what it must feel like to be a Dad.  For my relationship with all four of my children started long before I met them in person.  From the early stirrings of butterfly kicks to the uncomfortable wriggling of twins, I knew my children were there.  I would talk to them, and loved lying in a warm bath and watching them wriggle.  I was blessed.  Dads just can’t do that.

When Dads meet their children for the first time it must be a massive leap for their emotions.  If they are lucky to be there for the first seconds of life the bond of love must leap from the first cry straight into their hearts.  The connection a Mother has is broken at birth, soon to be re established over the coming days, weeks and years.  I do wonder how if feels to be a Dad.

When my darling granddaughter was born, my son, beaming and smiling just minutes after meeting his daughter was in a dreamlike state.  Lack of sleep and emotions of love across his face.  I told him I loved him and he replied, ‘today I know just how much you do love me Mum’ the memory makes me cry even now.

So, to all the Dads out there, and all the men who love our children, to all the men that made us the women we are and to all the blokes who support and love their family every day, today is your day.

There used to be a saying that went ‘behind every great man is a woman’ I think there is some truth in that.  I also think that alongside many great women are the Dads, the husbands and the partners that believe in you, support you and love you.

Today I celebrate the marvellous men out there, just going about everyday, being annoying, getting things wrong and relying on us women.  The men who get up every morning and go to work to earn money to support a family.  The men who hold our hands and our hearts and the Dads who made us who we are today.

on being grandparents

this weekend we were so lucky to have been trusted by our lovely son and daughter in law to take care of their very new, very beautiful little girl, our first ever grandchild.

She arrived to stay and with her came an vast array of equipment, clothes, nappies and the like.  The Moses basket, the pram, the wet wipes and the toys, a tiny bundle of gorgeousness amidst a mountain of stuff.  She is a smiling girl.  Mum and Dad, reluctant to leave her eventually went off to have a bit of fun and celebrate a special occasion

I simply cannot believe my luck.  After years of stress, long nights waiting for toddlers to sleep and later teens to come home, I had begun to forget the fierce love a baby can evoke.  It is true that the years fly past, one day you are waiting at the school gate, the next they are all grown up, married and parents themselves.

Looking a the darling girl, asleep in her cot, I did this a lot, at one point hubby woke up and asked why I was staring at a sleeping baby in the middle of the night ‘just watching her being her’ was the best answer I could give.  In truth I was scared to close my eyes in case she needed me.  I do not remember this feeling with my own babies.

I remembered the feeling of hope and love and pride and fear and excitement and joyfulness that each new baby brought with them.  I also remembered writing a poem for my daughter, then aged 3 and it seems apt to revisit it, the words still hold true and now we have the next generation to include.

For My Daughter

She looks around her and knows

That she is in command

For now at least her world is clear

and she knows not of difficulties to come

I hope her path will be forever smooth

and that

she will be brave and true

a child of the 20th century

and a woman of the 21st

What ways will she find, and who will

she become

Will she ever think, as I do now

of the women from our mutual past and

how they made us both

who we are to be