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Strange times…

England has just back stepped in it’s opening up of the economy. I think this was inevitable. One cannot pretend a virus is ‘under control’ while there are still infections occurring. Indeed, people are still dying of Covid 19 here. This is not a second wave. The first wave is not over.

For the last ten days or so, I have woken thinking I have Covid 19. Whether this is becauseof dreams, or because I wake with a dry throat, I don’t know. I think my dry throat or sore feeling is the chronic fatigue that I get once or twice a year.

I started this summer waking very early and not sleeping well. Now I don’t wake early and find it hard to get out of bed. Sleep comes more easily, but is reluctant to leave. My mornings are sluggish and reluctant. Next week I have an X-ray appointment before noon. That will be a challenge.

My late mornings correlate directly with the loss of seeing the harbour from my bed. For fifteen years I have only had to rise on one elbow to see the vista of the the water and boats. I can still see the harbour but have to leave my bed. It is no longer my constant companion while writing or thinking. Daydreaming.

It is a bereavement, a grief, and one I feel keenly. If I am struggling this much now, how much more worse will it be in winter? It is unimaginable. And yet I have my garden. It bearsfruit. I have just picked and eaten my second fig, and tomorrow’s is marked out. They are so refreshing, so sweet, so unimaginably good. There are strawberries and tomatoes waiting, blueberries ripening. And my flowers. My trees.

So, there are many not as fortunate as I am. Counting my blessings and gratitude for what I have is my strength. It keeps me going in hard times when my mood is low.

My only regret in life is that I married the man I did. But then I wouldn’t have my daughter. I often think of dropping the name Brady, but the expense and inconvenience are too much.

My pain is manageable. Most days I have none and then my hip will start to hurt. That is manageble. Meditation and prayer take it away.

I am aware of my body though. There is always a sensation somewhere. And I know I look different and I wonder how many men would talk to me if I didn’t.

We need to stop putting the economy ahead of human lives. This virus kills and when it doesn’t it can leave nasty side effects for life or a long time. This will be with us for a long time.

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Recovery still ongoing…

I am still recovering from Thursday. Just some aches in my ribs from sitting for so long in the cold. I got cold. I have been much colder but that was another era in my health.

I have sent thank you cards. Sent texts of gratitude.

My gratitude for strangers who are so kind is boundless. I actually believe no one is a stranger, but a friend in waiting. I have always done my best to be kind. All over the world I have experienced kindness. I used to be quite a risk taker, although other risk takers might think me very tame.

Risks are better taken in warm climates. Then, if you have nowhere to sleep, you won’t freeze.

I have continued with napping. My daughter came yesterday and made me a hot dinner.

I made someone very happy today, just by sending a card. I was thrilled. I love making people feel happy.

I’ve been writing and now write for two publications on medium.com. It’s so rewarding, and I don’t mean money..

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When emotions don’t help…

I have spent today napping and recovering from yesterday. I got so cold, panic was starting to rise, and I had pushed my trolley. Two unnamed men also had pushed my trolley.

I slept like a log last night, and had some vivid dreams.

I’ve tried to thank as many people as possible. The young man, Cameron, I’ve been able to text. I’ve sent a thank you card to Ian, who was my host and he drove me home. Tara, the van driver, I have no way of reaching.

I have to confess, after being debussed en route to Salisbury, I was so glad to be driven home. He happened to be working from home and also did look at a message request on Instagram, which he doesn’t normally do. Neither do I.

Last Friday, when I was shouted at in my home, it was by a private enterprise who were providing a service. That was stopped without notice and I’ve had to go without for eight days now. Other’s who provide this service do not deliver it in my neighbourhood.

It is affecting my wellbeing. No one should be able to cancel without giving notice.

Here is the poem I read on Wednesday.

Fall in Springtime

Falling through memories of my life as they pass my eyes
Screaming out my soul and loud my heart cries
Words that forecast my demise cannot not be taken back
Tell me friend, does Fall in Springtime frighten you?

The sun has come at last to play with shadows and light
That give texture to our days, no longer long the night
Darkness is beng chased away, see the darling buds of May
Tell me friend, does Fall in Springtime frighten you?

Look now around regard the blooms that herald life, not decay
Birds are nesting ready for life in the eggs they lay
Not no renewed life ahead for me this year
Tell me friend, does Fall in Springtime frighten you?

Embracing life won’t cease though strength is dimmed
Tending garden will be still my love, colours riot untrimmed
My soul weeps to know I might not see fruit born
Tell me friend, does Fall in Springtime frighten you?

Flowers that jostle for attention, blooms both bright and subtle
Will outlive my journey on this earth, travels I would glad redouble
Trees will grow and bear their fruit which may I live to taste
Tell me friend, does Fall in Springtime frighten you?

I will continue to shine as the sun, glow like the moon and stars
My smile will still embrace the world it will never stray afar
From my lips, though sadness may occasion my eyes to tears
Tell me friend, does Fall in Spintime frighten you?

Love will be my gift to those who walk my way wherever it leads
My heart will still hold close those I treasure and need
Still yearn for love’s secrets shared, the bond unsaid
Tell me friend, does Fall in Springtime frighten you

Chrissie Morris Brady

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A reply first published on medium.com…

This is such a great piece, and has made my eyes prick with tears for my last love. He came to move in with me after a nine month gap, at which time he was my neighbour. I loved asking him about his day, I loved expressing my gratitude for the things he did for me. I loved to tell him I valued his skills at putting my towel rack together, the shelving in my kitchen and a small trolley to slide into my under- the- stairs cupboard. While he was doing something else, I knelt on the floor looking at a bird table with roof that I had not dreamt would need putting together. It had screws. I took a breath and said, I’ll glue it. He immediately turned to me and said to let him have look. Three minutes later, it was put together with the screws.

He might be in town and text to ask if I needed anything. No. So he would bring me chocolate.

I have poor health, but he didn’t mind. He made wonderful love to me, and I to him.

When he came to move in, he’d been more hasty than I anticipated. The first night left us both with sleep deprivation. The next day, I sat next to him and asked his opinion about a change in the help I had in the house as I was dissatisfied with the help I had. He just kept telling me not to cancel it. I thought he was tired, so I left it for another day. I popped out to see a friend, and when I came back he was gone. At first I thought he’d gone to the local store. No, he was gone as in gone. Later he would text to tell me I had chased him to get a cleaner, cook, and nurse. I felt sad he thought so little of me and himself.

I am not over him.

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It’s Christmas Eve and I’m hungry…

Yesterday, my daughter arranged Christmas, but was staying at her boyfriend’s place. I had run out of food for the rest of the day today, apart from dinner. Almost all my nearby friends had shipped out to their Christmas destinations, the rest of my friends are a distance that would make getting me some things very inconvenient. I could have asked the girl who lives nextdoor (the good side), but I had seen her earlier in the day, when I wished her a merry Christmas and she was in her dressing gown, probably planning a day of blobbing and pampering. So I did what I never do. I contacted my ex-husband and asked him. I got the response which is the reason I don’t contact him. No.

In times gone by, if I thought I might ask my ex to help with anything, I would lie down until the thought went away. He will not do anything unless it is his idea. So I’ve eaten the house bare, and am hungry. Because I have a chest infection, with fever, and a slightly upset tummy I could not face going out myself. I have been drinking milkshakes to keep myself feeling ‘full’.

I could kick myself for asking him. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and expecting a different result.

We used to have a lot in common. But now we differ quite a bit. He uses the Twelve Step Program as a tool for self growth. I see him shrinking, not growing. There are parts of the program that are very open to interpretation. One is that you look after yourself first. This is not wrong, after all we cannot save a drowning person if we have cramp, or cannot swim ourselves. But another part of the program talks about gratitude. To me, expressing gratitude is sharing what I have, or doing someone a favour. I’m not certain how my ex expresses gratitude now, but I suspect it is charitable donations. But to me, what is the point of charitable donations if you can’t take a ten minute walk and get your ex-wife, who raised your daughter alone, some food?

I’m not writing this to expose how unkind he is, but to show my insanity and the different way we perceive life.

We always used to have an open house. If friends were round and it came to a meal time, we’d invite them to eat with us. We invited lots of people for meals. We offered hospitality to people we’d started talking to on a ferry or plane.

I like to do this still. In the summer I took lunch to a young guy I’d befriended who worked in a store alone. It gave me pleasure.

Tonight is the first Christmas Eve that I don’t have any traditional German biscuits and cakes. I feel a bit sad, but that isn’t what Christmas is about, and I won’t die without them.

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Bright sunshiny day…

For those of us with no thanksgiving meal, let us give thanks anyway. If you don’t live with gratitude in your heart, you will never know real happiness.

I spent today with a friend who is blind. He is cheerful and good company. We went for a drink, and then had to find grass for his dog. I actually saw a tiny part of my town I have not seen before. I was surprised. Nearby, are the offices of what was Dorset PCT, whom I used to work for but no longer exists. That brought some very happy memories. Part of the NHS.

This is always going to be a hard time of year for me. My mother’s funeral, my Auntie’s death, the aftermath of my sister’s death. My dog’s death. The brief relationship. I don’t think I would say no to him if ever he knocked on my door. But I would point out who he was before he went off with the woman who says he’s a complete idiot. I know more than he realises.

My closest friends, who live just outside Richmond, Virginia, became grandparents for the second time today. Their son, Michael and his wife, Laura, had their first child today – a boy. I’m thrilled for them, as their daughter and her family are working in Jordan. What a great day to be born.

I have been threatened with legal action by a letting agency because a story about how the wind chimes next door made the national press. People have been contacting them. I made my views on this perfectly clear. I am not responsible for an item in the press. And I remain cheerful. That letting agency is the worst I’ve come across.

If you don’t feel grateful, start with being alive. If you feel suicidal, don’t do it. Things can only get better and they will. You see, hear, walk, run, touch. If yu live with hope, you attract good things. Not karma, but what you sow is what you reap. Sow happiness, and you will happiness. Sow kindness, etc.

W all have days when we feel low, but they go. Unless you have depression. We talk about that soon.

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Feeling fulfilled and other blessings…

Receiving my copies of One Hundred Memories yesterday was a completion of a long process, and I have come to know and love the editor very much. Her services to poetry are tremendous and I admire her greatly.

I read my poem a tear came to me. For no longer being a child, for all those things Dad did for us that I took for granted. For losing my Dad twice, once to Alzheimer’s and then to death. Although the Alzheimer’s helped me rediscover my Dad, as he forgot the chains my mother had wrapped around him over many years.

I am so grateful that my Dad died in my arms. My friends have found this hard. To me it was the most natural thing in the world. I cannot tell you how much I loved my Dad. He was always there for me, always calm. While my mother got hysterical and self centred, my Dad remained peaceful and strong. When my head had two openings, he never flinched, though he teared up. And while I was recovering, with akinetic mutism, he carried me.

Now that my sister has also died, it is likely that I will die alone. I do not have a partner, I have not wanted one for fifteen years when a long term relationship failed. I remember saying to someone last year that I don’t want involvement with a man, and then one crashed into my bedroom.

In all truth, it is better to be alone than to be in a relationship in which you have to pretend, lie, or not be your truly authentic self.

Never make do. I say this to all young people. Don’t settle for hamburger, when you can have steak.

Make sure you are on the same page about almost everything.

Today, a fellow blogger said I had given them inspiration. That’s humbling and reason for much gratitude. I feel such joy that they are inspiring others. That is why I stated this blog.

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Entertaining Angels…

Yesterday, through a complicated story that I won’t tell here, I became involved with a lady on a website who was looking for someone to clear and weed her garden. I ‘offered her a solution’ by recommending someone to her, and because I clicked on the ‘solution’ icon I was told by the website that I would get her money that she had set as payment. I was puzzled by her confusion as she seemed to think I would be doing her garden. This confusion persisted while we were exchanging texts so I tried to call her but her phone doesn’t take calls. But we arranged to meet, and it turns out she is deaf.

So I took a notebook and my mostly forgotten British Sign Language, and she arrived with her husband and toddler who are also deaf. They are a lovely family. The husband told me his father and grandfather were deaf. I asked if they would have cochlear implants for their child. The father replied no, because the hearing world should learn sign language. I have known for a long time that many deaf people feel this way, but to look at a tiny child and know he will never hear anything is a shock. They were very nice to me, thanked me for my recommendations and help, but made it clear that don’t want to teach me more BSL or become friends because I am not deaf, and don’t belong in their world. In a while, though, I will ask again if they will teach more sign language. I learnt quite a bit of ASL when I lived in the States, as the youngest daughter of a family I lived with had a speech impediment so she would sign, and we all signed with her too, as well as speaking.

On my way to meet this family, I ran into difficulties with my mobility scooter. A young man asked if he could help me. He pushed me to an ATM, and then to the café so I could meet the family. He said he had to get some shopping and he would come for me after 45min. This was perfect. So he came back and brought me home and wondered why my battery had not charged. I keep my ‘trolley’ as I call it in my lean to porch, but there is no door, so I said to him about making a door from a shower curtain to pull across. Later while I was doing stuff, I realised I’ve been given several sheets of wood. So I messaged him the idea of making a gate. He already said he would come back, so he said we can discuss ideas then.

I am so full of gratitude. I was able to make recommendations to this family. I met this very kind young man, and his partner is expecting a baby so I shall have a lovely little tiny human to buy cute things for.

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Hopes…

I am having my kitchen extended. It will have a cloakroom/wet room at the back. I wanted a range style oven, but realising I’ve only used one when I cooked in a care home, I’ve decided to get a gas hob as I have now and an electric oven.

An American style fridge and slimline dishwasher and more cupboard space will make it great. It gives me hope.

I’ve had so much grief in my life recently that gratitude is my focus. I am still not well, or as well as I should be. My spirit is weighed down and now Mike Ebsworth is abusive to me.

My doctor has suggested that I may have ‘heartbroken syndrome’ – the loss of so many family members’ through death. And my dog, whom I still reach for in the mornings.

Today, I walked with a neighbour and her dogs where I used to walk mine. It’s the first time I’ve been there since O’Driscoll died. And I’ve begun to stroke the dog of a friend in the last couple of weeks.

I am so grateful for the people in my life. Those who were fake and betrayed me are best out of my life.