It's hard to believe that this will already be the 4th Christmas that I am alone, well actually I'm not going to be alone really as I will be spending Christmas with the family, but alone in that Roy is no longer here. Time sure does march on doesn't it!
I have been finding it harder and harder to sit down and write, not because I have nothing to say, but the need to say it, to get it out there so I can process has become less of a need. My blogging did what it needed to do when I needed it to do it - if that makes sense?? Oh I still have my moments where something will trigger the tears, but that's ok. It comes and it goes and I'm ok with it.
I am comfortable with the life I have now created for myself. I love my 2 jobs, I enjoy the challenges they bring, the new things I am learning, the new ideas and procedures I am able to implement to make things run more efficiently, but mostly that in both my jobs I am able to help other people and hopefully in doing so being a witness for the Lord. Life is not always easy, and I still find it hard not having anyone to come home to and to share things with, but I am content being on my own. I have a wonderful family and a wonderful group of friends. How blessed am I!
The last time I wrote I was still in plaster after my ankle surgery. I have decided the only upside from having to hop around on crutches for 6 weeks is that it helps you loose some weight ;0) That is the only benefit I can find, for the rest it was really hard, tiring and at times very frustration work, esp having to hop up stairs. The day I got my cast off and my moon boot on was the best day ever. Six week in a moon boot and being able to walk again on 2 legs was wonderful after 6 weeks of hopping on crutches. in fact from day one in the moon boot the crutches became redundant. What I enjoyed the most besides finally being able to have a proper shower, was to be able to have a proper full cup of coffee or tea, rather than loosing half of it because it sloshed over the sides of the cup because I had to hop behind the trolley I was using from the kitchen to the lounge, it's amazing the waves you can make with a cup of tea or coffee. I soon learnt the paper towels where a necessity on every trip from the kitchen. I tried drinking coffee/tea out of a very large soup cup, but it just didn't taste right and often although only half full would still slosh over the sides.
The six weeks in the moon boot literally flew by compared to the six weeks in a cast and although I was told to ease out of using the boot, it was suggested that if I had to do a lot of walking I should still wear the boot for a few weeks, I didn't, the moon boot came off and it stayed off. Walking to start with was a bit stiff and felt strange, I was very conscious of my foot and how I stepped on it, if that makes sense. I also had a very pronounced limp. In fact I felt all out of alignment from having walked uneven in the moon boot for six weeks. I have been going to physio and with the help of exercising have got a lot more movement and strength in my ankle and my limp has also improved a lot. I have splashed out on an expensive pair of sneakers and have had an orthotic insole made for my left foot and I must say the combination of these two things has made a HUGE difference. I walk with ease now and have found that my ankle doesn't swell up to a ridiculously huge size like it was doing when I have other less supportive shoes on. Now I just need to find a good pair of dressy shoes, cause I can't or rather don't want to have to wear my sneakers all the time.
I have found since my ankle op that a number of my shoes don't fit properly anymore or just don't feel right, so yesterday I had a big cull of my shoes. Out went everything that is no longer required including anything with heels, while I was at it the rest of my wardrobe also got a going through. Nothing like a good clean out every now and then. I am in the clean out mood at the moment and a few weeks back I decided to start on the garage. Actually I was looking for something specific and thought Roy might have stored it in his tramping cupboard. The item I was looking for wasn't there but I did find some interesting 'stuff' that Roy had squirreled away. It was a bit of an emotional morning going through all the items and brought back lots and lots of memories. I did find the item I was looking for eventually in the back shed, I also discovered that the shed has become the home of a rat or 2 going by the poop I found. I'm now thinking the shed should have a really good clean-out. It might be a good holiday job ;0)
In October our family again lost a much loved family member. Tragically my 18 year old niece took her own life, suicide (let's name it ugly as it is). She was a beautiful, bright, clever, vibrant young lady, loved by all who knew her. She was caring, outgoing, and quirky. She loved to dye her hair purple or blue, just to make a statement. She would help others at the drop of a hat and was doing well in her studies, she had a strong faith in the Lord and attended Church and Bible study weekly. She had everything going for her and yet she struggled with depression and one evening in her deepest darkest moment she took steps from which she would never return. My sister and brother in law have lost their only daughter, her brothers have lost their only sister, my parents have lost one of their 2 grand-daughters, my children have lost their only girl cousin on my side of the family and I and my brother and his wife have lost our only niece on my side of the family. It is sad and tragic and so terrible hard to understand. When someone dies as a result of an illness or an accident we know why the death has occurred, there is understanding if you like. When someone commits suicide there is shock, unbelief and unending questions. Questions that will probably never ever be answered in this lifetime. The worst is the feeling of guilt, I know we shouldn't take upon ourselves, but somehow you do, maybe it is part of the grieving process - why didn't we notice, why didn't we do more, why wasn't I more involved.
Even though we question why God allowed this to happen, we take comfort in the knowledge that my niece is now at peace in the arms of her Lord. Her journey on earth is over for the Lord has seen her struggles called her home with Him. Our children are given us on loan from the Lord, as much as the proper order of things is that they should outlive us, that is not always the case. For those of us left behind there is now a second empty place at our family gatherings. It's a place that shouldn't be empty. Roy's death I could cope with as hard as it was, because he had a disease that we knew would one day take his life. My niece's death is so much harder to understand and process.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of youth suicide in the world, don't you think that's terrible. Why do our young people think it is better to end their life than live it?? Why do so many 'normal' young people with their whole lives ahead of them struggle?? Are we as a society putting to much pressure on the young to achieve great things? How much does social media, the internet, cyber bullying come into the equation. This needs to be addressed and we need to stop being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff picking up the pieces. Suicide is not ok. This is becoming an epidemic in our country. How do we start to do something about this? We have young people almost on a weekly basis tragically taking their own lives and now the powers that sit in the Beehive want to pass a law to make it legal for those wanting to end their own lives with assisted suicide to have that right. What sort of screwed up world are we living in? Do I feel passionate about this - yes I do. I never for a moment thought our family would be so directly effected by suicide. Sadly I don't think there are many people who haven't been in some way.
A friend of mine wrote a wonderful article entitled "When Christians Commit Suicide", if you want to read it click here.
The one thing my niece's death has taught me is how important it is to stay in contact with those you love and to be in tune with what is going on in each others lives. It's about reaching out, strengthening bonds and being there for each other. As a result I have started writing weekly emails to my children, often with no real news, just what I've been up to that week and also forwarding a revised version to my sister and brother. I know it sounds terrible old fashioned, but sometimes old is good.
Well I think I'll leave it there for now. I don't know when I will write again. As I mentioned above the need has gone, but who know maybe something really important or exciting will happen that I just need to share with you all so watch this space. Thank you for taking an interest is my journey the last three and a half year.
I wish you all a wonderful Christmas, love those who are nearest and dearest to you for life is short and you just don't know what tomorrow will bring.
May the Lord bless you all richly in 2017.
Till we meet again.
Love and blessings