When I fall in to the darkness of bad thoughts and feelings.. and when I have a blank sheet of paper in front of me on which I have nothing nice to say or good to share, I have trained myself to think of the things I am grateful for in that day, that moment.
If I think initially – like right now, there are none – I always tell myself there are at least three… my breath in, my breath out and my mind that remembered those 2!
And then I look around… there must be something else?
I am grateful for the glass of red wine, medicinal, to ease the tension in my shoulders, help me sleep, obliterate the sad images, sounds and feelings of today.
I am grateful for the photos and video messages that the boys sent me to cheer me up tonight.
I am grateful for the Big Man holding the fort in Yorkshire, even if it is all ipads and pasta pesto… I don’t know that for sure.. but even if it is, I am still grateful.
I am truly grateful for the incredible, kind, gentle and caring staff keeping vigil over Mum tonight and for everything they do to keep her comfortable around the clock…
I am grateful for every last twitch of a smile, hint of a kiss, hold of her hand, for each rattily breath Mumbo takes and for each choke she manages to live through..
I am grateful for all the lovely people and friends who have taken the time to reach out and send messages of love and thoughts to me, my Dad and my sister…
I particularly liked this poem, sent to me by the boys nursery Nanny and babysitter when they were tiny babies:
I had two mothers – two mothers I claim;
two different people, yet with the same name.
Two separate women, diverse by design,
but I loved them both for they were both mine.
The first was the mother who carried me here;
she gave birth and nurtured and launched my career.
She was the woman whose features I bear,
complete with the facial expressions I wear.
She gave me memories which follow me yet,
along with examples in life which she set.
As I became older, she some younger grew,
and we’d laugh just as mothers and daughters can do.
But then came the year that her mind clouded so
and it seemed that the mother I’d known soon would go.
So quickly she changed and turned into the other –
a stranger who dressed in the clothes of my mother.
Oh, she looked the same then, at least at arm’s length,
but she was a child now and I was her strength.
So we’d come full circle, we women three –
my mother the first, the second, and me.
Now if my own children should reach such a day
when a new mother comes and the old goes away,
I’d ask of them nothing that I wouldn’t do –
love both of your mothers as both have loved you.
Joann Snow Duncanson