Monday, 25 May 2009

Turning a corner

I'm tentatively increasing my activities again, although, as I periodically do, I have pruned everything ruthlessly. Some of the prunings will, I hope, be temporary ones.

Green Sunday has given me a good grounding in being able to ignore the pull of the laptop and the TV, and I have been reading/listening to books, knitting and allowing my system to heal. It seems to have started, at last, but progress is slow. I did break Green Sunday yesterday in order to blog on the Doodles blog - I had something to say, and thought I'd better say it before it went again! But I was quite happy to turn the laptop off again as soon as I had finished.

One quite unexpected thing that has happened in the last few days is that my writer's block seems to have gone. I had found it almost impossible to write any poems once I became ill. I've managed one or two, but nothing like my usual output. I have no idea why, since Thursday of last week, I have finished four, with another (which may be two, actually) still in progress, but I am not analysing it too hard in case it stops again!

Here is the first one.


no tottering on ice
or squeaking snow
no struggling through swirling rain

a close fireside and a cup of tea
just me

beyond the window
long slow summer evenings
shading into night

Monday, 18 May 2009

A quick hello

Just a brief note to explain why there is no new post this week.

I'm having to take some time off from my online activities because I'm not doing too well. I think the shock of Mum being ill triggered a crash which I am still coping with. I seemed to be running on adrenaline for days, and then came down to earth with a bump!

I hope to be back next week.....

Monday, 11 May 2009

A passing hello

It was my birthday yesterday (and a very happy one!),so I am a bit worn round the edges today.

Normal service will be resumed next week, when I have got over the shock of being so old!

Monday, 4 May 2009

The kindness of strangers

My mother lives in sheltered housing in York, just around the corner from my sister. On April 27, just after my sister had gone on holiday, my mother was admitted to the Coronary Care Unit at York District Hospital with chest pains. Mum only allowed the hospital to tell us on the following day, when they established that it had been a small heart attack, and not the indigestion she had hoped it was.

My brother couldn't come up from Luton till Friday, and Mum refused to let my sister leave her holiday early. There was never any chance of my going down there. I was terribly upset, thinking that she would be alone with no family around her. Without much hope of anything coming from it, I posted messages in four UK groups on Ravelry, a large knitting and crochet website, asking if anyone in York could pop in and see her, and maybe take in some fruit.

I expected, at the most, a few kind messages saying that they hoped she was well again soon, and these I got. I also received six offers of practical help, four of them from total strangers.

The next day, Mum had a visit from one of these strangers, bringing fruit and soft drinks. She sat with Mum for half an hour, and then emailed me to say Mum was in the main ward now, and in good spirits. She refused to be reimbursed for the shopping she had done – 'It was the least I could do,' she wrote.

Another woman who worked in the hospital was all set to visit her that evening, and I had other people lined up for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Luckily, Mum was discharged on Wednesday afternoon into the care of the warden at her sheltered housing, so I didn't have to call on them – but they were all prepared to go out of their way to visit a sick old lady, whom they had never met, just because they were asked to.

Another online friend suggested the chaplain, and another York Quakers. I did contact the chaplain, who sent a visitor to her, and I was about to contact York Meeting when she came home. (She knows a few of the Quakers in York, as my sister was housemistress for several years at Bootham.)

I was also inundated with kind messages of support, and enquiries about how Mum and I were doing, after she came home.

I would have expected this from my online friends, who are like penpals to me – we know so much about each other, and our families. But I didn't expect total strangers to be God to Mum and to me, and I was very humbled by the whole thing.