Tag Archive for hope

This one’s for you

I just got off the phone with my friend, M.  M is one of the rather amazing people who, when I was in hospital, received a text that I was ill at about 7am and was at the hospital before elevenses on the same day

M came to the afterstrokeparty on Friday.  She tucked her small people up into bed and dashed out of the house as soon as her husband got in from work, which was really rather late.  When she arrived she couldn’t see me.  As she searched, a woman she’d never met before asked, “Are you looking for [my name]?”  When M said that she was, the stranger pointed her in the right direction.  Then M went to the bar to buy a drink; it was really busy. Another woman also waiting an eon to be served, and again a stranger to M, asked if she’d like a drink while she was ordering a round.  M had met neither of these people before the party, yet within 5 minutes she was in shock at how truly lovely you all are.  She felt so welcome and looked after by that she had enough of a glowy feeling that she had to tell me all about you.  Because we are talking about you, my brilliant, wonderful, friends who look after me but also perfect strangers who look a tad lost or like they’d appreciate a drink.

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And now, the end is near…

Tomorrow is the actual AfterStrokeParty.  It’s not a big deal..!

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Life isn’t fair

No, I’m not whinging that ‘life isn’t fair’, I’m just merely observing that it isn’t.

Bad things can happen to good people, good things can happen to not-so-good people, unplanned things can happen to those that prefer stability, nothing can happen for people who love change.  We can’t control our worlds when sh*t happens, we can only seek to influence them, and chose how to react.

My model for how to act with grace comes from someone called Catherine.  I don’t think she’s reading this, though some of our friends are, and they will know why, even if it was a long time ago.  I have to remind myself to act with as much grace as I can muster on a regular basis and, you know, I usually find it is rewarded (sometimes eventually!) with grace in return.

Why am I waffling? Because I’ve been out of some loops for a little while now and I return to them with slightly fresher eyes.  I have a surprisingly greater tolerance for some things, as a result of time away and what’s been happening, and find I hold some things less tightly than I did a few months ago, and that some things I view a little differently.  Not much differently, but differently.  Nothing has changed, except that it has.

Grace has always been an important concept to me; it’s something I covet even more than patience.  Those of you who know me will know I’ve always wanted patience.  I have a little more now, but only because I still move a little slower, and I suspect that I will lose this slight increase in tolerance shortly.  I just hope the little gap it leaves is filled with grace.

That probably doesn’t make much sense to you, but it’s what’s going on in my head right now, and this is my blog, so I’d love some grace, if you have any going spare.


New Year’s Eve


I have blogged a few times about my great fondness for the word ‘hope’.  So much so that it appears in my house a little (see right).

365 days or 525,600 minutes, that’s what it takes to get through a year.  And what an interesting and lovely year 2010 has been.

New Year may mean many things.  But in my experience it reminds us that either we’re not quite in the position we would’ve preferred and can’t see how that might change, or we believe that 2011 might be terribly exciting.  In my mind, New Years Eve is usually all about sadness or hope, even if we never admit that to another living soul.

I won’t tell what was happening in my world on this date last year, but let’s say I remember 30 December 2009 very well and was holding back a lot of tears 365 mornings ago (31st).  Something had raised it’s head, again, quite unexpectedly on the previous day.   So while I probably pretended to believe in hope for 2010, actually, I was also sad. Something I wanted very much was patently never going to happen, and I had to learn to finally, and again, let it go, forever.  And, this year, which doesn’t seem that long later, I enter a new year full of hope and excitement about what may come to pass.  There are some people who have become significantly more important than anyone before; there are new people that I didn’t know then; and there are my forever friends, who remain in my world wherever we may be.

Despite what I felt on New Years Eve 2009, 2010 was actually rather lovely and very kind to me, and I know 2011 is going to be my favourite year ever. In part, that is not in spite of the dissection and the resulting stroke, but because of it.  I guess God really does work in mysterious ways.

So if it happens that you’re secretly not enjoying the beginning of a new year, then please take a tiny piece of comfort from someone who knows that anything might happen for you next year.  Absolutely anything.  And chances are – I really believe this for you, even if you don’t – it will.  So have a little hope today. Or let me have it for you. It’s a whole new year tomorrow, and I can’t wait to see what happens!


Hope, Vampires and Q&A opp

Last night I mentioned hope and how it’s my favourite word.  It came up because of my friend who made (finally, well done!!!!) a very exciting, life-changing decision, and we were talking about hope being the thing that drastically improves our perspective/mood/feelings about things, way quicker than any actual changes can usually be made. It’s been my favourite word for a long time.  Those who know my house know there are things that say ‘hope’ all over the living room and, if you don’t, there’s a picture below.  It’s one of those words we all need.  As the kid of a manic depressive I can tell you it would’ve changed a lot of things for her.  As a grown up, when we’re feeling a little bit lost, we just need to find some.  Happiness is always going to feel elusive unless you’ve already got it. But hope, well, I think we can always find a way to find just a little bit of that someway, somehow; that’s within your own gift.  And it changes everything.   Hmmm.  This just got a little too philosophical for my liking!


Today is the long haul trip back to Hospital Number 3, a.k.a. the vampire palace. I’m hoping not to make such a mess this time. Even with the smallest needles, even if they’re pressing on the site, the needle they just took out drips, so, invariably, the chair and I get covered. I must remember to ask for a towel instead today! Anyway, this morning will be spent with the minor vampires (i.e. daily routine stuff), afternoon with hematologist (i.e. the serious vampire).  Yay. Not.  So… if you’re one of those people asking all  those blood/warfarin/drug related questions that are way ahead of what I can be fussed with, send them now, by sms, and I’ll get the answers for you by return.  Probably.


I’m starting to tell other friends what’ going on now.  Work friends knew more or less straight away because that’s where it happened (though Kate did a marvelous job of keeping it quiet for a day or two when I assumed it was all going to be fixed in a day and didn’t want a fuss: sorry and thanks Kate).  Then the immediate family; which in my case includes a bunch of friends and a couple of cousins, and then word travelled along, as it does.  But I’ve not done the ‘tell everyone everything’ bit. It’s never been my style and, also, this particular ‘guess what happened the other week’ has an answer that now sounds, to others, far more dramatic than it actually is.  I know the first week was scary for anyone who was there  – sorry!!!! (and I don’t include me in that – I only caught up with the scary ‘could have’ statistics a few days ago) but for anyone else, it’s actually a far more placid tale.

((((For anyone who’s only just joined and is about to give me a hard time for not telling you earlier: please read on. Everyone else, please skip to these brackets and go to final paragraph! I’ve been told off several times and I’m soooo sorry, but it’s starting to get boring saying that. Life got busy, first in an ICU and then with walking and stuff, and you didn’t need to know right then.   Obviously I’m going to mince my words more in person, but the bottom line is, please forgive me and get over it and pop over for cupcakes.  Or chocolate.  Or any number of lovely things that will blimp me out if I eat them all without you.  This is a rapidly changing good news story, and it’s hard for me to keep up, let alone anyone else. I remember saying to the consultant on Day 4: “Ok, I keep thinking that next time I wake up everything will be back to normal, but I’m getting the hint that no one else thinks this.  What’s the deal here?“ and being given the answer, “Well it might.”.  (And, for the record, in hindsight, that answer really naffs me off.)  But it turns out I wasn’t that wrong.  This happened 2.5 weeks ago, I’ve been home1.5 weeks – which is not the normal thing so we’re all amazed – the drugs may almost have stabilized (we find out properly today) and I look and sound normal again.  Yes, I’m knackered, yes my aim is occasionally out, yes I wobble in the dark, and yes it takes me longer to walk than usual (which, :-) Benj, means I’m at your speed instead of mine now) but basically this is a good news story where the could-haves did not so it’s easier to tell now.  Ok????!!!!)))

Of course, the thing now – which is fab – is it all seems like it happened a century ago and like the scary ‘could-haves’ happened to someone else.  Which means I can totally relate to emails from my ace friends like the one yesterday that started like this:  “It all seems like a bit of a far fetched story – the kind of tale you read about on the internet that happened to a friend of a friend of a friend but not to anyone you actually know.” Quite, RJ, quite!!!!



p.s. I know you didn’t skip those brackets … you do know you’re still not going to get away with things like that in person, right?!



Hope is like the sun is shining

First thing this morning I had a long skype discussion with my friend who just decided to take some drastic action that’s resulted in a lot of hope for him that wasn’t there last week.  I said, “Hope is my favourite word.” He said, “Yes, it’s like the sun is shining.”  You have to know the man to know how cool this exchange was!

As you know, I’m loving getting out to venues that don’t contain vampires and the like. It’s a small ask but logistics have to be considered in advance, which is a pain in the neck (pun fully intended). Yummy mummy friends have likened it to the first time they go out with prams and suddenly things need a bit of thinking through.  Today, it was easy though. Mrs B came all the way to London from the Isle of Wight for the day, and we went to Harvey Nicks for soup and chips for lunch.  Gotta love my friends.  Seriously.  Thanks Mrs B. xx

pumpkin soup and chips :-)

And the afternoon brought my goddaughter and her mummy and Juliet.  So… Mrs B, Harvey Nicks, friends for tea/supper, “hope is like the sun is shining” and no hospitals until tomorrow.  Enough said.  Today was flipping good.

I also have a job for you (what, you thought this was a free read??!!). My research skills aren’t, temporarily, quite as scary as they were a few weeks ago. So I have a mission for you.

(If you’re the person remembering I tracked down the home address of your internet date, and followed it up with a google earth picture of your “I assure you that you’ll never find my address’ house, in under 3 minutes, you’ll know what I mean… anyone else is just going to be plain scared now. (And, yes, I’m telling you cos you need to know how easy these things usually are.  And YES, that’s why I hide my friends list on facebook, etc! And yes, SteveG I am thinking of how you worked out my local tube station from the three slips I made with location, two of which you’ll now notice are gone and the third – I think you know the one I mean, no one else will think to do!!!))

ANYWAY, I’m trying to find a charity that arranges emergency payments to people who suddenly end up in hospital with months of recovery ahead of them.  Not for me, obviously, because my employer is bloody marvelous, and I’m not going to take months. But I can’t get out of my head the crying that happens when a guy realizes he suddenly can’t pay the next rent/mortgage nor feed his kids because of something that happened without warning… and there is jack he can do about it.  It’s the most horrible, horrible thing right now every time I think about it.  The govt. seems to give a paltry £200 emergency grant if you know it exists and how to ask for it; but that’s all I can find.  Seeing as the longer term prospect for many who are much harder hit is crappy benefits and long term strife (and indignity), it seems to me that there must already be some kind of charity that can give an interim, immediate payment to at least get a family/someone through their first 3 months without a struggle.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find it for me, please!!!

p.s. Also saw this re the Wii.  Rob: you’re lucky I don’t like computer games else I’d be stealing yours for a few weeks! x

gorgeous goddaughter

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