It’s 5.54am and I’m wide awake. Continue reading
The house is still, no sounds to wake
The two-legged oafs
Who cried and moaned and quaked,
When sleeping is all the effort I’ll ever make. Continue reading
Last night, I had to say my last, I love you, and sing my last Goodnight song to another member of our family: Tarzan, our 17 year old cat.
Watching him suffer over the past few months meant it was a bittersweet moment when he closed his eyes for the last time and I held him in my arms, a moment that I barely managed to cope with. As I gulped down the lump in my throat and gently stroked his ragged fur, my children’s lives flashed before my eyes. This beautiful feline had filled their daily moments with such happy memories, memories which were coming to an end as the light dimmed in his eyes.
Darjeeling was no ordinary cat. He was run over in the first year of his life, was rushed to an unknown vet and disappeared from our lives for about three months. I still don’t know how I managed to track him down (he hadn’t even been chipped yet). I do know it took several phone calls and visits to shelters in different towns, RSPCA centres and endless calls to random cat people who knew someone who knew someone. In the end, I tracked him to a cat shelter in Twyford and sped off with my two babies in tow, determined to rescue my little Darjeeling cat.
He is the only cat I’ve ever met who could call both my Hubble and myself by name in a voice loud enough to wake our neighbours. Standing on the flat roof of our downstairs cloakroom, which was just below our bedroom window, he would call our names out to the stars until we woke and opened the window for him. If we didn’t wake in time, our neighbours would kindly inform us that he was calling all night long!
Fighting various common cat illnesses throughout his life, he managed to live up to the strength of his name – Tarzan – and was a legend in our family. He will be remembered for his love of climbing thin branches and swinging from them; giving us the stink eye when he wasn’t fed on time; and bravely staying with us through five house moves in his lifetime.
His final resting place, our dream home, will be a testament to his well-deserved rest after a very full life. To say we loved him would be an understatement. He was our cat legend, our sweet Darjeeling, our Tarzan.
This is a poem I wrote the year my mum passed away. Even though Christmas has passed, I thought I would share it again as a special tribute to her, my little bird!
Now the clock is ticking
Santa is drawing near
We’ve put up your Christmas decoration
Since you won’t be here
No struggling, cursing, crying
To get you through the door
And the happy sense of achievement
When your wheels touch the kitchen floor
We won’t choose the meal together
Since last year’s meal was your last
No fighting over whose house to visit
Now that you’re in the past
I’m going to try not to miss you
When I don’t see you sitting there
Children reaching to open their presents
They’ve kept back, so that moment, with you, they could share
Every minute of Christmas this year
Will breathe in for a new tradition
As you, dear Mum won’t be there
Since you’ve taken a life-long intermission.
They say, running away from your problems solves nothing. Well, I love to be different! Continue reading
Hello and welcome home. The kettle is boiling and I’ve stacked up some delicious pastries for our coffee morning. Why not go on through to the living room and take a look at the Christmas tree.
After another weekend of sickness bugs and the flu doing its round in our home, I’m really looking forward to the final week of school. Not only will my work be winding down but this is my last week of uni studies too before the Christmas break.
How has your term been? Have you found an increase in sickness in your home around this time of year?
Those who follow me on Facebook will know that our family suffered a great loss three weeks ago, which I feel now contributes to the low mood in our household and the slow healing process. It has been difficult and sometimes involves heart-breaking chats about death with my youngest sprog who is still spiralling from the loss of his best friend – the four-legged kind.
Filling that cavernous hole left by our beloved dog, Henry, we’ve decided to fill our Christmas with little events that will pick up our spirits. Planning a special family dinner and prepping for our traditional bake-off on Christmas Eve seems to have helped and the promise of a new plan for the new year has the family focused towards the future.
What has caught us all by surprise are the cats – they’ve taken over the house! From sleeping in our bedroom to vocalising their every need, they’ve decided that us hoomans need to serve them and enjoy their presence in a way cats can only force you to endure. When they think we aren’t looking, they congregate on the landing and sit there like Stonehenge monoliths, silently engaging in cat conversations that end abruptly when they notice a hooman walking by. This circle of secret silence unnerves me and I do feel the balance of power slipping away from the two-legged members of the family! So, if you see little paws reaching for your knee, run!
On that note, I’d best let you escape our mad house before the cats rope you into cleaning their cat box of feeding them every few hours. Enjoy the festive season and do keep in touch.
Thanks for stopping by.
Three weeks ago I sat here, in my living room, watching my companion – my shadow – suffer through dehydration and what I thought was just a severe gastrointestinal problem – curable and recoverable. Sprockets are notorious for eating crap when given the opportunity. Little did I know that in a few hours, I would lose him.
If typos appear, blame the blurred vision. To say that time heals all wounds is as comforting as punching me in the gut and expecting me to say thank you. Imagine, just for a second, that a sliver of light appears that changes your family from self-absorbed consumerists into loving, attentive people worrying about another creature’s well-being more than their own. Now picture Henry.
I loved Henry and the family loved Henry. He now sits on our fireplace in a wooden box and we pretend we have him close. The dust in the box and the empty spot next to me tells me otherwise.
Yes, I’m still grieving. Deal with it.
Tripping down the stairs,
Knowing you’re there
Little footsteps in my shadow
No matter where I go
I love you.
I miss you Henry, my shadow.
Henry Carlisle De Sousa
01/06/15 – 24/11/18
The greatest love of my life
I feel as though bits of me are slipping away. The more I fulfil my dreams, the more my essence fades. Where is the balance between my destiny and my provenance? The journey doesn’t secure a link to both. Though I’ll gladly discard the parts that are unsecured and tangible, the rest I want to retain.
I feel as though bits of me are slipping away. Maybe one day I will awaken to the butterfly and not the caterpillar. Until then, my doubt lingers like the promise of metamorphosis.
Inspiring the Uninspired
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A Post a Day since 2nd May 2019 - All pictures posted are taken by Dave Bignell
Connecting the Americas, Bridging Cultures Supergringa in Spain: A Travel Memoir