In the couple of years following Zoe’s death, I wouldn’t have recognised inspiration or an idea if it hit me over the head, let alone tapped me on the shoulder. I did manage to resurrect my half forgotten blog and tortuously express some thoughts in writing, but it didn’t particularly feel like inspiration, or a message from the universe. It felt more like a desperate and visceral compulsion to make sense of what had happened and communicate my pain.
But right now, the the universe does seem to be telling me something. I think it’s to write more, which I haven’t been doing much of recently – one new post in three months.
Last week The Daily Post included an excerpt from one of my posts in their one of theirs, Creating (the physical and mental) space to write, which clearly I haven’t done recently. The response from a reader reminded me of one reason I write, or at least one of the reasons I publish what I write. Continue reading
A few months ago, I wrote a post on The things we keep, the things we sent, the things I let go. I deleted a whole section at the end that I wasn’t ready to share.
Forgiveness is the theme for this month’s 1000 Voices for compassion project, so I’ve decided to post it. Continue reading
I believe in signs. You might call them co-incidences or wishful thinking.
It’s my first day in Budapest in 24 years. I’m learning how to live without Zoe. It’s a stiflingly hot central European summers day and I find the cafe in what was once a glamourous department store, with frescoed ceilings and gilded embellishments. It’s a cool dark respite from the blazing sunlit day and I’m drinking a home made lemonade. There’s a grand piano and the pianist starts playing Isn’t She Lovely. It’s the song I would put on and sing to Zoe while I danced around the house with her when she she was a refluxy baby who couldn’t sleep. It’s the song I told her was my song for her because she’s lovely. She replied it was her song for me because I’m lovely. It’s the song we played at the beginning of her funeral. I’m in the right place.
Paris had always been the romantic city I dreamed of returning to. I had spent just four days there one December when I was 22, travelling on a backpackers budget. Bundled up inadequately against the bone chilling cold, we trudged the streets of the City of Light, admiring the Christmas lights, standing on the banks of the Seine watching the Eiffel Tour light up, drinking cheap red wine, eating from prix fixe tourist menus and seeing as many art museums as we could fit in. The day we left, we woke to snow.
So I was delighted when Zoe started to read and was captivated by the book Thea Stilton and the Mystery in Paris. It follows the adventures of five um… amateur detective mice as they solve the mystery of some stolen haute couture designs while tracking the thief around all of the Paris landmarks. As you do. Continue reading
One of the gifts of having a child is seeing the world through their eyes. Continue reading
Zoe with one of the anaesthetic technicians, She improbably looked forward to seeing the team every day of her six weeks of radiation.
How can you learn gratitude from something that wreaks havoc, turns lives upside down, tortures children and families with unbearable treatments and choices (that are somehow borne anyway) and takes lives?
On the day of Zoe’s diagnosis, I could never have imagined that I would owe childhood cancer any gratitude. But in a strange and improbable way, I do. Continue reading
Dear Zoe’s mama, in 2006
I know you know she is a miracle and you love her fiercely. But I know how you struggle every day with mothering. With getting it “right.” When your refluxy baby screams night and day and cannot get the sleep she needs – and you cannot get the sleep you need – you feel like a failure. When listening to her cry feels like the deepest pain, like listening to the little girl inside of yourself cry, and there is precious little you can do to soothe her. Continue reading
The physical space I write in is nothing special – usually I just take my laptop into bed or park myself on the sofa, sometimes following the sunny spots around the house like a cat. But the mental space to write in is something else.
If you’re a regular reader, you may notice I’ve written more this year than I have since beginning this blog. Continue reading
“Sometimes, the biggest secrets you can only tell a stranger.”
― Michelle Hodkin, The Evolution of Mara Dyer
What I write here are often the truths I can only tell strangers. Although many people I know read them, it is easier if it is the stranger I imagine writing for, safe in the knowledge that the only truths they will ever know about me are the ones I choose to tell. Continue reading