Memory strike

I was so excited to visit, to return back to the place that held so many happy memories.

It was a place Livvy had loved, a place that had made her smile.

Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary, a little piece of loveliness on the coastline of Lincolnshire.

I had been so looking forward to out visit, so excited to show the boys what I had shown my girls years before.

They loved the sanctuary from the cheesy chips to the cheeky meekats the boys and Brodie had a lovely afternoon. We wandered around hiding from the rain showers just enjoying meeting the wide variety of animals and just spending quality time together as a family.

We all had a favourite, Brodie loved the meerkats, the boys enjoyed the peacocks and the rabbits. I think Alan loved the goat that got himself stuck on his stall regularly, for me it must be the sea turtles bopping their sweet little heads.

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Of course we all loved the seals, we got to watch the keeper feed these beautiful creatures, some that live at the sanctuary, others being cared for before being returned to the wild. This is part of my love for this sanctuary thousands of injured sea creatures returned back to the sea after being tended and cared for at the sanctuary. The core desire is not to have animals to showcase but to have animals returned back to their natural homes. It is a truly lovely place.

The seals were their normal gorgeous selfs, bobbing their heads in anticipation of more fish, here, this way please their eyes seem to call, just one more please.

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The afternoon was beautiful the kids were having a lovely time when for me memories struck. 

I could hear my heart beating in my chest, my head felt it was going to explode but right there in that moment i swore I could have turned around to see Livvy there. To see her clapping in joy at the seals, trying her hardest to escape her chair to join them in the water. I could hear her screams as we left to go home, her massive temper tantrum because we couldn’t take a seal home with us. I felt as if i looked on the floor I would see the toy seal she had slung in disgust because I tried to placate her with a pretend one, she wouldn’t have any of it.  Her face red with temper,  yet still the coy smile at the young boy at the counter even in the midst of her rage she was flirting. It felt so real as if I could almost reach out and touch her.

But I couldn’t, it wasn’t real my mind was being unfair, so close, almost, just out of reach.

My goodnesses I cried, for that spilt second my heart had been whole again, I could see my beautiful girl, I could hear her voice even if it was her temper and rage.

Yet as suddenly as the memory came it left and my heart was missing again.

Even now eight years into this journey of grief my heart aches, no matter how far you walk along this pathway the pain walks with you.

My friend said that maybe it was Livvy’s gift, her reminding me that she is always close. I like that, to know as we showed the sanctuary to her brothers she walked beside them. I often wonder what she would make of the boys that have joined our family since she has passed. I know she would have loved causing mischief with them, I know she would have loved caring for the little one.

I just didn’t expect that yesterday, I knew visiting may be bittersweet but I was so excited to share a memory with the boys, for them to get to see these beautiful creatures up close, to make their own memories. But I honestly didn’t expect the pain, for the past to feel so present. Grief is like the waves of the ocean, sometimes I can ride them gently but other times the waves they swell and I feel that I may drown.

I know I should be grateful for the memories and I am, I really am but sometimes the pain feels like its too much, like my heart may explode.

I know I was so lucky to have this beautiful, vibrant daughter, even if I only got to keep her for nine and a half years. I am so blessed that i get to call this beautiful angel my girl, my baby, my daughter. But right I feel just like those seals as they wait in anticipation for more fish,

just one more day, just one more memory, just one more, please.

 

 

 

How dare I be emotional?

Guess what?

Sometimes in life people are not going to agree with you, shocker right.

They may think you are wrong or even at times out of your mind, but hey ho thats life and that’s what makes this world an interesting place.

There is a big difference though between expressing your difference of opinion and being arrogant and damn rude.

The crazy thing is when I ask for a little respect I get accused of being emotional.

What the heck!

You know those pesky little things called emotions, they have the cheek to raise their heads now and again just to cause trouble.  I’m beginning to think that these things which allow us to experience the world in technicolor are becoming unacceptable in today’s society.

When being called “emotional” as an insult or when people expect you to pretend you are ok when you are not.

Our emotions are incredible things and I for one will not apologise for having them.

NO WAY!

Emotions allow me to laugh until my stomach hurts, to feel joy and happiness.

When my heart is broken and sadness overwhelms, crying is a freedom that allows my soul to breathe.

They allow me love and to feel safe.

To experience the highs and lows of life.

Acknowledging our emotions isn’t always easy, sometimes it is human nature to want to protect ourselves from pain. Still something I have learned the hard way is that hiding doesn’t work, somehow our hearts have to be and our emotions have to be free.

Emotions can be so powerful, they can inspire, encourage and cause direct action and I will not be made to feel guilty or pathetic for having them.

So I’m putting it out there right now, to you all.

 A call to action, no more trying to be someone you are not.

Stop pretending you are ok when you aren’t.

Stop allowing anyone to make you feel ashamed of your emotions

As for myself, I can choose who is in my life and who isn’t and if people do not respect me well they can move along. I’ve learned the hard way that life is to precious to ever let anyone make you feel worthless.

I am open for healthy debate but if you don’t like the way I am or just don’t want to show me respect, then simply delete my name from your page, book etc and have a wonderful life.

I won’t apologise for standing up for respect and kindness and I will never apologise for being emotional.

Emotions are awesome.

 

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I’m not a thug #imnothug

On Tuesday I was following along on Twitter the information coming out regarding the Labour NEC meeting and awaiting the decision they were going to make. I can honestly say that at this point in time I felt truly sick, I was desperately worried for the future of the Labour party if the NEC voted to keep Jeremy Corbyn off the ballot. Yes, I admire Jeremy greatly but for me this was a decision that was based on democracy and the reading of the rules not on popularity. Anyhow waiting for this decision I came across a tweet from MP Ben Bradshaw

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This actually really offended me, I am a proud member of the Labour Party and a proud member of Momentum, what I am not and never have been is a thug. How dare an elected official call anyone this let alone members of his own party.

Firstly I know it was in relation to the brick attack at Angela Eagles office which I state right away was an abhorrent act and should not have happened. No MP, no person should every have to live in fear for their personal safety. But where is the evidence that it was a member of Momentum that committed the attack? I’m not going to speculate who it could be because I refuse to paint all people with the same brush but Angela’s voting record has made her a target from many divisions not just Momentum, though again I will reiterate here that how you vote should not make you a target for abuse especially in what is supposed to be a democratic country.

Secondly how blooming dare he?

Who gave him the right or the evidence to label a group of passionate activists a group of thugs. Just because right now Momentum are backing the leader of the party against his wishes does not and never will make them thugs.

I was so appalled by this that my first thought was to tweet Ben Bradshaw and call him out but I then realised that may be his game. Let the so called thugs attack me and make my case for me. Secondly I am not aggressive in anyway, well unless you mess with my children but hey I’m a mama bear that’s normal.

So I decided to encourage members of Momentum to tweet using the hashtag #imnothug letting Ben Bradshaw know who we are and what we stand for.

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I was shocked at the response, from my first tweet being retweeted numerous times to the wonderful tweets from momentum members. I got to connect with some incredible people all who stand for fairness, equality and democracy. Of course there were a few people who decided to mock or tear us down but I’m glad to say they were lost in the crowds of positive tweets.

I know that right now emotions are high within the Labour party and I completely understand this, but I agree with Jeremy Corbyn totally when he says that we all need to treat each other with dignity and respect and like JC I condemn any violence or threats from any side of the debate.

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Still I refuse to sit quietly whilst an MP calls me a thug, so if I will be writing to the Labour party on this subject and keeping an active present online encouraging others to use the hashtag #imnothug and just let Ben Bradshaw know what kind of lovely, caring people he has just verbally abused.

So feel to join in with me, use the hashtag or retweet the tweets but most of all stand with me in making sure our campaigning is done with dignity and respect.

Living fully, dying empty 

“Talking about death makes me sad, I just don’t want to think about it” a statement made to me the other day. A friend had heard some awful news and was not sure how to handle it. She then turned to me to ask me my opinion only to see my face and the realisation of what she had said hit her. I knew death more than I wanted, it had visited me breaking my heart into pieces then left like a thief in the night.

I had no words for my friend so I just hugged her, you see I don’t want to think about death either, it sucks and I totally understand her desire to hide from life’s reality. 

“I’m sorry she said, but it’s just not time, I’m not ready for them to be gone”. How true are these words, it certainly wasn’t Livvy’s time and I’m still not ready for her to be gone. 

Then my friend turned to me and said, “I didn’t tell him how much I loved him”.  

How my heart broke for her right then and there. Like so many people she thought she had forever and now she is left with words unsaid and hugs not given. Now in this situation I know very well her loved one knew how much she loved whilst she may struggle with the words all that she did for him was love in action. He knew and to be fair they have never been the family to open their hearts but these words that are still on her tongue will stay with her a lifetime.

Nobody wants to talk about death, it’s the ultimate no go there conversation. We celebrate life and all its milestones, new births, birthdays, anniversaries and so much more. Yet I think death needs to be thought about more, talked about more.

Now I’m not going to suggest we sit there mopping around about the fact that one day we die but I am going to challenge you with a question.

“If you were to die tomorrow, would you have said all you wished to say”.

I often talk about dying empty, leaving everything right here in this world behind me. I want to live this life so open that no one ever has to wonder how I felt about them. 

I didn’t start off this way, I used to be introverted and guarded but having a daughter diagnosed with a devastating condition and the promise of tomorrow being stolen it changed my core being. 

It actually liberated me.

Liberated you, what in the world is this woman talking about? 

Well let me tell you. 

When a doctor sits you down and tells you that you don’t have forever, your whole perspective on life changes. You stop planning for the milestones and start enjoying the moments. 

It’s a wake up call that this life is to be lived. 

We don’t get do over’s we need to love deeply, have our hearts open widely and let laughter be the music of our soul.

It’s scary, it’s vulnerable but it’s real.

It’s living life fully and making sure we die empty. 

Dear Labour, this isn’t the time.

So it’s looks as if The Labour Party is heading for another leadership battle. As much as I respect the MPs right to request this I do not understand the timing of it all. The country is divided enough this just feels like the last nail in the coffin.

Last week the nation went to the polls to vote on the EU referendum and as much as it pained me to say it the decision was made in democratic way, so is a valid one. The votes were cast and counted and the people voted to leave the EU.  Democracy in action and whilst I may quietly pray for a miracle that doesn’t see this happen I do see that it’s now time to move forward and start working together for the future of the UK.

So back to the internal explosion of the Labour Party. I just don’t get it, with the Tories backing out of campaign promises and the truth of falsehoods becoming so obvious this should be the moment that the party capsulises on this and shows the public how little the Brexit campaign and the conservative government think of them and how willing they are to feed the public lies to achieve what they want. The lies of this campaign aren’t new, remember how they were going to protect working family tax credit.

Yet to our shame Labour are descending into chaos. With some real nasty crap being banded about by both sides.

Now I like Jeremy Corbyn I do but for me this leadership challenge is not about him. For me its about holding on to the democracy that should always be part of the party. Last year a huge majority of members voted for him as leader so how dare MP’s challenge the votes of the members.

A few things I have read today that I want to mention that has really annoyed me firstly, Jeremy Corbyn is to blame for Brexit, first of  all can I just call bullsh*t on this statement.  Jeremy campaigned hard for remain and whilst his campaign wasn’t full of scare tactics he explained the situation fairly and transparently.  He brought a lot of leave voters back into the remain campaign due to what one woman told me “ his honestly that the EU was far from perfect but he believes that we are better working on it from the inside”.

Secondly that he doesn’t have the people behind him, well just take a look at the rallies that have been held. I can’t imagine any other politician right now bringing that many supporters out on such a short notice.

Thirdly, his followers are aggressive, now this one bugs me after week after week being insulted on Facebook and twitter about my remain vote I cannot believe that some MP’s are crying harassment right now. Yes, there are some idiots on both sides but MP’s have to realise that people are disillusioned right now, many belong to a party who is now saying “guess what we understand you voted for a leader but we don’t like him so we want a do over”. In a time where our democracy feels like it is slipping away through our fingers you can imagine our distress and sometimes anger, though I will state here any one making threats is not a true believer in democracy and needs to check in with themselves.

I’m truly gutted that at this time the that the Labour party has decided to turn inwards and in doing so may just rip itself apart. Because right now whilst this inner fighting continues the country that I love is becoming more divided. The vulnerable are suffering, racism is coming out from the shadows and true bigotry is becoming a common place occurrence. Apathy, austerity has changed the view of this country, people are so lost and angry that they are ready to believe the hate propaganda that is being fed to them. We need someone to bring us light and lead us out of this darkness. To remind people that

“That we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.” Jo Cox MP 

Whatever the decision of the leadership contest turns out to if it is conducted in a fair democratic way I will accept it but right now the Labour party doesn’t seem to be one I recognise.

I think we all need a reminder that if we don’t unite who we are we leaving to look after the public?

“In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same. “

Albert Einstein

#Enjoymorewater Challenge

Getting enough fluid into your children isn’t easy.

I thought it was hard when my girls were younger trying to convince them that they really needed to finish their juice or have that extra glass or two when the weather was warm. Though In hindsight I now see that although this was hard I still had a little influence over them and with the right encouragement they normally enjoyed it in the end or at least drank it because mom said so.

Fast forward a few years and now as the mom of teenagers and young adults  I want to scream. It’s as if drinking enough fluid to keep them hydrated is asking them to swim the ocean. Their daily juice cups sliding over to the super carbonated drinks that I so don’t want them to fill up with.
So project make drinking cool again had to start. From posh water bottles to ice lollies I have encouraged my girls to keep drinking wisely and to drink enough to keep their body hydrated. I have had a slight bit of success as  my two oldest girls are never seen without a bottle of water in their hands.
So this then brings me to my youngest daughter, Brodie the child who never stays still, who plays sport 5 days out of 7 but who hates water with a vengeance.
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All I can say is thank you Robinsons their pocket sized squashd have literally saved me from banging my head against the wall but also my daughter from the dehydration headaches to which she was prone. She now fills up before school and then can top up throughout the day using the squashd at the school water foundation.
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With the great selection of flavours even my picky madam can not say she is bored. In fact within school now it’s become a bit of excitement regarding what flavour she has today. I mean its not like you would expect the kids to be excited over exams would you.
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