Monthly Archives: February 2015

Anni’s Letter

Today is the anniversary of the birth of, Krystina, a daughter of my dear friend, Anni. The following was written by Anni in 2002. I share it for Krystina, Anni, my son Ken, myself, and all mothers who have outlived their child.

If I really sat down and thought about it
Would I be able to put on paper the words?
Sanely, without self-pity, or sentimental prose, to tell of your life and your death.
To be able to take out from the inside of me, the thoughts and memories
which are still here?
Here in my heart, my fingers, my eyes and my ears,
each part of me has a different memory of you.
The look of you I see and the sound I hear is your voice or your laugh.
One month, six months – a decade
It makes absolutely no difference what the time span is.
People tell me time will lessen the pain.
Time will not lessen my pain, my sadness or my loss
In fact, it actually makes it worse because the futility of your death will always & ultimately rest with me.
You are my child – my responsibility – my love.
The only emotion, which does abate, is my anger.
Most of my real pain is rigidly suppressed
Underneath the plateaus of feelings too confrontational
to face.
Inside of me there are parts which are destroyed, not whole.
Where emotions & thoughts ceaselessly slip unannounced
into the reality which is known as day to day living
and which continues for each of us who love you.
But I keep all of this under control
With the psychological rigidity I am determined to maintain
I had not realised that my ability to control sorrow was so strong,
until, those few brief moments when I actually let myself exhale
and I feel for just the tiniest sensation, a wave of peace,
whether it was from a memory of some joyous thing –
An unexpected happiness which descends lightly upon me
Like the soft, consoling pat of comfort on my shoulder.
Or the scent and the touch of hair brushing past my cheek
Or a child’s innocent stare, quizzical, straight into my soul;
Or the sheer delightful sound of my grandchildren’s laughter.
That fantastic giggling, chuckling, chortling sound.
Or the sometime hedonistic abandonment to alcohol.
Or a descriptive passage from a book,
Words which verges on perfection and
Offering such hope to my spirit, no dark damnation.
Or the understanding of strangers who offer their experiences
Their commiseration – without judgement
Sometimes I stop whatever it is I am doing
Suddenly, for no reason
These moments are a puzzle to me
Because they bring with them a sense of expectancy,
Unfinished words, things not yet said, hanging on the air.
Hovering, waiting in a shadow just there ….in front of me,
A movement of air and that familiar voice.
With a “hey mum, look what…….” it seems so normal.
And the strangeness of this normality is quite acceptable to me
A funny something – unfathomable and consistent
This persists in hovering and constantly pushing at me.
All the while laughing deliciously into my ear,
Prompting me to remember arcane, shared conversations
Dreams are constant an accepted part of the night now.
Sleeping, falling into that blessed temporary blackness
Hoping it will remain just that – a comforting nothingness
somewhere between the sleeping and awakening
Then nadir returns.
The probing fingers of guilt look for the right nerve,
lingering there for just enough time
to touch the pit of my stomach and create a shriveling,
gnawing, inexplicable emptiness;
this approaches the same plane of panic and confusion
as often happened when you were here.
When the phone ringing in the early hours of morning
would startle me into alertness.
My fear as I grope through the darkness, absolute, suffocating fear
as I struggle to find the faceless, disembodied messenger who will tell me
Death has arrived.
You are lost to me.
My child is in peril.
Or sometimes it was your voice there
and a different, icy dread would claim me.
Your voice sometimes slurred and deceitful
Or whining and beseeching, angry and accusatory
When you were in the grips of your addiction.
Regret was part of your ongoing torment
and black addiction to a powerful and evil drug had won.
Sometimes you clawed your way upward,
triumphant for a short time;
but that short time was so rare
and became more and more elusive
until, inevitably there was no time left at all.
Love Mum

(Written by Anni Leppin)

Forever Love

You told me you would always love me
Never leave me
And you haven’t
Yes it’s over 5 years since you died
Nonetheless your love surrounds me
You will always be
“Only a whisper away”
I look at the 45 year old photo
You carrying me on our Wedding Day
I see the love in your eyes
Just as I saw it in the early hours
Of that final morning
The last thing you did was
Squeeze my hand as you looked into my eyes
The love in your eyes was almost palpable
Your love still carries me through the tough days
Sits beside me during times of peaceful reverie
I still talk to you
Yep not even death can shut me up
You don’t answer and yet I’m still comforted
I know only to well people die
I also know love can live forever.

Tricia 7/2/2015

“I’m Still Here”

Chronic Progressive Life Limiting
Four simple words
That can change one’s life
On an almost daily basis
As my illness progresses
The struggle to deal with limitations
Can be both challenging and frustrating
At present I’m battling exhaustion
Some days holding a conversation
Is more than I can manage
I find I must be discerning
Not squander my energy
Rather I must nurture and use it wisely
So if you don’t hear from me
If I’m not spending much time on social media
Please know it’s not because I don’t care
It’s because I’m so very tired
And working hard to adjust
To the ever changing challenges
That are part of living with chronic illness
I’m not unhappy
Sometimes frustrated with my disobedient body
Occasionally pissed off that a couple of hours out
Costs me a few days in bed
Nonetheless grateful for those
Who make a couple of hours out possible
I find I have much to be grateful for
The constancy of my carers and my sister
The loving acceptance of family and friends
Who make the effort to bring ‘days out’ to my home
Because they understand and they care
Yes I’m exhausted by the battle of existence
At the same time I’m grateful that ‘I’m Still Here’
Still able to live in my home
My place of peace and sanctuary

Tricia 2/2015

I used to belt this wonderful song out, but my ‘song belting’ days are done
Now I simply enjoy watching it. 🙂

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Jun 16, 2010 – Uploaded by Thorneycroft37
Legendary live performance at the Electric Proms 2009. Shirley’s version of this fantastic song …

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