I’m sitting here feeling grateful that it’s not as blindingly hot as it has been, while also waiting for ex-tropical cyclone Oswald to come through the Mid North Coast. So, mixed feelings this afternoon!
I’m grateful that both my babies are napping right now, because it’s perfect weather for getting a bit of cabin fever, and two-year olds are not good with cabin fever. Nor are the parents of two-year olds.
I’m grateful we’re on a hill and so not at risk of flooding. Grateful that we are prepared – big shop done yesterday so we’re not going to run out of food while we wait it out!
I’m grateful that today is my husband’s day off and we’re all together while it’s going on. I know that we’re at low risk of major incident here at home, but since watching the Queensland floods on TV two years ago, I have become quite frightened of weather like this. I really realised how powerful Mother Nature is and how we tiny humans are in many cases so powerless against Her. I’m now working on not passing my fears onto my girls, and instead I plan to instill within them a healthy respect for their country’s climate and weather.
I’m still so very grateful that I get to bring my kids up in this wonderful country though, despite the extremes. When I think that in the UK you can sit under grey and rainy skies like this for months on end, well, I don’t know how I’d go bringing kids up over there, I’m bonkers enough as it is – a touch of SAD would tip me over the edge!
Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday. He died in a car accident in 1997, a few weeks after his 20th birthday. I miss him very much still. I was only 22 myself, and it took me many, many years to even begin to come to terms with his death; I didn’t handle it well at all. Finally, just a few years ago, I made the long overdue decision to focus his birthday each year, rather than on the anniversary of his death, which is later this month. I don’t dwell on the pain any longer; it’s still enough to make me catch my breath around this time even after so many years, but it doesn’t ravage me as it once did. I remember instead his smile and feel so grateful that shortly before he died we were able to spend some very special times together. I think about the good stuff. I’m grateful that I had his love for the time that I had it.
I wanted to share this poem here today because it might help someone else as it has helped me. I found it in the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami memorial garden on Koh Phi Phi, Thailand, in 2009.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die.
This week I am grateful that so many little things go right every day, even though I may sometimes feel like the days are pretty rough with Miss A being only 6 weeks old and Miss M being, well, her usual toddler self! This image came up on my newsfeed this week and it’s a great thought to begin the New Year with. So, today I am grateful that nobody is sick, the water and electric are on, breastfeeding continues to go so well, sun was shining so we could go for a walk, didn’t run out of milk, managed to get a wash on, flooded the laundry but caught it in time and no serious damage, internet working, remembered to hang the washing out, Miss M napped easily, Miss A is slept well too, and I got some much-needed down time….the list is endless when I really think about it! For that, I am grateful.