I'm feeling ....
More to follow....
Thank you Vikki, Jim, and Fern for your guestbook messages. Viks and Fern(ieee!) it's so lovely to hear from you both. Fern, what a lovely thing to say to me, I don't think I was ever quite that helpful but I am so happy that somewhere along the line I've made you happy or encouraged you. Thank you so much for leaving such a loving message. Jim, your wisdom is, as always, so encouraging and refreshing! I am reassured by your story of your family and by reading about you and your wife as you walk with God. Happy 30th by the way!!!
It's Good Friday already. That's come around really quick. The weather is so lovely at the moment. Yesterday it was too. I am upstairs in the small bedroom, and the desk is in front of the window which looks out down our little cul-de-sac. I have the window open and it's so relaxing watching the curtains billowing gently, and to smell the evening breeze which no longer smells like winter (yay!). The sun is low so it's a lovely hazy yellowy-orange against the curtain, but it's gone too far round the side of the house to be shining on me. One thing I really like about our road is that all the houses are a deep rusty-red coloured brick, and they're set unevenly round the end of the cul-de-sac, so the walls are all at different angles. Now that the sun is setting, some of the walls are in shadow and others are in sunlight, so that they look warm and soft, very summery and "eveningy". It's a comforting look. When it's summer it'll be even more pleasing to look at because there are lots of trees which will be lovely against the red brick as the sun sets. I can hear children in gardens, some of them really nearby and others a way off. It is the perfect place for us to start a family. It feels like home. We only saw one season here so far, since we moved in, and it's nice to see another starting. I think this home will be lovely in all seasons.
Anyway, I don't know why I said all that. Just wanted to describe it as I'm experiencing it so that it'll keep, like a photo. When I was young I used to take photos of the sun setting from my bedroom window. My room from when I was 5 to when I left home, faced the sunset, and I used to love watching the day turn to dusk and then seeing if I could spot the first star. I used to challenge myself to spot it earlier and earlier each time. I would sometimes spend hours at my window some summer evenings. It was more than just what I could see, it was the whole moment. It captured my feelings, my time of life, the light, the way the sky looked, the way the air smelled and the breeze felt on my face, everything. Far more than a photo could capture. I would take lots of photographs when it got to the most beautiful part of the sunset, and then still more a few minutes later when it became more beautiful than I'd thought it would be! But when they were developed they were always a disappointment, because they never showed me the whole experience of that moment, and I'd thought they would. So by the time I got to my teens I started writing at the window, anything and everything. I would watch the sun setting and my hopes and dreams would go with it. It excited and thrilled me to reach out that far with dreams and longings. They all felt like they might come true at that moment. I wrote about it as best I could, to capture the moment better than a photo would. Writing works better than a photo, but still not perfect enough. I guess I have to settle for just keeping it in my head, but I wish there was a way to get it down perfectly, so that every time I looked at it I could be there again just for a moment.
Well. I don't know what I was going to say now!! I have been feeling kind of nostalgic this week. Yesterday I drove to the butcher's to get some stuff, and on the way back I took a long route that took me past the place I used to live with my family until we moved when I was five. I have so many memories from there, and it was right down the road from my first school too. I never go there because it's just a big mass of residential roads that don't short-cut to anywhere, but I did yesterday, just to be around those roads again. Things don't feel different when I am there. The house looks pretty much as I remember it. Even the same corner shop a few roads down. The school was an old red-brick Victorian building, huge, with enormous flights of stone stairs. It was only two storeys but they were each so tall that it towered above all the houses nearby, and it had seperate entrances for boys and girls, and outdoor toilets across the playground. About 9 years ago it was demolished and turned into a car park for the rebuilt school, which is circular with one storey, and very modern looking. I can't drive down that road anymore. They demolished a place full of my childhood memories, and I can hang onto them so long as I don't replace the image in my head with what is there now.
I have also been at my parents' house a lot these last couple of days, because they went to visit my grandmother up the country. They only stayed overnight so we didn't stay over at their house, just fed the cats in the morning and evenings. But just being there as the season is changing to spring makes me feel kind of homesick for my childhood. I don't know why, because I spent just as many winters and autumns there as springs and summers, but the warmer seasons seem to have more fond memories and nostalgia attached to them. Things trigger of memories or cosy feelings more, like the smell of spring through the windows in that house, or the way the light is different in the evenings. Or the blossom on the trees and creepers. The way the view of all the back gardens looks from my old bedroom window. The way the sun sets over the rooftops. It's so much more familiar and lovely somehow than other times of year.
When Neil and I stayed at that house when my parents went away in May 2000, which was when I had only been housebound for 3 months and married for 9 months, I spent hours each evening at my bedroom window, feeling the spring and smelling it in the air, and crying like my heart would break and never mend. That hurt so bad, and I don't know why. It just hurt inside like nothing else, except times when I was younger and I went away without my parents. Then I cried the same and couldn't stop, and it hurt inside as though I might die from it. I don't know what I was crying for that evening. I figured at the time that it was because a year before, I was living there and that was my bedroom. I was so happy, and planning my wedding, and had no IDEA of the concept of long term illness, or any illness for that matter. I thought maybe I was pining for that. But I don't know if that was it. Maybe I was just growing up and it was painful at that particular stage. Maybe I'll never know.
I went into my bedroom the day before yesterday, well, the one that is now called "the guest room" (much to my distress!), and found a load of stuff on the bed that my mum had brought back from my grandmother's flat. She is in a home now and my mum has the long task of clearing the flat and selling it. There is so much stuff, Grandmummy has kept everything - even sweeties! - since the 1960's or earlier. On the bed amongst all this stuff was a small pile of photos. There were two of my mum when she was 14ish and 20. We don't have any photos of her when she was young, so it's weird to see them. She still looks like "my mummy", even seeing her as a little girl, now that we've found some at Grandmummy's. Anyway, there were photos of me when I was a baby and very little. I hadn't even seen some of them before so I sat and looked at them, which made me feel all the more nostalgic. Most of them were of Mummy and me - I suppose because Grandmummy is her mum and those were pictures that she really treasured. I brought them home and scanned them, and then I took them back yesterday. There's no purpose to including them here, and there are too many anyway, but I want to put a couple in because it's part of my nostalgic entry if nothing else! So here are two photos of me and my lovely Mummy:
Just noticed that the one of me in the high chair shows my foot doing that spready-toes thing as mentioned in the last diary entry!! Hehe! I love my mummy (random but true). How weird it feels that I am now almost as old as she was in those photos. Gives me shivers, as though a whole cycle has come around and pretty soon that will be me back in the pictures, only I'll be the mummy. Weird....
I have other stuff to write I suppose, but this is just at the front of my mind at the moment. I wanted to go to the Walk of Witness today in the town centre, and I set my alarm and everything, but I was so sleepy when I woke up that I didn't go in the end. I feel naff about that because it's the first year since before I got M.E. that I've been well enough to go and I really enjoy it. I love standing out there with other people in front of loads of people giving us slightly weird looks, and even people I might know (shock horror!), and saying I love Jesus, and I believe that he died for us and rose from the dead. And it's only once a year so..... well, I feel a bit bad, not because I am thinking I "ought" to go, but because I like to and it's my own fault that I was too tired. Sort of. I have had two nights of really useless sleep. I've been getting myself into a state of mass anxiety at night recently. I get scared of everything - people breaking in, getting a much worse illness, fire, all sorts. I don't know why. It's ridiculous because I know God is holding me and I'm safe in his arms, but somehow it's not getting through to my nervous system at the moment! So I am lying awake for hours worrying, even though I'm trying not to, but trying not to involves conscious effort which in itself keeps me awake. But I get to sleep in the end and at least it is not like when I had M.E. - it doesn't harm me to lose sleep, I just get tired! But there we go.
I made a real homemade stew yesterday!!!! I am finally getting more cooking done!! It's so nice to do this, it's one of the things I've been longing for the most during my illness - to be a "wife". I know it's terribly sexist and stereotypical and whatever else it is, but I don't care. I WANT to be an old-fashioned housewife!! It's all I've ever wanted to be. I want to make all my husband's meals and do all his washing and raise children and mend clothes!!! I want to, I want to!!! People either don't quite believe me or else think I'm slightly mad. Well I may be slightly mad, but in a good way I'm sure! And now I can finally cook for my husband and do the washing, and stuff like that, and I am not ill from it!!!! Thank you Jesus!!!! I am so happy about it! I asked my mum how to make stew like she used to make us when we were younger, and then I went to all sorts of shops and got huge amounts of root vegetables (!) and 2 pounds of braising steak!!!!!!!! That's a lot of steak! Well, I figured I'd make up a huge batch and then freeze some in tubs for later meals. My mum says it works fine. So I started peeling the mountain of veg at 5pm - oooh I love starting an evening meal hours before it gets served!!! I'm sure the novelty will wear off, but right now it's so old-fashioned and housewifey!! Hehe! Anyway, I'd finished the veg by 6pm (!!!) and then I had to cook it all with the meat in two seperate casseroles because it wouldn't fit in one! Two hours later it was done, and it was really yummy. I feel so satisfied having done something like this, I don't know why. It was really good food, healthy and nourishing, y'know? And I feel good that I made us something like that from the raw ingredients. When I do stuff like this, me and Neil refer to me as "Mrs. Housewife"!! It's an affectionate title, and I love it.
What else? I can't think..... I owe some emails still, but I'm working on them! Neil is off work until Tuesday which is really nice. He mowed the lawn today - more evidence of spring! I am STILL taking the IBS drugs but they seem to not be working much this time. It almost feels like the anxiety is countering them or something. Maybe it is? I will try to be less anxious and give it to God - I DO try, but somehow it seems so hard right now. I still know he's right here with me and I feel close to him, but still I get this anxiety. Can't WAIT until after Easter when I can see Marigold again!! I know God will give her wisdom and it will help to talk, and she'll pray with me. I know God has all the answers, and I trust in him.
Well, the sun is gone from the red brick and the sky looks soft and greyish pink, so I guess it's a good time to end my entry and close the window for the night. I've really enjoyed writing here this evening. I love my life. Sometimes I feel like I need more or there's always something I need God's help to rescue me from, but really I have a blessed life. Totally, I mean. I love my life. I had the most beautiful childhood, and I am full of praise to God for all that he has given me. He's the most perfect God there ever is! I love him.
Cameron's first anniversary - 2004-09-24