Please indulge me whilst I reflect on a momentous year.
So 2007 - what were you all about then?
This time last year my Mum had started to experience some strange symptoms.
She woke up one day just before Christmas and found she could not read. She saw the words. She knew they meant something. Her brain could not decode them.
She found she could not write.
She started to have trouble saying the right words. Sometimes this had hilarious consequences and she always maintained the ability to laugh at herself.
Within a month we received a diagnosis that Mum had an aggressive and inoperable brain tumour that even with treatment might only give her 12 months to live.
She chose not have radiotherapy as this would have severley affected her quality of life. We'll never know if the chemotherapy gave us any more time.
On 31st May 2007 my wonderful Mum lost her battle against this evil cancer. She kept active, positive and dignified right up to the point where, two days before her death, she lost consciousness. I will always be thankful that she did not have to experience a distressing loss of all her physical and mental faculties as we had been warned she might.
No words could ever truly describe this amazing woman. She was the kindest and most gentle person I have ever known. She was an extremely talented artist and craftswoman. She possessed a steely self-will and the most positive outlook. She saw any situation as a challenge and her motto was very much 'It's no good feeling sorry for yourself. You've just got to get on with it'.
Below is (a very badly photographed) one of Mum's beautiful botanical drawings. She was a founder member of the Birmingham Society of Botanical Artists and made many friends there.
I am still filled with disbelief and horror that she is no longer here. However, the 41 years that I had her as my Mother were the greatest gift that I will always cherish and appreciate.
I have had to grow up this year. At times I felt I was not ready and wanted to stamp my feet and shout.
Deciding to take voluntary redundancy at Easter was the best thing I could have done. I have had time to listen to my own feelings. I have had time to heal. I have also had time to explore.
This is what brought me to blogging. Through the wonders of technology I have connected with like-minded people who offer fantastic support to any who venture into their world.
Whilst there are certain aspects of 2007 that I would prefer to draw a thick black line under I feel there has been a lot of good in there too.
I have seen my husband in a new light and my love and respect for him has grown hugely. He has been an absolute tower of strength to me this year, never criticising when the place is a tip or when I have been angry or sad.
I have realised that we can rise above the bad times and find a new way through - often in the most unexpected ways.
I have realised that you can sink or swim - and I chose to swim even though it was often just a very poor doggy paddle!
I have found new friends and been given endless love and support by old ones.
Everything that has happened in the past year has now come together and made me feel that there is much to look forward to in 2008.
I am not going to set resolutions. I usually fail miserably....and quickly!
However, having followed this link on Julie's blog I am going to choose myself a word for 2008.
My keyword for 2008 will be 'discovery'.
Maybe I'll discover the real me again under all this padding that has accumulated round my bum and tum!
Maybe I'll discover the secret to a tidy house.
Maybe I'll discover how to be a more successful budgeter!!
It'll be fun whatever I discover :)
What will your word be?
We are having a quiet evening in with a bottle of bubbly to welcome in the sparkly New Year. Whatever you are up to I hope you have a wonderful time and a healthy, happy and crafty 2008.
Lots of love Lesley xxxxxxx