Monday, December 31, 2007

A voyage of discovery

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


the vicious chicken said...

Beautiful post, Mrs Moogsmum. All best wishes to you for a much sunnier 2008 - and I hope that wherever 'discovery' takes you, you find lots of happiness on the way.
love, VCxx

dottycookie said...

Hugs to you; I hope 2008 is very much easier and more peaceful for you.

We will be spending this evening the same way as you are; and I'm of to find my word now!

Monkee Maker said...

Oh my gosh, what a moving post, and lovely words about your Mum. We can see where you get your artistic skills from - what a beautiful painting.

Have a fantastic night in - we're doing the same - and enjoy your voyage of discovery in 2008!

(I think my word shall be Procrastinate. Suits me down to the ground!)


Kitty said...

Hello Lesley ... I've been reading your blog for some time, but have been tempted out of my 'comment closet' by this lovely post.

I'm guessing your mum had a glioblastoma multiforme. My dad had the same thing in 2000. It was 10 weeks between him being admitted to hospital for tests, and his funeral. It is a horrible, horrible form of cancer.

I'm so sorry for your loss, but would like to assure you that time will pass and you will remember the good bits more than the bad bits. Eventually.

I have enjoyed your blog very much and would like to wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.


Lucy Locket-Pocket said...

That was a truly beautiful post Lesley and a wonderful tribute to a wonderful mother. Her art work is amazing and you have clearly inherited her creative skills. I hope 2008 is a truly fantastic year for you. I'm so glad that blogland made you my friend. Lucy xxx

Ali said...

What a thoughtful and lovely post Lesley. I look forward to waving to you on your voyages through 2008 and sharing your discoveries. Happy New Year!

Patti said...

What a lovely post.

Your mum was so talented. That is a beautiful picture. And she sounds like a pretty brave lady too. As are you

Cheers for 2008

cmoon said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I hope it has helped to ease the sadness that you feel, and thank you for your lovely blogs they are so open and natural I feel like I know you as a friend.
I hope you discover something new every day of 2008.*

Stephanie Pettengell said...

Hugs to you and lots of good wishes going your way. A very moving post, such is it now said, move on and BE HAPPY.
Have a Happy New Discovery,

Jodie said...

What a year you have had moogsmum. I hope 2008 is full of discovery for you and we all get to follow along on your blog. I am off to find a word.
This is a lovely post about your mum, beautiful words.

Julie said...

Thank you for sharing this very beautiful post Lesley. You are a beautiful person in yourself too, your Mum would be very proud of you and your lovely family. I hope you continue to heal through 2008 and that you will continue to draw joy and comfort from your creativity.

PS My friend is so grateful for the Dammit Doll! It has had sterling use already lol
love J xx

Lina said...

What an inspiring post Lesley. Hope 2008 is good to you.

Michaela said...

Lovely post - made me cry.
May 2008 be a much happier year for you and let's hope you discover all sorts of wonderful things you don't even know about yet.

Gina said...

A wonderful heartfelt post Lesley - sad but so full of strength. It is very evident that you have inherited many of your mum's wonderful qualities. I'm so pleased to have "met" you this year and send warmest wishes for a fantastic year of "discovery" in 2008.
Gina xxx

Bethany Hissong said...

I loved your thoughts about your mom because I see a lot of the same things in you! I don't even "know" you but I feel like I have a friend across the ocean and I look forward to seeing what your day is all about every time I read your blog! I think you help me keep my life in perpective and look at it with more of a humorous angle! ;) I love your word for the year... I think that should be a word for life!! Happy New Year!

Two Crofters said...

i to am moving into 2008 leaving a lost friend behind in 2007.
it is hard, but like you i am looking forward to moving on with happy memories and giving thanks for the time i was allowed with my wonderful friend.
lets take the steps together via blogging!
take care
tracy x

Willow said...

I can truly understand, having lost my mom in 1994 to cancer that metastesized to her brain. I still think of her almost daily.
My word for 2008 is hope-- this year I will become a grandmother and I will walk with my oldest son through a military chaplain deployment in the Middle East. Here's to hope and discovery.

Leanne said...

Dear Lesley what a lovely post read with a tear in my eye. Take care and wishing you a wonderful 2008.

Leigh said...

Lesley, this is a very moving and wonderful post. I will be wishing you a year filled with discovery, love and the happiness that you so deserve.

Garden girl said...

what a heartfelt post..the picture is beautiful and your Mum was obviously hugely talented. Good luck with your word, I am now going to sit here a while and ponder one for myself. Happy New Year.

French Knots said...

What a moving post, it's made me cry. I still miss my Mum so much and it's been 10 years.
Glad to have found you through blogging, hope 2008 is a wonderful voyage of discovery. xx