Hello my happy friends.
The school holidays are over for a few days as there are only 7 teaching days this month! Hurrah I hear the children (and teachers) cry. We spent the first week of the holidays at our caravan in St Andrews. It was a relaxing break, more so than I had planned as Kirsten was sick. She started throwing up on Mothers Day just after bringing me breakfast in bed. Poor girl was really unwell and had to miss the trip to Mama Mia that was arranged for my mum, sister, Kirsten and I. She then had headaches, a temperature, sore throat and generally feeling rubbish with no energy for rest of the week.
No one likes seeing their child ill but if you have already lost a child to an illness that seemed to nothing more that a flu virus but turned out to be deadly meningitis, then it can be an anxious time. For more info on signs and symptoms of meningitis please check out the Meningitis Trust
I make a conscious effort to keep things in perspective, I am vigilant but not paranoid. I don't want Kirsten to have a trip to the doctor every time she sneezes, I can't wrap her in cotton wool. 2 weeks on and she's still not 100% so it's time to see the doctor now.
It's a lovely way to thank your mum for all she does for you isn't it? It can be a hard day for so many though, my mother in law was knocked down and killed before Calum was a year old so it's hard for my husband not having his mum here. I have a couple of very close friends who have also lost their mothers, 1 a few years ago and 1 only months. When grief is raw then these special holidays are difficult times. I remember the first mother's`day after Calum died I just went to bed and cried exhausted by the grief and angry that he wasn't there to share the day. Time has made a difference, I made a decision last year to put up a card that Calum made for me alongside the one Kirsten made me. I did the same this year - Kirsten's card changes but Calum's stays the same. I am now able to take a different perspective on Mothers day - it is about celebration. I can give thanks for the time my mother in law was here, having my mum around and also being a mum to my two wonderful children. I choose to look at the positives and remember the good times.
So for all those who may be facing birthdays, anniversaries, special reminders of the people who are no longer with us, I say have hope. I found that the run up to these days were often worse than the actual days themselves. The anticipation of how bad I would feel made me feel bad for longer. As the first and second round of anniversaries passed I was able relax a bit more and spend more time remembering the happy times we shared on those days. I still miss my mother in law and Calum and always will, I know that they would approve of my point of view.
Last week saw my first Happiness Club event in Glasgow. There were 7 lovely people there, who created their own "Bags of Happiness". We explored what makes us happy and how to use the resources that we all have to cope with the down times. It was a very positive evening and I had great feedback so it will now become a regular monthly club. Each month we will explore an idea (or 2) connected to happiness and try out some practical exercises. It's important to me that these sessions give people tools to use to improve their happiness. It's also a great way to spend an evening, share experiences, laugh and enjoy life so please spread the word. I would love to see the Club grow and expand into other places. If you'd like more info then please post me a message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally for tonight - here is a challenge to you all. Do something nice for someone, be kind to them just because you can. If you know someone is facing a difficult anniversary then acknowledge it. Encourage them talk to you about their loved one, share the happy memories and let them cry if they want to. The person may be gone from sight but not from the heart. Thank you to all my wonderful friends and family who let me share my happy memories.
With love, laughter and kindness