It has now been 5 months since Elspeth died, and although we've had Christmas and New Year, a birthday, return to school and everything else, it seems as if I wrote my 4 months post only last week. It seems she's been gone less time even than it did then, it feels more as if she could still be here, alive, in her room playing her guitar or hammering on her keyboard.
Christmas was, in the basic sense of the word, hard. It went well, we did it, the children all had a good time and Santa delivered, but it was exhausting. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and any other possible way, exhausting. We're wiped out now, yet life has to carry on, work has to be done, the washing still has to be cleaned and meals need to be bought and cooked.
I remember first seeing this picture a couple of years ago and as I've lived through the last 18 months it has come into my head so many times. That is me. We're making ourselves eat regularly because we need to stay on the
ball, but I'm just not hungry very often, so
preparing meals is really tedious. Food doesn't excite me at the moment. We still have a big box of sweet and savoury snacks we bought for Christmas (even
the teenagers haven't been really eating much).
The lady in the picture is me, every afternoon when I think of teatime. I don't want to do it, the effort seems so much, but I do. I feed everyone, I eat something, my partner eats something, it's a success. Maybe that's the point, and that picture is not as negative as all that. If you think about it, she's looking pretty organised. She's dressed,
there was space on the chair for her to sit down and there aren't any children arguing. Maybe she's doing okay.
I don't have any words of wisdom or advice to other people in my situation, I wish I did, but I know Christmas and the day to day is only working through sheer luck and determination. And I know that we have to have a focus to get us through the next few months, and Christmas is just too far away - although we have already planned a fairly spectacular Christmas LEGO Village for next December - but we can't and shouldn't wish time away like that. The little boys are too little, they change so quickly, the teenagers are all doing exams and this is an important year all round. We need to see our children grow up, and savour every moment.
I'll leave you with some smiles I collected over the last month...and our newly 21 year old's broken wrist, which he acquired on Dec 29th by slipping on ice on the way home from work...
And a comedy fall from our youngest showman during a family photo....
We miss her....