Thursday 15 September 2022

September 2022 #TBCSmiles 97 Months

It's been a heck of a month hasn't it? We thought 2 years of COVID was the wrong sort of adrenaline ride, then add on Brexit, stratospheric fuel prices, potential food shortages and visible climate change, and the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The nation is 'in mourning', which affects us all, but some more than others. What it definitely does for everyone, is remind us of our own loved ones.

Moment of reflection at 8pm Sunday 18th September 2022

After a period of not so great health, where age and life caught up with her, an older lady died. She had loved her homeland, her dogs, and her own garden. She also enjoyed trips around the UK and abroad, gathering mementoes to store safely on her return home. She collected stamps and coins, ceramics and expensive teddy bears. She had a lifetime of moments. She saw and learnt far more than she could ever pass on to others. There were tens of thousands of conversations, debates, and smiles at strangers. She didn't go out so much in the final months, and she made a conscious decision about how, and where, she chose to end her days. She left behind a house full of treasures, the most precious of which have little financial value, and a family for whom there will never ever be a replacement.

My Mum's casket wasn't quite so posh as the Queen's lead-lined hand-crafted oak box adorned with flags and jewels. My Mum chose cardboard. I love that. I have a hunch her stamp and coin collection wasn't quite so grand either..
My thoughts are with anyone who is mourning their matriarch, whenever that loss occurred. She represents strength, consistency and order, and removing her, whatever age you are, is like taking a keystone from a building. The building will usually still stand firm, but it will take some time to repair it's full strength, and it'll never be exactly the same again. 

It is the 15th, and we deserve some smiles. Thankfully you guys have provided us with some, because my own effort was pretty poor! Over the last 4 weeks we saw the last days of Summer, and the first days of the new school year. It really will be Christmas before we know it... 

A huge thank you to the photographers responsible for the following grinny pics - thank you to you and everyone else who used the hashtag #tbcsmiles to let us see your smiles. As always, anyone is welcome to join in, Don't be shy - and don't worry about perfect positioning, lighting and expensive cameras, happiness is what actually matters! 

Collage of 9 photos in a grid, with images of people smiling

These smiles were provided by the following Instagram photographers... 
BeautiesAndTheBibs / MrsAmyLFox / GoingOnAnAdventureBlog
CasaCostello / TobyGoesBananas / TheStrawberryFountain
ClaireyHarpo / Over40AndAMumToOne / Superbusymum

My family did make some smiles, honestly we did! I barely caught any on camera, so I've added a photo of a great barbeque and firepit evening we had (where we really did make lots of smiles), and my sister's wedding 20 years ago - and possibly the only time anyone took photos of my sister, my brother, my mother and I all together... 

Collage of 5 photos. My family (plus partners of 2 older kids), My partner and son with Sonja cat, a small garden barbeque and an older photo of 4 of us at my sister's wedding, as described above.

If you are struggling with the Queen's death, the gravity or overwhelming nature of the whole thing, step away. Close social media and the internet, read a book. Talk to people, and be there to be talked to. We all have different experiences, and the reason something is hard to cope with may have everything or nothing in common with what appears to be the issue... 

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