Thursday 15 December 2022

December 2022 #TBCSmiles 100 Months...

100 months is a milestone no-one wants to reach. 100 months since we lost Elspeth, and it still feels like yesterday and forever, all at once. Christmas is very hard for anyone who has lost someone who is important to them. 

home made Christmas biscuits in the shape of Christmas trees, with smarties for baubles

December is a time when it's very hard to keep focus on what we have, because we are constantly reminded of that which is missing. Don't expect more than you are capable of, and that will vary by the day (by the minute). It's okay to look after your own health, to be kind to yourself, to take the time you need to be able to cope. We've had 3 rough years, and we're all exhausted and a bit COVID-battered from it. That battering, on top of normal life events, plus this Winter's specific problems, can leave anyone feeling overloaded without anything else. Know your own limits, and focus on what's really important. It's less than you think... 

We didn't have many smiles this month, and so I have added my son, who was really very poorly last week. He has had some great NHS care, antibiotics and minor surgery, and is today a far happier chap - if a bit sore. Thank you to all of the NHS staff who have played a part in that - best of luck with the pay rise your deserve. 

I always said I'd stop the collages if I didn't have enough photos for a grid, so we'll see how it goes next month, but hopefully it has played it's part and brought some joy to a lot of people who needed it right then. A huge thank you to everyone who has ever joined in over the years - there are over 8,000 smiles on Instagram if you search the hashtag #TBCSmiles. As ever, anyone is welcome to join in - even if it turns out to be the last one! You are always welcome... 

9 of the biggest smiles this month, and for the first time, a genuine celebrity smile... 

Collage of 9 photos showing many people smiling

These smiles were shared by the following gorgeous people... so if you want to see the originals, nip over to Instagram... #TBCSmiles

ClaireyHarpo / MarvellousMrsP / GoingOnAnAdventureBlog
DDerbyDave / TheBrickCastle / SuperBusyMum (Dr Who)
GoingOnAnAdventureBlog / TippyTupps / ClaireyHarpo

My family made some smiles for me to capture and collect - I got a handful of them - mostly due to another 2 birthdays, and some cheeky snow fun... I have repeated the photo of my son, but heck I'd already made the collage, and I'm so proud of him. He was an excellent patient.  

Collage of my family smiling in various situations

From all of us here at The Brick Castle - have the best December that you possibly can. I hope it brings you joy, peace and many smiles. 

It was the truth when they said "It'll never be the same again",
It hasn't been. (Not for a second.)
 They were right when they said "I'm sorry. I'm sorry for your loss".
"The beauty, the music, art, exam grades", (The dry wit. The you.)

They said little else because...."What can you say?".
(I understand.) 

Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays. Is "Happy Christmas" even appropriate? 
"Okay?". ("Yeah, It's okay".)

But when the wisest among them looked deep into my eyes...
"You will be able to remember the good times and smile".
(They were right.)

I can smile, and grin, and my heart fills with warmth. And I laugh at the times when we couldn't stop giggling. 
And the tears in my eyes are not just for that loss... but for joy that we had her, and that she left marks on our lives so we can never forget her.

It was true when they said "There will always be a hole",
But they were right, they too knew, "It gets easier to live with". 

Strength to anyone who is finding Christmas hard this year.
You can never do better than your best, be gentle on yourself. 

Tiny cheeky snowman

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