As life tends to do, the last week or so has thrown up a variety of things, both good and bad.
Before things get difficult to write, let me kick off with the good side. I've started voluntering at a local Oxfam charity shop, done four shifts to date and it's been a lot of fun. I'm learning new things (always a bonus for me), meeting some super people, and being utterly amazed, in a good way and in a WTF way, at some of the things discovered in the donation bags. Seriously folks, there are some things that really, really shouldn't be donated.
Another good thing is that my weight seems to be creeping, ever so slowly, downwards and the scales reported 55kg once again this morning. I'm not counting my chickens as it could just as easily skip back up again, but I'm quietly hopeful.
The not so good stuff is a lot harder to write about as just thinking about it makes me tearful and angry. On a minor note I'm still looking for paid work, but my ongoing angst over that pales into insignificance given the news I've been hearing of late.
It seems like for some reason (time of life related, perhaps) that this is shaping up to be a particularly bad season, a crappy year. Several of my dearly loved friends have recently been given seriously bad news and are now finding they have heavy loads to bear.
In the main, these loads have taken the form of that bitch cancer. I won't, for their sake, go into any detail but my friends are having a truly horrible time, either themselves or with their immediate families - husbands, parents, siblings. For some, the bitch hid itself and didn't show its face so that it has been detected way too late - for them the outlook is grim indeed.
It makes me feel pretty helpless as I'm so far away from them I can't even give them a hug. I can be, and am, there on the phone, or by text or email, if and when they need to talk (and have the energy), and I'm grateful to be able to do that at least. But on a practical level I can't do zip and that's hard. I can't just pop around with a home cooked meal to take a burden off them, or do a bit of shopping, or... All I can really do is let them know they are in my thoughts and 'prayers' and be there if they need to unload.
I came across a quote from Chief Dan George which I feel is pretty appropriate just at the moment, so I've shared it below.
May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears.
And above all, may silence make you strong.
Finally, I mentioned a long while back that I'd someday post a picture of the tattoo I had done after I lost my darling Mum. Well, seems like the time, so here it is.
Onwards, as ever... but with underlying sadness.