Dear Mum and Dad.

I was so inspired by savoringsixtyandbeyond‘s post this morning that I am reposting a letter I wrote to my parent’s full of the words I wish I had said to them more when they were alive. I loved them ,we all did and do and they knew that.

Polesden  Lacey

© willowdot21

Dear Mum and Dad

I don’t think I ever made it clear enough how much I appreciated what you did for me. It is only now as a parent and grandma that I see what you must have gone through.

© willowdot21. Some but not all of the gang

Nine children you had, nine. You lost three but that was never your fault. How did you cope Mum it must have been hard, and Dad worse for you because in those days grieving was not the done thing. I lost three babies too I could not openly grieve either but you knew you silently gave me strength.

© willowdot21

I am in awe of how you always managed to feed and dress us all. There was always food on the table and somehow the doors were always open to waifs and strays who needed help. No one was ever turned away from our door without help of some kind. I can remember there being an endless stream of family friends, or distant cousins with problems arriving on our doorstep. Some stayed longer than others but no one was ever turned away. I really don’t know how we all fitted into that three bed roomed terraced council house, it must of been like the TARDIS.

Who helped you, did anyone or did you have to struggle through, learning haphazardly! You, no doubt had to and that is why you were both such helpful parents. I am amazed at the sacrifices you must of made to keep us in clothes, shoes and food.

Dad, you worked as a body maker for LT making seats on the buses and tubes! Off to work at 5am and home at 5pm for dinner then 6pm the BBC News … silence reined! You then spent most of your evenings in the front room either at the table or your desk with your ancient typewriter. You had men and women visiting you , sometimes one sometimes more all coming for help and advice because you were a union rep and congressman for the NUVB ( National Union Of Vehicle Builders). The last visitor was about 10.30pm. At work you were a union rep you gave so much to others and yet you always saved so much for us. When you retired you were tapped out the length of the factory. ( All the men stood by their machines spanner or hamer in hand and tapped you out of the building, a sign of respect. ) You only live a year or so after retirement.

© willowdot21

Mum you were such a gentle soul I miss you so, You left your body long before you died and that broke my heart because I could not reach you. I used to bring the boys to see you at the nursing home you spent your last years in… although I loved to see you it hurt that you did not know me and you did not see the boys growing up . I think you missed Dad so much that you left in soul leaving your shell behind.
Mum remember Wimbledon week we had salad every evening because you loved the Tennis , funny thing Mum I can’t stand tennis! 🙂

You have both been gone so long and I miss you both so. I need you here to give me the strength , kindness and love. See even now I am asking for your help. I am so selfish, I was so angry when you died Mum because you were not there to talk to me and help me, do you know it took seven years to accept that you had really gone. Then the flood gates opened.

I have so many wonderful memories of you both. Getting up at 4.30am and sneaking down stairs to find you dad shaving in the kitchen, we would share your breakfast, porridge or boiled egg before you went off to work. Going with you to Chiswick Park on the tube on a Saturday. You would have a haircut while I sat and watched then maybe you would buy me an ice cream. Walking Steve the dog in the park … you always called him Brother …because of your union work no doubt .

© willowdot21

Mum you were always there when I came home from school, always played with me , I was the youngest of the family and by a good while so I was almost like an only child but not because everyone else was around but I was too young to join them . I remember you telling me stories and teaching me to knit sew and crochet sadly all of which I am useless at! As I grew you helped me with life and although I never lived that near to you you always came to my aid if I needed you . When our first boy was born premature and unable to breathe you came down to stay with me when P finally came home from hospital. He did not know how to suck so you helped me to spoon feed him until we got him to use a teat. So many many things to thank you for .

Mum and Dad you took all six of us and taught us everything you knew. How to face the world, how to love how to be friendly, caring and honest. I like to think that you are watching over us all and hopefully being proud of us…. well mostly. . I like to think that our beautiful sister Mary is with you both after horrendous illness and death five years ago.

© willowdot21 Mary sitting and me.

I miss you and I love you !

willow xxxxxxxx

Ritu’s Book Release and Chickpea Curry Lit Series.

Today I am delighted to have the one and only Ritu Bhathal here to discuss her book Marriage Unarranged. Where it’s going and how it has grown.

.

Firstly welcome Ritu it’s so good to see you again. I am always so excited to have you visit!  Now tell me how do you feel about tackling some taboo subjects in this book?  The broken engagement, the shattering of family honour and the fact that your girl is so definitely in the right and saw the light in time.

Thank you for the lovely welcome, Willow, it is good to be back here! You know, I never intended to be a writer who writes about more serious issues, but as this story took hold, I realised that I could use this book as a platform for bringing some of these taboo subjects into the public eye, but without being overly serious. I don’t mean to gloss over them, but to highlight them in a manner that is easily accessible for all.

I get that Ritu and I think you have found that fine line to walk. Would you like chai or coffee and of course some cake… Hubby has even made some scones and we have clotted cream and jam. 

I’d never turn down a cuppa, Willow, after all, I am Indian,where chai is one of the most popular beverages, born in Britain, where we all love a quintessential cuppa, with connection to Kenya which is also a tea-growing country! And scones? Yes please… please let’s not argue over which comes first, the jam or the cream… it all goes down the same way!

Lol yes indeed it does, we don’t need to argue the cream and jam…no more than we would about whether the toilet roll is hung on the holder to come from above or below. Now you have Aashi’s elder brother who I feel has something he is hiding. Do you think you could discuss this with us? 

Dear Sunny, the gentle, but protective older brother of my main character, Aashi will actually be the focal character in book two. Again, something which showed a hint of colour during, and at the end of Marriage Unarranged is something I felt would be another taboo subject to tackle. I have sown the seeds about him questioning his sexuality… Book two will reveal all! Shhh!

Right my lips are sealed! More tea, another scone Ritu?

You are spoiling me, Willow! I’d better leave another scone, but I may take one home with me. Another cuppa would be perfect!

Yes of course, do take a few scones with you they are not bad are they?

So many big issues to address I think you are very brave. This one, stand-alone book has just taken on wings, with so many twists and turns, so many surprises! Sis…where do you see everyone going next. I for one can’t wait.

Thank you, Sis! Yes, I never, for one minute, thought that my initial venture into writing a novel would result in a series, but if I am honest with you, my characters speak to me, rather loudly, and when I finished, there were other secondary characters who wanted their story told… as well as readers who wanted to know more, so that is why the second in the series will focus on Sunny, and the third will be based on Bali, Aashi’s other brother… and I have another meaty storyline for that one too, based on some personal experience, but it’s not my story, it’s theirs! 

There could even be spin-offs or novellas, but we have to wait and see.. let me get book two written, first!

Oh! This mystery man: he is so perfect but he has baggage too. I love that you have tackled so much that is taboo. You have bought it to the front and fore and I love that. 

We all have baggage, don’t we, Sis? Aashi’s ex-fiance is an example of the way some people view their sons, and how he can do no wrong, even though he clearly has. Her new love interest, Arjun, is, in my eyes, perfectly imperfect! Again, his ‘flaw’, though we shouldn’t view it as such, is something that many in our community shun, so why not add it to the whole Taboo spice mix I have going on!

But, I must say one thing. It is important to remember that this story is set in 2000, so there are some aspects that may not be relevant to the thinking of today’s youth. Think of it as a Modern, Historical, Desi Story – Chickpea Curry Lit at its finest!

I can do that, yes I can. Hey, shall we open a bottle of wine and we can toast your future 💜💜

Why, that sounds delightful, Sis! Thank you, so much for inviting me over! Cheers!

NaBloPoMo : Dementia , Alzheimer’s Cruel Game.

image from here

They are not in there they have gone.
Don’t search for the beautiful light that once shone,
They are not themselves, their soul has fled
Gone to us, to all purposes dead.
How cruel, how mean, how so unkind
To leave a feeble body and take a beautiful mind.
There are no words that can truly describe
The pain and fear of those trapped inside.
They can not reason they know no rhyme
They are gone and we are left behind.
Recognition in the eyes is sadly mockery.
This is no longer them, they are not who they used to be.
Screams of anger, voices harsh with fists of hate
You try so hard, you have so much on your plate.
There is no more that you can do.
They may be gone, still you try to be true.

Song Lyric Sunday: 17/11/19. Don’t.

This week Jim Adams our talented host for Song Lyric Sunday has said that this week’s prompt is : November 17, 2019 – Did/Didn’t/Do/Don’t/Does/Doesn’t.

This week Jim’s prompt for us set me in mind of my dear friend Karen who died of cancer of the osphagus. We were close friends, I was not long out if hospital having broken my back badly , for the second time, when I got the news from Karen that she was ill.

The reason I have chosen Don’t stop me now by Queen will become apparent at the end of this post.

Don’t Stop Me Now” is a song by the British rock band Queen from their 1978 album Jazz and released as a single in 1979. Written by lead singer Freddie Mercury, it was recorded in August 1978 at Super Bear Studios in Berre-les-Alpes (Alpes-Maritimes), France, and is the twelfth track on the album. More information here.

I hope no one minds me making this so personal but this is Karen’s song.

To Karen

❤
❤
❤
❤

Karen

I rang her every day for over a year,

I begged to come see her but she would not let me near.

We laughed with each other but more often we cried.

I wanted to be with with her but her fears, this to me denied.

I begged her to fight it she told me she was tired

I nagged and bullied she said I was fired!

Things never got better she slipped from my grasp

I tried hard to see her but she still refused, so I did as she asked.

Then finally the day came and I got the call

At last I got to visit , not that she knew at all.

I talked of blue skies and beaches and clouds

I did not whisper I told her out loud.

She was struggling for breath then I caught her eye in a moment of clarity

I told her I  loved her she flashed at me   “no pity!”

Her hands were dirty her nails were lined black

Her pain and the squalor are the memories that keep coming back.

I spent four days in her company

I could not believe what I had to see.

I hated  her suffering as she breathed her last,

Sadly these horrid memories stuck in my mind, the ones which I cannot get past.

It was a foggy freezing December day

When we all met at the Crematorium  our goodbyes to say.

To a larger than life, loud colourful girl

Who with a flash of her eyes could set our working day in a whirl.

I sat there sobbing but she had to have the last word

“Get a grip you silly cow” were the words that I heard.

Then as her coffin disappeared for her final bow

She went out  with  a flourish to Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.

Karen 1958 –  2010

Lest We Forget.

They were so brave, so very young Their journey had not yet begun. Blindly they marched into the guns To a last roll call at the setting sun. They had family and loved ones They all marched off as friends They left their homes full of hope Most would not be back again.

White Poppy Floral Background Field Red

They pulled the gun carriages until they dropped

They carried messages and they got shot.

They searched out the unexploded mines

They saved lives a thousand times.

Spare a thought for the horse, pigeon, donkey dog and many more

Remember them, they all help us in times of war

Image from Pixabayhttps://pixabay.com/photos/flower-white-poppy-2684182/
Why
Argue
Both were brave
Each had their own
Principles to up
Hold. Neither less than bold.
One would carry a weapon
The other a stretcher, no gun
Both men died for their own held beliefs
They were both lost and that loss brought much grief.
———

From the beginning of time up until now and way in to the future war prevails. I believe we will never be free of war.

What we can do is remember those who have given their health or their lives for us to hopefully live better lives. I say Thank You.

We must never forget.

Ice Cold

All ties, torn and broken I carry my heart in a jar

I search for you, eyes downcast, I follow your scent from afar.

I told you I would do it, rip my heart out for you in a beat

I have cleaned it and pickled it and it is now ready for you to eat.

The wind blows through the forest ice cold it comes from the north.

I no longer feel it’s icy chill as half naked on my quest for you I set forth.

Life’s blood dripping from my wound, my eyes hold a dead glassy stare

My body aches for you my my soul screams out in pain,my hopes go nowhere.

The tiny, tight pleats on my dress reflect the meanness of your being

My bared breast a reminder of my love and nurturing

Free, unfettered there for you to suckle from, and hold

But you have cast me off unwanted abandoned to the cold.

**********

An old poem of mine, renamed and revamped from 2013.

Song Lyric Sunday: River/Stream/Creek/Brook

It is Sunday and so it’s time for another episode of SLS Helen Vahdati’s This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time Song Lyric Sunday. Brought to us by NewEpicAuthor

The prompt for this week is “River/Stream/Creek/Brook” and these are all pathways for water.

Rules and Pingback here

I have chosen one of my favourite songs by Carly Simon, Like a River. The song means a lot to me. In the song a daughter is talking to her dead mother. Telling her how much she misses her, how the family have coped with her passing and how they wish she was still with them .

My mum has been gone for over 30yrs but sometimes it still feels like yesterday. I agree with every word in this song it is so beautiful.

“Like A River”

Dear mother the struggle is over now
And your house is up for sale
We divided your railway watches
Between the four of us
I fought over the pearls
With the other girls
But it was all a metaphor
For what was wrong with us
As the room is emptying out
Your face so young comes into view
And on the back porch is a well-worn step
And a pool of light you can walk into

I’ll wait no more for you like a daughter,
That part of our life together is over
But I will wait for you, forever
Like a river…

Can you clear up the mystery of the Sphinx?
Do you know any more about God?
Are you dancing with Benjamin Franklin
On the face of the moon?
Have you reconciled with Dad?
Does the rain still make you sad?
Last night I swear I could feel you
Moving through my room
And I thought you touched my feet
I so wanted it to be true
In my theater there is a stage
And a footlight you can step into…

I’ll wait no more for you like a daughter,
That part of our life together is over
But I will wait for you, forever
Like a river…

In the river I know I will find the key
And your voice will rise like the spray
In the moment of knowing
The tide will wash away my doubt
‘Cause you’re already home
Making it nice for when I come home
Like the way I find my bed turned down
Coming in from a late night out.
Please keep reminding me
Of what in my soul I know is true

Come in my boat, there’s a seat beside me
And two or three stars we can gaze into…

I’ll wait no more for you like a daughter,
That part of our life together is over
But I will wait for you forever
Like a river…

I’ll never leave, always just a dream away
A star that’s always watching
Never turn away
We’ll never leave, always just a thought away
A candle always burning
Never turn away
The moon will hide, the tree will bend
I’m right beside you
I’ll never turn away

Lyrics from A to Z Lyrics

Here is another beautiful song about rivers this one is about lost love, mistakes and loneliness at Christmas. It is by another wonderful singer songwriter Joni Mitchell. I wish I had a River I could skate away on. Words in the video on this one .

Naani : Remember Them.

Image from BBC News

Shoulder to shoulder

They stand. Far too many

To count. They fought

In the air, on sea and land.

Image from Pixabay

What do you See? Oct/9/2018

This is my entry for Hélène Vaillant’s “What do you see? Weekly challenge

Weekly challenge

Here is the prompt photo. I see three generations looking out for a lost love taken by the sea. Turned to stone as they wait. I also see a family pet.

oie_q1eizCbSDqWE

They wait patiently

Watching ever hopeful of

A return from sea

A family ripped apart

Turned to stone but still with heart.

Essence Duplete. Day24

Image from Pixabay

Words can not be unsaid

Lost the plot, my heart dead.

********************

A dark reflection I

Life’s stark, away hopes fly.

**********************

Day 24 of Jane Dougherty’s Daily Essence Poem Challenge.

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