It is one year ago since my lovely Dad died.

At that point I lost my father, my advisor and my friend.

Dad did not think I spoke rubbish (the word my husband used was harsher but they do say you should not swear on blogs)  or if he did he was always ready to listen.

He did not recoil and accuse me of being boring,  He did not look for a better daughter.  When I was scared, he understood.

He would have worked himself into the ground to support me right until the end.

He believed in me and he was patient with me.

So I sit here alone and I cry.

Tomorrow, because I am the only one who will do it, I will do the school run. 

I will watch all the other mums chatting merrily and not know how to join in.

I will come home and confront the housework and feel that it is never-ending.

And despite it being made clear to me tonight how very unsupportive I am as a wife, I will see if I can find any job leads for my husband because, frankly, it is a dirty job but somebody has got to do it.  Or maybe, shock horror, I will look for work for myself.  Knowing me, I will do both because one thing I always am is proactive and perhaps I need to start thinking about what I want rather than looking out for others.

Two years ago, I set up the Groovy Mums initiative because I felt hopeless and knew only I could change that and preferably with the back-up of supportive mums who might feel a little the same way.

This weekend, I got a MAD Blog Award for “Outstanding Contribution”.  I stood there in my charity shop clobber looking about four times the size of the other women on the platform.  I reflected on how they have changed the world in truly inspirational ways.  I am different from them because the people who earned me the outstanding contribution are the groovy mums who got on their bikes and got out of bad relationships, found new jobs. and pursued their dreams.   My award is theirs really.

Of course, when the tears stop, I will dig deep and carry on.  There are glimmers out there, enough to convince me my future may be bright and let’s face it I have 3 lovely children to support.  And they, like Dad, love me warts and all.

And when I wobble or I am judged harshly because I am not “fun”, I will think of my Dad and how he would tell me to “Put your shoulders back, Cath.  You are as good as any of them.”

And despite being sorely tempted to give up blogging altogether, I won’t do that because it is my mum’s legacy and sometimes the only friend I have.











6 thoughts on “Anniversaries

  1. You are never, ever alone. Sometimes you stand in a room surrounded by sound, mess, bustle and feel more lonely than when you’re standing on a beach with nothing before you but an endless horizon – but because of who you are, because you are so loved, because you are so good and special, you are never alone.

    I am one of many, many women who feel better because of you. Who are less lonely because of you. At that beach, staring out at that endless nothing, I am by your side, your hand in mine. You are not alone.

    Also, kick him in the nuts and tell him to nob the nob off. Unsupportive my fat spanx busting arse.

  2. I agree with Eliza, you are amazing. You have helped so many people, that it was you have been nominated and given the award!

    You are special to so many people and your dad was right, you are as good (if not better) than anyone else.

    Be kind to yourself xx

  3. My Mum died last year and I remember having similar thoughts on the anniversary, but then I realised I was being silly, this was not how she would want me to act. She took the opportunities offered to her and made the most of them and she would want me to learn from her example and not mope about the not perfect things. I admit I haven’t taken much action yet, but I hope next year and the year after I use the anniversary for me to look at my life and the opportunities I may not have noticed.

    I’ve only recently ‘met’ you so can’t comment on ‘you’ (apart from I enjoy reading your writing). But it is clear that you are not finding things easy at the moment so the only thing I can think to say is take pleasure in completing the little things. The school runs needs to be done, and you did it; the house needed cleaning and you did it. Those things need doing, so use them as something to focus on and take pride in what you achieve.

    I’m struggling to find the correct words here to express what I’m trying to say, but I want to say something rather than nothing, so I hope it makes sense and it doesn’t sound preachy.

    PS Congratulations on the award

  4. I think you should feel fortunate that you’ve had such a supportive mum & dad right up until the end. I’m struggling with a mother who has dementia & it is hell. I’ve been looking after her since 1998 & she’s quite bad now, but I’m in the dog house because I’ve booked her into day care (told her it’s lunch) next Monday for the first time. I’m an evil & cruel daughter she says & is refusing to go. Doesn’t matter that I’m coping with breast cancer. So I admire anyone who has had a good relationship with their parents till the end.

  5. I have only just found your blog – don’t give up. I am enjoying your honest way of writing. It is only human to feel despair sometimes but as you say, dust yourself off and keep going. People like me depend on you. You are very special.

  6. Oh Kate I wish I had known you a year ago so that I could have offered a shoulder back then. But I’m blessed to know you now and so today I offer a shoulder that you always be able to lean on. And that’s not out of gratitude but because I really like you, Kate, and I like to think we are friends.
    The world can seem a very lonely place, and when you are in that space it is so hard to see your way out of it. But you have up there, in black and white, just above this box, then evidence of the love and friendship.
    Your Dad must leave a huge gap in your life, he sounds like an incredible man. And what a legacy he has left to the world in you. Take care and you know where I am. x
    PS and I’m with Eliza re your husband 😉

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