I've been quite elusive recently, not posting, slow to respond or return visiting, not much reading, and generally I've been rubbish.
Truth is we have some serious family illness, the kind that doesn't have a happy ending. It happens in all families at one point or another and my husband and I have been extremely lucky in our lives in that it has so rarely touched us.
But life continues, the sun still shines, the birds still sing, and the season is giving one last glorious burst of beauty before the long winter sleep.
It makes me think, who is this woman I have known for 27 years? To me she is the mother in law I didn't choose who became my friend. To her family she is the laughing sister who teased and played, the girl in the uniform of the Womens Royal Airforce in the war, the blushing bride who left her home in the south to live with her husband and family in the northeast of England. She is Mother to two sons, she raised them, cared for them, taught them right from wrong. She was there to babysit her grandchildren, tell them stories of when she was a girl, with a handbag which always had sweets and pennies to bring a smile to their face. More recently she has been Great Grandma, always smiling, there to listen, still with the handbag of sweets and pennies.
But the world turns, and her smile is fading. To the children she will soon become a shadow, half remembered from pictures where she held them on her lap. The older ones will have clearer memories which will be sparked when someone says 'do you remember' at family occasions and celebrations, or when someone produces a handbag with sweets and pennies. She will remain in the hearts of her sons forever, this woman who made them what they are. He husband's heart is breaking as his soulmate and bride of over 66 years is leaving him behind, and wishes he could go too, and her brother and sister cry for their laughing playmate, who teased them, argued with them, and was there is all their childhood memories.
But the sun is still shining, the birds are still singing, autumn is still in it's final blaze of glory before the winter comes, and the world still turns.
So, no pics today, but maybe tomorrow, or the next day, I'm still here, just hurting.