The memory box

Folding the letter she gently smoothed the sheet of paper under her fingers feeling beneath them dryness of age that had affected it. Eyes too poor to read it now, nevertheless she knew every word by heart having devoured it so often over the years, now carefully stored with so many others and only now seeing light of day.

HARRY!

Closing her eyes his face flashed into her mind, hazy now as she struggled after so long to keep his features sharp and clear, she was losing him to time she knew that and the thought made her smile sadly. So long ago yet brief moments of clarity would invade her thoughts, his smile cutting through the fog and making it seem like only yesterday and then he was gone again leaving her with only these tangible memories. 

Sighing softly she replaced the pages into the large carved wooden box, fingers brushing a small packet as she did so drawing it slowly towards her before cupping it gently in her wrinkled palms and clasping it to her chest.  ‘Not long my love’ she thought to herself ‘Soon, it shall be soon’

Leaving the packet unopened she returned it quickly to the box, thrusting it inside as guilt burned and she slightly afraid of being discovered although she knew she would not be, nobody came any more. A splash of bright colour caught her eye and she reached towards a garish painted picture of a child’s hand with crude scrawl underneath depicting the artist’s name.

Ella.

Another smile, eyes warming briefly before the light quickly faded, no Ella was long gone and this just yet another memory of things come and gone in her many years of being. Sadness less sharp as each year went by panged momentarily before she dismissed it and returned the picture to lie back along its fellow inhabitants of the cluttered old box. 

Her worn gaze swept over the small grizzled teddy bear and the beribboned letters, oh she had been so popular in her day with her many suitors all begging for a smile, a glance, some sign of recognition from her but almost from the first she had only had eyes for him. Sweeping an errant lock of hair from her forehead she leaned further over the box disturbing the contents in her hunt for the one thing she sought. She needed to find it, to bring him close again before her failing mind refused to remember what she was looking for and left her in that absent place where nothing mattered any more. 

There! There it was.  Her heart leapt as she found the one thing she wanted and fingers rapidly cleared the dust from the front of the small framed picture. Lovingly she gazed at the sun bleached photograph, yellow with age, showing a young couple smiling shyly at each other.He resplendent in some bygone uniform showing duty to his country and she delicately pretty in florals and lace, bonnet trailing from fingers gently clasped between his.

Harry.

Even as she gazed the fog came and eyes clouded over, picture already forgotten falling into her lap and memories of him vanishing like mist in the sun. In the shadows of the room a figure waited, brass buttons shining on a uniform of old, boyish face echoing the love reflected earlier on hers. He could wait, he’d waited such a long time that a little longer would not hurt. 

‘Soon my love’ he smiled ‘ i shall see you soon’ 

We wish you a merry christmas

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Christmas. The most famous widely known holiday of the year.With less that a week to go  most of us really are on the home stretch and getting rather into the holiday spirit. No doubt you have your presents wrapped and a gaily twinkling tree adorns one corner of a room in your home. Your turkey is ordered and invites have gone out to auntie doris and uncle bert, after all someone has to entertain grandma right?

Im sure you picture everyone seated around the table, passing food from hand to hand as you all squabble over who has more potatoes than whom. Wrapping paper colorfully strewn amongst the piles of presents despite a frazzled mothers best attempts to clear it up. Yes im sure this christmas scene is one we are all very familiar with, isnt it? Or is it?

My thoughts drift to christmases past when  they were so far removed from the merry scene i described. Memories of christmases alone, sometimes with a christmas dinner for one and sometimes with nothing more adventurous than a sandwich in a cold single room. Interminably long the day stretched and back when i was young i cried, i am not ashamed to admit that i did, never will you feel more lonely than on a christmas day alone. Older solo christmases i did not cry, for i had learned by then that i was still fortunate, much more so than some. 

Having experienced life on the streets and the harsh relentless life it affords my thoughts turn to those poor souls as soon as the weather turns cold. Suddenly presents and turkey do not seem so important and i remind myself that despite a hard year i actually have much to be grateful for. Had my life not changed the way it did and taken a more happy route, i could still have been one of those unfortunate people and not where i am now. While you are eating your turkey let your thoughts dwell a moment on those with no families, the elderly or the young. Those who will spend christmas alone forgotten and unloved. 

Yes christmas is a happy time and a time for giving yet so few of us see or care about those who need it most. Next time you pass a homeless person begging for change ask yourself can i REALLY not spare any? Would i really want someone to refuse to meet my eye and hurry past if that were me sitting there in their place? Oh we’ve all heard the stories, how the street dwellers spend any money given on drink and drugs, but who are we to decide how another spends their money. In truth in their place would you not want to drink and block out the reality of your existence? i’m sure many of you would. 

Next time you pass someone worse off than you, reach out a hand and help. Say a special thank you this christmas, not for the gifts and the food but for the fact that you are lucky enough to have a life that includes them. 

Merry christmas to one and all 

Wishing for the moon

Come on lets face it when was the last time you sat down, looked around and smiled because you were happy with what you have? How many times have you been guilty of saying i want? Most of us are so guilty of perpetual ‘i want’ ing that we forget to look at what we actually do have we merely spend our times thinking of all the things we do not. For many that long road from where we have been and where we are now is so long that we forget how to look back along it and remember the journey and the achievements along the way and ultimately celebrate them. A recent quote i read was perhaps most apt and fitting at this point merely stating

‘Appreciate what you have, for if you do not then you can be sure somebody else will’

I have been told i am an unusual woman and perhaps this is so since i will never ask anything of anyone that they do not freely give and whilst i have dreams and aspirations like anyone else i am also mindful to be happy with what i have. If it comes down to a choice between pushing for more when it is not freely offered, risking losing everything, or being grateful that i actually have it in the first place then i will always take the latter option. Perhaps the trick is to remember, especially in respect of relationships, how things were before you had that person who means so much to you and ask yourself do i really want to go back to how i was before? Anyone who loves someone would always answer with a resounding no, of course not and why would you.

Yet despite all this so many are so willing to do exactly that and throw away everything that makes them happy just upon that quest to demand more than is already given. I guess for the most part you do not know what you have until it is gone and often once lost it cannot be retrieved. Perhaps then we would all do as well to sometimes remind ourselves of what life would be like without all the things we have. It never hurts to count your blessings every once in a while, even if you forget they are blessings, for one thing you can be sure of is someone else would value and want what you do not.

Yes an unusual woman i may be but also one who has spent a lot of time waiting for things to appreciate to come along. I can see clearly along my road no matter how long it gets and never will i take for granted those happy things  that make me smile. Offer me things freely and i am often wise enough to take them but never will i ask for them for myself. When you have what you’ve always wanted you do not throw it away trying to get something better for the grass is never greener on the other side it is merely a trick of the light. Never be guilty of crying for the moon to the point that you forget to live in the here and now for you might find one day that here and now is exactly where you wish you were.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but all the better when you do not need it. 

A Reason To Be Missed

Last night fighting sleep i was doing my usual channel hopping on the tv. I get this way quite often being really to tired to watch anything in particular but reluctant to actually turn it off but this time a programme caught my eye and i found myself watching avidly.

Truth be told it was actually a rather sad and upsetting programme and ordinarily i would have switched channels and avoided it but i found the people within it really captured me and kept me there long after i would have left and opted for sleep. The programme itself was about people who die alone and who are never discovered for quite some time and i watched in shocked disbelief as the varying tales unfolded. A 58 year old man was discovered last year after lying dead in his flat for two years, forgotten and unmissed by anyone. I’m a soft hearted soul anyway but this upset me greatly, how sad that this gentleman had been in a position where he had passed on and yet nobody noticed. How? 

Where were his friends?? Where were his family??

It seems he had neither, being rather reclusive in nature and this in itself is the saddest thing of all. I am sure i am far from alone in hoping that when my time comes i will leave behind people who will miss me,notice that i am gone and that i have in some way touched at least one person in such a way as to cause them to mourn my loss. I should feel i had lived my life very badly indeed if this were not the case. 

Worse still the story of an elderly lady who had lain dead in her flat for 5 years before anyone discovered her. 5 years!!! Who was this poor lady and why was she so alone? What on earth had caused her to come to such a tragic end? It seems nobody knew, neither the lady herself or anything about her. How horrific that a person can just vanish from the face of the earth and be unnoticed by a single living soul. How lonely an existence this must have been and my heart went firmly out to her yet i cannot imagine what it must be like to be so lonely and so forgotten. Perhaps though it is easier than we think to end up this way and she herself had never envisaged such an end to her life.

Still the tales came, some left for days, others for much longer periods of time and it seems it is far from a rare occurrence. So many people, all forgotten. One would imagine that this was limited to the poor and the elderly yet this was not so. People of all ages, sexes and both rich and poor all with the same tragic ending. I wonder if the blame lies with society itself for the less than community spirit that exists in this modern day world of ours or if ultimately the people themselves were at fault, dooming themselves in their very rejection of fellow human beings. This we shall never know but it definitely gives cause for thought and has altered my thinking rather a lot. My jest has always been that i should end my days being a crazy cat lady in a remote cottage in Wales but suddenly this does not seem such an ideal to aspire to. Perhaps a more fitting end of days should be my choice for i do not wish to be yet another statistic on the forgotten people list.

Time to be thankful then and hold on to those people who will notice if i am no longer here and work upon leaving behind me a reason to be missed. 

If you think about it…..

                                              Sometimes i think too much. Sometimes i’m too dreamy…

Sometimes on nights like tonight i sit and i think, even when i’m trying not to and as much as i try and distract myself with other things, it makes no difference at all. 

Sometimes on nights like tonight i sit and think, and even when i tell my head to stop it doesn’t listen at all and those things just keep on coming, winding their way in there and taking over. 

Sometimes on nights like tonight i think about someone and i realise how much i miss them, but of course i can’t tell them that so i try and pretend i dont. But i do……And i know what youre thinking about what i’m thinking but you see youre wrong…

Sometimes on nights like tonight i sit and try not to think and it’s all so quiet, the clock moves so slowly and i just sit and watch it and will it to move faster just to see if it will. But of course it doesn’t.

Sometimes on nights like tonight i sit and try not to think and read the same page over and over again because nothing sinks in, i’m too busy trying not to think the things i’m thinking you see.

Sometimes on nights like this i realise that however much i like my own company, sometimes you can be alone just a little too much and then you just end up thinking about thinking. 

Sometimes on nights like tonight i don’t feel like i’m real but merely a spectator watching myself doing things i have no control over at all and then i think im just a little bit strange for thinking such a thing. 

Sometimes on nights like this i sit and try not to think because if you think about it some things are probably better when you just dont think about them at all 

Sometimes on nights like this i sit and think about the fact i think too much about thinking about things i really dont want to think about and then i really do think that i should just stop thinking at all.

And then i make myself laugh and its all okay again..but just think if it wasnt!! 

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