Komorebi #AtoZChallenge

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Komorebi; sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees.

Six months trapped in hospital with a brain tumour and I didn’t want to spend another moment in doors. But my wife and nurse insisted on a few days resting and strength rebuilding at home before I went back to my hobby of hiking.

‘Take it easy,’ my wife said as we arrived at the forest trail.

‘I shall do,’ I replied and we set off.

Spring was high in the air. The flowers and leaves on the trees out in full and the gentle breeze carried their scent to me. Birds were singing loudly, making the perfect music to our walk. Sunlight was coming down through the trees, creating dancing patches of light on the ground.

The air was so clean and fresh, a shock after the disinfected air of the hospital. There was colour everywhere, so different from the blandness I’d been in. Warmth kissed my skin and I looked up at the sun through the trees’ leaves. I took deep breaths, eyes shut, let the light play across me and relaxed fully for the first time in almost year.

‘Are you okay?’ my wife asked.

I nodded.

‘I’ve missed this,’ I said quietly, ‘nature is the best healer.’

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Snuggles

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I sat on the sofa with my dog and flicked through the TV, there wan’t much on and I wasn’t in the mood for anything. I found some re-runs of a murder mystery series and with that in the background, I picked up my knitting project which was a toy teddy bear.

Weeks of being on and off ill had meant I hadn’t got around to finishing it but today could be the day.  Settling down, I started knitting, my dog sleeping behind me as she often did on these kind of days.

After a few rows, I pulled more of the wool and noticed it was stuck on something. Turning, I saw that unable to snuggle against me my dog had placed her head on the wool ball as if it was a little cushion.

Feeling mean for waking her up, I slipped the wool ball away from her. She raised her head, seeming confused at being awake.

‘It’s okay, old girl. Come lay on my lap,’ I told her whilst rubbing her head.

She yawned and re-curled against me, going back to sleep once again. I carried on knitting, thinking there was no better therapy then this.

 

(Photo my own. Please don’t use it without permission.)

Dear Diary

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Dear Diary,

Trust me to become sick when I have a day full of meetings and important happenings! I felt rubbish last night but I thought it was just tiredness and stress, maybe it was but then this morning, rising with the sun just before six, I felt so nauseous and I was violent sick.

My first thought was am I pregnant? As it felt just as bad as when I was carrying Lola and I had been so ill then it felt like I was dying all the time. I really hope I’m not, don’t think I can go through all of that again!

So, I had to phone in sick and go through all the ‘can’t you really make it? We really need you to pitch the nine o’clock meeting.’

Well, maybe if I’d thrown up just the once but I’ve not stopped all morning. I’m so exhausted too and I had to have a nap before just because I could rise my head off the pillow. My stomach feels like it got hit by a whale and become crushed. Add to that a blinding migraine.

Sleep and pills help, but I couldn’t keep anything down, only a few sips of water. When I wasn’t in the bathroom and I was curled in bed, wishing whatever it was would go away.

Some of it has now but I still feel ill. Hopefully, it will all pass in the next few days, if not I’ll be off to the doctors, hoping it is a virus and not something more.

Timeless #WritePhoto

It was a silly idea but it stuck in my head and what did I have to lose anyway? An afternoon getting lost, back tracking lots then finally finding the correct field. Though, it’s hard to say those hours were wasted because I actually enjoyed getting out of town and into the countryside for awhile.

I’m NOT going to start at the beginning, I’m sick of doing that with the doctors, nurses, support workers etc. I sound like a broken record in my head, stuck repeating the same lyrics over and over. Sorry for the use of cliche, but as I’ve found out things put plainly get more understood then some hyped up analogy.

To all those people and everyone else – family, friends, colleagues- they need to hear it to understand it, no matter how many times it takes. Also, they like to hear me being positive; ‘I’m okay,’ ‘I’m doing fine,’ ‘No, I don’t need help,’ ‘Thanks for your concern, I appreciation it.’

And all the while I’m just screaming in my head; ‘Can everyone just F off and leave me alone!!’

It’s strange how we are sort of programmed to hold everything in, to stay ‘normal’ when everything is anything but and just carry on.

I thought about this the other day, when I saw a boy having a tantrum in the shop because his mum wouldn’t buy him a toy. He was full on getting all his emotions out for everyone to see and though people didn’t like it, we all understood what was going on.

That’s what I want to do! Just scream to the world that I’m not happy and I didn’t get what I wanted in life and now I’ve been told not much can be done about it. As an adult, I can’t seem to do that. It’s not the to do action when you are mid-thirties.

The action is to accept and move on.

Or else you go out and try silly things like this!

Now, I’m walking across short, wet grass, heading to the almost center of the field. Ahead the massive standing stone looms, it’s a strange twisting shape and a total blot in the flat landscape. It’s a mystery how it got here but legend says it’s an ancient healing stone and has cured millions.

I come to a stop beside the stone. It’s covered in dark moss and bits have been chipped away which is why it has an odd shape. I guess people were so desperate for healing they removed bits. I wonder if that worked for them or if the bits lost power? Does it actually matter?

I touch the stone like I’m meant too. It’s freezing and wet, not a surprise there. I feel foolish. I breath and hope no one is seeing this right now!

Do I believe the stone will heal me? I’m not sure. Common sense says no but common sense also says drugs are meant to but when the drugs stop working what then?

When you lose belief in one thing how can you find it in another?

Tears roll down my cheeks, hot and salty, I don’t wipe them away. I’m too tried.

I move closer to the stone and hug it. My arms don’t reach all away around and there’s a large gap my fingers try to bridge but don’t. Dampness and coldness sink into me like the starting up of a shower before it gets hot. The stone is smooth, worn over the years. I press my cheek to it and just let everything go.

I cry, scream, shout, punch, kick, I bash my head against the stone.

Dizziness sweeps me. Sobbing, I slip down to the ground, press my back against the stone and turn my face skyward. Shutting my eyes, I listen to my hammer heart, my ragged breaths and a headache building.

It starts raining softly.

The stone feels warm.

And for the first time in a long time, I feel little bit of peace.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/02/21/thursday-photo-prompt-timeless-writephoto/ with thanks).

Winter Bugs

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Bed was the only place for my body whilst my mind had vacated to somewhere else. Sneezing and coughing, my throat felt like I had eaten a cacti and my chest wheezing with pain. Sleep came slowly and wasn’t restful at all. The bugs were here to stay.

Sneeze

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Back to the office today and Rose was all ready feeling unwell. Pausing in her work, she listened to the background sounds of people coughing, sneezing and sniffling. Rose signed and sipped her coffee.

From somewhere behind her, a woman’s voice said, ‘Do you want a throat soother?’

‘Go on then,’ a man responded.

Rose cast a look behind her and saw the exchange happen. Turning back to the PC screen she looked at the report but couldn’t focus as her eyes were too tired. Instead, she looked down into her coffee mug and wonder if this was her third or fourth cup.

‘Post is here!’ someone called.

There was a mutter of voices and some people got up too eager to wait for things to be delivered to their desks.

Pretending to get back to work, it wasn’t until things landed in her in the in-tray, that Rose looked up again. She shuffled through the few letters and found a late Christmas card from a client in America.

Not wanting to be reminded that Christmas was over, Rose shoved it into her desk draw. She finished her coffee and trying to fight off the coming illness got back to the report.

‘Tis Not The Season To Be Jolly #TMAT120

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I didn’t have any Christmas spirit inside of me, what I’d had instead had been cancerous lumps. The doctor said the operations had been a success but I would have to stay in hospital over Christmas to recover. There was no place worse to spend Christmas, other then jail and the streets, I guess.

‘Home by new year’s eve, maybe, if you are well enough,’ he had added.

I looked at the few tatty decorations the ward nurses had strung up and the tiny Christmas tree on the table. It looked like no one had even tried, like me they couldn’t be bothered. There was no jolliness to be had here.

 

(Inspired by; https://rantingalong.blog/2018/12/06/joelles-tales-first-thursday-of-the-month-tmat120-writing-prompt-for-december-2018/ with thanks).

 

Cocoon #3LineTales

three line tales week 149: a close up of a butterfly

The morning battle began, June wasn’t in the mood, she knocked on her teenage son’s bedroom door to get him up for school then opened the door and took in the mess of stuff scattered around in what little light could enter the room, it was a typical young man’s cave and June felt nauseated by a rising smell of sweat.

‘I’m sick, I’m not going into day and you can’t make me, so there!’ he shouted back from underneath the bedding.

‘Fine,’ answered June, ‘stay like a cocooned bug then and only come out when you have grown up.’

 

(Inspired by; https://only100words.xyz/2018/12/06/three-line-tales-week-149/ with thanks).

The Loneliest Day

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The phone rang, Jen tutted and abandoned the cake batter she had been mixing to answer it. It was probably a cold caller and she should just let the answer machine get it but she had finally got month old baby Louis down for his afternoon nap and didn’t want anything disturbing him.

‘Hello?’ Jen said into the phone.

‘Hi, it’s only me,’ her husband, Mike spoke, ‘I tried your mobile. I thought you might be a sleep.’

‘No,’ Jen replied with a sign, ‘I was in the kitchen.’

‘Okay. I just wanted to let you know I’m not sure what time I’ll be home,’ Mike explained, ‘there’s been a full office computer crash. Some idiot downloaded a virus yesterday and it’s super bad. I’m not letting anyone from the IT department leave till we’ve fixed it.’

‘I see,’ Jen uttered.

‘I’ll get something to eat on the way home. Don’t wait up for me, you still need to rest as much as possible.’

Jen nodded.

‘How is Louis?’ Mike asked.

‘Good. He’s sleeping now and he drink a full bottle before.’

‘Super! I got to go. Got the big boss at my throat. See you later, Honey.’

‘Bye,’ Jen said as the ring tone beeped in her ear.

She hung the phone up then stared at it. Why did things like that had to happened? Jen hugged herself and tried not to let the silence of the house get to her. Feeling a slight chill, she moved back into the warmth of the kitchen.

There in the bright lights, surround by cooking equipment and ingredients she could pretend that everything was normal again. Busying herself with finishing off mixing the cake batter, she was just about to divided it into the paper cupcake cases with a baby’s cry came from the living room.

Jen paused and tried not to rush off. Hoping, he would stop and settle again, She began scooping batter into the cases. She made it to four then give in and went into the living room.

‘I’m coming, Louis,’ she called.

Jen stood over pram then picked Louis up. She mumbled things to him and snuggled him. Then realised he needed changing and went and did that. Wrapping him up again, she tried to get him back to sleep but he seemed too awake. Placing him into the pram again, she wheeled him into the kitchen and parked him up.

Finishing dividing the cake mix, she placed the tray into the oven and set the timer. Washing her hands, she tidied everything up then wondered what to do next. On the counter was a pack of spaghetti and a jar of bolognese sauce, this evening dinner.

‘We won’t be needing this now,’ Jen said aloud and put them away, ‘I’ll have some soup instead and you can have some more milk.’

Louis made a moaning sound and Jen checked on him. He had taken both scratch mitts off again.

‘How do you do that?’ Jen wondered.

She put the mitts back on and wheeled him back into the living room. There, she put the TV back and set the channel to one with afternoon game shows as had became her habit. Picking up Louis, she sat cuddling him on the sofa. He dozed on and off then wanted feeding again.

The timer went off whilst she was feeding him and Jen, who hadn’t mastered juggling a baby and other things yet, had to place him down and go to get the cakes out. Louis started crying and her repeatedly tell him she was coming right back had no effect. Cakes out and left to cool, she washed her hands and hurried back to breast feeding him.

Settled again, Jen felt waves of tiredness drifting over her. Louis was a heavy, hot, soft bundle in her arms. The house was warmer now as the heating had come on. Rain was tapping against the windows and even though it was almost four o’clock, night had rolled in.

Realising, she should close the curtains, Jen got up careful and placed Louis in his pram again. She went over to the window and looked out. The street lamps were on and there were cars and people outside. A front door across the road was open, light pooling out and two people were stood in the glow.

A stab of loneliness hit Jen. Her hands slipped from the curtains. She had been ill throughout the whole of her pregnancy and had to have time off work sick then take early maternity leave. Luckily, she and Louis had got through the birth fine, but Jen was recovering and hadn’t left the house much in the last ten months now.

Family and friends had been regularly visitors throughout those months and Jen was grateful for those mornings and afternoons spent with in their company but the mid-week period was the worse time. It was just her and Louis for eight or nine hours whilst Mike was a work and everyone else was too busy.

Jen closed the curtains and tried to get rid of the dreadful feeling filling her up. She checked on Louis who was fast asleep then went into the kitchen. She ate one of the just cooled cakes and made herself a cup of tea.

To help focus herself, Jen thought about plans for the next few weeks. After her last hospital check up, she would started to go out more. She had seen a mums and babies play group advertised at a local church on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. There was also baby swimming on Monday and Friday mornings at the sport centre. On Wednesdays there was the lunch club at her work that she could take Louis too as well.

‘See? You are going to be fine,’ Jen said aloud, ‘just get better.’

Grabbing another cake and her cup of tea, Jen went back to the sofa. Adverts were flashing on the TV and Jen got ready to watch the next quiz show, feeling that little bit better.

Dear Diary #50

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Dear diary,

I’ve been so ill today, think I’ve got food poisoning from the Halloween party. I can’t remember what I had because I also got drunk. I know that could be the other reason why but drinking has never effected me like this before.

Of course, it’s my fault because I made all the food, well, cooked the shop brought food. No one else seems to be ill or they haven’t told me yet. I just can’t think of anything I could have under cooked, I was so careful with the timings of things…I did reheat some of the food later on, I think, it was cold and everyone was still hungry. It could have been something from that.

Dean tried to make a joke of it and said I’d eaten too many sweets and cakes but then when I didn’t stop throwing up, he decided it was more serious then over eating or drinking. He and the kids seem perfectly fine, most frustrating!

Anyway, at least it got me out of tidying up and putting the Halloween decorations away! Still though, I hope this is over soon, really not the way I wanted to end a good night.