I’ve felt sad the past few days for many reasons. One of them is because I’ve been thinking about my Mum. She will be 90 in a few days and I’m saddened that she won’t even know that she made 90. She was always so proud of how young she looked for her age and I so much wish her brain had travelled along with her but alas it didn’t.
I wish I could take a huge cake and put on a grand party for her as I feel she so very much deserves it. My Mum played a big part in helping me decide my future at a time I was in crisis. She stopped me from making a rash decision that would have ultimately ruined my life. I owe her wisdom and common sense to the happiness I have today. Her non-judgemental views and brave insight gave me the confidence to step into the unknown and take a huge gamble. I was unable to see the importance of her role in this until much later and by then I had lost her to something more powerful. It’s called dementia. It tears your family apart and rips loved ones from you leaving you with a shell of who they once were. Mum will hold my hand and smile at me. We’ll laugh together and hug and I know she knows I am someone she loves but exactly why she loves me, she cannot remember.
I take comfort in the few photos I have. I remember everything she told me about her and my Dad but it’s never enough. I want more. I now feel an overwhelming desire to know everything about them. Finally and far too late I’ve seen them as people and not just Mum and Dad. The last time I saw her she held my hand and I chatted about books while she spoke incoherently about the past, stopping occasionally to smile at me. I was telling her about my books and reminding her of the books she had read, of which there were hundreds when she said,
My heart leapt. How much more had she heard and understood? My mother was an avid reader, a great knitter, a calm and wise woman whose gentle temperament calmed my own. I miss her terribly.
My mother never wanted this for herself. I know she would hate it. I hate that there is nothing I can do to change it. It’s how it is. But I do feel death would be better, not for me but for her. I hate you dementia. You’re cruel and worst of all you’re merciless because you’ll choose anyone, the educated, the uneducated, the rich, the poor, the creative and the uncreative. Death is kinder than you. Mum never saw herself as anything special. She wouldn’t know what to make of a blog post about her. But she was special. She was my Mum and you can’t get more special than that.
Happy 90th birthday Mum. I can’t say ‘I hope there will be many more’ because I know you wouldn’t have wanted them like this.
It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks. I’ve been suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And just when you think it has gone, it rears its ugly head again with a vengeance. Leaving you drained and shattered and with thoughts that you don’t normally have.
However, it hasn’t stopped my normal mad behaviour. Now there’s a phrase you won’t see very often. Normal mad behaviour.
I got back from my holiday. Ooh I never told you about the weird happening on holiday. Here I go digressing. The doctor and I went on a little trek to look for a Geocache. If you’re never heard of Geocaching, then let me enlighten you. Dotted all over England and in Europe are little treasures. Nothing big but finding them is fun and they are nearly always hidden in beautiful parts of the country. The doctor and I do this a lot. Yes, you always wondered what we did in our spare time didn’t you. It’s a good way to get walking and walking in a nice place. So, while in France we decided to go Geocache hunting. You can check Geocache hunting here
Off we went on a lovely walk. We find the treasure. Took photos for the web page and started to walk back. By now we were both thirsty and a little hungry. The walk took us onto a dual carriageway where we never imagined for one moment to find an eating place. But there was the sign. Large and bold ‘Creperie’
‘How lucky,’ I said.
We turned the corner to where the sign was large and welcoming again and even more welcoming was the open sign. In French, of course, but luckily the Doctor can speak some French. Ahead of us was a large wrought iron gate and hooked through it was an odd padlock. Hooked through but not locked. We looked at each other for a moment and then pulled the lock through the gap in the gate. We then pushed the gate open only to hit a large paddle which had been laid in front of it.
‘I’m not sure we should go in,’ says the doctor.
‘But it’s open,’ I say, my throat closing up from thirst.
I’m beginning to know what it feels like to be stranded in the desert. Was this some kind of mirage? My first thought was that dogs may come racing towards us, tearing at our throats like something out of a Stephen King novel. I hesitated at the gate.
‘It does say open,’ I repeat, feeling my breathing return to normal after seeing there is no sign of mad, snarling dogs.
We step over the paddle and venture in. We turn a corner and see the café. It is all set up outdoors. We stare for a few seconds and then both become aware of the eerie silence. The huge house to the right of us is imposing. We look at the table and chairs and then I realise. They are all pulled out, like people left in a hurry. On the tables are jugs, half filled with water, just sitting in the sun. Also there was a bottle of wine and glasses, also sitting in the hot sunshine. On one table was a lighter and glasses. On others half-drunk glasses of water, but the worst part was the eerie silence.
And then … that awful feeling of being watched.
‘We should go,’ says the doctor.
There is not even the clatter of crockery. That usual noise you hear when in a restaurant. We backed out slowly and I nervously began clicking away with my camera, focusing on the windows of the house.
We then hurriedly left and for some weird reason I felt an overwhelming need to look behind for at least twenty minutes. Here are the photos but they don’t do justice to the spookiness we felt.
Back to my normal mad behaviour.
I got back from holiday, went to fill my car with petrol and couldn’t get the petrol cap off. I was turning it the right way but it just went round and round. When I turned it the other way it made a strange clicking sound. I spent twenty minutes in the garage. Finally I came home and considered pulling it off with a knife. I phoned the doctor first though. I didn’t want his wrath when he came home.
‘Take it to the garage where you bought it,’ he says. ‘It’s still under warranty.’
So, off I go to the next village with my car. Of course, by now, I am very low on petrol. I pull up and march into the office.
‘The petrol cap won’t come off,’ I complain. ‘That’s not very good. I’ve only had the car for a few months.’
You have to stand your ground in garages don’t you? especially if you’re a woman and blonde at that. They immediately assume you’re a dumb blonde don’t they? Well I’m here to prove them wrong.
He follows me to my car and turns the petrol cap until he has it off and is holding it in his hand.
I stare flabbagasted.
‘What did you do?’ I ask.
‘I undid the cap,’ he says flatly.
Ever felt like a dumb blonde.
‘But how?’ I ask.
He demonstrates and I realise when I thought the cap was locked it was in fact the right way to turn and just needed a little more turning to come off. I’d only been away a week and in that time I had managed to forget how to take the cap off my new car. I mumbled something about being tired and drove home.
Still at least I have a good reason for this madness now.
Lastly, my novels. Well, you didn’t think I would write a blog without doing a bit of promotion. My readers say they will buy anything I write. So, I don’t understand why no one is buying ‘The Diary of Rector Byrnes’ which is me writing under the name of Edith Waylen. Please give it a go, it is only 99p at the moment and you don’t often get Lynda Renham books for 99p.
Here it is. It’s a chilling love story. Click here to purchase It’s a tale of love, faith and much more.
Meanwhile much love to you all and thank you for your support. This CFS is a bugger and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
Sometime I miss my dad so much it is physically painful. I just want to give him one last hug and tell him how much I miss him. I was in the Philippines when he died. There was so much I wanted to say. Some days it hurts so much and yesterday was one of those days. I became distressed telling him I just wanted a hug with him. Last night I dreamt my dad came and we hugged. It was very real. My husband tells me it is just what was in my mind that day and that is what comes out in your dreams. I really want to think there is more to it. But is there??
My lovely dad with my mum who now has dementia. xx
My husband has always been more adventurous than me, although since meeting him I have become more so. It is amazing how much influence another person can have over you. When we first met I had something of an adventurous spirit but not an ounce of what I have now. Any fears I had of trying something new was quickly quashed when Andrew introduced me to his microlight.
We had been together less than a year when he drove me to the airfield where he had a hangar. I had no idea what a hanger even was, except something you hang your clothes on. In fact I had no idea what a microlight was and I do wonder now if I had had even the slightest clue, would I have gone that day. It was a lovely Summer’s evening. Very warm and all Andrew seemed to talk about was thermals, while I wondered why we would even need them. Of course the thermals he was talking about was rough bumpy warm air and not extra warm clothing. I asked more about the restaurant we were going to afterwards than I did about the flying. After all, I had been on many flights; it couldn’t be much different from that could it?
Oh, good lord, it was very different.
We parked outside the hanger and Andrew opened it up and wheeled out what looked like a motor cycle. I watched in fascination as he checked it over thoroughly before wheeling out a huge wing. My stomach lurched at this point when it dawned on me that this was the wing that would keep me in the air. I looked frantically around the hanger for a possible plane. I didn’t mind how small as long as it was something enclosed. There was no plane. I then looked for the cover that would go over the top of the motorcycle thing, but there wasn’t one. I watched with trembling legs and beating heart as Andrew positioned the wing on and fastened the bolts. He then handed me a flying suit and helmet. I nearly passed out. My god, I can’t go in that, can I? I quickly learnt that a microlight is pretty much a motorcycle with a wing and not much else. Well, a motor obviously. Heavens, did he actually say that he can fly up to about 10,000 feet in this? Not with me in it, thinks I?
‘Ready to go?’ he asks with a smile.
I climb into my flying suit and zip it up with shaking hands. This is it, I shall die and this relationship that I had hoped would be something good will be no more. I stare dumbfounded at the two small seats and try not to picture myself sitting in it at 10,000 feet. I feel sick. Andrew helps me clamber in and helps me on with my helmet. He then affixes the mike that will allow me to speak to him while we are up there. Oh, God, what if I fall out. He straps me in tightly and I thank god for that. I wonder if I should make a few last calls from my mobile, you know my final goodbyes and all that? But before I can do anything he is climbing into the front seat and starting the propeller.
I would come to know those words very well in the coming years.
‘How long have you been flying?’ I ask in a shaky voice.
‘Since yesterday,’ he jokes
‘About ten years,’ came his confident response.
Well, he must know what he is doing. We motorcycle down the track and stop at the runway. It’s now or never. I can either run, or close my eyes and pray. I choose the latter. You only live once after all.
‘Golf, mike tango, Yankee, echo is lined up for immediate departure.’ he says in one of those typical pilot type voices.
‘Golf Yankee echo is cleared for take off at your discretion.’ Advises a voice in response and I wonder what at your discretion means.
‘Golf yankee echo, take off.’ Says Andrew and before I can ask what is happening we are storming down the runway at about 50 miles an hour. The things I do for love. Then, we really do have lift up and, oh, here are the thermals. A few bumps and I feel myself clinging onto Andrew. Well, we certainly got close on this flight. We go higher and higher and I feel myself tense and tense even more. Finally we are so high that I don’t care anymore and the views are spectacular. I am like a bird.
The wind blows against my face and ahead of me is a hot air balloon.
The cows and sheep below look like tiny dots and I see people sitting in a field having a picnic and they begin waving to us. I wave back. Andrew takes us higher and higher and it is the most wonderful feeling in the world. The colours of the fields seem to change with the shifting light and the shadows are incredible. There is one shaky moment when he asks me to lean over the microlight very slightly so he can check the fuel. I do so and find myself seemingly dangling from the flying motorbike. We turn, go lower and then rise up again. I am having a wonderful time. We skirt around Blenheim Palace where they have a function happening and the driveway is lined with flaming torches. From 3,000 feet the scene is amazing.
I was disappointed when that flight ended and as the years went on I went up many times with Andrew. On one flight I leant forward and guided the microlight by the handlebars, with Andrew assisting of course. I helped wash down the wing and have even been known to sew it before now. I do not enjoy bumpy flights however and always avoided even slightly windy days. We have visited other airfields and have enjoyed the sights of Oxfordshire from the air.
Just over two years ago the microlight failed its MOT and although we got it repaired Andrew felt it’s time was running out. We were both busy but he was busier and had his studies to focus on. After a lot of thought Andrew sold it.
We have done many other exciting things since and I know I would never have done them had it not been for Andrew. Navigating the whole island of Boracay in the Philippines for instance on a motorcycle. I had never been on one in my life and Andrew hadn’t ridden one in years, but what a fab time we had.
Oh, yes the things you do for love.