What a week. Family and life in general is very much at the forefront of my mind currently.
Midweek my partner lost her father. It has been on the cards for a little while now but of course the reality of the event can never truly be prepared for. Regardless of what has gone before losing a parent is nothing short of devastating and sitting there in his room as she tended to him it brought back some all too familiar memories of my fathers passing. It was spookily similar. We sit there, helpless. Nothing we can say or do can change the outcome for anyone. Nothing we offer up as a bargaining tool will ever put the inevitable at bay. The final curtain must always fall.
Then he was at rest, a life long serving policeman had completed his final beat, his final shout. For anyone that is yet to have lost a parent the void it leaves is quite surreal. They become people that we don’t necessarily see or speak to on a daily basis but the second we need them they are the first people we turn to. After all, it is their guidance that helps us forge our own paths. Nearly four years on it still doesn’t feel like my dad is actually gone even though I know he has.
So my efforts have naturally been focused on helping Anna. It’s all the stupid little things like doing the dinner, the washing and all the other mundane every day nonsense that can enable her to try to rest. Of course nothing helps the soothing more than simply holding each other. Feeling her melt into my body as I’m holding her and feeling her fall to sleep is as special to me as it is needed for her.
She is going to need some strength in the coming weeks. Not only has she the weight of processing the loss of her father and all the arrangements that come with it her mother who is in care appears to have taken a severe nose dive in health pretty much at the exact time to the minute that her father passed away.
You do hear tales of it, one partner goes and in the blink of an eye the other follows. This may be the case, it’s what we all seem to be thinking. It feels like she has sensed that her work in holding her family together is done, she can let go. This could be the kindest outcome for her mum, she is just a shell of the person she was, there is no road back for her condition she can never be who she was. It’s quite a strange concept to admit really, that the kindest thing you want for someone is for them to be released. I know it would life a huge weight from Anna. The love that woman holds for her mother is awe inspiring. She always references her in tales or fires out hilarious anecdotes about her.
So as no doubt another very early night descends on us as we try and keep our eyes open past 8 o’clock my mind wonders to my family. A small unit but a wonderful one. Events like these make you take stock and reevaluate what you see as important and they are mightily important to me.
By the time this is posted I’d imagine my eyelids will be heavy but let’s get this woman fed first.
This week parenting came to the forefront of my mind as I am now the proud owner of a 14 year old. You here virtually every single person that has a child say it that time goes so fast and my god it does.
Where we are now is a good place, in her 14 years she has had to go through and process a lot. I don’t know if she remembers her mother and I together, revelations with her telling she remembers getting her ears pierced would now lead me to believe she does remember because that memory she was tiny, very young indeed.
So she has had to go through and process that, my parents were together until my dad passed away so I have no idea what it feels like all I know now is I wish I hadn’t put her through it. But we can’t change the past all I could do was be that consist figure there for her and to date I have never missed a beat, although this weekend was close when we discovered her mathematic group was starting half an hour earlier that we both thought which turned the journey into nothing short of a rally stage..
She’s a good kid, don’t get me wrong she’s a full blown teenager now with huff and puffs and shoulder shrugs but nonetheless she is an absolute diamond and proud isn’t a word that does it justice. It’s now though that I can see how my influence plays such a large role in how she is, I’m very much a middle of the road guy and happy for others to choose what they want and I’ll run with it. Which is no issue as an adult but give that skill set to a teenager and ‘I don’t mind’ takes on a whole new power.
Now we see a change, we see decisions being made and opinions forming, incredible engaging conversation and really thought provoking questions. Which only reinforces her career path into the police force. I think she will win at adult, certainly a lot quicker that it took me. As each year has come along and then passed she has grown steadily, still very cautious with her emotions and nerves but the confidence is now beginning to build. So as I bed in for the ongoing teenage years I raise a glass to those of you surviving the same and those who made it through to the other side. I think I’ve got it quite easy if I’m honest but that could very well just be the return of my chilled and calm outlook.
But saying that, I’ve yet to have the first boyfriend (or girlfriend) surface yet though. Now where did I put my samurai sword….?
It’s never been lost on my how important good friends are and I consider myself very lucky to have the friends that I do.
We all have ‘friends’ but there is always those that are more than that, people with a deeper connection and stronger purpose. This is usually and should be a small circle, a core of friends that know you, understand you and taking all that into consideration still tolerate having you around!
Speaking for myself and with my friends, I love them. We all bring something different to the table but are all on exactly the same page. It doesn’t matter how many times we reminisce about a thing, it doesn’t matter what the passage of time has been since we saw each other it just picks up instantly from where we left off. From prepubescent boys, through our teenage years, sailing through our twenties and thirties and currently coasting through our forties nothing gets old, no one falls out or argues. All we want is to have a laugh and know that everyone else is happy in their lives. That’s maybe why is seems to be a winning formula. There’s no drama, no spite or jealousy just a few guys enjoying their lives together.
Heck it’s even why I started MANPEDIA, so hopefully we can build a professional life together too, seeing the world and experiencing as much as we can.
It’s these times, the nights out, the trips away, the gigs, the meals, when we catch up and spend the night belly laughing it really makes me thankful for those around me. It’s testament to the pros of keeping your circle small.
So as the week goes, it’s been nice to be reminded of the kind and genuine people around me. It’s been a week of family visits, photography trips and just quite simply good times.
It’s been a welcome reminder that while the world we love in seems to spiral further out of control that the simple things can make it all wash away in a heartbeat.
Every generation says it, it appears to be a problem that remains linear to our existence. The world is becoming quite simply not a nice place to live.
All of the phrases get spun, the worlds gone mad, not in my day etc but I think truth be told this is just life. Humans, for the line share are selfish. We want what we want and can quite easily overlook the thoughts or needs of our fellow man. Now of course this isn’t to say that humans aren’t amazing and among us they are incredible people doing incredible things which is really what I wanted to raise this week.
Protests, war, sham politics, you name it something will be dominating the headlines that just plain makes you sad. Then a glimmer of hope broke through to the surface when I saw this:
We are all entitled to protest if we feel wronged or our human rights have been in some way muted. But this shows how you can have a voice and still do the right thing.
I hear of people being spat in the face because they are wearing a certain coat, commuters halted from earning their wages, road blocks affecting thousands. Think about the message you are trying to vocalise rather than causing outright disruption.
Take the protesters of the jubilee line. We all watched as regular folk dragged them off the trains and proceeded to beat them. This blew my mind, people beating on people for no reason other than they were 4 minutes late. Yes, remove them then go about your business.
The bus drivers in Japan exercised a masterclass in protesting and hurting the body that needed to pay attention. Literally no one else suffered at the hands of those drivers apart from the company it was aimed at. And how much extra respect did that raise for the cause and the people doing that job? Exactly, think about how to make your point, how to be heard and be effective.
Life can be tough enough for all of us at times, let’s not go out of our ways to heighten that.
THE AUTUMN SWITCH
As I scrape the ice from my windscreen for the first time this morning it’s clear that shorts and zero underwear was not best advised for this trip. So it appears the weather and seasons have moved on and left me to adjust and peruse my autumn wardrobe ahead of the looming cold and damp.
For me personally this switch in weather is a further reminder of a crisis that plays on my mind year round but draws more public attention as the elements change for the worse. That crisis is of course the homeless. I and the MANPEDIA group brand very much so have a mission to ty and make a difference to anyone that has found themselves in that situation. It’s not just the weather to combat but the mental battle, the mental toll surviving with nothing takes. Hour after hour with your thoughts, with no clear path out from the situation. I can’t even begin to process how heavily that must tax you.
So I find myself trying to work out what I can do as an individual to help, what I can do as ‘owner’ of these channels to help, to make a difference. I believe that anything is achievable, I have said that for years but I have only ever applied that to the subjects of life goals but is this any different? Absolutely not and if anything this should be easier because it’s far more important. It’s the same basic formula. Results are born from hard work and it never deviated from that recipe.
I just have to make sure all my ducks are in a row as to provoke a counterproductive action to me would be devastating. The thought of taking this on, in making this an active goal takes me back to my path. A path that I needed help in finding, people that went out of their way to help me, listened to me and talked straight to me. They did that probably with sacrifice to their own time and plans. I’ll never forget their kindness and the lessons they taught me. Less in humanity, love and caring. It’s something we should all as individuals put out more into this harsh world we exist in.
For me it truly is time that MANPEDIA started playing a role is the resolving the issues that it believes in no bells and whistles, no fanfare or after party. Just the simple premise of trying to look after yourself and your fellow man.