Thursday, December 18, 2014


My Nana died on the 7th of December, and her funeral was held last Thursday. I couldn't be there.

Krystle had her iPhone with her, and Skyped me during the funeral. Technically very against the rules, and probably a massive drain on her battery, but it was very much appreciated. I got to sit in my dining room and, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, watch my Nana's funeral. It was really beautiful. You know it was a good funeral if you spend a good portion of it laughing, and we did. My Nana was an incredible woman--so full of life and fun and energy. She is remembered fondly by all who knew her. Especially the ones who knew her before Alzheimer's took it's toll.

Part of me is glad that I wasn't there more often. I didn't have to see her slowly fading away. In my mind, Nana will always be young(ish) and healthy. Still a feisty ball of energy with a can-do attitude and no patience for foolishness. I loved that woman so much!

Probably the hardest part of not getting to attend the funeral, other than not being able to be with the rest of the family, was not seeing her body. I know that sounds strange and a bit macabre, but I really wish I could have attended a viewing. Because I wasn't there, I never saw her in the coffin. So in a very real sense, it hasn't sunk in yet that she's gone. Actually being there would have given me a sense of closure.

My heart goes out to my Grandpa, and to my dad and uncles. Nana and Grandpa were married for 65 years (I think--give or take a few months), and they haven't been apart for very much of that time. Certainly not in the past 5 years or so. Grandpa must be missing her terribly. They were always such a perfect couple. They complemented each other in so many ways. And I remember how hard it was for my mom when her dad died, and can only imagine what my dad must be going through at this time.

And so, once again, I have missed a big family event--something I should have been there for, and missed because we are stuck in England. I knew Nana wasn't well, and I wanted with all my heart to be back in Utah by now. If things had worked out according to plan, I would have been there!

I love England. I love living here, and I adore my friends and family here. But I should have been home. I belong over there, not here. And that is always my biggest regret.

I also missed a birthday--just yesterday. ShaNeil got one step closer to the big 3-0. Still not there yet, but not long now! I remember the day she was born. It was a Thursday (early day at the elementary school). We got home from school, and Nana and Grandpa were there. They told us we had a sister, and drove us up to the Payson hospital to meet her and brought us home. And although I was never that interested in babies (some things never change), I think my baby sister is totally amazing! A wonderful wife, mother, daughter, and especially a wonderful sister.

It's all about family right now, and how badly I wish I could be with them. All of them! The Cooks, the Bowcutts, and the Lofleys. Somebody really needs to come over and visit!

Barring that, somebody really needs to buy my bloomin' house already!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Life isn't measured in dates...

For me, life is measured in events. Like the Barton Christmas fair, which we attended on Saturday. And baby seal season at Donna Nook, and the Lincoln Christmas market, the first snowdrops of the year, the rhododendron blooming at Twigmoor Woods, the plums being ripe at the Humber Bridge viewing area. These are the events that I measure our time by. And so, another year has passed since the last Barton Christmas fair.

It's becoming tradition to browse the stalls, buy the kids a small treat (for Dylan, a new hat--for Edith, a bag of cotton candy), let them play in the fun house whilst I enjoy my annual bag of roasted chestnuts, let the kids eat some chestnuts and wait for Edith to declare that she STILL doesn't like them, visit Martin at work for 5 minutes, then go home for a late dinner and bed.

Sadly, I feel like we've missed some of the milestones this year. Don't get me wrong, they still happened. but I haven't had the energy to go out and experience them. We never went to Twigmoor Woods this year. It's been several years since we saw the baby seals. I know it's early for New Year's resolutions, but one of mine will definitely be to go out and experience life, even if I feel too tired to do it. Suck it up, buttercup will be my new motto.

Plus, I've started running again. That should help with the energy levels. and maybe I'll start hitting the tanning beds twice a week or so. Tis' the season for SAD!

November and December in England are absolutely BRUTAL!