Masking the Pain.

Envy is an incredibly destructive emotion, one I do my utmost to never succumb to. However, just recently I’ve found myself feeling envious of all my friends who have their children at home with them, during this lockdown. My children are now adults and live in their own homes. I feel powerless as I cannot keep them safe. This isn’t just a maternal feeling, as my hubby also feels this. Yesterday, he said, “We’d have loved being isolated at home with our two wouldn’t we?” We certainly would. I used to cry on the night before a school return after the summer holidays, as I knew my two best friends were heading back to school. I’m sure others reading this can relate.

My heart breaks for my friends who have grandchildren that they cannot visit. This must be so difficult. We know, in our hearts, that this social distancing is for the greater good, yet we all still feel the pain of isolation from those we love the most.

Last weekend, I Skyped Isabella and Horatio, this was the first time I had spoken to them since their mum, Bonnie, passed away. It was so lovely to see their faces, yet heartbreaking at the same time. I miss their mum every day, I cannot begin to comprehend the emotions they both feel. They were both excitedly telling me about the tobogganing they were going to do on a sunny, but chilly day in Calgary. The subject then turned to the coronavirus as Bella asked me if we were allowed to go out in England. I was holding back tears as I felt overwhelmed with what these poor children have already gone through this year and now have the threat of the coronavirus in their lives. Just at a time where they need the comfort from their friends, they’re having to isolate from everyone. I know, however, that Bonnie will be watching over her family to keep them safe.  Xxx

One thing I’m learning about myself is that the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree. When Dad retired from a teaching career of twenty-seven years, he bought the “corner shop.” It really was an extension of his personality. When Tesco landed in Honiton, this was the beginning of the end of small businesses like my parents’ shop. Not wanting to give in without a fight, Dad continued to write his infamous daily billboards and write his weekly diary in the local newspaper. Times were hard but Dad always maintained his strong resolve to not give up or give in. He continued to think outside the box and do his best to make himself laugh, despite difficult times. Inevitably, the shop eventually had to close, but not until Dad was done!

…During a visit to my GP at the time, he told me that he made a special detour each day from his Buckerell home to the surgery just to see my dad’s billboards. I remember thinking, ‘Okay, so you find my dad funny, but are you actually going to help me with my constipation?!’

Like everyone else, the magnitude of this horrendous pandemic absolutely petrifies me. When life throws lemons my way, I try my best to fight back with humour: whether it’s behaving like a complete twat in videos or rising to any challenges thrown at me with the words “dare you,” (Thank you Marit!) I’m so grateful to my dad for teaching me to always laugh and to never take myself seriously.

Dad was private tutoring right up until three months before his stroke. He didn’t tell me at the time, but one day, after giving a child some Maths tuition, he played football in their garden with the boy. After Dad’s stroke, he admitted to me that he suddenly “felt odd” whilst playing that football game and knew it was time to retire from private tuition. I think this was his body’s way of telling him all was not well. A week before his stroke, my parents had a holiday in our beloved Greece. A keen swimmer, Dad was in the sea enjoying the Grecian waters, when suddenly he had to stop and swim back to shore. Again, indicative that his body was under threat. How lucky were we that my parents were back in England before that fateful day in July, when all our lives were turned upside down? So lucky. I’ve always been told to count my blessings – this I do daily.

With the potential threat of the coronavirus to all nursing homes, I was sent forms and questions regarding Dad’s wishes if he was to become poorly. I had put off completing this documentation for over a week, distracting myself with stupid video-making and so on. Last night, I finally found the courage to fill it in, then consequently cried my eyes out.

If this horrific COVID-19 teaches us nothing else, it certainly is our wake-up call to be grateful and to never take life for granted.

We live in such an entitled society and only now that restrictions are placed upon our lives do we realise how fortunate we have been. (I just wish the minority would not ignore these restrictions, those people are utterly demonic morons). We all worry for those we love and we cry for those who have lost a loved one. Never, in a million years, would we have seen ourselves in a horrific part of history that will be discussed in many a classroom in the future…Yet here we are.

As with all my blogs, I try my best to find humour in life. Mum’s painting of her garden shed slightly worries me. Particularly due to the fact that I know she had a tin of “Sunkissed Orange” prior to lockdown! During a telephone conversation yesterday…

Me: Mum, you haven’t got any paint on your lovely new fence and gate have you?

Mum: No, Soph, of course I haven’t……. would you be cross if I have?

Me: No, I wouldn’t be cross Mum, just disappointed.


…(When did I become a grown-up? I do not like it!)

Everybody, please stay safe. Hugs and love to you all xxxxxxxxxx

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