His greatest fear was of his body dying around his youthful, dynamic and brilliant mind.
At 73 my father could still not accept old age. For every year he was meant to retire from his job as professor, then later solicitor and judge, he would respond with frustration, shoo’ing us away with the promise of “next year”. His intellect was as zealous, tantalising and probing as that of any young academic, and his job defined every part of his being. He was also still actively playing sport nearly every day, be it tennis, swimming or cycling. Having survived heart surgery and cancer, he was more full of life than most 20 year olds I knew and he always seemed indestructible to me.
It was the 31st January 2008. I was sitting at my desk at the conveyancing law firm where I had just got a job and was sneakily reading my emails before getting on with the daily photo-copying, when an email popped up from my older sister in Germany. All it said was “Ring me”. It was too short a message to be good news, too abrupt to be anything trivial. As I phoned the number to my home in Germany, the one I had rung a thousand times all my life, I had no idea what was to come.
Papa is dead. He went to bed last night and didn’t wake up again this morning.
One of the reasons why I drove to Germany was to pick up wine and champagne for our upcoming wedding in July. Yesterday we went to a vineyard in Burrweiler, the village in which my father built his house and in which I grew up. I am so ridiculously excited to be able to serve wine that’s not just from the Palatinate where I’m from, put the actual village itself, as well as champagne and schnapps from my uncles vineyard!
As you can see, it’s all pretty idyllic; I miss the hills and the small sleepy, almost Mediterranean like villages, so much!
Happy Friday all 🙂
Being around family can really put things into perspective and remind you of what is important .
I have a terrible habit of feeling overwhelmed.
I would go as far as saying I struggle with these feelings on a daily basis, although very mildly in comparison to the effect it used to have on me. When I look at experts within my field, those I look up to, I can’t help that inner panic rise like bile, as I wonder ‘How on Earth can I achieve even a fraction of what they have? It’s too hard! I’m not good enough!’ I deal with these intrusive thoughts through many different ways including meditation and my writing. I can also hand on heart say that if it wasn’t for the encouragement from those around me, if it wasn’t for the sheer blind belief and faith that people have in me, I may well not be here telling my story.
Hi guys! Sorry It’s not embedded. Hope you’re able to watch it through the link. Strangely I am missing you all, even thought I don’t know you personally, I have become accustomed to this little world we’re all a part of.
All my love
Hello my gorgeous, wonderful, amazing readers!
This is just a quick update to let you know I am in Germany visiting my family and have limited internet. I am going to take this time to recoup a little too. Please don’t worry, I will be back! I will try and post a few 3 Minute Memoirs and maybe even some pics to show you my home town, but please accept my sincerest apologies if I’m not able to read all your blog posts 🙁
I get about 500 emails a day with new blog posts so I can’t promise to catch up with them all but I will do my best!
Lots of love and hope you’re all well.
Thank you for understanding 🙂
I wrote yesterday about how my relationship with an ex taught me how different types of betrayal can have lasting and damaging effects. I used to think cheating was black and white. It isn’t. I learned that it is not just the act of cheating, but the intent behind it, and also how it is handled afterwards that can go on hurting us long after any thoughts of love for a person have evaporated. Here’s the second part of my story, showing how the betrayal ran so much deeper than the physical act of sleeping with another woman.
After about a year together, Stuart* and I had been arguing worst than normal. I couldn’t exactly put my finger on what was wrong, but something was different. He seemed disconnected. It was enough to urge me to investigate and late one night (after yet another argument), my heart wrenching at the disloyalty of what I was doing, I opened his laptop and started to read his MSN conversation history. After reading a couple, I started to feel like more and more uncomfortable with betraying his trust in this way. There was nothing there! A few nasty messages about me to his friends about me not giving him enough sex, but I was used to that and there was nothing as dramatic as I had feared.
And then, there it was. The conversation I had unknowingly, but instinctively been looking for.
2 Days Before My 22nd – The Day After I Found Out
There are many types of betrayal. Ones worse than being cheated on. I know this because having been cheated on, it was in the way it was done and the events leading up to it, that truly haunt me to this day.
In my 3 Minute Memoir yesterday regarding my fiancés stag do, you saw how some old and very difficult emotions resurfaced over the weekend. It reminded me of a dark time with an ex. Even though this particular relationship only lasted a year, it left a wound so deep it is sometimes ripped open by some of the memories I share with you now. Cheating and betrayal often go hand in hand, but don’t always happen at the same time.
Stuart* was different to other guys I’d met. Not instantly attracted to him physically, I was more intrigued by the fact he’d set up his own business at 17 and was at 23 running it successfully. Having come out of my traumatic relationship with Lee* – my first love – Stuart seemed like the exact opposite; had never touched a drug and was driven. After a few dates we embarked on the relationship that I hoped would heal my broken heart. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I have not dealt with the Stag Do as well as I would have liked 🙁 Old insecurities and memories from past relationships resurfaced and showed a not so pretty side to my anxiety.
The shame of feeling ugly. The shame of feeling angry about nothing. The shame over getting upset about images filling my head of what might happen. Anxiety sufferers will understand that these are feelings we fight daily. Sometimes something can trigger these emotions so aggressively, they catch us off guard and we feel like we have taken a huge step back in our progress in functioning like a normal human being.