sadness

The Other Side of Christmas

I wrote this post at the same time last year, and it is just as relevant now as it was then. For most of us, Christmas is a time of joy and happiness, however, there is the other side of Christmas too which for some is anything but.

For some Christmas morning

Is just another day

They won’t be eating turkey

And Santa didn’t stop with his sleigh

****

The old man, now a widower

Faces the day alone

His children are not bothered with him

They have families of their own

****

The young girl who ran away

After years of living a hell

The things her father did to her

Then threatened her not to tell

****

The wife who is too frightened

To say a word out-of-place

In case, she annoys her husband

And he punches her in the face

****

The hungry little toddler

Whose parents are so poor

They don’t even have the essentials

His bed is a mattress on the floor

***

There are people who can help them

To enjoy the festivities

If you want to join in

Then visit one of these websites, please!

***

NSPCC Children’s charity

Crisis Homeless charity

Refuge Sufferers of domestic abuse charity

Salvation Army Christian charity supporting vulnerable people

Age UK Supporting the elderly.

A Sparkle as my Guide

I wrote this poem about depression; how it makes me feel and getting through the other side.

 

In the depths of darkness and despair

I feel so alone, like no-one is there

Surrounded by dangers unseen and unheard

Trapped and frightened, like a caged bird

Thoughts so jumbled, make no sense

But pain and heartache are so intense

From the world, I just want to hide

And keep my feelings bottled up inside

But wait, there is something that has caught my eye

It looks blurry through the tears I cry

Yes, it’s shimmering and shining bright

A distant glimmer, shaft of light

It seems so very far away

But I know I can draw closer day by day

From my dark corner there is hope

And support to help me cope

The light grows brighter every day

My world has gone from black to grey

I continue onwards, spirits rising

My soul had started re-energizing

I came through the other side

With just a sparkle as my guide.

***

If you suffer with depression, I have written a post with some strategies I use for coping that might help, which you can read here.

What Music Defines Your Life? Some Very Special Songs From Mine

As you may already know, from the post here, music is something that makes me happy, and I have taken my inspiration for today’s post from my local radio station. One of the presenters chats to a guest about music throughout their life, and I am going to write my take on it. You may also like to join in with Hugh’s weekly nostalgic look at some of his favourite music and add your own too as I have done. There are some cracking tracks on there to enjoy and take you back a few year too!

On the day that I was born, ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’ by Nancy Sinatra was number 1 in the UK charts. A good strong song, by a feisty woman,  with a  no-nonsense message! That’ll do for me; even if I still quite haven’t got the degree of feistiness that she has yet! I am getting there though. I am not as shy, by any means, as I was, and have become much more assertive.

One of the first records that I bought with my pocket-money was ‘Morning side of The Mountain’ By Donny and Marie Osmond. My older sister probably influenced me there, as she worshipped the Osmonds,  Donny in particular. I did, however, love them as well, and luckily, as she was older than me and could afford to buy their albums, I spent many a happy time with her listening to them.

As a little footnote to that story, about ten years ago, Donny was performing at Leeds Castle, which was not too far away from where we live, My sister and her friend had got tickets and invited me to go with them. It was wonderful. Beautiful surroundings on a balmy summer evening (no, it didn’t rain). He had a few large screens up which showed pictures of his family as they were then (which made me cry when I saw how old they all looked). The mostly middle-aged female crowd of around 6500, still swooned, and crooned along with him, singing his most famous numbers.

As a teenager, I was into all sorts of music, but I mainly remember ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ by Rainbow, as well as Meatloaf’s ‘ Bat out Of Hell’ album. My Mum and step-dad used to go away at weekends sometimes in their caravan by themselves. My older sister and brother would look after us, which was great as we would inevitably have a house party! I remember the extremely loud music, loads of teenagers, and a lot of smoking and drinking going on! However, it was pretty innocent really, as we never got busted.

I left home at 18 to join the army, which is where I initially met Mr Grump. For me ‘Love Is A Battlefield’ and ‘We Belong’ by Pat Benatar pretty much summed up our relationship back then! I also used to listen to a lot of Bruce Springsteen with my best mate Karen as well. She was responsible for Mr Grump and I getting back together 25 years later!

The song at my wedding to Miss Hap’s father was ‘Eternal Flame’ by the Bangles. A beautiful song and it was a good day; unfortunately though, the flame went out.

When I was in labour with Miss Hap, my two sisters were with me in the delivery room. It was a boiling hot evening around 11 pm, and I knew my daughter was about to be born. We had brought some CDs in with us to while away the hours, and for a bit of distraction. Anyway, as Miss Hap came into this world Tom Jones was belting out ‘It’s Not Unusual’. Probably not the first choice for many, but I love that number!

My step-dad was very good with Miss Hap when she was a baby; I had moved back home with him and Mum just before she was born, and they both doted on her. He would proudly push her pram around the town when we went out and was very good at soothing her when she cried (or bellowed, as she was VERY loud)! Sadly, he became ill with lung cancer and died when my daughter was only four years old. My Mum chose ‘ The Power of Love’ by Jennifer Rush for the funeral. A very emotional song that I find is still quite hard to hear.

Mr Grump and I decided that we would have a small, family wedding, and luckily for us, my brother-in-law is an excellent musician and singer. We chose ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol as one of the songs we would like him to sing for us, which was wonderful. He also sang ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles which we all love, and everyone sang along. A very touching moment. He and my sister recorded it for our 1st anniversary which was brilliant.

My Dad always loved the musical ‘The Phantom of the Opera’. I think he and my step-mum had been to see it several times. When he sadly died a couple of years ago, she chose a couple of the songs from it for his funeral. However, for me, it was the hymn ‘Going Home’ that was more poignant, as well as very apt.

I know I said I was going to be upbeat, and yet  I have included some songs that have been at terribly sad occasions. However, they still evoke happy memories of two men that were very influential and positive figures in my life. It’s funny how we associate songs with people as well as events in our lives.

Do you have a particular song that is extra special in some way?

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