Monthly Archives: December 2009

My Christmas present!- a Bread machine

To my surprise there was a huge box, nicely wrapped, sitting in the hall on Christmas day. I knew I hadn’t wrapped it so I wondered where it came from-and it turned out it was for ME!

It’s a very posh Kenwood Bread Machine. OooH I just love it. I’ve been wanting to get a new machine ever since our old one died a couple of years or more ago.

More recently I had decided the only thing left I could think to do to help Avila’s bowel problems and her general tiredness that goes with it, is to take the gluten out of her diet again. I tried it some time ago and she improved, but when her blood test for celiacs and wheat allergy came back negative we didn’t bother any more. However she needs something done, so I planned the gluten free diet again and needed a bread machine to make low gluten and gluten free bread that isn’t horrible. Apparently, I have read, blood tests for celiacs can be very unreliable and give plenty of false negatives-and as Celiac disease has a genetic link with type 1 diabetes I think it’s worth cutting down gluten-and just see.

So this this a brilliant pressie.

And there’s a story to go with it.

My crip scooter ran out of battery power last year. It was harder to get it to go anywhere and in the end we gave up. I looked at getting new batteries or replacing the scooter but it all cost too much and so I had to rely on the ‘shove it’ wheelchair. This meant essentially that I couldn’t get out and about very easily.

I started a jar. Well, you just have to don’t you.

But then one of the home ed mums decided she would try and raise the money for a replacement scooter or new batteries and without me knowing anything, she and Iona and Alex plotted to get me mobile again.

Well they were scuppered when Al found a place near where he works that sold batteries at a sensible price and I got new ones for my birthday from him. Whey hey I was mobile again and believe me it makes a huge difference.

So J asked Iona whether she should just give me the money she had already raised and Iona said no way I would just spend it on the kids curriculum or something. She had a better idea…

And so on Christmas day I got the Bread Machine!

I have been blessed with so9me amazingly kind and thoughtful friends. Another friend sends money just to help us out. We never have to ask; he just seems to know and sends something; and of course there is the lady at church and a very special aunt who also makes sure we keep swimming. I never take this for granted and am so grateful.

Most often we spend the money on things that can be shared with others or passed on. I hope we can give back something of what we have been given in some way.

Thank you.

Parenting is an eternal role.

Some things are eternal.

Once you come into existance, you will always exist. Each person from the moment of conception is eternal however long they last in this life. Then there are roles that once begun can never end; the priesthood-once ordianed a priest is a priest forever; and parenthood, once a parent, always a parent. I will always be my children’s mother for ever, no matter what. That includes being mother to the children I conceived but never got to hold.

You can never give up being a mother or a father. From the first moment of conception there is a mother and father and they will remain that child’s mother or father from that moment and through eternity. Marriage is temporary, it ends at death-but not parenthood.  If a child dies, whether before or after birth, they remain your child, even when they are with God. So when your mother (or father) dies she is still your mother and in her new place can pray for her children.

But being a parent isn’t simply something you are, it’s something you do. Presuming the child you conceive lives long enough to get born, then you begin the doing side of parenting.

How you fulfil your role will change as the years pass, but there will always need to be plenty of love to hand around. Donna and I talked about children growing up and learning to make their own decisions about life. We talked about the early years where we set the boundaries and gave them space to learn and to understand right and wrong and how we can only hope that as they make their own decisions as they get older, that the foundations are strong enough. We teach them how to fly away, but always keep the nest warm I guess.  We wondered about how we support them as mums and how to help them forgive us when we don’t get it right. There are choices to be made as a mum or dad and those choices are essentially about how good a parent you are prepared to be.

You may remember I wrote some time ago that Donna had been criticised by some friends of hers for laying down some ground rules for her older daughter in her relationship with Alex, and she was teased for going out with them sometimes. She had a good laugh with both Alex and her daughter and sometimes we all went out together.

I told her that a mother was irresplacable in many ways and being a mum is very different from being a dad I think. Certainly those of us who don’t have mothers who are here for us can find someone else, as I did with Sr Kath, but it is rare for a child to find someone else who can be a real ‘mum’ to them. Sr Kath has been amazing as my ‘mum’ and has seen me through all the business of growing up as she has been there since I was 15/16 years old, but I never lived with her as children do with their mother.

We had talked a few times about how best to support Alex and MC as they built their relationship with one another, and we would joke about how to be mother-in-laws together; badly behaved ones. All I can say is BE THERE for your children mothers, because you never know when they might truly need you. You might think that once they have reached the age of 13, 16, 18 or whatever the magic “I-can-leave-’em-to-it” age you might have in your head, but you never know when they will need someone’s shoulder to cry on. Believe me, if you don’t have a strong relationship when a crisis hits I can’t see how they will ever turn to you and how they will get support.

All that stuff Jesus says about the final Judgement where God will essentially see whether you fed the hungry, clothed the naked, took care of the sick, visited those in prison, gave a cuppa to the thirsty; sounds like being a mum to me. Let’s face it, if we can’t do that for our own children we wont get far with anyone else’s will we?  And just in case you are thinking, God forbid I ever have to visit my kids in prison; remember there is more than one kind of prison. A couple of the mums are members of the NCT and come across plenty of young mothers who get stuck at home with no support. In fact we have a plan afoot to try and get a support from started near here. while in the past daughters could rely on their mother or aunts to be there for them when they had a baby, that simply isn’t the case for so many mothers these days.  There are lots of girls entering motherhood without their mother these days either because she has died or is too ill, or sadly, far too commonly, because she is too busy doing her own thing to care.

But then I think being a parent means being open to new members of the family. We will be there for Donna’s girls-but I am more than a little aware that I can never be mother to them, because I am not their mum; Donna is still their mother and always will be; but I will do my best to at least mitigate some of their loss. Pray for us trying to do this.

Sorry this is a bit rambly-but I think I’ll post it like this anyway.

Feast of Holy Innocents

On the feast of Holy Innocents we remember all those children who have died. I tend to remember my own little miscarried ones and all mothers who have lost babies whether through miscarriage or the violence of abortion.

Todays feast remembers all the children slaughtered by Herod’s men,  just following orders, in Bethlehem. I have heard some criticism of the story on the grounds that the only known recording of the event is in Matthew’s Gospel.  The argument seems to be that if the event isn’t written about elsewhere, as far as we know, then Matthew was making it up. I have to say I would need a lot more evidence that Matthew lied, than the fact that 2000 years later surviving documents from the time don’t record it.  Surely a more sensible view is that Matthew heard the story from those it most effected, Jesus Mother for example.

It seems a sad fact that many ancient powers and civilisations were busy killing children in some way. And none of them are left. There is a god who promises wealth and all sorts of comforts if only parents will give him their children; Molech, Saturn, Crom Cruach, the serpent god of the Aztecs and so the list of names goes on. Even the Romans were found to have turned to child sacrifice at times. It seems one of the few major civilisations not to sacrifice children was ancient Egypt, which although there was some human sacrifice, didn’t target children as such. How odd it is that we so admire their wonderful buildings and don’t wonder why they are all empty.

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Feast of the Holy Family

I missed Mass yesterday for St Stephen’s day, which was a shame, but it was lovely to go this morning for the Feast of the Holy Family. The Church still looks really lovely with the tree and candles and the light streaming in through the windows.

I managed to take a couple of photos before too many people were already in Church.

Father talked about how his parents had a picture of the Holy Family up at home but sometimes with himself and his siblings around things weren’t as holy as they might be. LOL.

The readings for the day were aimed at both children, instructing them in respect and honour as well as care of elderly parents; and also just as importantly at parents- telling husbands to love their wives and reminding parents to be good to their children.

I have an unfinished blog entry to work on, where I was thinking about the role of being a mother. It was after conversations with Donna -but when she died I never finished writing it. I think I need to go back to it soon and think it through.

I noticed when I got home and had a look at the computer that Ed Balls has suddenly changed his mind and after 12 years of actively undermining marriage and family has scratched his head and muttered that marriage might be okay after all, and not just because those of us who are trying to bring our children up to be happy and mentally healthy are paying something like 40% extra tax either. Sometimes I am left wondering what on earth Balls and his mates actually THINK about.

Father reminded us that the Holy Family had a difficult time of it, not just because Jesus ended up being born in a stable, but the flight into Egypt because Herod was out to kill him and then having to try and re-make their lives back in Nazareth when it was all over. He talked about the terrible problems in family life these days with divorce and family break down, but pointed out there was nothing new under the sun and families have always faced horrors of some kind. Having to run away from the authorities because they were out to get you being just one.

After Mass Heleyna sat by the crib and waved at the baby Jesus. The pictures the children made are there in the photo and Heleyna’s is behind her.

A kind lady, one of the mothers of the church, handed me some money to help us out with the costs of Christmas. There are some very thoughtful, kind people around. She isn’t the only person who has been kind at this time. I really hope when I’m older we can do the same for young families in our parish, remembering how our struggles to make ends meet were helped by others.

And on that note I have to say I have received a really lovely Christmas present, which I will tell you all about later. Must run now.

Happy Christmas!

Manger Happy Christmas to you all.

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Home Education Review: Because school is the normal place for children to be.

Finally, I have finished reading the Select Committee Report on Badman’s bad review. I spent a bit of time thinking about the Conclusions and Recommendations as this is after all a cross party view,  isn’t it?

I really think that the negative aspects of the whole business is based on the assumption that going to school is “normal” and learning in some other place than school is abnormal. There is also an underlying assumption that “professionals” such as those of the LAs are more knowledgeable about the educational needs of children, even those they have never met, than the parents.

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Home Ed Review: Select Committee response and some questions playing on my mind.

I’m reading through the Select Committee Response to the Badman Review and a few things are bugging me.

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Advent O Antiphons and other stuff.

We sang O Come O Come Emmanuel today at Mass. I love it. Real Advent hymn.

Usually I have the children make O Antiphon decorations for the Jesse Tree, but I haven’t got around to it this year. Perhaps we’ll get chance to do something tomorrow. The children also need a bit of time to make their birthday pressies for Jesus which we take up to Mass on Christmas Eve and they leave them at the crib when it’s over.

Mass was especially lovely today. The huge tree is up with some of the decorations the children at the Sat night Mass have made. Alex stayed after Mass with some of the other Altar servers to finish getting the tree ready and to put up the crib.

We had a lot of baptisms in Mass today, two parents and their children and another baby.  Adult baptisms are more unusual but we are getting a steady stream of converts still.

I had a word with Father after Mass about a few bits and pieces to do with Donna’s funeral. He told me about letters and messages he had recieved saying what an impact the funeral had had on people. I had also received similar messages.  Death is a terrible thing in some ways and Donna’s worse than many, but even here something good can come of it. I am glad.

O Clavis David: O Key of David, is today’s O Antiphon. The Key that opens and no one can shut, that shuts and no one can open. It is the key that opens the jail of darkness so we can be led out into the Light.

Christmas cooking; mincemeat

Deb has some great recipes on her site. And finally we have got to grips with some proper Christmas cooking this year. Late-but better than never I guess.


You will need a pretty large mixing bowl for this. I also recommend having a number of smallish children with scissors on hand.

In the bowl put

1 lb of cranberries-a mixture of fresh and dried is good.

8oz or three big cooking apples peeled and diced.

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In Praise of the Open University,Morton’s Funeral Service, and the Art Dept at Bournville College.

Okay, I realise these are somewhat disparate topics but it just so happens that I had contact with both yesterday and thought I would say how good they are.

First; The Open University: Last week we sent off the application form for Iona to start one of their level 1, 10 point courses. She turns 16 in Jan and the course starts Feb so she would just be over the 16 mark in time.

Yesterday Iona received a call from a lady at the OU who co-ordinates the Youth Access scheme and so contacts all the under 18 applicants to talk it through with them. She was brilliant. She was concerned about the transition from being ‘taught’ to the self discipline of a more autonomous approach. She asked how much actual teaching I gave her and Iona said she was more or less fully autonomous now. The lady actually told Iona they find home educated young people are better equipped to deal with the requirements of the course because they have usually had to work autonomously quite a bit, whereas schooled children are used to being taught directly.

She went on to explain how the online course works and about the importance of getting TMAs in on time.

I was very impressed.

We are hoping that if all goes well Iona could manage 120 points over the next couple of years-possibly even more- and then she would have a good head start for any degree she was interested in. (If she was interested in doing a degree; that remains undecided at this point).

And then there was Morton’s Funeral Directors. I know most people wouldn’t really notice the people who do the funeral-and that is how it should be, but they do it so well. The lady who has organised everything with me was patient, gentle and very professional. When I went to collect Donna’s things yesterday they had all been carefully bagged and her ring was in a proper little ring bag so I can give it nicely back to her family.

It is the little details that make life less stressful when you are already going through a bad time.  I think there is a real skill in being able to handle grieving people doing the most difficult task of arranging all the bits and pieces of a funeral. Anyway I am truly grateful to them.

Finally then, priase is due to the tutors of the Art Dept at college where Alex has received some excellent support. The head tutor there is very sensible and has offered Alex proper care and support as he goes through the grief of losing Donna and the fact that he must be there for his girlfriend. I was concerned there may have been a lack of understanding because she was “just” his girlfriend’s mother-some places think you can’t have a close relationship with anyone other than a direct relative-but even without the explanation of how close Alex and Donna were, the tutors have been brilliant. He has even been offered some bereavement counselling there if he feels he needs it.

Home Education, Badman and the Select Committee.

I am reading the report and suddenly I come across this:

All but one of the home educators and home education organisations who contacted us were highly critical of the Badman Report and were very resistant to the idea that local authorities should be given new powers in relation to the regulation and monitoring of home education. This viewpoint has dominated debate surrounding the Badman Report more generally. On this matter we would note our unease at the reluctance of some to speak publicly on the Badman Report due to fear of harassment from sections of the home educating population.

Have I missed something here? I was under the very strong impression that most home educators who were reluctant to speak out over Badman and Balls were afraid of harassment from the Local Authorities not fellow home educators! Where on earth has the view that the silent ones were afraid of other home edders come from? In fact the reports next paragraph states:

A number of local authority officers suggested to us that, in their experience, the majority of known home educating families welcomed the contact that they had with their local authority.[30] Several of the officers described the very good relations that they had with these families, which in one case had built up over a number of years. Unfortunately, many of the home educators who contacted us were of the view that publication alone of the Badman Report had undermined any goodwill previously in place between home educating families and local authorities. Some referred to families who had ceased contact with their local authority simply because of publication of the Report.[31]

So that would support the view I had that many ‘silent’ home ed families were more afraid of the reaction of the LA than other home ed families.

As a matter of fact we are a family who had a very good relationship with the LA and will now be treading with extreme caution thanks to Badman and Balls. What did they expect?

I’ll keep reading…

Home Education Select Committee Report published

The Select Committee Report is out. In the summary I note this:

Debate has centred on the tension between, on the one hand, the absence of prescription in relation to home education and the ability of home educating families to refuse contact with their local authority, and, on the other, the duty on local authorities to ensure that every child in their area is receiving a suitable education.

This is a definite focus shift isn’t it? The whole thing began, not with concern over the “absence of prescription” but with accusations that we were a bunch of abusers hiding behind home education to keep our children “hidden” for “domestic servitude” and “forced marriage”. Remember? We were shoved in together with those who murdered Victoria Climbe and Kyrah Ishaq as though neither child had been well known to social services and as though Kyrah Ishaq has never been in school. Remember?

There was absolutely nothing at the beginning of this attack (it would be a stretch to call it a debate) that had anything to do with suitable education.

Of course plenty of us saw immediately where this would end up- prescriptive suitable education ie the government agenda being forced on our children. It is interesting to see them come out from the shadows and just say so.

The Committee think registration should be there as a voluntary thing, presumably with some carrot attached, but they also think we should all be providing  a “statement of intended approach”. The impression I get is that they would like to have a database of philosophies and have this as a base to measure outcomes at the end. Curiosity would make be comply-but that would have been had the other things never happened. We can’t turn the clock back now though.

They admit the whole review process was a bit of a farce and they are critical of Badman and Ball’s approach-but nevertheless they say that after two years if registration isn’t working for THEM then it will be made compulsory.

On outcomes I would suggest that research could be done in the usual ‘self-referral’ way without  too much variability being a problem. I would think that if home educated children were seen to be illiterate or criminal then we would have had some note made of this already. It’s the fact that certain populations (eg white boys of ‘working class’ origins) are doing very badly educationally in schools that has triggered some research. The fact that home educated children in surveys and research always come out smelling of roses should be a good sign.

Anyway. I need to read the whole thing and I’ll come back to this.

Home Education – reading week.

I’ve decided to make this week cooking and reading week. There’s a lot of books around that we don’t get a lot of time with in the normal run of things so it’s good to get a good old cuddle on the sofa with a pile of books.

We have read this book about Copernicus which is beautifully illustrated and reasonably well written. There’s a nice bit about how he worked out that Mars moves slower than Earth which I let the children work out for themselves. Avila got the answer first and was very pleased with herself.

Unfortunately the book makes out that the Church would not have supported the heliocentric view and even goes as far as suggested Copernicus didn’t publish his work until near his death for fear of censure. This isn’t true of course. Copernicus published his book when it was finished. He worked on it for a very long time-30 odd years. Meanwhile he was not the only priest working away at new ideas as Cardinal Nichoas of Cusa had said he believed the earth was not central to the universe and he was not censored.

The other thing I was a little disappointed in was the book leaves out the role Copernicus played in the formation of the Gregorian calender.

Nevertheless there is a good story line which shows his work as a doctor as well as astronomer.

All in all, not brilliant, but not awful either.

We’ve also been busy with Tmie dePaola books such as The Legend of the Poinsettia which is a book just crying out for all sorts of good imaginative Christmas activities to go with it. Maybe next year. The illustrations are lovely and very dePaolaish. It’s the kind of book I can leave Ronan to read when he reads to the girls and he wont have any problems with it.

Avila’s favourite story is another dePaola one The Legend of Old Befana. It’s an Italian legend and in Italy every year Old Befana visits the children and leaves cakes and coal for them. I have decided that when Alex and his beloved return from Italy in the new year we will celebrate Old Befana day here too.

Her day is Epipany -Twelfth Night, as the story goes that she should have gone with the three kings and went a little too late. I think there are similarities to the Russian Babushka story. In some older versions Befana is a witch but dePaola simply draws her as an old woman. You get the impression there is a deeper story to her with her lonliness and baking, sweeping and singing lullabys, but you never quite find out what that is. DePaola is a talented writer and I particularly love his illustrations.

Alex and his beloved will bring “coal” back from Italy with them. It is a sugar version that is left out for the children. We’ll do some little treats and have some fun that day.

Avila was very pleased with herself today when she read the first of her Oxford Reading Tree Stage 5 books.  While I know a lot of home ed parents don’t like reading schemes, she does get a boost in confidence and a sense of achievement when she reaches a new stage.

We’ve also read the splendid allegory “Take It To The Queen” today. There were some difficult words in it and the children asked about them. It’s a book that started a lot of discussion with Ronan and Avila which is always a good sign. I didn’t tell them it was an allegory but Avila (who was on a roll today it seems) picked up on some of that as we went along.

I have a couple of Shirley Hughes books to read with them too. They have some nicely edited Winnie the Pooh books that we either read together or as happened yesterday Ronan and his mate Max sat and read together themseles.

We have a huge book of Classic Christmas Stories which Avila received from a friend last Christmas. It has all the best  ones in it including the Nutcracker and the story of the Christmas Tree by Hans Christian Anderson.

I think we shall have lots of cuddle time and stories ahead and then the week finishes with the home ed Christmas party. We’re all supplying food and some games and activities and the children are going to dress up.  Fun to be had by all.

Long Dark Night

St John of the Cross is well known for his beautiful writing on The Dark Night of the Soul. He was a man who knew suffering well, up close and personal; as of course did his dear friend St Teresa of Avila.

He accepted the Cross and carried it with a peace that he was able to write about and share with others. Dark Night can be a terribly lonely thing, but it is one where the soul is supposed to be passive to God but active with Him.

It is often said of suffering that the Lord never gives us more than we can carry. I am not so sure about that.  Christ Himself couldn’t manage His cross alone, so I don’t see why it should be thought that each of us can carry our own cross. On the contrary, we are called to carry one another’s burdens and that is what will make them light.

Helping carry another person’s burden does not-sadly-mean that we can make everything okay. Simon of Cyrene helped carry the cross but could not prevent the crucifixion. Ebed Melech pulled Jeremiah from the pit but he couldn’t prevent the prophet being sent into exile.

Sometimes we can truly do our best and still it is not enough to help the other.  Even so, it must be done. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

If you, now are in the position of having to help someone who is in a bad way all I can say is; keep going. Pray and work St Benedict said (ora et labora).  Sometimes you have to brace yourself for the long haul and even worse there are times when you just know that no matter what you do-it wont be for long.

Then God hands you another responsibility and you must pray for discernment and strength and lots of grace.

However heavy the cross remember that God never expects anyone to carry theirs alone. If anyone is, someone else is reneging on their call. John and Teresa had each other.

Share and be happy. Give TIME and find joy.

Today’s readings were pointing us towards how to find happiness. Ronan went up to light the pink candle and even with all Donna’s flowers in church (which even though I had arranged for that took me by surprise) there was a lifted mood there.

Father told us we find happiness by sharing what we have. Give away your second tunic he reminded us. He is right of course, we need to hand on those children’s clothes to other mums who are struggling to afford them just as much as we did. We need to sort out the kids toys and make sure Father Christmas receives a few for other children.

There is joy in a shared lunch where everyone brings something and we all eat together.

But I think the thing many people seem to have little of is time.  Putting money in a tin is easy, as is bagging up those unwanted baby clothes; but rearranging your day for someone else’s benefit is a true giving. Making that phone call you know will be difficult because the other person is going through a bad time; but you make it anyway-THAT is giving.

Taking the children off someone’s hands for a day while they struggle with a crisis-that is giving.

One of the major sorrows for so many people these days is that no one has time for them.  We are awaiting the arrival of Christ and He will come in Glory one of these days and ask us what we did for the sick, naked and prisoners; many of whom are in our own families.

In short try and do things that make others feel better, rather than what you think will make you feel better and hey presto! There is Joy and Peace.

When good men say nothing.

There’s an old saying that evil flourishes when good men say (or do) nothing. I disagree. I think it is a very rare situation indeed where a “good” person can remain silent in the face of encroaching evil.

When attacks on the rights of families (opens Pdf H/T Carlotta) are made by organisations such as the NSPCC and those involved with the Badman Review on behalf of a Government intent on forcing it’s views even on children, then no “good” men can be silent.  The silent ones are not “good” at all.

The lack of press response is hardly surprising. We are just a bunch of “white middle class mummys” as far as they are concerned and therefore of no interest-and anyway children’s well-being is never interesting unless there’s a dead body involved.  I never thought of the MSM as “good” anyway.

But this attack (which is surely malicious in its intent) is not just an attack on some kooky weirdos who wont send their children to school like “normal” people-it is an attack on the right and duty of parents to ensure the education of our children.  But too many people are not aware of what is happening.

The MSM tells you everything you never wanted to know about some ‘celebrity’ or other and the latest-in grinding detail-sports events; but the real news never sees the light of day.  Many people who came to sign the petition last week commented that they had not been aware of what was happening. They WANTED to know, but had not had access via MSM to any information-and had therefore been silent.

But the “good men” who need to speak out are not just journalists (who wont) but those in positions of power and authority who are surely made aware by those in distress that the rights of parents and the well being of children are being undermined.

Politicians, councillors, bishops and even a few of those “celebrities” maybe could speak out against this.  The fact that so many Home Educating parents and children have spoken out has raised some awareness and brought our heroes Graham Stuart and Lord Lucas on board to fight for us.

It was wonderful to watch the petitions being handed in (scroll across to 7hrs 52min). The sheer effort of so many people mean the record was smashed. Carlotta reports that 288 MPs received petitions to hand in!

It was the willingness of families including many who have never and probably will never home educate joining us in speaking out that has led to the historic petition hand in.

Many people have remained silent despite requests for letter writing or just filling in the occasional petition. Some have openly admitted fear at giving out their name and address to anyone connected with this Government, and I have to admit some small sympathy with that, but if all of us had done the same you can bet there would have been NO politicians on our side over this apparently “small” issue. Without the concerted effort of those willing to put themselves at that slight risk-this Bill would be going through quickly and quietly. Even now we are not guaranteed it wont succeed as the Wash Up could include it.

We need to speak out against the constant attacks on the family through so many measures in this country. We need to challenge Ed Balls constant anti-family statements and strategies aand demand the needs of children come first, rather than be sacrificed to some sort of political expediency.  Children need to be safe, to be allowed to live, allowed to be born and cared for no matter what their disability,  to be under the protection of their parents unless there is good reason otherwise and to have an education that is both safe and true.

Silence is often collusion with evil, enabling it to continue.

We are silent too often.

So many young people saying Goodbye and God Rest.

We planned Donna’s funeral over last week and she was received into the Church on Sunday night for her funeral on Monday morning.

It was done beautifully and I was struck by the number of young people there who knew and loved Donna and will miss her so much. Josh did a couple of readings and the other reading was done by one of the Explorer Scouts who all knew Donna as her daughter is a member.

There were other youngsters for the Offertory and so many others there who came with their parents to say Goodbye.  Donna was very much part of our parish and so there was a strong parish presence on both Sunday and Monday night.

Alex has been supportive of his girlfriend and helped me plan the funeral. I have to say both of them have been remarkable in how they have handled this situation. I truly wish Alex had not had to do what he did and that his lovely girlfriend still had her mother.

Donna was very much part of our home ed group even though both her girls were in school. She was amazingly supportive of us all and the children adored her. Her support and enthusiasm for what we were doing will be sorely missed.

Donna and I were ‘mother-in-laws’ together-very naughty ones and I will sorely miss those days and the seriousness of being mothers to Alex and MC as they work their way through their relationship.

I think the fact that they have stood so close together throughout this appalling ordeal will stand them in good stead; but I wish they hadn’t had to.

We are grateful for the prayers and messages and for those who have been kind enough to offer help. Thank you all.

It’s difficult to explain all this, grief is a strange thing. I’ll leave it there. Sorry for the ramble.

My friend has died

I wont be blogging over the next few days.

A dear friend has died.

I ask fir your prayers for her and all who love her especially her two daughters and her husband.