Saturday, 16 August 2008

A Challenge.

I have said before that I have been feeling hemmed in by problems lately, like being caught up in a net. Hence the photo! However you will see that there is a bright horizon in the distance.

During the time I was off line, I was touched to read your comments (via my cafe friend's internet.) You were all so kind and supportive, so thank you all those who left a comment of encouragement.
I had hoped to say, when I came back on line, that I had a beautifully clean house, but I used the time to to go off to places with Harry, or sometimes on my own. We also took the granddaughters out a couple of times a week.
I visited a few people. One of them, a younger person  who was a friend of my children when they used to go to school together. However, she has MS. She is living on her own and although she finds it difficult to walk hardly any distance, she remains cheerful and optimistic. Mandy is able to take herself off on holiday, all alone and cope with going to a strange place abroad, managing her electric buggy, and an enormous suitcase, while going through the airport procedures. She is using the money that her Nan left her to afford these trips, as she is unable to work. Mandy sets off not knowing who will help her or how she will cope. She gets extremely tired and comes home exhausted, but with happy memories and new people to write to.
During one of my visits to her flat, she asked me to help her with a strange contraption that she had ordered from a MS magazine, supposed to help her with her walking. It had bits of rubber to put round one foot connected to a rubber tube that ran the length of her leg to the hip. Straps went round her waist and across her shoulders. It was supposed to help lift her weak foot up. However, I think I made a mistake with the assembly, as Mandy had great difficulty standing up when we tried it out, let alone walking. We were both exhausted with trying by this time and I think both of us doubted that it was the miracle aid that it first appeared to be.
Mandy is an inspiration to me, as she knows how to enjoy herself and not give in to worry or the fear of the unknown.

On Sunday, Harry and I are going to take a coach, with several changes at various points, so that we can see my daughter and the family for a few days and nights. Because of the delays with waiting for our connections, travelling will take all day.
Things are very bad for our son in law, who has deteriorated fast, so Harry & I feel we must go and see them all.
I know it will not be an easy journey, both practically and emotionally. We may have to find lodgings, if we can, when we get there. The boys are traumatized by what they see and they are all receiving councelling from the cancer team to help them cope.

Those of you who told me to put my trust in God/Jesus and find joy in him without worrying about looking for happiness, that is fleeting, are, of course, right. He is looking after us, but it is not easy to hang in there at times. I sometimes need reminding to trust him.
Others told me to snatch what enjoyment that came my way and to dare to be happy. This also is good advice and I realize that I have to guard against pessimism.

Anyway, I will eventually get back into my routine blogging, Photo Story and Weekend Wandering and hope to get back to normal when we return next weekend.
The trip will be a challenge .........


Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Oh Maggie - I do feel for you and your family. Just when you would like to take some quality time for yourselves it becomes time to take a few deep breaths and rise to yet another challenge. Your daughter and grandsons, and indeed your son in law, will benefit enormously from having you near for a short while. Love is all powerful at times like this. Thinking of you all.

A x

Anonymous said...


Mandy is an inspiration! I love the fact that she goes off on her own to explore new places, whereas some people can't do that, and yet she has her electric buggy to contend with. Hats off to her!

For this weekend, I think deep down you know how to deal with it, and you will know what to say and do - you might think you won't know, but I think you do. Yes, it's going to be difficult challenge, but you can rise to it and do whatever you can to make things a little better. Sending my thoughts to you and all your family.

Peter x

cheshire wife said...


Take your inspiration from Mandy. I am sure that your daughter and grandsons will be pleased to see you and I am sure that you will cope with whatever you have to.Take care of youself.

CW x

softinthehead said...

Maggie - This sounds like a tough trip all around. I will be thinking of you and your family. Be positive and enjoy the time you all have together. Hugs.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hello Maggie, Yes it does sound extremely tough but it seems to me that you will find a way of getting through all of this. If you have to see the negative then let that happen too. Sometimes when we are told to put on a happy face when we just want to cry...then that can be soul destroying. Being with your family is what counts. Showing up means a lot to them all. The Spanish have a great sign off on letters: "muchos abrazos fuertes"..."lots of big/strong hugs" to you Hadriana xx

Anonymous said...

You will be fine MM you have strength of character and a wise head. I hope you find everything better than u think
I will light a candle for you

Mae said...

Honey, hang in there and keep the faith. God knows best, and he will let us down, though it might seems that way sometimes.

CrazyCath said...

...and we know that you meet challenges head on Maggie, and you'll be fine. You have the love and support of your husband and the whole blogging world. Just ask yourself what is the worst that will happen. It is never so bad you can't cope. Not when God is with you. He never gives you more than you can handle.

Take care and look forward to seeing you when you get back.

Granny Smith said...

What an inspirational story about Mandy! I have a niece with MS who is similarly courageous, although every time we see her she seems a little less able to move about.

I hope this weekend will not be too hard. I know that your daughter, grandsons and son-in-law will appreciate your presence and support. Even the physical trip via coach sounds difficult, although I know the emotional one is much more so. But you are a strong person and we're all rooting for you.

aims said...

Oh Maggie. You know my thoughts are with you. Cancer - well -

Mandy is not only an inspiration to you but to us all! Good for her for challenging herself and the world. Wow!

I hate that you have to go through this and that the whole family is suffering. It is horrible and the memories never fade. I wish they would.

Again - know I am thinking about you and yours. Bless.

Suburbia said...

Your daughter will be so glad to see you both. There is nothing like having your mum around to lift your spirits during hard times.
I think about you often Maggie. look forward to your regular blogging when you get home.

Mean Mom said...

Your friend is very brave. I'm sorry to hear that things are so much worse for your daughter, husband and family. You 2 will be a great comfort and I hope that your trip goes as well as possible in the circumstances.

® ♫ The Brit ♪ ® said...

Hi Maggie,
I was so sad to hear about all your recent worries :(
Hope you hang in there and cope as well as you can... just try to stay thinking positive, even though it is very difficult - I truly believe that positive thoughts are very healing.
All my best wishes and thoughts are with you and your family,
Big Hugs dear friend and have a great trip!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I am so sorry about your son in law. I will be praying for you. You can see my cousin on my post today that has MS. She is in the wheel chair all the time now and can only walk a couple of steps at all. It hurt me to see her like this, but she has such a sweet spirit. She is also very weak. I think we did so much running around that it wore her out. It's so hard to understand these things. I can remember questioning things when my daddy was dying of colon cancer. I don't think it's wrong to question. Even Jesus did. Becoming a Christian doesn't magically turn everything into gold from that point on, but we do have the knowledge that He died for our sins and we will be with Him someday.

Anonymous said...

It must be so awful to see your own father deteriorate from being someone who looks after his family to someone who is having to be looked after by his family. My heart goes out to you and your son-in-law.

I love being on my own and I can really appreciate why your friend needs that time.

CJ xx

elizabethm said...

I a so sorry to read of all your troubles coming back here after a few busy weeks. I am sure your daughter will be tremendously helped by your visit. It is just so important to know that you are not alone. Sending you and yours every good wish.

Liz said...

I guess you are with your daughter now. I am sorry to hear that your son-in-law has deteriorated so rapidly. I pray that he will not suffer unduly, and that God will be with your daughter, the children and her husband. And you of course. You have such a lot going on in your life. Grab moments of happiness; they are a blessing that help keep you above the mire.

When my husband had cancer - or rather after he'd recoverd - I rewrote psalm 18. It's on my blog now as I recalled it only last week. It's about hope for a brighter future future. And for me, it was very much about clinging on.
God bless you.

Lehners in France said...

It's good you can take inspiration from someone like Mandy. I do hope the councelling helps your grandchildren. It's a very tough time. Thinking of you all. Love and best wishes. Debs x

Bina said...

Maggie, that girl with MS sounds like an amazingly wonderful inspiration, and you could take some great lessons from her life, if you just look close enough.

I hope your trip goes well.

Lulda Casadaga said...

My thoughts are with you & yours in this time of anguish & pain...This is what we call LIFE...ech!
Having faith in something is a good idea and finding inspiration in people around us is even more energizing.
I will think of you & yours this weekend. I will be camping with my sister & we sit around the campfire we will send good vibes your way.
This is our 3rd annual cousins reunion and at some point we always take a moment to remember our loved ones who moved on...gone but never forgotten!

david mcmahon said...

If there is a way to channel strength to you and your loved ones, I'll do it, Maggie.

Minnesotablue said...

Maggie: My thoughts are with you and your family

pat houseworth said...

Maggie, Congrats on joining me on David's list of Top Post(s) of the day.

Nice blog, I will stop back by.

pat houseworth

pat houseworth said...

and I should add, trust in your friends and the lord Jesus Christ. We all have challenges, and my guess is, you will meet yours head on. You seem like your head is on straight, and up to any challenge.


Lavinia said...

I read this post and learned that it is cancer that your son in law and your daughter's family is coping with. I am very sorry to learn this. Difficult, difficult time. Stress, worry, frustration, despair, sorrow....

What can I say...other than I hope you are all able to comfort and support each other through this sad time, and to draw support from those in the community who are there for you.

Cancer is a devastating thing for families to cope with.