Dear Dad, I haven’t been well.

Dear Dad,

It’s been a while since we last talked.

In fact 2019 hasn’t started the way I would have liked. I’ve been really poorly since New Year with shingles. Although I’ve had them before, this time was worse. The pain has been excruciating. I have been completely wiped out and absolutely exhausted. The last three weeks have been a blur. I’ve battled with sleepless nights and then being so sleep deprived that I’ve slept and slept at odd times. Things I would usually get involved in have been on the back burner. In some ways this has been a good thing, especially in simply letting letting things happen around me rather than trying to keep up or make sense of everything. I’m not going to worry about what has already happened over the last three week. If it’s that urgent and important, then I’ll get to know it as and when I need to. Living in the present is important and you can’t simply try and relive three weeks whilst living in the here and now.

Only yesterday did I really take the time to look at the garden and see the changes. Our Christmas roses have been blooming and the snowdrops have erupted everywhere. I can see the shoots where tulips are making their way to the surface. There are still some areas that need a good tidy up where summer lilies have died back and the remnants of bedding plants a blowing round the garden like the balls of tumbleweed you see in westerns.

I received some GORRgeous flowers from colleagues. I’ve never had flowers arrive in a box so narrow it fits through the letterbox. It was amazing to watch the display change day by day.

I can’t get back the last three weeks of my life and that’s ok. 2019 starts today with recovery time, not trying to run before I can walk, and focusing on quality and and not quantity.

I have four singing engagements over the course of the year already in my diary. Some are specific occasions for the choirs where I am their guest. One will be recorded to commemorate a choir’s 50th anniversary. I’d better start thinking about the songs I’d like to perform.

It was three years ago today that we actually had our last Christmas Day together as neither you nor I had been well enough. Now that 2019 can officially start, time to take stock of what really matters. I still love the Dr Seuss quote, ‘Those who matter don’t mind. Thos who mind don’t matter.’ I know who matters to me and equally those whose presence does not enhance my life.

Look up, not down.

Look forward, not back.

The snow is set to fall today but I’ll find a moment to look at the snowdrops and tulip shoots growing in the garden of remembrance round the back of our church where your ashes are interred. It will be nice to get out for half an hour having not been out for three weeks. Better start the car, too, to make sure it kicks in.

Catch up soon, Dad.

With all my love as always.

Rachel xxx