Over the past few weeks events, tragedies and atrocities have occurred which have made me reflect and think. In these times our grief turns to those most close to the person; the parents, siblings, family and friends, then you begin to look in the mirror of life and think quite selfishly ‘what if that was me, or my family’. A natural reaction to sadness thrust upon you by something out of your control. You ultimately turn to the people closest to you and feel grateful for what you still have and feel grief for the people who have lost the most precious gift of life closest to them.
We can’t stop things from happening to good people, we can’t put our lives on hold incase ‘something’ happens. I have a number of fears that have led me to writing this ….
A fear that we spend so much time rushing to get things done that we never ‘have time’ to stop and inhale the beauty of today …
A fear that we wish time away because we do not like what we are doing or who we are in this very moment …
A fear that one day we will run out of time so say the things we should have said…
Instead we must always be mindful of;
- what we have
- who we have and
- who we are to ensure that we live our short lives to the fullest.
So today, I have reflected upon some of the things my parents have taught me on the way, it hasn’t always been a walk in the park nor have I always shown my appreciation for the values they have given me. But here is my chance to do just that.
I imagine that if there is an external super being or the world is one big goggle box that this is what the narrator would say about the life lessons taught by the legends that are: Duncan and Donise.
1. “YOU ARE NEVER ALONE”:
Despite living in different countries for most of the year you are never without them. As Donise says: “What is a 3 hr plane journey?”.
2. “YOUR FUTURE IS INFLUENCED BY YOUR PAST”:
- Your Granny was a strong defiant woman who taught you the value of hard work, and the morals and virtues to follow in order to find peace. She also influenced your eclectic taste in music and introduced you to flapjack a.k.a Granny Crumble
- Nanna taught you the value of giving to the people who need it the most and taking people in who have nowhere to go. She would be proud to see you continually defending the people who are unable to defend themselves. She is also the person you inherited your taste in clothes and fashion from and wonderful sayings that do not make an ounce of sense. …. ‘its not the cough that carries you off, its the coffin that they carry you off in’ as an example.
- AJ taught you that love does not have an expiry date. You may lose the one you love but making sure their soul lives on allows for those around you to get to know and love somebody they will never meet. AJ also taught you that despite losing everything, as long as you have people around you and your faith, you will get through it. You will smile again. You will laugh again. It will take time but you will get there.
But this is not to say that you are not inspired by men. Quite the opposite ….
- Granddad: you will always be Granddads little ‘Tattie’ and the epitome of the sparkle the first Granddaughter gives to her Granddad; the sparkle which you are all too often familiar with when seeing Duncan and Erin today. Your Granddad would be proud to see you still playing football; the last smile he gave you was hearing about your hat-trick against the scousers for school, a memory that will stay with you forever.
- Granddad Lees – A man whose bravery, courage and honour remains a part of us all to this this.
- The boys
3. “BUSINESS CAN BE PLEASURE”
As a little girl you loved going into Warburtons on a Saturday morning with your Dad. You would sit on his knee in the car and steer it into the car park, you would close your eyes and let the sweet smell of bread tickle your nose and you would get over excited at wearing a blue hair net and ear plugs ready for the ‘boss’s walk around’. One day you asked him why he loved his job so much, his response was along the lines of:
4. “LIFE IS NOT ONE ISOLATED EVENT BUT A SERIES OF MISHAPS, OUTAKES, AND ACHIEVEMENTS”
Just because you have failed one assignment, failed your driving test or the dog has eaten your designer shoes what does it matter? Are you still healthy? Yes. Are you alive? Yes. Brush your self off and carry on.
5. “FOLLOWING FOOTSTEPS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOUR FEET HAVE TO FIT THE MOULD OF EVERYBODY ELSE”
“Of course you want to be successful like your Mamma and Pops and the boys but you Bex, are a little different. You always have been and you always will be. You will take your journey not on the straight path by placing your feet within the moulds of everyone else, you will get distracted by shiny things, butterflies and the track of curiosity. It may take you longer to figure out how to get back on the main road but that is what you enjoy about the adventures of life. And by gosh the things you will learn from the stumbles, the muck and the hike. Take care whilst you tread, be mindful and enjoy the ride!”
6. SELF-CARE: MUMS KNOWS BEST:
7. LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR DRAMA
8. “YOU WILL FIND FAMILY IN FRIENDS AND FRIENDS WILL FIND FAMILY IN YOU.”
9 . “YOU’RE AMAZING JUST THE WAY YOU ARE”
10. “GO TO UNIVERSITY FOR THE EXPERIENCE. IF YOU GET A DEGREE IT’S A BONUS”
11. “YOUR MUM WILL BE THE BEST TEACHER YOU EVER HAD”
Colonel Fazackerly Butterworth Toast bought an old castle complete with a ghost, but someone or other forgot to declare to Colnel Faz-ack that the spectre was there, early one evening while waiting to dine the colonel was taking a fine sherry wine when the ghost with a furious flash and a flare shot out of the chimney and shivered beware …..
Take off your coat walter, lay it over that pool of water, take off your coat and enjoy the walter raleigh bluesTake this is piece of tobacco take a sniff its got a really big K-O best of all is when you rub it up small put it in mouth and kap-pow what a tasteI don’t wish to know it, put it in your pipe and smokeWhat a good idea I hadn’t thought about doing that
12. TRAVEL AND LEARN
13. “MONEY ISN’T EVERYTHING”
14. “KEEP ON CHANGING THE WORLD, GIRL!”
16. . “LIFE ISN’T EASY BUT IT’S HARDER TO GET THROUGH IT ALONE”
17. “WE WORRY BECAUSE WE CARE”
- In California you wrote off a car and were stranded in the dessert for hours on end, without water or phone signal
- On the way home from California you missed your flight and managed to talk your way through 3 airports onto 3 flights for free. How?
- You once fell asleep on a train to Lincoln and it took you 8 hours to get there
- You once pretended to be asleep on a train to London because you missed the one you were booked on to and the second was £200. You had 20p on your person at the time.
- You once picked up a hitchhiker off the side of the road and thought nothing of it
- You once ran a marathon even though you can’t run, you are asthmatic and trained 10 miles short of 26 miles
- You once lost your drivers license and had no idea you had until the police turned up to the house with it
- You had no idea that you couldn’t park on yellow lines until the police turned up because you blocked the whole road for hours,
- You once had 6 iPhones in 18 months,
- You once stuck a fork in a light switch to make it work
- You once fell in a freezing canal because you were too busy gabbing
You are an inspiring head strong and motivated woman but bloody hell you have no common sense and there is only so long your good luck will last; there is only you who would smash your car up on the M6 and walk away without a scratch. There is only you who complained to Apple that there is a fault with your phone, when in actual fact you dropped it in your cheesy chips after a night out, they took it apart and agreed with you. HOW does this happen?
18. “WHEN YOU HAVE CHILDREN PUSH THEM INTO DOING EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING”
Growing up there was nothing that you were not allowed to be involved with; football, trampolining, netball, dancing, Youth Club, Brownies, music, shows, part time work, rounders to name a few. Being involved made you meet new people, appreciate different cultures and opinions, develop into a leader and express frustration through a sweet connection with a pigs bladder.
19. WHATEVER THE WEATHER….
Duncan and Donise have always been there come rain or shine. Whether that be Dunc putting his hand in the caravan toilet to retrieve your favourite dummy or Donise trying on Mercurial Vapours for you in the middle of Piccaddilly circus because nowhere else in the country had them. Or perhaps when they are always at the end of the phone or travelling the country watching you play for Burnley, Chester or Airbus. Thinking about it – try and work out how many days they have spent on the touchline, how many miles they have travelled or how many times Dunc has shouted the following:
“Get on the shoulder Bex”;
“Look at the state of their right back, use your pace and run at her”;
“If you get half a chance, with this wind it could go anywhere”;
Quite a few!
It doesn’t matter how old you are, when you see your supporters there you always try to; run a little harder, tackle a little stronger, shoot a little better and on rare occasions you actually manage to head the ball.
20. JUST BE YOURSELF
Last but not least: People can take away your sparkle, they can bruise your ego and intrude on your dreams but they can never take away who you truly are, only if you let them.
- Make it clear to the people around me how much they mean to me
- Always be the person I want to be; strong, happy and inspiring
- Be more mindful of the legacy I want to leave behind
Because one day, our fears will ring true. Our time will be up.
Love you always.