Changing Seasons – December

“Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.”
John Boswell

December has not been a good month for us this year. On 23rd November my 94-year-old mother-in-law passed away shortly before her 95th birthday. We were hoping to move her into a residential home where she could be better looked after and more comfortable, but that wasn’t to happen. She wanted to stay ‘independent’ in her own home and she did even though that so-called independence came at a price as family members strived to ensure her needs were met. Organising care from a distance is not easy and meant monthly journeys to check everything was being done as it should be accompanied by an element of guilt for not doing more. We wanted to respect her right to choose where she lived whilst at the same time we worried about her state of health and mental capacity.

We only returned to Cornwall in mid December after three long weeks of sorting out her ‘estate’ and funeral with Christmas almost thrust upon us this year. We barely acknowledge Christmas anyway, but this year it almost completely passed us by. Walks in the lanes have been thwarted by constant heavy rain and gale force wind, along with fog and dampness. And from what I have seen from the car everything looks sodden and brown.

At this time of year, teasels are a wonderful winter sight with their dried architectural heads. Historically the prickly tips of the fuller’s teasel were used for raising the nap on woollen cloth hence the verb “to teasel” meaning to carry out the process of fulling. The Romans referred to it as “Venus’s basin” due to the trough-like leaf formations at its base. According to folklore the water collected here is believed to have healing properties.

We could do with some healing properties right now.

The Changing Seasons | December

57 Comments

  1. So sorry for your loss and wishing you a new year that includes healing and peace to your soul.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Cindy. I’m sure that the future will be less stressful – at least I hope so!!

  2. Lynn says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your mother-in-law Jude. It is so worrisome & downright exhausting sometimes when the seniors in our lives start to fail.

    I hope that 2019 brings you a quiet sense of peace, gifting you time to heal & capture all of the wonderful images you manage to see through those eyes of yours!

    Happy New Year😘

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Lynn. HNY to you too 🙂

  3. The teasels are lovely and bright!

    I’m so sorry about your mother-in-law. What you day about her “independence” resonates with me. My mum is 92 and equally determined to stay in her own home which is ok at the moment, but I dread there being a time when that might not be feasible.

    I hope 2019 is a better year for you.

    1. Heyjude says:

      When we moved to Cornwall she was a little more mobile, but the last year has been particularly worrying. She was adamant about not going into a home which caused us, well the OH especially, a lot of heartache. What do you do for the best? I still hold with the idea that living to a very old age is only good if you are able to have a decent quality of health. Best wishes to you and Him for 2019 xx I look forward to travelling with you.

      1. I don’t know the answer either 😟. I also worry a lot, which means there may not be so many travels to share as we go away for shorter journeys and shorter periods. And I have less time to write about them anyway!

        1. Heyjude says:

          We’ve not been abroad since moving to Cornwall, even that was too far at times. At least now we don’t have to worry about that aspect.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother-in-law, Jude, especially right before her birthday. I’m sure it was tough to look after her in her waning days when she clung to her “independence.” And the weather sounds like it was quite a challenge too. I hope 2019 brings much joy, plenty of good weather, and much fulfillment. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      The weather has been pretty grim these last few weeks – not cold, but wet and grey – the two things I do not like. But bulbs are poking through so lots of lovely flowers to look forward to and I am sure the sun will return one day!!

      1. I’m sure it will, hopefully sooner than later!

  5. bushboy says:

    Sending (((hugs)))

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Brian.

  6. Sending sympathies on the loss of your mother-in-law, Jude. Hopefully you can enjoy some quiet time to rest and relax.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Carol. The last year has been a worry and lots of 6 hour train journeys for the OH each month, but at least he had a couple of weeks with her before the end which means a lot to him.

  7. Su Leslie says:

    The teasels are beautiful, and as always you have taught me something new (there’s now a scribbled reminder in my notebook to learn about old weaving techniques).
    I hope that you and the OH are beginning to recover and feel a little restored. It is tough watching our parents age and to struggle with what it means to do “the best” for them. I agree with you that quality of life is more important than quantity, but recognise that until death with dignity is a choice one can actually make, even trying to discuss such an option is fraught. Meantime, the aged care “industry” becomes enormous and highly profitable.

    Someone sent me this recently:

    Kai hora te marino, kia whakapapa
    pounamu te moana
    Kia tere karohirohi i mua i tou

    May calm be spread around you
    May the sea glisten like greenstone
    and the shimmer of summer
    Dance across your path

    Wishing you a peaceful, healthy and joy-filled New Year.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you for the poem. Most appropriate for me and my love of the glistening sea 🙂

  8. Jill's Scene says:

    Hi Jude, I am so sorry to read about the loss of your mother-in-law. That’s really hard, made more challenging with all the travelling. The photo of the teasel is beautiful. I love that sort of dry, stark beauty. I hope the New Year is peaceful, calm, and restorative for you and the rest of the family.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Jill. The last year or so have been increasingly more difficult, not least because we are not exactly young ourselves. Time to take stock now.

  9. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Dear Jude, I’m sorry to read about your M-in L, even for non Christmassy people it’s a bad time of year to lose someone. Getting older is no fun is it? Although I’m not with my ex anymore, his mum doesn’t have long now. I’ll be sad when she passes. She’s 92 and is refusing food and even liquids now. So soon after her granddaughter who was just 30.
    We really do have to make the most of every moment. Hugs to you and a better 2019xx

Comments are closed.