G is for Gratitude

Published 19/12/2016 by julierkendrick

Most of you know that at the beginning of the year I spent time in hospital after collapsing with heart problems (more about this next time), and the cliche is that it makes you realise that you shouldn’t take things for granted etc etc. Yes that is true, it’s a cliche for a reason but I think for me it has been more than that.

There was a period of time this year when I didn’t actually know if I would survive. I know that sounds dramatic but the doctors initially didn’t think I was taking it seriously enough and told Trevor to make me understand that this is a sudden death condition. It’s a very strange feeling to have your husband sit you down and tell you that you could die. But it did the trick and I became very aware of the severity of the issue.

Anyway, since leaving hospital I have started to look at life in a pretty wonderful way. Ever since my mother became ill and spent the next 20 years plus feeling sorry for herself and saying ‘why me, why me?’, I was determined that if I ever became ill I would be the complete opposite. I had that chance this year and grabbed it with both hands.  Instead of thinking, and saying, ‘why me?’ I have turned it round and said “why NOT me?” I’m no more special than anyone else. My life hasn’t been terrible. Yes I’ve had many difficult times but I got through them to where I am today. My overriding thought about what has happened to me this year is this; it is just my turn.

All of us at some point has had a loved one who has been ill or who has had to face something terrible in their life. If we are good people (and all of you are), we try to help them as much as we can and be there for them and, if you are a person of faith, pray for them. So this year I found myself being on the receiving end of the help, support, love and prayers.

And boy did it make a difference.

I didn’t realise how many wonderful people I have in my life. My husband, who adores me, was my absolute rock. My 4 wonderful sons phoned, visited and generally made me laugh like they always do. Sam, ahhh Sam he was only 14 and obviously scared but he put on a brave face and supported his dad, growing up a little quicker than he should have had to. My remarkable friends, Diane, Glen, Kala, Jimi, Nicky and so many more showed how they care in their own ways by always being at the end of the phone or at the end of my bed. And my church family. What incredible people they are. They prayed for me and supplied Trevor with hugs and unending love and spiritual support.

So, with all of this positivity around me how can I not be grateful? How can I not see the good in this situation. I look at the beautiful area in which I live and breathe in the clear fresh air and I am so happy to be alive. I see my dogs playing and being silly, making us all laugh and I am so glad that they are mine. I think about my 4 boys and feel my heart burst when I think of each one individually. I look at my house and possessions and remember the hard times Trevor and I have had and how far we have come. I think about my friends and smile, feeling blessed that each one of them is in my heart.

I now have my own business and fully intend to make a success of it. I want to spend the rest of my life, however long that is, being surrounded by things that make me happy. Not because I want to be selfish or that I am thinking only about my own wants but because I NEVER want to stop being grateful. I never want to stop getting pleasure from watching butterflies land on flowers, from listening to my dogs snoring, from singing at the top of my voice to a song that touches me, from the smell of Christmas candles, from surrounding myself with beautifully soft balls of wool, from being kissed fully on the lips.

Life is so magnificent and we truly don’t know how long we have ours for so I implore you not to forget the small things, the tiny things that can actually make your day when you focus on them and not the negativity that can obscure the clarity of a beautiful existence.

Gratitude. It’s a powerful thing.

gratitude-quotes

F is for Father

Published 26/10/2016 by julierkendrick

I decided to wait until today to write this blog post for a very special reason. Today is my dad’s birthday. But not just any birthday. If he was still alive today would be his 100th birthday. He would have had his telegram from the Queen’s this morning (or does she text now?) and we would have celebrated in true dad style, but having a nice cup of tea.

photo-26-10-2016-14-53-46

This is Roy. He was my dad. A painfully shy man that liked a flutter on the horses and nice roast dinner with his favourite veg, runner beans. There is so much I could tell you about this man but I’ll give you a few bullet point facts.

  • He was the eldest of 3 and had 2 younger sisters. They all got on exceptionally well their whole lives. I never knew them to argue or fall out.
  • My dad never drank or shouted and I only heard him swear a handful of times. He did however, smoke like a chimney.
  • He was married before he met my mum and had a son and a daughter (neither of whom want to know me).
  • He was in the RAF and took part in WW2, however he never ever set foot in a plane and never flew in his whole life.
  • There was 25 years between him and my mum and when I was born he was 54. He was often mistaken as my grandfather.
  • He was very affectionate and loved to brush my hair when I was little.
  • My dad was a Christian and encouraged my faith but never forced me to go to church. He did take me to Sunday School but I never ever saw him inside a church.
  • He was an absolute stickler for good English and spelling and instilled in me a love of language. On a Sunday afternoon when I was Primary School age he used to set me 10 spellings that I had to get right and those I didn’t I had to write 10 times each. This wasn’t a punishment more like practice of an art form. I never resented this and have passed this on to my boys too. I hope he would be proud.
  • He was terrified of hospitals and throughout my life only had to go in once, in 1985 when he had heart failure. He was in a week and then on meds for the rest of his life but he was to all intents and purposes as fit as a butcher’s dog.
  • I believe he knew he was going to die because in the week leading up to his death he wanted to spend a lot of time with my boys who were 3, 2 and 8 months at the time. He told me they were wonderful boys and would make me proud. He was right. I am sad he never got to meet Trevor or Sam. He would have loved them.
  • My dad died very suddenly and unexpectedly on 10th May 1995 aged 78. He rang me up at midday saying he felt ill and I told him I would take him to the Doctor’s at 6pm. He had his lunch and fell asleep on the sofa, like he did every afternoon, and never woke up. Unbeknownst to him he had a massive stroke and a brain Hemorrhage. He never felt any pain and never had to suffer the indignity of being in hospital.
  • His last words to me were “I love you Julie”.

It’s been 22 years since we lost him and I really do think about him most days but today is definitely dedicated to him. Happy 100th Birthday Daddy. I love you.

tommie-s-tools-100th-day-of-school-vcig1u-clipart

E is for Epiphany

Published 14/10/2016 by julierkendrick

Well hello again. It’s been a while. About 2 years I think and for that I must apologise.  I don’t really know why I stopped writing because I really do enjoy it and the feedback I received from my blog was always positive.

Anyway, this quick post is just to let you all know that I have recently had an epiphany and will now be writing my blog again. This amazing turnaround occurred earlier this year and I will document it, among other things,  over the coming posts to keep you all entertained with my musings. There will generally be one post per week although I am sure that some burning issue will crop up and i will have to add my own take on it.

I am going to continue with the A-Z of blogging because I like a challenge and, well it’s taken me 2 years to come up with ‘E is for Epiphany’ so I can only improve when we come to letters like Q and X (gulp).

Please feel free to comment, either here or on Facebook, I’d love to hear what you have to say too.

epiphany

See you soon

Julie 🙂

 

Book Review – Garage Sale Stalker – Suzi Weinert

Published 07/09/2013 by julierkendrick

garage

I started this book expecting a cosy crime however this story was far from it. The main character Jennifer turned out to be a gritty determined older woman who is kidnapped by a serial killer and has to try to escape before his uses for her run out.

The author tells the story from Jennifer’s perspective but also of Ruger the killer as the book is as much about how be became that way as about the crime itself.
Although I was rooting for Jennifer and her family, I also felt sorry for Ruger (and his dog) which made for a nice confliction in my reading experience here.
This book was going to have a 5 star review but for two small things. Firstly, the sappy ending had me rolling my eyes a little but mainly it’s the title of the book. It doesn’t do it any justice and completely detracts from the actual style of the book.
However the writing was great and pulled me in, exciting me and keeping me reading late into the night. I look forward to reading more from this author.
4/5 Stars

Book Review – Three Wishes – Juli Alexander

Published 10/08/2013 by julierkendrick

3 wishesFor 2/3 of this book I was planning on giving it 4 stars, however when we hit the last third all of the things that had bothered me in the first part now became worse and by the time I had finished it had lost 2 stars.

So what was wrong?
Well the genie concept was interesting but strangely enough this was never really explored. Alexander didn’t ever explain how the genies grant wishes or how they managed to get from one place to another without arousing suspicion when they teleported. It was never explained what would happen if people were told that genies exist; it wasn’t detailed how much time passes in the real world when genies are called to do their duty and how do they explain their absences to the real world.
It felt to me that whenever Alexander needed to move the plot forward, details would get overlooked. Like, how did the suspect actually find out they were on to him/her (I don’t want to give it away so I won’t go into details). It came to the point where the penny was just dropping for some of the characters and then boom it was all over bar the shouting. The reason for the set up was also never explained in full so I ended up pretty confused by it all.
Another thing that did really irritate me was the relationships between the main family members. The protagonist, Jen is 17 in the book but her parents spoke to her and treated her like she was about 10, telling her she had to be in by 7.30pm and getting involved in brother/sister squabbles like they were life or death arguments. The mother was unnecessarily cagey about her work but again it seemed that the author used that caginess to gloss over plot points that hadn’t been fully planned out before the actual writing commenced.
I can imagine that you are wondering if I actually liked anything in the book.. yes i did. I like the easy style of writing that Ms Alexander has. The story gets going straight away and pulls you along with it. I do think that the genie aspect was such a promising avenue to explore and with a little more planning the story could have really taken off.
Juli Alexander is by no means a bad writer and I certainly wouldn’t judge her by this piece of work alone.
~This work has also been known under the title Karma Beat~
2/5

Book review – Joyland – Stephen King

Published 07/08/2013 by julierkendrick

joylandI was pretty excited when this book turned up in a tote at work and quickly grabbed a copy.  It went on my huge ‘to read’ pile but was destined to be read sooner rather than later.  So, when its turn came I snuggled down in my bed and started the first Stephen King book I’ve read in years.

Unfortunately I was quickly disappointed as I really wasn’t particularly enamoured by this book. Knowing that Stephen king has moved on from horror I was quite excited to read this new book. It was billed as a crime/ghost story and I suppose it was but I found it more of a coming of age tale, the crime and ghost bits just being second to the main story about the primary character, Dev and his relationship with a sick boy and his mother.

Having says that, Stephen King always writes well and I quite enjoyed the tale.

Is it up to his previous standard? No
Would I read future books of his? Of course, it is Stephen king after all.

3/5

Book Review – Unseen – Karin Slaughter

Published 30/07/2013 by julierkendrick

unseenThis is not the first book in the series and it was evident right from the start. The book presumes that you already know the characters, which you would do if you had read what goes before, but if not then it is a difficult book to follow.

When I have read series before and inadvertently started on the second or third book I have found that I can quite easily pick it up as the author will gently recap some of the salient issues. However Slaughter didn’t do that so I was making up my own back-story as I read. The trouble with this was that I didn’t really get to know the characters and therefore didn’t care what happened to them.
I never really got into the book so after about 70 pages I gave up and didn’t finish.
1/5