2 July 2014

A Court Case, a Conference and a Cremation.

Normally when I'm very quiet, people know something is up and some kind souls will message me to ask if I'm OK.

Normally, I'm just coping with stuff and conserving my energy for dealing with it by having early nights and letting time socialising on-line be the thing that needs to give.

Normally, though, there aren't three super-challenging events in the space of seven days, preceded by several weeks building up to them.  Thank you to all of you who showed you care.

It's usually good practice to keep things close to my chest because then I don't have to face them all the time that way, but, sometimes stuff happens and it's just complicated, overwhelming, about the children in a way I don't want to make public or a combination of all three.  Sometimes, I'm just making a lot of noise elsewhere or consoling myself with a quiet coffee or even, perhaps, weeding the garden with extra gusto and wondering how to secure myself a proper job.  Sometimes, other things are a priority.

We lost my lovely Nana.

Some of you will remember me writing about her earlier in the year - 97 1/2, wonderful, loving, supportive, gregarious, bright as a button, so switched on she sussed the childrens' temperaments in an instant, funny, warm and an inspiration.  Her massive heart wore itself out and, very, very sadly, it was her funeral last week.  She would have loved to see so many members of our family come together like we did, the beautiful flowers and hymns and the playing of her gorgeous Il Divo.

This followed hot on the heels of the Britmums Live conference where I'd been Head Butterfly, holding peoples' hands to help them hold their nerves.  It was a great event and an opportunity to spend time with people who I know love me, who knew I was being brave and was grateful to be distracted.  They knew my heart was breaking and they were kind and tender and funny, something appreciated more than anyone can imagine.

Other positive things happened too.  I attended mainly writing sessions and after the one of them, a publisher handed me her card, saying she found me informed and engaging.  Please don't any of you put her right ;) so I will shortly be following up her lead, plus, I was advised that a recent research has found me in the top 10 Most Influential Single Parent Bloggers in the UK - which comes as a surreal surprise seeing as I deliberately don't hang my hat on that hook.

Having said that, however, there are two half-written posts in draft which are centred around being a single mum and as soon as the time comes, it makes sense to accept my fate, and, perhaps, capitalise on their other shocking announcement that now one in four families are headed up by single mums or dads.

Immediately prior to all this my ex-husband had decided to take me to court for increased contact with the children.  He has always been allowed more or less as much as he wants in a supervised environment but has battled against this since the beginning.  I find it infuriating, not to mention utterly inconvenient, hypocritical and a shoddy waste of time and energy, that he doesn't just play ball and build up trusting relationships with them so that the authorities (who are the ones who stipulate it) and I can see that they will be safe, emotionally as well as physically, but he doesn't seem capable of it.

So, instead of resenting any more moments he takes away from me, my life or them, with the inordinate amount of paperwork involved - something he has consistently necessitated for years by not using a solicitor, preferring to exploit me and mine, thereby shooting up costs and depriving the children still further of resources than he already does by refusing to pay any maintenance for them - I decided to take the rather more helpful view that each and every second is spent rightfully defending and protecting our boys, keeping them in an appropriate environment and facilitating their relationship with him in as healthy a way as is possible, but the truth is that it's difficult to ascertain how and what is best for them and I am happy to let the courts decide after their ruling that a further report is required regarding his mental health.

Being a Britmums Butterfly was an honour and a privilege and we, as a team, made it possible for lots of bloggers to meet up en route, or in a coffee shop or bar, ahead of the start of the conference, so that they didn't walk into a room of 700 other people not knowing anyone, if they weren't comfortable doing so.

I like to believe that firm, real life friendships were begun or cemented, the kind where people already know you without always having yet met you, the kind demonstrated to me in the midst of all this, where a sincere hug is given without any words being spoken except, secretly, 'I'm sorry for your loss, your Nana sounded incredible,' so that you can take a moment to accept a caress of comfort, but get on with your work without everyone else knowing your private grief, or 'I'm sorry that your shitty ex is still giving you such a hard time - he's such a tw*t.' And you can take another one to seize some solidarity, allow yourself to laugh and get on with your life.

That's what she would have wanted.

'Night 'Night Nana.

The boys and their Great Nana (1916-2014).

59 comments:

  1. Oh Anya I am so sorry to hear about your Nana. I didn't know. She does sound wonderful and I know you will miss her. As for that sorry excuse for a man, just keep your head high and remember there will come a day when the boys will be old enough for you not to have any dealings with him at all. And he will be the one missing out! Teresa

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    1. Thank you Teresa. You're right on all counts xx

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  2. I remember the post about your Nana very clearly, I was very touched by it and her bond with you and your boys. She sounded like an amazing woman. I am so sorry to hear that she is no longer with you. As for the other stuff, I am shocked that a father can actually get away with paying no maintenance. Thank god your boys have such a strong, wonderful mother. Stay strong - and take those odd moments out to have that Latte or glass of red wine and reflect on what a great job you're doing. xxx

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    1. Thank you MP - I remember your very heartfelt comment about her at the time. I posted it all off to her - including what all of you had said! I think it's sad that some fathers take the attitude that mine has - and the children definitely miss out. Thank you for your kind comments - I actually took your advice and tried that today and it was helpful xxx

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  3. I have tears running down my face my darling - but as I said on the day, love is glorious and that picture of your Nana and the boys just oozes light and love. Real hugs coming very soon

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    1. As you know, you are one of my kind friends and the beautiful Rose picture you gave me in her memory is hanging in the hall, thank you Jenny. Much love xxx

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  4. I think you have been amazing. I am sorry the day we got to spend time together was such a sad occasion, but it was an honour to spend time with you and your family, you are an amazing woman, I am sure Nan was very proud. Take good care and time, you deserve it xxx

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    1. Thank you Penny. You were ace on the day and it was an honour to spend time with you and yours too. I hope we make up for it some time soon and yes, she was proud, thank you, as I still am of her xxx

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  5. Sorry for your loss. You Nan sounds like a star who made you all happy to be around her.

    Hopefully the nightmare with your ex will be sorted out by those are are meant to and in the most appropriate way for you and the kids.

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    1. Thank you Emma. She was a star and now is one, I suppose (!) and she did make us all happy. Re the other matter - I hope so too :)

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss Anya. Here's hoping that the situation with your ex is resolved quickly and with minimal fuss for you and your boys. Thinking of you x

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  7. Oh my comment is gawn. I love that you've done such an open post and not a normal britmums live one. Sorry for your loss and I wish we connected more at BML. I don't know why you've had to carry too much in too short a space of time. It's heavy stuff. I hope you're Nana can do something about the ex now she's up with God's people. Sorry for your loss that last pic put a HUGE lump in my throat and caught me unawares. I am glad your boys got to know her and love her as you did. I hope things brighten now as you so deserve it. As the boys get older I hope they can learn to say things to him that make him stop and think. Sever all emotional ties with him. Ask Arch Angel Michael to use his sword to cut any hold he has over you. It's a powerful technique that works. Xxx

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    1. I have been hoping, Liska, that spiritually speaking, the universe is getting me ready for something wonderful! Thank you for your kind words and advice xxx

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  8. Aww Hun, my mum was always superstitious about things happening in 3's - maybe she was right!
    Sending you lots of hugs and hoping we might get to meet up this summer now your head's a bit better.

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    1. Thanks Lisa - and I know that 3s are significant but don't know in what regard! It would be lovely to meet up - long overdue xx

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  9. If I understand you correctly, he still doesn't pay any maintenance, but wants to see more of them, on his terms to suit HIS needs better.
    Your ex. sounds like a total @rse****

    Surely, loving them is making sure their provided for, have decent clothes, books, furniture, food!
    They shouldn't be bargaining chips in his murky world/mind

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  10. Love that pic of the boys and their great Nana - so sorry to hear of your loss.
    Keep your chin up lass - one of the top 10 influential single parents - much deserved indeed!! Your blog has certainly kept me sane!! xx

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  11. Such a hard time for you Anya, everything coming at you at once - to get through it all as you have done and help others along the way just shows what a strong and caring person you are x

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    1. Thank you Annie. It helps to feel quite numb tbh! x

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  12. I am sorry to hear about everything you are going through. I wish I could offer some ground breaking words to help but I can't. I am sorry you lost your Nana. I am sorry that your ex is also proving to be a twat. I have a twat ex (but luckily no kids involved) and a friend who is separating from her husband and he is just being a...... I am shocked that the courts can't do more to keep her kids safe. If I can do anything...!

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    1. Thank you for commenting and your kind words. I am also sorry to see about your ex, having caught up on your blog and how it is affecting you. Stay brave and strong and be grateful you don't have to be tied to him for ever and set yourself free when you feel you can :)

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  13. Ah Anya you are lovely and so so giving. It's tough when everything happens at once, and losing your Nana must have been a final straw - she sounded immense! I love your change in mindset. Sometimes the energy you spend battling the unfairness of it all is so debilitating that just a shift in the way you approach things emotionally can really galvanise you. I hope things start to get better soon for you lovely xx

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    1. Thank you Helen - it's all in the attitude :) xx

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  14. So sorry to hear about your Nana, I hope the very happy memories you have give you some comfort right now.

    The shitty-ex thing sounds very familiar, and I sympathise. My ex started (another) relationship about 18 months ago and decided not to see my girls (his daughters) anymore as his new partner didn't want him to. Nice.

    Sending love and positive thoughts your way xx

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    1. Thank you for your kind words Jean and yes, I keep looking at photos and videos of her with the children and they are a great comfort.
      That's a terrible thing re your ex - so many men just walk away without any idea or care for the impact, as and when they fancy it and we're left to pick up the pieces and explain their behaviour to our children, without slagging them off! But then they barge back in and demand to pick up where they left off, which is awfully cruel. I hope because your daughters are older that they are able to see what he's really like for themselves (weak and selfish and stupidly short sighted obvs) and make their own decisions. But the tie is always there. :(
      We'll have a proper chat soon but sending love and positive thoughts your way too. Thanks for commenting xx

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  15. I remember reading your post about you Nana so well - she sounded so wonderful, and I am so sorry you and both your boys have lost her - I hope the funeral went well, and that it was a lovely goodbye. You were a brilliant head butterfly - It was a pleasure to work with you my friend. And fingers crossed that your ex's visiting rights remain the same as they always have been. As you know I am having a big blogging break over summer, but I will be in touch lovely! X

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  16. your Nana will be so proud of you. I've lost one of my nans and Lee's nan and its a massive loss. My nan died when we were on holiday and i was broken that i never had the goodbye that my siblings and cousins had. Yet i think she didn't want to put her great grandkids through that. I still struggle that i never said goodbye and told her just how much I loved her but I know she knew anyway. I am also immensley glad my children (well the older two) knew her personally. None of my siblings or cousins will ever have that.

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    1. Thank you Emma. I believe they go on and your Nan will still be with you. I was never happier than when she and my kids were together and I'm glad you've had that joy too xx

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  17. Oh Anya - why do all these things always happen at once? I'm so sorry about your Nana - she always sounded like an amazing woman and reminded me of my dear Nan that I lost six and a half years ago. As for your ex - well... I really hope that the court applies common sense to all this. Much love x

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    1. Because something AMAZING is about to happen? Thank you Penny and I remember you saying about your lovely Nan too :( The less said about the other, the better, but, at least he can't continue to bully me now it's in their hands, hopefully. Much love to you too x

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  18. Lovely what time you have had. Much love

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  19. goodness me you really have had your plate full Anya.

    I hope now that these huge life changing events are behind you can enjoy the summer with your children around you and get some time to recharge your batteries. God knows you deserve a break

    Much love

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  20. Gah! So sorry Anya that your twatty ex is giving you a hard time when you're mourning your nana's death.I hope the universe rewards your strength and kindness soon.

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    1. Thank you Aly - I know you understand and *everything crossed* for us both :)

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  21. What an incredibly tough and draining week. You've coped with it so admirably and I'm sure Nana would be proud of what a strong and positive woman you are. Going through all this, yet still helping others through their worries and nerves. x

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    1. Thank you Liz. Can't help myself ;) x

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  22. So sorry to hear about your Nana.

    You are such a lovely lady.

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  23. You are amazing, onwards and upwards. #thstisall
    You know where I am if I can help anyway x

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    1. Thank you Gemma - you are too! And you are a help already, thank you so much xx

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  24. I'm so sorry to read that you have lost your beloved Nana. Sending lots of love to you and yours x

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  25. Very much hope I can give you a long overdue hug in person sometime soon you lovely, lovely lady x

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    1. That would be wonderful Kate, thank you :) x

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  26. i am so sorry about your wonderful nana - she sounds like an amazing lady xx

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  27. Oh Anya, I am so, so sorry to read this. :o( I have been travelling so much recently, it is only know that I am catching up with your news. I am sending you massive hugs, wishing I could do this in person. I have just read the earlier post about your Nana, what a wonderful person she was and you must miss her so very much.
    Sorry to hear about the court case too... *sigh*
    I am happy for you there is a silver lining in your post with this publisher handing you her card. Fingers crossed.
    Again, it was such a pleasure meeting you at BritMums Live. You are one special, radiant lady. xx
    PS: More hugs. You can never get too many.

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    1. Thank you so much and especially for those hugs! It was a pleasure to meet you at last too Katia xx

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  28. I have been pretty quiet on mine too recently for much the same reasons! Both me and my husband lost our Nan's within weeks of each other however the funerals fell on the same week- so I attended his locally at the beginning of the week and then flew to Belfast for my Nan's- still recovering from all the goings on with Britmums bang in the middle too

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    1. I didn't realise it ha been your Nans. I'm sorry for your losses too. I think it's best to take as long as we need recovering xx

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  29. I am so sorry about your Nana. She would be so proud of you. I love that even through all your troubles you are still there for everyone else. You are a wonderful kind lady. I am glad the lady passed you her card you are an amazing writer.

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    1. Thank you Joy - such lovely things to say xx

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  30. Love and hugs to you Anya - I am so sorry for the loss of your Nana.

    I thought I saw you at Britmums but things were just so crazy I didn't say hello to half the people I wanted to. Next year I will take a list and much like a treasure hunt, will not stop until I have hugged and said hello to all the treasures I have found while blogging - in the form of some wonderfully genuine people such as yourself.

    Divorces - wow - relate! Can't go into it but let's just say 5+ years after leaving, less than 1 month before my remarriage, I am still doing the whole court thing. It's pretty soul corroding.

    Love and light to you Anya xXx
    Vicky @ Around and Upside Down

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    1. So sorry to have missed you Vicky and also that you're still going through stuff, Extremely glad about the re-marriage though. Thank you for your kind words xx

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