Posts Tagged ‘photos’

The Dim Light

May 2, 2010

The Dim Light — a true story by Gladys Hobson

The light grows dim


In the dim light of the bedside lamp, I stood by the pink-flowered curtains that were keeping at bay the dark miserable night, and looked across at my yellow-skinned father’s head lying on snow-white pillows. With yellowed eyes closed, gurgles of laboured breathing came out of his open mouth in some semblance of sleep — the sleep of the dying.
My eyes followed the shape of his body under the lightweight bed cover and I reflected on the skeleton it had become, with parchment skin so thin that his bed sores refused to heal. I didn’t want to see his emaciated body; it seemed totally wrong for a daughter to see her father naked, especially his private parts, but he’d asked for his bottle so he could urinate. I’d given it to him and he’d performed, quickly returning to sleep. I could only be thankful. I did not want to hear him moan or scream.
Tears welled up in my eyes and I became fearful of speaking lest he awake and I betray my sorrow. Here lay a once proud, well-built man. A man who’d faced life’s challenges — and there’d been many of them — with courage and determination. Maybe he hadn’t been a perfect father, and without doubt he’d often treated my mother like a doormat, but much outrageous behaviour could be excused by his frustrations when, for years, trying to work in spite of increasing physical handicaps and pain.
My stalwart father, now reduced to this — a helpless bag of bones enclosing a rotting inside eaten away by a spreading cancerous growth.
I knew the district nurse had inserted suppositories to quell his pain. I also knew that this could mean the end. For months his suffering had been severe in spite of the many codeine tablets he swallowed daily. We knew that the change in treatment would prevent his fight against death — two, maybe three days away, or so the nurse had said.
No one had spoken to my father about dying. We had not dared. I recall a friend telling me that my mother had told her that when my dad thought he was dying, she woke to find his hands around her throat. He’d said that he thought he was dying and he didn’t want to die alone. I didn’t think he would have carried it out — surely not. Maybe he needed to express his fear. Afterwards he would have sobbed with shame. That is what he did — fall into depression — when he’d allowed his emotions to lead him into dark areas of his soul.
Earlier, I thought his end had come. I woke my mother and together we stood over his bed. But Dad opened his eyes:
‘Why are you looking at me like that?’ he demanded with new strength in his voice. ‘Do you think I’m bloody dying?’
Then his eyes closed again and mother went back to her couch in the lounge to try and rest a little longer. I kept up the watch, for that is why I had left my husband in charge of our children. My mother, weary with sleepless nights, needed me to be there.
How I would have loved to sit on his bed and take his hand in mine; to speak to him quietly and tell him that I loved him. But no one ever spoke of death and dying, no one ever spoke of cancer. My dad had major problems with heart, lungs and a creeping paralysis — these things were obvious to him and everyone. He believed he was suffering from jaundice and no one, not even the doctor was prepared to tell him different.
Is this what it must be for another two days? With my mother, already suffering acute weariness of body and soul, fading away; and my dad struggling with only agony waiting for him should he wake before another administration from the district nurse?
Time to pray. Not aloud. And time to talk to my dad, not with sounds but soul to soul.
So I whisper from my heart, prayers of love, repentance and forgiveness. I pray that God will take him now, not tomorrow or the day after. But now, in the peace and quiet of His presence.
And I turn to my dying father. I remember my granddad had been a lay minister who had gifts of preaching and healing. Yes, surely he would approve of the healing found in a peaceful death.
‘Let go, Dad. Don’t be afraid. Granddad is waiting for you. He’ll look after you. We all love you. God loves you too. You can let go now. Let go, Dad, let go..’
Gurgling noises come from my father’s throat, shortly followed by a deep, deep sigh…

The valley of the shadow...


The light shines on in the darkness


The darkness has not overcome the light...

Always Look for the Rainbow

November 5, 2009

SDC11567 Chatsworth - path to the woods

SDC11563

SDC11568

We have been away for a short autumn break. It is a long time since we have been out in so much rain. But, at least, it gave me the opportunity to chase a few rainbows!
As usual when we go to Derbyshire, we visited the Chatsworth House estate. This beautiful place, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, is set in magnificent grounds and there are many miles of footpaths to explore. There is a charge for the house, wonderful gardens and Farmyard (with children’s play area), but well worth a visit. The rest of the estate, with its sheep, deer and wildlife are open to all. Christmas at Chatsworth is a particularly magical time, but, being early November, we were a bit early for that, although things were under way.
So wet weather maybe but plenty of rainbows to be found! (Even if we had to drive to Cromford Hill to catch one!)

Let There Be Light! — Sunset at Barrow, Lantern Procession at Ulverston

September 22, 2009

Barrow sunset 0052Ulverston Lanterns_0074We had a later-than-usual meal at Morrisons last week. I’m glad we did. When we left the building we were completely awestruck. The sky was ablaze with gold and reds. We took this snapshot looking across the car park towards the high-level bridge. You can just see a little gold beyond. From the top of the bridge the gold reflected in the water, along with the rest of the brilliant colours, but we were in the car and best not to stop on the bridge to admire the view. Although the sun was setting, the brilliant colours were with us all the way home, along with silhouettes of the changing landscape. My soul was uplifted with the joy of it. AWESOME!
Awesome too, but in a different way, was the Lantern procession through Ulverston last Saturday evening. Magnificent work done by adults and children in the creation of huge paper lanterns following the theme of Alice in Wonderland. A table complete with Alice and friends, the queen, hare, cat, and many other characters, plus hats galore and playing cards. Amazing what can be done with cane and paper with candle inside. The whole parade swept along by bands and drums. Literally, hundreds of walkers (including some on stilts) holding lanterns and forming a stream of bobbing light through the streets of the town. Amazing!
The beauty of it all was the family atmosphere — adults and children, babes in arms and in prams — a wonderful community spirit! Well done, all concerned.
A great firework display completed the evening, but even that could not outdo the wonder of what can be done through personal creativity.
VIEW the lantern procession video made by Northwest Evening Mail — fantastic!

Late Summer Contrasts

August 23, 2008

Simple Perfection

Simple Perfection

A confusion of colour

A confusion of colour


I took these photos this morning. We have had rain for quite a while but today the sun is shining. The eucryphia is a shrubby tree with simple white flowers, a perfect contrast to the showy blooms of late summer. I love the contrasts within the garden: the heavy rich beech and delicate silver birch; the huge oak hosting playful squirrels, and textured colourful shrubbery drawing bees and butterflies to their blooms. White contrasting the brilliant gold, red, yellow and pink roses. Fresh green grass and greys of crazy paving. And all the other colours and textures pressing on my eyes to be consumed within my brain and heart. And overhead, birds large and small draw near to feast on seeds and nuts and a multitude of insects living in harmony with nature. Birdsong is the sweetest music on earth and is only heard when and where the clamour of the world is stilled.
So it is with mankind. We see the beauty in our differences when we have eyes to see and the clamour is stilled.