My favourite quote.

I love absolutely love quotes, I have them in notebooks, on my walls and I even have a few tattooed. So choosing my favourite isn’t easy, so I’ve decided to go with one that inspires me to continue on.

 

“There is some good in this world, and its worth fighting for.” Tolkien

 

Tolkien is one of my favourite authors I can completely lose myself in his words. Travel in my mind into raging battles or on Elvish adventures, getting lost in the magical, incredible world of Tolkien’s imagination and creation.

 

There are many quotes from his works that I love but today I’m choosing this one.

 

With all that’s going on in this world it’s easy to lose sight of the good.

 

When the media is full of hate I want to hold on to hope.

 

It’s this hope that gives me strength, the strength to keep fighting against unfair systems, undemocratic governments and unjust decisions.

 

Why I will continue to advocate and educate about disability, social care and so much more.

 

There is good in this world and I will continue to keep fighting for it.

 

 

 

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If my words were never to be seen. 

“Write as of no one would ever see your words”. 

I saw this statement on Twitter yesterday and it really made me stop and think, what would I write if my words would never been seen?

Would I tell you that I am pissed off at humanity, that the images I see and the news I read from around the world actually makes me sick at times to be part of the human race. 

The disgusting way we are treating the refugees from Syria. Destroying make shift homes, attacking those that already have nothing. Treating them as the enemy as they flee from all they know all they love. 

The current state of the political system the way it’s leaving people soul destroyed. Budgets being slashed for the things that really matter, social care disappearing, vulnerable people being left in crisis. 

The NHS slowly being sold off to rich selfish corporations whose only compassion is for the money it can make. 

People coming second to financial gain.

Would I tell you that I truly believe the world has changed. Gone is the love each other sentiment of this planet to love myself. 

The art of conversation is lost, gone are the days of real words and sentiment now we are a society of text talk or emojis.

If my words were not to be seen by anyone I would tell you that I worry. I truly worry for society. That I wish people would wake up and realise that we aren’t meant to walk through this life on our own. That our actual DNA needs to us to be sociable and to build relationships. 

We need to think outside ourselves. That the greatest joy can be found in giving not in taking.

If my words were never to be seen maybe I would admit that I’m tired of selfishness. Of seeing some that have so much and others that have nothing.

I’m angry at the rise of homelessness, emotionally corrupt landlords raising rents that only the elite can afford. Forcing families who have lived in an area for generations to have to move away from all they know, all they love. We are building lines between those that have and those that don’t. 

If my words were never to be seen I would admit that I too have to change. 

That I know I can be selfish at times. That my expectations of others can sometimes be to high. That I need to learn to let things go. 

If my words were never to be seen I would admit that I hurt. 

That sometimes I actually feel as if my heart may physically break. That I’m tired of pretending, that I crave to be true. That sometimes I don’t want to be the bigger person or rise above it. I want to call some out on their behaviour. Tell them it’s not ok. 

If my words were not to be seen. 

Well then they would be just words. A formation of letters that hold no power.

Words are to be seen.

To be shared 

To be experienced.

So I’m writing today without fear, writing with my heart wide open. 

For I want my words to be seen.

I want my words to matter,

But most of all I want my words to be my truth. 

Wow, I’ve been blogging for 7 years

blogging for 7 years

I realised yesterday that I have now been blogging for 7 years this month.

What a lot has happened over the last seven years.

I first took to blogging to share what it was like being a mom of four and how raising a severely disabled child affected our lives. I mainly wanted to share how besides the difficulties how wonderful life could be. How Olivia loved life and lived it to the full. How our family motto was never say never. From iceskating to rock climbing we somehow found a way for our girlie to enjoy it all.

Yet only a month after my first post I was to write through the pain of losing my beautiful girl. How the darkness of grief strove to consume me. How in the depths of despair I somehow managed to find hope.

Writing my grief allowed me to feel less alone, from the comments to the messages so many of you walked along side me. Some never realising how often they were the ones that gave me strength to carry on, yes that’s you Kelly. 

I then shared my journey into fostering, my hopes and my fears but also the joy we felt when we had our first placement. How one little boy became part of our family at the first hello. As you know forever wasn’t going to be ours again and whilst our hearts were torn open and raw my words helped me find some semblance of peace.

On this blog especially I have shared the growing of my beautiful girls how they have stumbled through their teenage years into beautiful young adults, well two have my baby still has a way to go and of course a few more posts for me still to write.

Together we have celebrated their joy, cried with them through their sadness. We have laughed at their drama of which there has been plenty and you have sympathised with me through their tantrums.

This blog is part of my records of my daughters lives and how they have changed me in so many beautiful ways. Taught me patience, resilience and the meaning of pure love.

Through this blog I have had many wonderful opportunities from modelling to  reviews. It’s brought me many online friends who have wonderfully tumbled over into my real life.

This blog has also been a call to action, a place where I have fought for awareness for Rett syndrome and for disability rights. I’ve ranted on politics and so much more and of which I promise there will be many more posts to come.

Where I have written about injustice, screamed about discrimination and cried about tragedy.

This blog, these words are truly my heart in print.

Thank you for being my readers, my friends and for visiting me here in my virtual home.

Thank you for the last seven years and lets hope the next seven are full of love and laughter and plenty of words.

 

thank you 7 years

#mybloggingtruth – A challenge to all bloggers

I started my first blog back in the early part of 2008, I wanted to share my life and what it was like raising a severely disabled child. How it could be hard but it could also be truly amazing. In the last 7 years I have seen many changes in the blogging world some good, some not so much. I know it has expanded greatly thats for sure, both in the personal and business world. Bloggers have become influential and can really make a difference to the public perception of a brand or a product.

It will come as no surprise to my regular readers of which I know there may be one or two that I am an emotional writer. My words fall from my heart onto the pages here. Sometimes I read my old posts and think maybe I shouldn’t have shared that or maybe I could have written it different but often I write for freedom and at that time writing that blog post may have given me that.

Sharing your heart here in the virtual world isn’t easy, especially when you put your name to the words. Of course we have all read the anonymous nefarious hate that has been written by trolls but in my book if you don’t put your name to it well then your cowardly shit isn’t worth the webspace you are taking up.

But even the most honest of all writers hide.

Are we really not photoshopping our words, our lives, hiding behind the filters.

Do we really share all our true faults, our failings?

Hands up I know I don’t.

Why would we?

It’s scary being vulnerable.

Well, as a writer who has shared her struggles and also from reading and talking to others what I have learned is that honesty makes people feel less alone.

How many of us moms have really felt that we have had enough, I know have. Seriously at times I wonder if I am cut out to be a mother. I screw up so often that I’m glad my children don’t keep score. Yet when I read blogs that seem full of perfect parenting I truly struggle. Questions like “what did I do wrong”? Raise their mind destroying heads.

Or the blog of the woman who dropped her pregnancy weight in 2 weeks whilst 14 years I still have my baby belly.

The perfect home baking whilst my kitchen looks like a war zone.

All this seems just out of reach.

So I’m setting all bloggers the #mybloggingtruth  challenge.

I want you to write a post sharing your truths.

Be open and be vulnerable and lets come together to celebrate our imperfections, our  struggles and our mishaps.

I will start the ball rolling here’s my truth……  I run away. 

I get so scared of failing that sometimes I’m to scared to try. I hate this about myself, I look back at the opportunities I have missed because of fear. The friendships I didn’t allow to blossom because I didn’t believe in myself. The many times I have said no when my heart really wanted to say yes. So many experiences, prospects lost to my fear.

I’m working on this but  I am truly still a work in progress.

So join in with me, write your post, tweet it to me @livvyssmile and use the hashtag #mybloggingtruth and lets use our words and our truths to make us all feel less alone.

Let our transparency be the the light for others.

Let’s do this, lets share our blogging truths.

Ambition and ego in the blogging world.

I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging the last few weeks and why I personally blog. I was started on this thoughtful path after reading a few comments from within the blogging world, comments which upset me. Bloggers arguing with each other and tearing each other down.

This doesn’t sit well with me, to be truthful I was rather emotional about the whole thing.

Then I realised something.

Not all bloggers blog for the same reason I do.

For me I write to free my head of my words. To allow my thoughts to tumble out through my fingers and onto the pages. I also enjoy sharing my dreams and my hopes. My heartache and my struggles. The words are mine, I don’t expect them to influence you in any way, its just me opening my heart to the virtual world. I’m documenting my journey though this crazy thing called life. Even my reviews are written from my perceptive on what I like or what I don’t like. I just like showing you my fashion choices, books I have enjoyed reading and so on.

Still these are my reasons for blogging and they are not everyone else’s.

Some bloggers have ambitions and aspirations for their blog and you know what thats ok.

The problem (is it a problem)? Is when something becomes full of ambition or desire then ego also starts to play a part in it.

Along with our beloved egos comes jealousy and I think this is what has been rearing its head within the blogging community or maybe its always been there and I’m just slow on the uptake <-this has been known to happen.

Now don’t get me wrong I actually don’t have any issue with ambition. In fact I am highly ambitious in my own way in a different field from blogging. I have hopes and goals that I want to achieve.

Blogging for some is a business and you tell me of any business that doesn’t thrive on ambition. Ambition is what feeds growth.

So I guess what I am rambling on about is this, I’ve realised I cannot view the blogging world with my rose tinted glasses anymore. I have to open my eyes and see it as the business, the trade that it is for some.

I have to accept that there will be underhand comments and hurtful things happening. But I don’t have to like it but I can stop it from getting to me.

I don’t have to be as naive, but I also don’t have to change the way I view blogging. Personally for me its about the words, the dreams and the amazing friendships I have made along the way.

I’ve enjoyed widening my experiences, challenging myself, pushing my own limits and I’m not going to let this change.

What I am going to do is work harder on encouraging other bloggers. Congratulate those who have achieved awesome things. Hug those who are struggling and be a better blogging friend.

This little piece of the internet has brought so much into my life and I am truly grateful. Yet I will be constantly reminding myself why I started writing and the core values I set for myself.

Be honest and stay true to me.

It’s a simple statement but it will be my anchor in this crazy choppy virtual world.

be yourself x

True Inscription 

A few weeks ago someone asked me why my daughters gravestone didn’t say beloved daughter, sister and maybe granddaughter. As many of the others did. 

I wasn’t going to answer but the question has been turning over and over In my mind. 

The truth is what you write on your loved ones stone is a personal preference,  but for us, we simply couldn’t get a stone big enough to define who Livvy was to everyone 

Besides being a daughter, Olivia was a beloved sister, she was also a granddaughter, a niece, a god daughter, a cousin and a dear friend. Livvy was also a pupil loved by her teachers.  A patient well cared for by her doctors she was all this and so much more. One neighbour told me that she was the smile that brightened his day. 

How could one stone hold all that she was, all that she is? 

Choosing a gravestone is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. You have limited space and a small amount of words to describe your loved one. How do you honour them in your words? So many times since the stone was laid I have questioned did we make the right choice, I think we did.

  

Still I don’t think the stone is all we have to remember or honour my sweet girl. 

Everything that we do is in hope to bring joy to her memory. The laughter we share together as a family, the arms that we open to others children. The friendships we make.

The stone is a place which marks the spot where her ashes lie.

Yet in my heart and in those who love her is the true inscription that honours my beautiful girl. 

All together

My daughter returns from university today and yes I am so excited to see her.

So why did a friendly comment feel like I had been punched in the stomach?

My friend said “ I bet you are excited to have all the family back together’.

How simple and true is this comment.

Yes i am excited.

But my family will not all be back together.

You see there will always be a missing piece,

missing piece

 

An empty place at the table.

A pile of presents that have not been bought.

On Christmas day only three of my girls will be celebrating it here with me.

Heaven holds the celebration for the other.

I want to say that i’m ok about it all, that i can be happy and enjoy the season but I can’t.

The ache in my heart is getting stronger and stronger as we head towards the 25th.

I hate that on Christmas day I have to visit the crematorium, that the only gift I can give to my daughter is flowers on her stone.

I want the air to echo with her laughter, the harmony of my four beautiful girls to play.

Yet all i can hear is the silence of the missing note.

Christmas is a special time of year, I love the wonder of it all.

The excitement that builds in peoples hearts.

The joy of giving , the love that is shared.

Christmas is a time for celebration and I promise I will try.

Still I hope that it will be ok, that sometimes through this season i disappear.

Disappear to a place where i can allow the tears to fall.

Where I can allow the missing to show upon my face.

Because I cannot pretend all the time.

I just don’t have the strength.

I need to give my heart freedom.

Freedom to grieve my beautiful missing daughter.