Influencers in My Life


Have you every been to one of those holiday camps?

Our family went to a couple of those holiday camps when I was a small child, I cannot remember that much about it, just a few occasions. My mum gave me some lovely photos but they did not bring back too many more memories. I do remember following my older brothers around, going to the fair, sitting in those big dinning rooms that they used to have. Playing on the slot machines. 

The picture above is of my lovely nana, big brother and my mum at one of those camps. (I dont know who those two girls are in front, I wonder who and where they are today) All three of these people played a big part in my life and had some influence on who I am today.  

My nana spoilt me rotten and I adored her. I loved singing and she always encourage me along with my grandad. One year whilst in Anglesey she made me practice a song the “little shirt my mother made for me”, Over and over again with the hand actions and everything. I had a little red knitted skirt and jacket with a white blouse. The following week we went to Pontins and she entered me into a competition. I was terrified. I stood on the big stage shaking.  I did sing and perform but my mum said I was so quiet that you could hardly hear me. Needless to say I did not win a prize. But my lovely nana took me round the little gift shops and bought me a post office set as a treat for being so brave.  I did not care that I had not won, I had done it and my nana and mum were proud, so that was good enough for me. I was only about 5 but I remember it well. 

My nana who is no longer with us was my queen to me. I had her on a pedestal so high she was like an angel. She worked hard all her life and never a bad word crossed her lips, never a complaint. She got up at 4.30 went to work as a cook in a transport cafe and came home to start all over again 6 days a week. She never complained about it or how tired she was. When she got ill with cancer she still never complained but had to give up work. She always seemed happy though, contented with her lot.  The only thing she said once was when she was ill in bed, "I am sure I am dying I feel so poorly”, I said to her, no nana, it just feels like it as your so ill but you will get better. Of course I knew she was dying but she never really did. She left such a big hole in my life and heart. They say time heals but it never has and never will. I mourn for her still. She was my world but life does go on and we except the lose and live with it.

My big brother, the one in the silly hat, was another big part of my life he was my god as often big brother are. He did tease me alot but I still loved him. He took me everywhere with him and my other brother, never leaving me out just because I was a girl. 

When he joined the army and left home I was so upset and angry with him for leaving me. But I got used to it eventually and enjoyed his visits when he was home on leave. He lived abroad in Germany for part of his service and that was fine as he still visited. But when he left the army he moved to Belize and I only saw him twice after that. Now my brother was no saint by any means he was a bit of a cheeky chap, not like my nana but again I was angry at him for moving so far away. 

When he became ill and came home after not seeing him for 10 years I had so many conflicting emotions, I did not want to have to miss him all over again, and I knew that when he went this time we would not see him again ever.

I was so glad though he had his family around him during the worst time of his life but it was hard on everyone especially my mum and dad making both of them ill. When my brother was in the hospice on his last day, he was drugged up but agitated, he could hear us but could not respond. My sister put her headphones in his ears and played his favourite group queen and he relaxed and smiled. It was to the sound of queen playing with his teenage daughter, wife, our mum and dad, his three sisters and brother all around his bed that he left us for the last time. He always did like the attention and he certainly didn’t go alone.  A couple of days before I was sat by his bed and told him I loved him, but how angry I had been for him leaving me twice all those years ago and now he was doing it again. He just winked and grinned at me squeezing my hand. Always the cheeky chap to the end.  I think because we had so many years without him in my head I still think of him running the bar he had in Belize, laughing with his friends and family. 

My mother is a tough lady but ever so loving. She has had alot to cope with as most mothers do. As well as bringing up our family with my amazing father they have had to look after my other brother for all of his adult life in one way or another. He has had it tough as when he was 11 he was hit by a car and after being in a coma for nearly a month came round with some brain damage. A couple of days after he came round we went to see him, he was sat in a wheel chair, his head was resting on a pillow to once side. He could not talk or move but the biggest grin came across his face it made us all weep. He has never stopped smiling since. His life has had so many ups and downs its been a roller coaster ride so I may have to write a book about him. He has had so many things challenge him but he never gives in. Just to say he is such a lovely soul and our family are so lucky to have him in our lives. Even with the difficulties he has physically now, he soldiers on regardless living an independent happy life with the support of my mum and dad living close by.  

I think writing this story has reminded me that you can be brave even when scared. Winning is not always about being 1st. Some things cannot be changed we just have to live with them. Its Ok to feel angry and sad but don’t let it consume you.  You cannot always keep those you love close with you but you can keep them in your heart forever. Never give up. Celebrate life we only have one so make the most of each moment.  If you can make a difference, an impact on someones life for the better do it. I think this is one of the reasons I create, as well as I just love it, I can make a difference bringing some joy into someones life through my art.