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Married with one teenager. Love reading most genre, ok not scary stuff!!! Interested in genealogy. Have been tracing my family history since 1985. If you come across any errors or inconsistencies on this blog, please contact me so that I might look at correcting it or at least make a note that there are inconsistencies (which unfortunately happens)

My Family & Other Animals

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sky Burial by Xinran



I read this book recently and thoroughly enjoyed it.

This story was retold by Xue Xinran who in about 1994 had a radio show in China. Xinran met Shu Wen, after receiving a telephone call telling her about a woman who had just crossed the border fromTibet to China.

Xinran travelled 4 hours & spent 2 days listening and recording the details. Unfortunately she lost contact with Shu Wen after she travelled home after the interview.

This book tells the story of Shu Wen, who having been married only a short time in the late 1950's, says good bye to her doctor husband who joins the army to travel to Tibet. Not long later she is told that he has been killed.

As a doctor herself, she decides to join the army to travel to Tibet to try and discover what has happened to her husband. 

The book tells of her 30 year journey through Tibet to discover how and where her husband died.

I would highly recommend this book.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Elizabeth Byrne - 4th August 1938 to 16th December 2005



Dear Mum,

It is 10years ago today that you lost your battle with Alzheimers.

I thought of you all day wondering why it had to be?!

Since you have gone we have been through so much. I miss you. 

I wish you had got to spend just a bit longer with us. I wish we could have spent just a bit longer talking, sharing, laughing, loving and just being together.

I think of those times that you let me stay home from school. Shhhh you would say.... don't let Dad know that your still home. Close your eyes and go to sleep. Once he has gone to work you can get up. We would just hang out - change the bed sheets, hang washing and talk, talk, talk. I don't remember what we talked about, but my heart remembers the love. I treasure those memories.

This disease is cruel. It taunts you. You slowly start repeating things, many times. so many. We try to be patient but its so so hard. How many times can you pretend that you haven't heard the same story before, many times before!

You are driving and suddenly you forget where you are and how do I get to there?? 

It strips the memory, leaving you doubting yourself - am I going crazy? Its just there on the sidelines, waiting for you to grab it. You don't remember that you don't remember.

Then you leave the stove on. The saucepan is blackened beyond belief. You go to the shops and come back 5 hours later, and buy only bread. You've been trying to get home, but couldn't remember how. Trapped.

Then one day you can only stride - very fast, almost a jog. Keeping up is difficult. You walk all the time, often. 

Eating becomes impossible. We stroke your throat to make you open up and pop the food in, just like feeding the little bird. But you are ravenous. Forgetting that you have eaten, constantly thinking you are hungry. We shovel the food in. 

Then one day you don't get out of bed anymore. Bed ridden, being lifted and moved so that bed sores don't develop. 

Numerous false scares, medical issues and then the last dance. She's gone.

Did you know she used to teach ball room dancing?