2013 wasn't one of the best years for me and my family. We've had tragic, sad and anxious times, but a few bright moments.
Back in March when I was getting ready to travel to England for Billy and Jimi's birthdays in April I had a call in the early hours of the morning. It was my youngest brother M, telling me that my brother D's daughter's husband had collapsed suddenly and died. He appeared to be a fit and healthy young man, so this came as a huge shock. He and my niece had been together for some time. They had a little boy called Matthew, the same age as Billy, and only the previous year they had travelled to Mexico, along with my brother, sister-in-law and other members of the family, to get married.
I was in England for the funeral. Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects to this very popular young man. My niece was just 12 weeks pregnant with their much wanted second child, when her husband died. This was just so sad. My niece gave birth in November to another little boy, Daniel. I saw him for the first time on New Years Eve, along with dear little Matthew, and my niece who has my utmost admiration for the way in which she has coped during this past year.
In July,my daughter had treatment at the hospital, after high-grade cancer cells were discovered during her routine smear test. As a result of this, she will continue to have 6 monthly check-ups. The next one is due on Monday while I am here. If she needs more treatment I will be able to help out while she recovers. Fingers crossed though that all will be well. One thing that came out of this was her spreading the word about the importance of regular smear tests, particular for those in her age group, which are only given every three years. Had she missed hers, the consquences could have been very different.
Back in February two stray dogs turned up at my gate. I wrote about it HERE. Things have moved on since then, as most of you know. Those two moved in, were soon joined by two more. We sadly lost Poppy quite recently, and we have also adopted two more dogs. So we now have six grateful dogs and we adore them all, and thanks to donations from some very kind people we have been able to feed more dogs out on the streets too. This we will continue to do for as long as we possibly can, finances permitting.
I will be returning to Turkey with a batch of worm tablets for the street dogs. I have already bought flea treatment. When we can get near enough to them, we will administer these to make them more comfortable. Eventually it is hoped we can also get them neutered.
That's pretty much my 2013. There have been highs and lows, sadness and joy, and the usual frustrations and anxieties of life that we all experience. Another year gone, and the anticipation that this new year will be a better one.
Here I am at the start of the new year, in a wet and windy England, but the company of my two adorable grandsons is bringing some much needed "sunshine" into my life.
Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2014 brings you joy, peace and good health for you and your families.