Thursday posts used to be about my mental health, yet I have moved on from that. And instead of focusing on the mental health issues, I want to focus on fun things, enjoyable things that I do, or found to share.
This week, I want to share with you, part of a letter I received from my grandmother back in 2009. I recently rediscovered this letter amongst some other papers that I was going through and discarding.
Nanna had been moved from her home in Picton to a rest home in Wellington to be closer to one of her daughters, who was ill with cancer. Nanna was a traditional letter writer. Me? I wrote an email, or sent a family newsletter to one of the nurses at the rest home, who would print it out and give it to Nanna. That was how we communicated.
Here is an excerpt:
It was good reading [your newsletter] and you are cramming a lot into it too. More than your body can take it would seem. Do look after yourself and ease up a bit. Life is too short to be trying to do everything at once!!! Your health depends on you and you must guard it well. [Your husband] and [your son] depend on you – the rock in the home!!
…Where on earth do you get all your ideas for writing!! You intrigue me. I don’t think you’ve inherited those traits from me anyway. I’ve always enjoyed hands on stuff – sewing, knitting, housekeeping etc, and plenty of gardening and fresh air, but that has been my limit.
…Now here’s the grandma speaking again – do look after your health and try to ease up a bit – there are only 24 hours in the day and tomorrow always comes. Even if you don’t quite catch up.
It is quite surreal to read that from my Nanna. Even back then, she knew what was coming, even if I didn’t. I wish I had heeded her words and actually slowed down. Perhaps I wouldn’t have ended up with the depression, but they are the “If only’s”. My realisation is that I have suffered depression, and have learnt from it. I can recognise it when I see it, and I know the triggers in my life that set it off.
I wish Nanna had survived long enough to see me actually publish a book. She would have been the first to read it, and tell me what I did right or wrong – this is a lady who in her 80’s enjoyed going to the ballet to watch the men in tights – but she would have been proud of me for following my dreams. I have dedicated Cursed Love to her, because she encouraged me to write, even if she didn’t necessarily agree with it. Women were meant to be the ones that the house revolved around. If a woman worked, who kept the house operating smoothly.
Funny how hindsight is 20/20. But at least I have achieved a goal, something to keep me focused and forward thinking. All thanks to some encouragement from my Nanna.