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Precious Time

June. The summer solstice. The year, it seems to me, is turning before it’s begun. At home, there are personal reminders of the wheel of life turning full circle. Was it only a year ago that I sat with my daughter and son-in-law, watched as Bee came into the world, listened as she took her first breath? We didn’t know this little person at all then, never imagined how much love she would bring. Now she’s very much a character in her own right, someone who on Saturday at her first birthday party, trotted round the room smiling and clapping with pleasure at everything that was going on. I’ve seen my daughter and son-in-law put Bee at the centre of their world, giving her all their love and care, and I’ve watched my daughter blossom into the most loving, attentive and generous mother.

June also marks the number of years since my dad died, eleven now, but the sense of loss is no less for the passage of time. I so wish I could tell Dad about all the things he’s missed. That’s part of the reason, I’ve decided to run for Pancreatic Cancer UK again this year, in the Cardiff Half Marathon. I know that there are many deserving causes out there, but I have set up a JustGiving page because pancreatic cancer survival rates remain shockingly low and this grim disease is still taking too heavy a toll.

On a far more trivial note, I’ve been fighting a losing battle with my hair colour which has bleached thanks to the combination of a sunny holiday and sailing. I’ve decide not to fight the tide any more but go with the flow…. but I’m taken aback by how difficult it’s been! I’m not vain - there’s no turning back the clock as all those strangely Botoxed and filled faces prove - but I am struggling with a certain loss of identify. The change has happened so suddenly that I don’t recognise the person I see in the mirror at the moment. My regular makeup looks wrong, some of my clothes drain me of colour so I’m back to experimenting like a teenager. And just to cheer me up, waiting on the horizon at the end of this month is my appointment with the consultant ophthalmologist closely followed at the beginning of next month by a mammogram.

Whatever my personal trials and tribulations, everything’s been put into context by so many sad and bad stories in the news and in particular the tragic death of MP Jo Cox. I may not like my grey hair, but it's a sign of age that too many people never see. I’m lucky to have seen my children grow up to be wonderful people and I have the pure joy of being a grandmother. Time is too precious to waste it fretting about the colour of my hair!

The painting is 'Sunset - Bardsey' by Tom Tomos


Unknown said…
A lovely post and so much truth there. Angela Britnell
Chris Stovell said…
Thank you so much, Angela.
Flowerpot said…
well done for signing up for the Half Marathon, Chris - that's terrific and what a good cause. It's amazing the difference it makes, having different colour hair, isn't it? Well, not that I ever have but like you I'm going grey and while it's still salt and pepper at the moment, Col said, 'why don\t you experiment with blonde or red?" I don't know that I'm brave enough! We've got to seize the moments in life, haven't we? good luck with the hospital appointments, too XX
Chris Stovell said…
We do have to seize the moments, Su, so if the moment's red or blonde - go for it! And if I really get fed up with the grey I'll do something about that too, but my hair's much happier than it has been in a long time, even if I'm not happy with it! And thank you so much! xx
Frances said…
Dear Chris, this post is filled with wise reflection and observation...and just plain wisdom.

I could see the joy in that room as little Bee celebrated her first wonderful that she's already walking. I still remember seeing a little boy a few years ago who was wearing a tee shirt with a message on its front, "I Move Fast!" Funny, true and perhaps a banner for all of our lives.

As you know, I don't color my hair, and am still sort of intrigued by how the white hairs appear overnight. What you say about finding new colors that are becoming offers some fun. Last year, I stopped by a MAC make up shop in my neighborhood that I'd never been in before. I had a lipstick-focused chat with a lovely young tattooed, pierced lady, and she gave me a bunch of lipsticks to play with for a while in the shop. She was there to help, knew her products very well...the textures and so forth, and created a pleasant atmosphere in which to experiment. I did buy two lipsticks, each just a bit less "neutral" that what I'd been using. One of those colors, a sort of purple-ish rose, has been my favorite every since. Even when I am wearing lots of black clothes, I've got some color going on. I think of smiling more when I wear it. Hope this isn't too much information!

Please let Tom know I like his picture very much. Much to look at there.

xo to you and yours.
Chris Stovell said…
Dear Frances - thank you so much for sharing that information because it gives me some idea of what I should be doing! Especially the bit about having fun as I've been a bit doom and gloom about it instead of seeing it as an opportunity to try new things. I love the idea of having a lipstick to make me smile - I shall have to look for one!

I shall also bear the tee shirt logo in mind! Bee is certainly not hanging about - one of her new birthday presents is a pop-up tent and when I had a face time call from my daughter today, Bee was having a wonderful time running in and out of her tent. Thank you too for all your kind comments, Cxx
Irish Eyes said…
A lovely blog as always, it feels more like sitting down to a good chat with you dear friend. I decided to do Recession Grey back in 2009. A brunette all my life I had started to get more grey hairs than I liked in my early forties, a decade or so of colouring it nearly drove me nuts!!! Finally in 2008 my hairdresser said "You've got lovely silver roots coming up, why don't you let it go and take to your natural colour." She also pointed out that as we age our hair ages with us, and our natural colour suits us better. I took the risk, a horrendous three months of lengthening roots, a good short cut and style, and the new Me showed herself at a family wedding. The resulting compliments were lovely and reaffirming that it was the right decision; not so sure about the comments that said silver hair made me look ten years younger! If I am going somewhere special there are various wash in's that highlight the silver, but I love the everday colour and the ease of just washing my hair and not worrying about roots showing is, as the add says, Priceless!!!!!!

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