I’ll Miss You Uncle Dale

I never imagined I’d be faced with death again so soon; like, this life is mad.  Actually mad.  How can you see someone one night and then the next day they’ve dropped dead – with no warning at all?

When I learned that my Uncle Dale had died yesterday, shock hit me like a slap in the face and I didn’t know how to feel.  Why was this happening to me again?  Why was I being faced with another shock death in just under a year?  Why, why, why?  I mean, I could not understand it, as I’d just seen him last night at another one of my uncles’ houses.

My Uncle Dale was full of laughter, jokes and conversation, with eyes that twinkled like my beloved grandad, whose own death last year continues to feel surreal to me.  Like my grandad, he also told the famous “Burton jokes” and had a kind heart.

Each year, he was one of my uncles who regularly remembered my birthday and gave me a card, or just some money, because he wanted to give me something.  Unfortunately, I think I took that for granted, but I appreciate it so much now that he’s gone.

My uncle also had a special place in my life because he was my mum’s “twin”.  Although there were three years between them, they happened to be born on the same day.  Imagine, ten children and two of them just happen to be born on the same day – how weird and amazing is that?  I’m so grateful for the time we were able to spend with him at our house this year when he and my mum celebrated their birthdays together, which was something we had done for the first time.  That is going to be a memory I’ll now cherish forever.

I’ll miss my Uncle Dale greeting me with, “Hello Shani” and a kiss on the cheek, asking how I am and engaging in conversation at times.  I’ll miss his generosity and I’ll miss his presence at family gatherings – he truly was unique.

Although I don’t understand and struggle to comprehend why he was taken so suddenly and so soon, God knows what He’s doing and I’ve just got to trust in that.  Now my Uncle Dale is soundly asleep, resting away from this cruel world, but I hope to see him on that great day when my Jesus comes again and I can embrace him and my grandad together.

I don’t think I told you this Uncle Dale when you were alive, but I love you and always will.  May you rest in peace.

A Much Needed Release

I really want to write something today.  In fact, I feel like I need to write something today.  I guess that there are a lot of pent-up feelings inside that need to be released and my beloved writing is my best outlet for that.

There are a number of things going on in my mind these days – more than I even want or would care to mention.  Sometimes they keep me from sleeping, sometimes they make me feel sad, and sometimes they simply remind me of a worse time.  That is one of the last things I want.

In all honesty, it is mostly my crowdfunding campaign that is occupying my thoughts and draining my energy little by little.  I desperately want it to succeed and reach as many individuals as possible, but man is it hard work.  I knew it was going to be hard, but I could never have imagined just how difficult this task would be.  I’m putting it in God’s hands though and I know that with Him I will succeed – I mean, with God for me who can be against me.

I’m finding myself thinking about my late grandad and aunty a lot recently as well and I’m not sure why.  All I know is that I keep thinking about when I lost them or their funerals or how much I miss them, and it hurts my heart.  Tears spring to my eyes and emotion builds up inside of me, knowing that I have to live the rest of my life without them.  I don’t think I’ll ever fully get past that.

Then there is a situation with a certain friend of mine, which has been causing me a lot of frustration and sometimes upset.  Certain things need to be raised with him, but I don’t know how to do it and I don’t want to cause any unnecessary unrest in his life.  I keep putting it off, even though I know the conversation needs to be had and the whole situation has been bothering me without his knowledge.  I hate rocking the boat, but I don’t like unresolved issues in my relationships with those I am close to, especially when it makes me start feeling like a fake.  I also can’t have situations negatively effecting my emotional wellbeing and not doing anything about it, because that’s not healthy.  I just need to somehow have this conversation.

And then there is a certain someone who has made a surprise reappearance in my life and wants to pick up where they left off, but cannot be relied upon or trusted.  I’ve been here before with them and they’ve completely left my life, without warning or explanation.  I know this could easily happen again, which is why I don’t want any attachment to form, but this person unfortunately always finds a way of getting into my head and I hate it.  I am planning to keep my distance though and let them talk to me when they want, because I refuse to repeat the mistakes of my past and feel hurt, rejection and confusion.  I’m done with all of that.

There are many more things on my mind, but like I said, I don’t want or care to mention them all.  I’ve expressed what I’ve wanted to express, which feels like a burden lifted, although my head is still throbbing a little.  I think I just need a holiday.

Love Letter to TCFT

To TCFT,

I was a shell when I met you,

Waiting to be cracked open,

Released,

Set free into the world.

Closing myself off,

Not seeing my potential,

Believing I was good enough

Or able to reach my dreams.

Fearful of everything –

Rejection,

Being vulnerable,

Isolation,

Looking a fool;

But with you,

I cracked open,

Potential spilling out,

Fears released;

You taught me how to fly.

A confidence began to grow,

A confidence I never knew I had,

Breaking out of my comfort zone,

But feeling comfortable,

The good replacing the bad.

A place where I could be vulnerable,

Reveal the inner me,

Act a little weirdly,

Laugh loudly,

Or openly express my grief.

Learning how to fly

Just scratches the surface

Of what you mean to me

TCFT,

I never imagined two years ago

In Bosnia,

I’d have another huge family;

Like a lamb thrown to the wolves,

I didn’t know where to turn,

But I was adopted in,

Joined the pack,

Found a home away from home.

The love I feel is like no other,

Support beyond compare,

Hugs, kisses, kind words

Around every corner,

Bright smiles

And touches of care.

It started with my house sisters,

Nomes and Ellie,

Who shared a room with me;

Then Filip and Rory made me feel part of the pack,

Voice-noting the sister who means the world to me.

The care shown by Mikica and Robert,

Nevena and Ljubiša when I felt anaemic,

Bonding over dinner with Nina and Marko,

Sitting down to talk with Sandra.

Also having a heart-to-heart with Naomi,

A never-ending handshake with Miguel,

Chatting for hours with Saaf,

Dancing with Saša.

Thank you Tina for being my constant champion,

Thank you Darren for your thoughtful advice,

Thank you Mary for coming down to Croydon

And filming my poetry night.

I love you Francesco for being so full of life,

I love you Ismir for your beautiful smile,

I love you Luka for being so cute and sweet,

I love you Carina for your kind heart.

The list is endless,

I could go on for hours,

You’ve all touched my life in some way;

We’re family,

You’re in my heart,

Forever there you’ll stay.

You’ve given me a place to belong,

Which I never thought I’d find,

You gave me a gift

And so much more to write;

An answer to a prayer

I had no idea I prayed.

So this letter is to you TCFT,

My life-changer,

A gift from God,

My family;

I love you with all my heart

And always will.

Love

Shaniqua, Shefika, Shani