Un-Grateful Thursday (?) 22.06.2017

Up until 1 minute ago, I had a hard time coming up with an entry for my “Grateful Thursday” series. The reason for this is that I had not the best of sleep last night as the news of my friend’s father’s cancer diagnosis yesterday has put me in a sombre mood as I am still grieving my mother’s death of cancer and how her struggle and her pain has turned my life upside-down – I am still in recovery (my siblings, too). I am soo sad to know that my friend has to go through the same experience as me and I know it will probably cost her her twenties, it has definitely cost me mine. She was so positive and happy about being able to start her MA in Edinburgh in September, in spite of her anxiety based on the amount of money it will cost her to do so (I always feel so blessed in moments like these, knowing that I studied in a country where free higher education is your constitutional right). I hope she will find the strength to somehow cope with it and that she won’t break like I did.

In addition, to these very tragic news and the wounds it opened, my day didn’t have the best start and has been unusually exhausting. I woke up at 3.30am for whatever reason and thought I had a dead dog lying next to me. I am one of those crazy dog ladies, whose dogs are allowed to sleep in the bed. Although my Border Collie N. is of a size that it will be hard to simply crush her (didn’t keep me from thinking a year ago that I had done exactly that), S. is of a much smaller size and has the tendency to sleep under my duvet pressed against me. So I woke up, realised I was lying on her legs and wondered why she didn’t mind. I put my hand on her chest and couldn’t feel any breathing. I moved the duvet aside and started shoving her (I know you should never wake up a sleeping dog but I was panicking) and she still didn’t move. I screamed at my hubby, telling him the dog was dead. His sudden movement – literally jumping out of bed – woke S. up. She instantly started wagging her tail and washing our faces. God, was I relieved.

Finding sleep afterwards was hard and my thoughts circled around my friend, her imminent future of pain and my painful past. I eventually fell asleep, going in and out of it until I forced myself to get out of bed at 7.30am – completely knackered.

With the month being close to its end and characterised by unexpected costs (vet bill was extortionate), the lack of money on my account has led to a shortage of food in my fridge (I thought those student poverty days were over when all you have for food is cheap pasta and cereals), so I had eggs, tati scones and toast for breakfast. As I am someone who likes her toast on the darker side, I took all the precautions possible to avoid the fire alarm going off by opening all the kitchen windows as well as the back door to circulate the air. What a waste of effort – it went off and almost popped my eardrums. Smoke detector in the kitchen is the stupidest idea ever!

To say the least, I was in a sour, slightly annoyed mood and being grateful seemed utterly impossible.


All of a sudden N. took her favourite toy and threw it at my feet, prompting me to play with her. Playing with N. obviously means that I have to play with S. too, so we ended up playing for quite a while and although I now look like I was dragged through a bramble bush, my mood has brightened. It reminded me of this rather cheesy motivational card saying “Everyday may not be good but there is good in everyday” (is it an Earle quote? can’t remember). If we allow ourselves to do so, we can find something to be grateful for in every day. Even if it is for something as basic as being alive.

Weather forecast looks ok and the sun is out, so I will make sure to spend some time outside. I will also finally finish my essay – what can be better than achieving a goal to brighten your mood?


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Megan says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about your friend’s father’s cancer diagnosis. My mother had passed away from pancreatic cancer at the beginning of this year after a long struggle against the disease. Best wishes to her and her family. Take care, -m.


    1. Debra says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your mum. So we are both Halbweisen. Well, at my age nobody really cares if I still need her and I actually had a colleague tell me something close to “get over it” once. I sometimes wonder which part I have more problems getting over – her death or her suffering. I think the latter was more traumatising to a degree that the eventual death was a relief. Ever since her death I have my own version of FOMO. This is one of the reasons I packed my bags and left without finishing uni. Yours is a lot fresher and I hope you find a way to cope. My friend is already a bit – I dunno – frail is not quite the right word but she has already so much on her plate and now this on top. I feel so sorry for her. Poor thing. You take care, too. Alles Liebe und Gute Debby


      1. Megan says:

        Thanks Debby! You know, I often wish I could just get over it, but somehow I can’t. Sometimes grief hits you when you least expect it. My mom’s case was a bit complicated because she actually got cancer twice – first time it was stage 1 breast cancer, and the second time it was stage 4 endocrine pancreatic cancer. So, I was in and out of hospitals with her for most of my twenties. I’ve had a lot of time to prepare myself for the worst, but it was still hard in the end. Like you said, I don’t know what is worse: her suffering or her death. It’s hard to lose a parent at any age. I pray that things will work out well for your friend’s family. Good luck on your essay. Night! -m.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Debra says:

        Your story sounds so familiar. My mum was diagnosed for the first time, the year I got married. She already had it at my wedding but was only diagnosed at the end of the year because she kept on going to the same crappy doctor who had in the past almost killed me. At that stage the cancer was as big as a baby and grown into her uterus, ovaries and appendix. They took all if out and gave her chemo. She managed another 2,5 years before it was back in her bladder first and then her bowel system. Another year of surgeries, chemo and eventually radiation finished her off. Yeah, you prepare and prepare and it is never enough. I decided to share my mother’s, sister’s and my favourite book and I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it already. Perfect Sunday-forget-the-rest-of-the-world-read. Lots of love. Cheers Debby PS: Essay is finished, once I find someone to proof-read it (my friend usually does it but she has better things to do right now and I don’t want to bother her at this moment in her life), I can hand it in and only need to wait for the result on the paper I wrote in March and I have finally finished my Master in Comparative Studies. One down, one more to go.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Megan says:

        I know I’m getting repetitive, but my deepest sympathies to you and your family for having to go through this ordeal. Your mom sounds like such a wonderful person from your posts. Totally share your frustration with doctors. Our Hausarztin refused to get my mom tested at first because she thought my mom was too young to get breast cancer (wtf). Fantastic review as always! Love, love Ibbotson. I always thought her Platform 13 is way better than Harry Potter. Going to pick up a copy of Morning Gift asap. Gratulation on the Masters! Your knowledge of literature never ceases to astound me. Happy weekend! -m.


      4. Debra says:

        Well I am getting repetitive as well. Doctors can be so backwards and old fashioned. My mother’s told her she was lactose intolerant and that was all. What a jerk. You should always consider certain forms of cancer when a woman comes into your practice time and again with the same symptoms. Esp when it is womb or breast area. But as long as he gets money for not doing his job, right? Themenwechsel: I only found out as an adult that my brother had read quite a lot of her children’s fiction. I only ever read her adult novels. All her romances are great but as I said the Morning Gift is the best, followed by A Company of Swans (I read this one multiple times as well and stole my mother’s copy last Christmas) and her short stories collection Glove Shop in Vienna and other Stories. You have a nice weekend, too. Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

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