Wednesday, March 22, 2017


I am very happy to say that I've now placed all my work on Amazon, via ebooks or paperbacks

Just search "Tricia Gabbitas" and you will find

Tricia Gabbitas, The Gift Collection

Book 1    Anniversary, Bereavement, Birth, Birthday, Christmas, Easter, Valentine

Book 2    Christian

Book 3     Inspirational, Romantic

Book 4      Family & Friends, Miscellaneous, Songs

still to publish is Book 5  Short Stories

Also available is my autobiography "The Truth about Tricia"  a life touched by love, lies and betrayals, murders and miracles.

Then keep an eye out for a book of holiday anecdotes that my husband and I are writing together!

It's been a real adventure getting all my "babies" published.  I hope you have enjoyed my work here on the blog.

Tricia xx

Monday, March 6, 2017

I've enjoyed sharing my gift with you via this blog for several years

Now I'm very happy to say that all my poems are available on Amazon as e-books or paperbacks for you to enjoy at home.

Just put my name into the search bar and you will find:

BOOK ONE     anniversary/bereavement/birth/birthday/Christmas/Easter/Valentine
BOOK TWO    Christian
BOOK THREE Inspirational/romantic
BOOK FOUR    family/friends/misc/songs

Still to come:  Short stories

Also:  The Truth about Tricia, A Life touched by Love, Lies & Betrayals, Murders and Miracles
- my autobiography

I hope you will enjoy them all.    Tricia G xxxx

Thursday, December 1, 2016

At last!  M|y biography is complete and available on Amazon via Kindle e-book

Just look for "The Truth about Tricia" - a Life touched by Love Lies & Betrayals, Murders and Miracles

There are things in the book that I haven't told anyone for over 50 years, so it should be an interesting read!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

  Please keep checking the different categories as I am adding new poems all the time - this is one of my recent ones. xx

                                                  HAPPY HAPPY
When I wake in the morning I choose to say
I’m going to be happy right through the day
I’ll think happy, feel happy, smile and be glad
And refuse to let negatives make me feel bad
I’m going to be happy all day and then
Tomorrow I’ll do it all over again!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

HELLO!  Welcome to my blog.  On the right of the page in blue is a list of categories - each one contains many poems or stories. Over many years I have written almost a thousand poems so please do take a look 

Feel free to take the verses for your own personal use but remember that they are copyrighted so cannot be used for commercial purposes.  Thank you.

Underneath the labels you will find photographs of my many craft projects over the years.    

I can be contacted on and I'm pleased to let you know that my songs are now available on iTunes to buy or on Youtube just to listen.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I was saddened by the number of people I met who believed that "being good" was all that was needed to get to Heaven - thus, after prayer, this poem was written.
It’s good to be good to others
but that won’t get you there
It’s good to give to charity
but that won’t get you there
´Don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat or hurt´,
good rules we should obey
But just being a “good” person
is simply NOT the way
There’s just ONE way to heaven,
one path that you must take
Accept the gift that God gave free,
when Jesus died for your sake
It’s not the effort on your part
that writes your name above
It’s accepting God with all your heart
and giving Him your love
This was written to answer my own questions, as well as the comments of friends.

I used to think ”they’re all the same
All lead to God – what’s in a name”
Mohammed, Allah, Buddah too,
Or “the god that lives inside of you”
But then the Word came clear to me
The Truth of God that I could see
There is One God and One alone
And through His Word He shall be known
Don’t worship men or lumps of clay
Or vague ideas that seem ok
Go to the Bible and there you’ll see
The Truth of God that will set you free
I wrote this for some friends in Majorca around 1998

Don’t trust in tarot, runes and palms
These things are wrong and can do harm
But put your trust in God above
And let Him fill your life with love
The Lord alone knows what will be
The future is not ours to see
But put your life into His hand
And all will be as He has planned
He knows your past, your future too
Such wonders lie in store for you
If you’ll just turn away from sin
And let your Saviour enter in
Again, other friends in Majorca said how they couldn´t understand how God could exist because such awful things happen in the world. I prayed that this would help them understand
“How could He let it happen”
I have often heard folk say
“If there really is a God
why do children die each day?”
“Why is there pain and suffering,
why is there war and strife
–if there’s a God why don’t we have
a peaceful happy life?”
The answer is, there IS a God,
He made you and made me
And then to show how much
he Loves us all, He set us free
We’re free to choose the good or bad,
the path that we will take
But we must reap the harvest
of decisions that we make
God set us free to make our choice
and now He can’t step in
To break His word and turn us
into puppets on a string
But if you want to know the truth,
to find peace every day
Just ask the Lord into your life
and let Him show the way
Each day’s an opportunity to witness for my Lord
A chance to spread the beauty and salvation of His Word
Each day’s a time to share the love that He has given me
To tell the wondrous story of the Truth that sets you free


Friday, October 23, 2009


This is a story I wrote for Granddaughter Rebecca when she was around 5 years old. I made it into a little book and have photographed it, just as it was then.



This was the first essay I wrote when I started an "Access to University" course in my 40´s. All true, based on my early years.
Park Congregational Church, Francis Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire, England
I was four when we moved to the “posh” house.
My first years were spent living in an old terraced house that had immensely steep steps, and the only place to play was either the draughty hall or the street outside. This new home was a total revelation.
I don’t remember the move itself. It just seems that one day I was there in a large solidly built house, with a bathroom, no neighbours, and lots of carpeted rooms. It was into one of those that Mum would let my brother Jimmy, sister Pauline and me go once a week, on our own. We would lie on the floor, the lights out, the radio on, and thrill to the spooky voice that declared “Journey into Space”.
Still, spellbound, transported into another world, I took tiny hesitant breaths lest I should be discovered by some evil alien. The dimness of the room wrapped me in a cocoon of safety and the bodies of my brother and sister gave me warmth and protection. Suddenly I screeched out loud as my brother’s fingers grabbed the back of my neck. To the sound of my sister’s hysterical giggling the door flew open..A shaft of light pierced the darkness and Mum marched in, threatening “if you don’t behave you can go to bed right now” and our rapt attention was instantly restored.
To the left of the house was the church, a wonderfully constructed building that seemed to touch the sky, majestic yet welcoming, with hostas planted all around the edge. It was these same plants that were to claim my treasured green necklace when I was six. At least, that’s where I always believed it had fallen, and for many years I nurtured the idea that the twinkling stones were still lying there, waiting to burst into magical flowers.
To the side of the house was the Sunday School, venue for so many exciting happenings; pantomimes, plays, fetes, wedding receptions, jumble sales. Each Sunday I would walk the few steps from house to Sunday School for bible classes. Little surprise then when I won an award for good attendance! It was a book, “The Magic Faraway Tree” by Enid Blyton; the first proper book of my own. It told the story of a magic tree, inhabited by strange peoples. Clouds containing new worlds would land on the topmost branches and you could climb the tree and visit these magical lands where all sorts of adventures happened, but you had to be sure to leave in time or the cloud would float away and you would be trapped there for years and years. I could lose myself for hours, sliding down the slippery slope in the centre of the tree, having visited yet another fantasy land.
The Sunday School itself was a place of adventure, particularly when special events were held.
I sauntered through the doorway, paying no attention to the entrance fee (I was a resident, after all) and began to squirm my way through the forest of trousers, skirts, legs and bags to see what was going on. Peering between two coats and craning my neck I could see a lady high up, dressed like a cowboy, singing and waving two guns around in the air. Mum told me later it was a show, but I wasn’t sure what the lady was showing.
Best of all were the weddings. I would sit at the front window and watch the processions go by from the school to church; dark suits, white flowing lace, veils, and little boys wearing silly suits, carrying velvet cushions with rings and things, that would be empty when they made the trip back from church to school. In between, there would be lovely music, then soft murmurings from the church, then photographs and faces, smiling, crying, laughing, chattering, and talking all at once as they posed on the bright green grass.
One day while I was sitting at the window, daydreaming, a squirrel appeared on the window-ledge. For several moments we sat, staring at each other, he on one side of the glass and me on the other. Suddenly we both realised what we were looking at! He shot off and I leapt for the front door, yelling “Mom, Granddad, quick, come look.” Then began a frantic chase all around the grounds, each of us trying to get a closer look at the elusive creature who eventually found refuge in the arms of a sheltering sycamore.
The grounds were marvellous. Around each building there were lawns, lovely flat comfortable ones for lying on in the sun; sloping ones to roll down when no-one was looking; lawns strewn with daisies just waiting to be transformed into garlands for my waist length hair, or cropped expanses where Jimmy would set up his railway track and play with his train set.
In the midst of these green swards were lovingly tended flowerbeds filled with dainty pinks that wafted their sweet fragrance into my delighted face as I played in the happy innocence of childhood.
Crowning the whole area were trees; strong, powerful, protective trees, trusted guardians, spreading their branches like leafy arms waiting to enfold me in their embrace. They filled my eyes, my life; daily, yearly, with their myriad colours. Deep velvety green, pale lemon, green with purple hues, stripy green, jelly green, sparkling necklace green. Autumn brought tans, browns, reds, golds, squirrel colours, sunset shades. I would look up at the trees and marvel at how beautiful they were, how old, how constant, how secure.
We were able to live in this paradise because my Granddad was caretaker of the church and Sunday school; he created the flowerbeds and made the grass so beautiful. He also cleaned the church. He had a vacuum cleaner with a long tube for getting in and out of the pews and many a time he would chase me with it, threatening with laughter to suck me right into the dust bag! And as my dress drifted dangerously near to the nozzle I would squeal delightedly and run away, terrified lest he really could do it.
One time, my Granddad took us all under the church, into the vast caverns beneath. Dark corners loomed out at me; a heavy stillness filled the oppressive air; mountains of sand and salt rose out of the ground like strange beasts rising from sleep. I was afraid. Granddad told us how a poor girl had been murdered there – lured to her death in the darkness. The man who did it was dead too, hanged. It didn’t seem right, such badness under such goodness. I was glad to get out into the bright sunshine, into the light.
It was here at this same church that I saw my first Harvest Festival. Etched in my mind forever is the scene as I stepped through the darkness of the church doorway and beheld the sight before me. Fruits of nature such as I had never seen before; huge pumpkins like enormous suns shining down on me, vegetables whose name, and taste, were beyond my comprehension; glossy globes, red and yellow like Christmas tree baubles; strange things, pyjama striped and sausage shaped, but oh so big! Golden sheaves of wheat leant drunkenly against dark stone, and flowers in great abundance seemed to fill every corner. My eyes widened to take it all in and my nostrils were assailed with such an exquisite perfume that I felt that this must truly be heaven.
This story was written for a radio competition in Spain some years ago.

So here I am at Malaga airport with two suitcases, on standby for the next flight to the UK.
I’d had enough! I was going back after my dream turned into a nightmare in Spain....but let me go back a little.
John and I had been living together for a few years when we decided to try to make our dream come true. We had our own recruitment business that we could leave in our manager’s capable hands and we thought it would be great to have a place we could disappear to, especially during the horrible English winters. After some searching, we bought a little house “in need of reform” in the middle of a small valley in Spain.
It was wonderful at first; blue skies, warm sunshine, with a lovely little white pueblo not too far a drive from the house. There was the gorgeous smell of country herbs and the wonderful fruit and nut trees growing all around. Everyone we met was so friendly, even though our Spanish was very limited, and we felt we had truly found paradise.
The house was lovely, with fantastic views to the mountains; not too much land, but then we couldn’t handle acres of it! What we had really looked forward to was putting our own stamp on the house; repairing the odd damaged wall, putting in a bathroom and kitchen, making some sort of path to the front door. You know, little things like that!
I knew there was work to be done - but what work! We had spent months digging, moving, building, painting.
It was lovely in the spring with the clouds of almond blossom, wafting it’s magic perfume towards us. We would work in the mornings, then go to the village for wine and tapas a few times each week. In the evenings, it was bliss, sitting out under the incredible sky, so full of stars I could hardly believe it was real. Summer was good too, except for the exhausting heat, and the pesky mossies who seemed to think I was the only food supply in Spain.
We were both working really hard, but John seemed to be totally wrapped up in it all. Oh, he looked wonderful; his hair bleached blond by the sun and his tanned muscles getting better every day (eat your heart out Brad Pitt!) It wasn’t so good for me, as I’ll tell you now....
The wet season arrived, and I never seemed to be out of jeans and wellies, squishing through mounds of mud. .
My once dewy English complexion was now looking leathery and grey, my hair dull and what fingernails I had left were short and grubby. I lived in jeans, wellies, a big jumper and my hair tucked under a woolly hat for protection.
It was like this that John suggested we go down to the village for lunch! “Haven’t been for ages” He said, “No time to change”. So off we went.
Manolo’s bar was our usual watering hole and I looked forward to a nice tapas and a glass of red wine, but today something was different. Behind the bar stood Carmen! All voluptuous with long shiny black hair, ruby lips and scarlet talons to die for! John was captivated. The twit kept going on about how luscious her hair was and how on earth did she keep her nails so beautiful working in the bar. The final straw came when Carmen asked him if I was his little brother! He nearly fell of his stool, laughing so much. So did everyone else. I was heartbroken! I tried to laugh along with everyone, but inside I just curled up
So it was that, after a stony silence on the way back to the house, we had an almighty row. I went over the top. All the frustrations of the past months came to the surface. I said some unfair things and ended up telling John that when I was gone, he could ask Carmen to come and do the digging! Then I stormed upstairs and began to pack
In silence, John drove me to the airport. As we parted, he gave me my puzzle book, the one I always work on while waiting for a flight. I walked away, back straight, fighting tears and inside pleading for him to ask me to stay, but he didn’t
So here I am, waiting for a flight. Might as well do a puzzle. I open the book, and there taped to the page is a piece of paper that says
Please don’t leave me all alone
Without you it’s a house – not home
I don’t want any skies of blue
Or sunny days if not with you
You are my dream, my love, my life
Please say that you will be my wife
And that for ever you’ll be mine
My perfect Spanish valentine!
As the tears flow down my face, I look up and see him standing in front of me!
He pulls me to my feet, wraps his arms around me, and says, “Come on precious, let’s go home”.
And we do.
©TriciaGabbitas 1997

Alright, alright, so I´m mad to get myself all dolled up like this. I know I´ll never even speak to him, let alone anything else and I´m only going to the park because I just know he will be there and I can see him and ………well, perhaps I´d better tell you how it all began.

I only moved here a couple of months ago. I finished my secretarial training at the small local college and decided to spread my wings and try out the “big city”. So here I am. Me? Well, I´m heading a bit too quickly for 20 years old, not too tall, with long brown hair and dark brown eyes. A bit average I suppose but I`m happy enough with me.

Leastways, I´m happy enough with me but that´s just the trouble. It is just me. Only me.
No special someone to come home to. I know I`ve got good old mum and dad back at home. I call then often enough (the phone bill is going to be astronomical!) but it just isn´t the same as having someone of my own.

Anyway, enough gossip about me – let me tell you about HIM. I finish early at the office on Fridays and I´ve taken to walking home and last Friday, I saw HIM.

I was just strolling through the park and there he was, opposite the bandstand, just standing there. He had this strange air about him, as if he was gazing into nowhere but seeing everything in the world! Oh, he was beautiful.

It didn´t seem to matter that he was a bit shabby looking – you know, a bit “frayed around the edges”. It was his gorgeous smile that left me downright gobsmacked! Mind you, it helped too that he was tall and muscular with cute curls and a look in his eyes that turned me to jelly.

I realized after a few minutes that I was standing there drooling so I figured I`d better move on before I was spotted. I mean, I couldn´t just go up to him and start talking, could I? I´d feel stupid for a start. It was strange though because as I walked away I somehow felt as if I was no longer alone.

So, back to today. I guess it can´t do any harm if I just take another stroll through the park, which is why I´m in my best gear with my eyes made up. I´ve had a few comments in the office (and a few looks) but I just mysteriously said that I had “somewhere to go”.

I saw Angelo again (well, that´s what I´m calling him). I strolled nonchalantly by, then cast a quick glance direct into those wonderful eyes, and you know what? I´ll swear they looked right into my soul. Not a word was spoken but I was trembling by the time I got to the nearest bench – thank goodness it´s out of sight of him.

It´s strange though, I sat there for ages “talking” to him in my mind and I felt as though I was chatting to an old and trusted friend. It seemed that he heard every thought I had, shared every worry, as if he had known me all my life.

I don´t suppose I will ever speak directly to him. Somehow it may break the spell – I´d rather keep this special feeling all to myself. I´m not even going to tell Mum about my walks in the park. She´d probably have a fit and demand that I return home immediately. It was a major achievement getting Mum to let me come here in the first place as she is convinced that every city is populated with white slave traders.

Help!! The people at the office will think I´m mad. I was sitting there “communing” with Angelo, when I suddenly realized that I was being watched. It was awful! I looked up and there was one of the guys from the accounts department, sitting on the opposite bench and looking at me a bit strangely. I´m sure I wasn´t talking out loud, but what if I was and didn´t know it? I felt such an idiot – I grabbed my bag and ran. He must think I´m really weird.

It´s OK thank goodness. No-one has said anything, so either he´s discreet or I just imagined the look on his face. Come to think of it, it was a rather nice face. Very kind eyes, a bit like Angelo´s in fact. The rest of him looked pretty good too – sort of solid and dependable.

I´ve settled into a regular routine now. I go and commune with Angelo every Friday and although I´ve seen the accountant a few times, he doesn´t intrude upon my thoughts.
In fact, in a way it´s comforting having someone in the background just to smile and say hello as he passes by.

ANGELO WASN´T THERE! I don´t think I can bear it. He´s always been there in the same place opposite the bandstand. That bit of grass that will always be special to me and he just wasn´t there today. I don´t think he will come back either because there´s something else on his favourite spot. It´s a blinking great wooden box – I´ll bet they´re building a superloo or something. Oh how could they!
I was so devastated I only just reached my bench before I burst into tears. I never even noticed that the accountant was there until he appeared beside me with a handkerchief.
He was so kind. I had to pretend I was homesick to explain the tears (well, I could hardly tell him the truth, could I?)

Bet you´re wondering what´s been happening this past month? EVERYTHING!

My accountant (notice the “my”) is called Tony and he is lovely. Since that last fateful day in the park we´ve become really close. It´s amazing – once my tears had “broken the ice” he told me he had wanted to speak to me before but he was a bit nervous because I always appeared so “self-contained”. Would you believe it?
He comes from a small village too so we have lots in common and we´ve spent all our spare time together exploring this wonderful city.
We´ve been everywhere, museums, art galleries, cinemas, a super little jazz club down by the river. What´s so great is that we like all the same things and I´m SO happy I could burst!
We´re going to have a sentimental stroll through the park tomorrow after work to celebrate our first month together.

I saw Angelo again today. Tony and I were walking hand in hand and as we came around the bandstand there he was. He looked absolutely wonderful – sparkling, renewed, and no sign of a superloo.
I realized then what must have happened and as we walked by, I looked into Angelo´s eyes again and I seemed to see approval there, and understanding.
One day I will tell Tony about Angelo. I think he will understand how a lonely young girl can fall in love with the statue of an Angel opposite the bandstand.


GOLDEN WINDOWS A story for Little children


Emma was scrubbing potatoes for tea to help her Mummy. She didn´t peel them because she knew that they were so much tastier and better for her with the skins left on.
She felt very proud that she was big enough now to help Mummy, even if she did have to stand on a box to reach the sink.
Soon, in the autumn, she knew she would not be able to help Mummy & Grandpa quite so much because then she would be going to the village school.

Home was a tiny cottage set halfway up the hillside. Emma loved it. She loved the garden where Grandpa grew the delicious potatoes she was now scrubbing. He grew lots of things and was very clever.
Most of all Emma loved the valley and the hillsides all around. There were trees and flowers and lots of grass where she loved to play.

As Emma stood at the sink she gazed across the valley to the village on the far hillside. There was a church there too, with a crooked spire and one of the houses had a top just like a castle. What made the village seem like magic though, was the fact that every single window in every single house was glittering gold.

Emma wondered what the people must be like who lived there. “They must be very rich” she said to herself. “I wish we weren´t so poor. I would love so much to be able to buy Mummy a pretty new dress and perhaps get Grandpa some things for his garden”.

Suddenly Emma came to a decision. “I know” she said out loud “I´ll go to the village myself and ask the people to tell me how we can be rich and have golden windows too”.
With hardly a pause, Emma climbed down from the box and took off her pinny. She drew her warm shawl around her shoulders, left the potatoes lying in the sink, and set off!
“It won´t take me long” she thought. “It will be wonderful if I can tell Mummy and Grandpa at teatime that we are rich too”

Grandpa was in the back garden but Emma slipped quietly out of the front door, intent on her ´wonderful surprise´.
Emma walked on and on, always watching the glittering windows getting a little nearer with each step, yet still seeming so far away. After she had been walking for what seemed like hours, Emma became more and more tired and she no longer looked up to see the windows, but only saw the path beneath her feet. Still she had the picture so firmly in her heart and mind that she knew she would reach the windows eventually.

Suddenly Emma realized that the sun was no longer shining above her. In fact it was getting quite dark. She felt a little afraid but the longing to find the golden windows was stronger than her fear, so on she went.
Soon Emma felt so tired she just couldn´t take a single step more, so she curled up at the foot of a tree to rest and was soon asleep.

The sun was shining when Emma awoke and to her delight she found that she was very close to the village she was seeking and began to look excitedly around to find the golden windows but there were none to be seen.
“Oh” thought Emma “I must be in another village” but then she saw standing before her the house with the top like a castle and the church with a crooked spire. Emma knew now that she had found her golden village, but where oh where were the golden windows? All the windows were plain, just like her own at home.

Emma was so disappointed she sat and wept for a little while but then she decided that the only thing she could do was return home without the riches she so dearly sought. She felt quite hungry by now and was missing Mummy and Grandpa and realized that she wanted them far more than any gold, so she turned around and started down the hillside.
Suddenly a light caught her eye and as she looked across the valley towards her own village, to her astonishment she saw that every window in every house was glittering, sparkling gold – including her own little cottage up on the hillside!

Emma ran until she reached her own dear home, now looking so bright and golden. Mummy and Grandpa were so relieved to have her back they gave her lots of cuddles. They couldn´t be cross with her for disappearing, especially when she told them of the reason for her adventure.
Now when Emma stands at the kitchen sink she doesn´t envy the other village at all, for she knows that though they have gold in the evenings, she has gold every morning.
I wonder if you can guess what the gold is?


The next stories are from my personal history ...................

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This is the story of my life´s journey with God - how He has been there for me all my life - even when I wasn´t aware of it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My purpose in writing this is to show how God has always been there for me; how He has been the one constant in my life. It is only now as I reach 60 that I realise just how much I owe to Him and how those ´love links´have forged a chain throughout my life - a chain of love, protection, help, healing, guidance, forgiveness and blessings.

This blog is dedicated therefore to the One who is there for me, and is there for you too, if you just invite Him in.

I didn´t even know about the first time that God saved me. I was only 9 months old at the time. According to my mum, I got whooping cough, double pneumonia and measles all at the same time and, as she put it "shouldn´t have lived". But I did.
I was duly baptised at Holy Trinity Church in Halifax, Yorkshire, England but my personal recollections of anything to do with God or the church begin when I was around 4 years old. With my older brother and sister we moved to Park Congregational Church House in Halifax. My parents had separated before I was one year old and we lived with my grandfather. He had obtained the job of caretaker at the church and we lived in the house within the church grounds.
It was beautiful! Lots of trees and flowers and exciting things to see, like wedding processions and harvest festivals. It made such an impression on me that I wrote about it over 40 years later. (see my Stories blog!)
Unfortunately the idyllic existence at the church house did not last, as my mum became pregnant and could not maintain her job. We had to move to an old house not far away. It used to be a fish and chip shop, just next door to St.James and St.Mary´s Church in Lister Lane, Halifax. I was seven.
Most of my memories there are happy. I can recall my Granddad singing "Mothers of Salem" and "The Old Rugged Cross" to me, although I don´t remember any specific mention of God or Jesus.
I do remember having a charm bracelet where the "charms" were the 10 commandments, and I received a school Bible in 1955, as did all children then. I still have mine.
I think, perhaps, I had a child´s simple belief in God and heaven - at least I know I never questioned or doubted at all. One time when I was unhappy I was walking home when a young girl came towards me on the street. She smiled and just said "hello" but I felt totally lifted up. I was certain that she must have been an angel, because of the joy I felt.
Although I don´t recall school Religious Instruction (RI) in any particular way, something must have made an impression on me, because since junior school, to this day, I cannot sing "There is a Green Hill far Away" without weeping.
From the age of 9 until I was about 12 I sang in the choir at the church next door and around this time a friend encouraged me to go with her to the local Catholic church, St. Mary´s in Gibbet Street. I think her name was Trudie Baxendale (well, it was a long time ago)
One thing she told me always stuck in my mind. We were walking over a cobbled area in Halifax town and she told me how Jesus had to walk over cobbles, without shoes, carrying His cross. It made such an impression on me that I still can´t walk over cobbles without thinking of Him.
The most wonderful thing happened to me when I was about 12. I can´t pinpoint just when, but I can remember every second ...................
I was walking along very dark passages, twisting and turning, alone. Suddenly they opened on to moorland, as far as the eye could see, and it was all smouldering and burning. As I started to walk across it, a figure robed in white came and took my hand and we walked together, free from all harm and in perfect peace.
I know Who that figure was and I know that He is always walking beside me, all I need to do is hold out my hand and He will take it. That peace is with me still.
Whenever I´ve been in trouble or need I´ve always remembered the dream and know that, whatever happens, Jesus is always there. All I have to do is reach out my hand to take His.
It was about this time that I was saved again.
In August 1960 I had my appendix removed. Unfortunately, at the time of the surgery, a loop of intestine got twisted and, by Christmas, I had developed gangrene.
It was a difficult time, very painful and frightening, but I was in good hands. I had the upper half of my intestine removed and, against all the odds, survived.
So many times since then I have asked myself "Why was I saved?". "Why didn´t I die?" I now believe that God had a purpose for me but then I was just glad to be alive.
Around this time I began attending Elim Pentecostal Church. I don´t remember much about it except the singing and tambourines and that I enjoyed being there.
My mum used to tell me about when she was in the Salvation Army, so we did talk "religion" a bit, but we never really talked about God. That came much later.
In 1970 I was out in the country with my boyfriend when we were involved in a terrible car crash. A larger car than ours came speeding round the bend on the wrong side of the road. We hit head on. I awoke to find my upper lip cut in two, teeth damaged and blood everywhere. The accident was so bad that the police advised the hospital to expect "dead on arrivals". My boyfriend had to be cut from the wreckage but ultimately we both recovered. Again, I was saved, against all the odds.
A year or so later I moved south and ended up eventually with a job offer in London. I set off on a Sunday morning from Bristol with all my wordly goods in a truck, driven by a colleague whom I trusted and who had arranged a flat for me in London.
When we arrived at the flat I didn´t like it at all but my colleague said that his brother and wife would put me up for the night at their home in north London and find me somewhere else the next day. So, I stored all my possessions in their garage, everything from clothes and jewellery to a television and fridge.
As it was, the brother took me to a huge hotel in Wembley and dumped me there. It was late on the Sunday night and I was due to start work on the Monday morning. I had only managed to grab a few things in a bag and I was in an awful state. I couldn´t sleep properly and when I did all I could dream about was suitcases and tea- chests floating about in the air. I was convinced that if I went fully to sleep I would walk out of the window. Since I was on the seventh floor that was not such a good idea and I did the only thing I could to survive - I turned to the Gideon Bible by the bed.
In the end I did sleep a little but I was shattered when I finally went down to breakfast the next day. I couldn´t eat at all and I kept crying. The hotel bill was quite extortionate so I was getting short of cash too.
I set off towards the nearest tube station to try to get to work but felt so lost and afraid. As I was walking through a man came up and spoke to me. He said I looked lost and could he help. He told me he was a taxi driver off duty and, after I told him my problem, he said he would take me to the YWCA in central London.
I loaded my bag into his car and off we went. Looking back I think I should have been less trusting but somehow I knew it was ok.
He was a super person. He not only took me to the YWCA but he also said that if I couldn´t get fixed up he would wait as long as he could and would take me to his mother´s home.
As it turned out, he couldn´t wait because I was ages trying to sort out somewhere. When I eventually got to a hostel it was just awful and I was terrified of staying there.
I found a small bed and breakfast in Paddington and went in to work to explain things to my new boss. He wasn´t at all understanding but just said I should take the day off to get sorted and come in the next day.
I went searching for somewhere to live and was on my way to an accommodation agency on the tube but I was confused about which tube to take. The man in the queue behind me asked if he could help and it turned out that he was going to the same station.
We boarded the tube together and chatted, only to discover that we were both heading for the same agency. After we had been and registered, we went for a coffee and he offered to share his flat with me, no strings attached.
He was due to move out within a couple of months but needed help with the rent until then. He seemed a very decent sort so I decided to look at the flat. It was lovely, in Sloane Street, just off Sloane Square.
I was astonished when he said "There´s the kitchen, the phone, help yourself. I´m going to work, see you later". With trust like that I felt quite safe.
He explained later that he was a Christian who just wanted to help someone in need and I had been sent to help him too. I stayed there for the month I lived in London.
We talked a lot and I began to learn just how good friends of Jesus really are.
I had only been working for 3 weeks or so when I got a very bad cold and stayed at the flat. I was unhappy with the work and didn´t know what to do. I picked up the Bible that my friend had bought me, opened it and at random read "I will return each man unto his own land". Within the week I was back home in Yorkshire. I never regretted it.
I had to leave most of my possession in the garage in north London. Many things were ultimately stolen but I realised that there is much that is more important in life than possessions, like love, friendship, family, good health. All these are infinitely more precious and most precious of all was my new relationship with God.
I was at home with mum for several months with stomach problems, during which time we attended a local church together. I even began tithing out of my sickness benefit.
While I was living with my mum there was a “healing rally” in a town centre church in Halifax. It was run by the Rev. Trevor Dearing and I went along out of curiosity.
I don´t remember a great deal about what he said, except that when he invited people up to the altar to give their lives to God, I went.
Somehow I ended up at the front of the queue and as he laid his hand upon me, I felt myself lifted up. Then I remember nothing until I awoke, sitting at the far side of the altar, praising God in tongues! I was astonished, since I thought that kind of thing was just in the Bible, not in modern England!
That experience has stayed with me for ever, even when I strayed away from God.
For some years I didn´t go to church or think about God too much at all, but He was always there “in the background”. A friend Michelle invited me to her church, Huddersfield Christian Fellowship and I went along.
At that time I had a huge problem with my right arm, which could hardly be moved because of an overgrowth of bone on the shoulder.
The church is a “happy clappy” type and on my first visit everyone was clapping and raising their hands with such joy. Suddenly I found both of my hands in the air – and I burst into tears with shock and happiness.
I discovered that mine was one of the first spontaneous healings that had taken place and I offered to give my testimony the following Sunday.
I had worked out what I was going to say in readiness, but before I went to church that morning, I picked up my booklet “The Word for Today” – a publication from United Christian Broadcasters. The day´s reading said “child of God, before you give your testimony, remember people who have not had their prayers answered”. Well! I could hardly believe it – but I definitely took notice, and changed my talk completely.
TO BE CONTINUED .............

Sunday, December 8, 2013

FOR MY MUM 1925-1993


Back in 1992 my brother Jim invited all the family to his house at Christmas.  There was me, Pauline, Lucy and of course, Mum.  It was the first time in 30 years that we were all together and my husband Tony took this photo – the only one we have of all of us together.   Little did we know what the future held – but God knew what we would need, long before we needed it!


The following mid October Mum started having severe head pains.  We and the doctor thought at first it might be a trapped nerve.

At the time I poured my heart out into the computer  ......... I found it helped to put everything there.  Every day I kept notes, then put them away.   I haven’t looked at these notes in twenty years so reading them now is bad – and good!

As I have been typing this I have found things I had forgotten – and they touch me so much………………

Weds 27 Oct   Went to see Mum – home help said she had rung doctor as mum was worse.  Wonder if headaches caused by pressure on nerve? Mum remembers getting up from bed   then half falling, half sitting down again quite heavily. Could she have crunched a disc, trapped a nerve? She was on prednisolone steroids for 27 years and often talks about them “calcifying my bones”.  I remember once, all she did was lean over the easy chair arm to pick up a magazine and she cracked a rib!

GP came 11 ish.  He tested reflexes and limb strengths.  There´s a slight weakness in left arm and leg.  Now I wonder if she´s had a small stroke.  Her speech is fine though and certainly nothing wrong with her wits!  The trouble is, every move of her head or neck is painful, a jerk agony, and a cough excruciating.  She sits there “holding the top of her head on”.  My heart cries for her.  The GP decides to have her admitted to hospital.  My sister Lucy has arrived and we wait until the ambulance takes mum away.

Fri 29 Oct.  Visited mum, ward 6 General Hospital, Halifax.  Still in pain and can’t move head much at all.  Dr. told her it may be damage to neck or a small stroke.  Nurses are wonderful.  The first one I talk to is Ali (staff nurse?) – she is so kind and caring.

Tue 2 Nov.  Visited mum.  Having scan Thursday.  Feeling bit better. Less pain.  Whenever Ali gives mum a painkiller, she gives her a hug too.  I feel good knowing mum is surrounded by such love.

Fri 5 Nov. On holiday in Arnside!  We´d already arranged a couple of days away. Mum seemed better and we´re only 2 hours away.  Mid evening I ring the ward and they ask me to ring my sister Lucy.  My heart jerks.  I make the call.  Lucy is crying, sobbing “I don´t want mum to die, I don´t want to lose her”.  Through the tears she tells me they have found two shadows on the brain scan.  I try to comfort her with talk of minor haemorrhages, mini strokes, but I soon end in tears too.  I put on a brave face and rejoin the bonfire party.  I spend most of my time alone, lighting the fireworks.  My mind is spinning faster than the catherine wheels.  Must keep busy.  Don´t think.  But when my head hits the pillow at night, realisation hits me and I´m wracked with sobs. I too don’t want to lose my mum. 

Sat 6 Nov.  We come home early, straight to the hospital.  Mum looks much better than I had expected – cheerful and chatty.  She talks about a “little bleed” and also cervical spondylosis.  My fears are allayed.

Sun 7 Nov. Visited mum.  Not so good.  Still go pain and is vomiting.  Unable to take painkilling tablets so I arrange for a nurse to give her injections. Hold her hand for 4 hours. Tell her I love her.

Tues 9 Nov. Went to hospital early to see mum´s doctor.  He says he is not too certain what the shadows are – two of them,  one at back and one at side of brain.  Not conclusive so sending scans to Pinderfields for second opinion.  It isn´t a stroke though - the symptoms are wrong.  My fears return.  He says he is reluctant to put mum through more tests “she is very old for her age”. Strange, I´ve always thought of her as so strong, but then I´ve always known that she´s had illness of one kind of another since her teens.  Dr. Says pain may be due to cervical spondylosis – could have painkilling injections for it but need to await scan clarification.  If shadows were a stroke there would be no actual cure anyway.  If a benign tumour all is ok.  If not, then mum is too frail for surgery.  He says her lungs are in a “terrible state”.  I ask him about telling her – he says she only knows a little – take it step by step and be guided by her.

I go in to see mum ­ tell her I´ve seen Dr Qureshi and give her some hope re painkilling injections.  Mum seems pleased.

 Fri 12 Nov.  Mum went to Pinderfields today.  Lucy came at 3.  I knew immediately there was something wrong – her face said it all.  Mum has cancer in her brain and she may not live to Christmas. 

I’d been bracing myself for something bad all along but the force of this news rocked me. I´m hurt, angry.  I shout, swear and cry, so many tears.  We cry together, trying to comfort each other. Lucy asks me to visit her tonight.  She knows her face will give it all away.

Tony is full of cold and it is pouring with rain, but we set off for Pinderfields in Wakefield.

Before I go in to see mum, I talk to the charge nurse.  He says mum could die in her sleep tonight, or she could last many weeks – and judging from her spirit it would be the latter. He says there are numerous secondary cancers showing on the scan – no doubts, no cures.  I ask all the questions I´ve written down and try to be calm, but choke up again.

I must keep control.  I can´t let mum see or know, until she is ready herself.

I walk into the ward with Tony.  Mum looks great!!  I can’t believe it.  We talk for two hours.  Laughter, memories, gossip.  We even debate whether Prince Charles is fit to be King!!

During our talk she mentions the shadows saying it’s too risky to have biopsies done “they might slip and I’d end up a vegetable – then I´d have to lecture to vegetarians”   Another comment is “you´ve nothing to fear but fear itself”  and “worry solves nothing, think positive”. 

Is she trying to tell me she knows? Or am I reading more into everything she says?  It´s so hard to know. At one point she says “I don’t care what happens from the neck down, as long as my brain still works”.  I want to cry.

It´s her birthday in ten days.  I ask what she wants.  “Get me some slippers” she says.  “They’re never wasted”.    I ask, laughing, “Isn’t there something you´ve always really, really wanted?”   Mum takes my hands in hers and whispers “I don´t expect you to get it me, but I’ve always wanted a diamond solitaire”.   We kiss and leave.  My heart is breaking.

Sat 13th Nov. Got this rotten bug that´s going around. Chest infected, abitbiotics and I can´t visit mum.  Can’t stop crying either.

Tues 16th  Nov.  Met Lucy in town and went shopping to buy ring for mum.  Got a beautiful diamond for her.  Visited mum for 4 ½  hours.  Made up some jasmine and rose aromatherapy oil and massaged her arms and hands.  She’s not as good today –drifted off now and then.  She has a bad cough and it hurts her head so much.  Everyone on the ward seems to have a cough or cold – even the nurses.

As I was leaving – I said “I’ll see you Friday, but I’ll check in case others are coming – don´t want them to wear you out”.  Mum just said “I don’t mind how many – you keep me alive”

Weds 17 Nov. Visited mum, not so good today
Fri 19 Nov. Mum´s been to Bradford for a bone scan today – a long process and she´s fairly tired, but is still able to give me detailed instructions on how to make a rice pudding as good as hers! Wrote it all down faithfully – she makes the best rice ever.

Sun 21 Nov.  Mum’s 68th birthday.  Lucy collected her from the ward this morning and took her home for birthday party.  Special treats by request – drip bread and beef butties!  I take my camera and have it at the ready as mum opens her presents.  I´ve put the ring in its box into a slipper (shoe) box, full of tissue paper.  Mum opens the box, removes the tissue, then picks up the ring box, puzzled.  Lucy says “open it then mum” and she does, and the look on her face is priceless.  She is so happy, and so am I.  She puts the ring on, shows it off to everyone, then starts to put it back in its box.  We tell her gently that she can wear it all the time, even in the bath! 

I take lots of pictures of her with each member of the family, along with her presents and huge balloons and so many flowers it looks like a florist´s shop.  We take her back to the ward in a long procession, family, flowers, balloons and all.  She is so tired, but happy.

Mon 22 Nov. Lucy rang me tonight. She´s so upset. Mum asked her if Dr. Qureshi had told her any more than he had told mum.  Lucy just couldn’t say.  She’s heartbroken – we’re both so worried for mum – how she will take it when she knows.  We agree to meet at the hospital tomorrow at 2.

Tue 23 Nov. Lucy is so upset. I try to comfort her and encourage her to share her grief with her family, but she finds it so hard.  She just wants to be alone with it.  We talk to the charge nurse John who contacts Bradford for the scan results.  We decide that it would be better for mum to hear the news from us rather than the doctor, then she can ask the doctor what she wants to know afterwards.  I will do it.  Ali (nurse) says she will come in with me – we walk into the ward hand in hand.

We sit on the bed, one each side, facing mum.  All the way to the hospital I’d prayed that God would guide me, to say the best thing to the doctor for my mum.  How He helps me to say it directly to my mum instead.  Somehow I manage to tell her without breaking down. 

A few tears escape, but I hold her close and tell her I love her.  I don´t say exactly what the trouble is, simply that they can’t do anything except keep her pain free.  I feel that she is a little afraid of the word ‘cancer’ so avoid it.  She asks me what will happen and I tell her that she will probably just get  more tired and begin to sleep more, and eventually “just go to sleep”.  She asks me “how long” and I say “months rather than years”.  I can’t bring myself to put specific times to it, as they have done.  I tell the truth - they really don’t know, but with her fighting spirit, she´ll probably go far beyond all expectations.

Mum jokes about sticking around for her telegram from the Queen.  Dear God, she is so wonderful!  Please take care of her for us. 

I go and get Lucy.  That´s when the tears really come.  Lucy is so upset, then mum is too, then it sets me off.

Eventually a kind of cried-out peace descends and we are able to talk again. 

When the doctor comes mum is fairly calm. He is so good to her, telling her only what she needs to know and nothing she doesn´t.  He says there is no reason why mum can´t go home as long as she is not left alone. There is the likelihood of her bones breaking at any time. We promise to work something out. I leave the ward with him to say my thanks, and he explains that mum has many secondary bone cancers – probably coming from primary lung cancer.  He is so kind and understanding and says he will always be there for mum when she needs him.

Mum is brilliant! After we talk about her going home she says “don’t forget to contact the DSS  “I’ll be entitled to attendance allowance”   She’s such a canny cookie!

I leave at teatime so that Lucy can have some time alone with mum before the rest of the family arrive.  I feel so exhausted, but relieved that things are in the open now, and we can talk. 

I also feel privileged that fate should allow me to be the one to tell my mum, to help her with that first step towards everlasting life.

Weds 24 Nov. Went to see mum again today. She says “you know when you said about it being months, not years, well what about Christmas?”  I can’t lie to her, yet I can’t bring myself to say the whole truth either.  I tell her “there are no guarantees mum.  They told me at Pinderfields it could be soon or it could be weeks and weeks and weeks –and knowing your spirit it will be that and beyond”  My tears flow freely but quietly.  Mum´s eyes fill and she tells me how she tried to comfort my brother and her favourite grandson last night. She´s so brave.  She still talks about going home, about the MacMillan nurses.  She says “they´re specialists in this kind of care, you know”.   The word “cancer” has still not been said, but I’m sure she knows.   She talks about when she went to Cookridge (which she hasn’t done, but that is the local cancer treatment hospital) so I know it is in her mind, but if it’s easier to pretend it`s something else, then that’s ok with me.  Whatever will make mum  happier. Her chest sounds worse today, a difficult cough and she seems so tired. She says she´s found the way to cheat the verdict – she simply won’t go to sleep, then she can’t “stay asleep”

I feel such pain because of what I’d told her, yet what else could I say.  But mum turns it into a joke, telling us how she can make herself wake up after a couple of hours, then have naps during the day.  I love her so much.  I cry half the way home on the bus: the other half I spend writing a poem for my mum ... and one for Ali ....


You’re not just my mum, you’re my best friend too
And I’ve shared lots of brilliant times with you
We played silly games with balloons with ears
And laughed till our faces were streaked with tears
And when I was older you stayed with me
In Devon and we went to a show in Torquay
So many good times when I’ve been glad
And you’ve been there too when I was sad
I cried in an armchair, calling for you
Many miles separated us – but you still knew
When I was so ill and things looked grim
You stayed by my side and wouldn’t give in
With the greatest love a mother can give
You held my hand and willed me to live
You are my friend, my helper and guide
In good times and bad, you’re there by my side
I love you so much and I know it’s true
I’m truly blessed to have a mum like you

You’re a very special lady, and I just want you to know
The way that you´ve looked after mum, has made my sad heart glow
Your thoughtful understanding has brought me strength to bear
God Bless you and Thank you Ali, for all you loving care.
I rang Dad today to tell him.  They´ve been divorced for many years but he’s recently been seeing mum again and I know there´s still a lot of feeling between them.  He takes it well, but by his silence I can tell he is hurting.  He says he’ll try to visit  mum soon, but he’s still laid low with flu.

Fri 26 Nov.  Saw mum again – still cheerful and looking forward to spending Christmas in her own home – she´s got it all planned – a running buffet all day, with beef, lamb, turkey, pork and all the trimmings!

Sun 28 Nov. Visited mum today for 3 hours – lovely just sitting there holding her hand and chatting.  She’s tired, but still asking about going home.

Mon 29 Nov. Had meeting today at hospital about taking mum home. Arranging for night sitters, district nurse, MacMillan nurse etc.  Looks like she’ll be home by Wednesday – go to tell her. She says “good” but doesn’t seem as enthusiastic as I had expected.  Is she afraid? Does she believe she is “going home to die”?   My heart aches to help her, but how?

Weds 1st Dec. Took mum home today – so good for her to be in her own home surrounded by her own things.  She’s so tired though. I keep up the brave face until I get home. Then I crack.

Thurs 2nd Dec.  Tony and went to mum´s from 7 until 10 tonight.  Sometimes she seems like she always was, then other times her responses are just automatic. It hurts so much.  I think I’m strong but when I get home I discover I´ve burst a blood vessel in my eye.  It doesn’t worry me though - I remember mum had one once and it put itself right.

Fri 3 Dec. Went to mum´s again this morning. Doctor came to see her.  All the pills and potions to regulate and control.  She has some oral morphine we can give her too, when  it´s needed.  It’s awful to see her in pain even for a few seconds, but good to know we can help take the pain away.

Sat 4th Dec.  We´ve got mum a night sitter for most nights, but I said I wanted to do Saturday, so I get there about 5.  She doesn’t sleep for long, maybe only an hour at a time, then she gets up for an hour or two.  We talk, write Christmas cards.  She’s having trouble writing now, seems to get stuck on a letter and just keeps repeating it.  Then she realises and calls herself a silly beggar with a laugh.  After a few cards she just puts the kisses on – and even that is an effort.  I doze for an hour.  Sunday morning she is more tired and just sleeps most of the time.  I get home mid afternoon, heavy heart but glad I could be there for her.

Tues 7th  Dec.  To Mum´s again 2 till 6.  She´s not so good.   I love her.

Thurs 6th  Dec.  Lucy called tonight.  Mum is worse.  Lucy´s husband is ill and she’s promised to take Pauline to Keighley for a job interview – I talk to Tony and we agree to take Pauline. 

Fri 10th Dec.  I call Pauline in the morning – mum is bad – going back into hospital.

We collect Pauline at 1030 – the interview is successful and we are happy for her, but so worried for mum.  Feelings churned up.  Tony takes us both to the hospital at 12.

We meet Lucy coming out, in tears, and know it´s bad.

Mum has pneumonia.

When I see mum in the bed it feels like something has gripped my heart – she looks so old and frail. Her breathing is really bad.  Between crying, Pauline and I talk – about anything and everything.  Mum responds a little and I even get a couple of smiles from her.  She´s on oxygen now .  I hold her hand all the time, talking to her.   Lucy comes back around 4 and Jim arrives a little later.  We each have some time alone with her.  Lucy is desperately trying to contact her son Paul – mum´s pride and joy.  I´m sitting with mum and I can hear the fluid in her lungs.  Her hands and arms are cold and they jerk now and then.   I know the end is near but don’t want to accept it.  I stroke her forehead and tell her to relax, everything is alright, we all love you mum. 

Then her breathing stops and blood fills the mask over her mouth.  I call to my brother to get a nurse, she comes, I’m so glad it´s Ali.  Jim leads me away into the day room.  Soon after he returns to tell us mum is gone.   

Sat 11th Dec. Try to put on a brave face for shopping but feel so much pain inside.  Can’t stop crying. Sleep a lot in afternoon.

Sun 12th Dec.  Made keyrings with pressed flowers today – Mum asked me to make them as Christmas gifts for the nurses – now I will take them in mum´s memory.

Tues 14th Dec.  Took mum´s teeth to the chapel of rest – she was always proud of her appearance. Talk to them about getting a lock of mum´s hair.

Wed 15th Dec.  Went to see mum at chapel of rest.  She looked a little different, but still mum.  Her hands were so beautiful and soft.  I hold her hand just as I did in hospital and it soon becomes warm again.  I expect her to open her eyes any minute.  It all seems unreal somehow.  I sprinkle her favourite oil of lavender around her, kiss her forehead as I often did, and leave. 

Thur 16th Dec.  During the night I woke as I turned over and thought I’d seen a figure beside my bed, but thought it was just my imagination – until I told Tony about it later, when I suddenly realised that when I had seen the figure, the whole room was bright as if a light was on.  I felt a surge of joy run through me as I realised it was not my imagination after all.

It´s mum´s funeral today.  Tony and I arrive first at the chapel and we go in again to see her. My dad arrives and comes in with us. Again I hold her hand, kiss her forehead, but this time I say good bye.  Dad is so upset – he has always loved her, despite being divorced for some 40 years.  We hug and go out to meet the rest of the family.  We’re all trying to hold back our tears for the sake of each other. I want so much to be strong, so that mum’s grandsons will know that there are no doubts about heaven.  I know she is there watching over us – I want them to know it too.  I shed a few tears during the service, then we leave for the crematorium.  The flowers are so beautiful.  Paul has chosen “GRAN” in white flowers and Martin has chosen a heart. They are so lovely.  I add a small card to ours with a poem for mum ... 

Beloved Mum, I love you so
And it was hard to let you go
But happy memories ease the pain
Until once more we meet again
I know in heaven you abide
With many loved ones at your side
And though in space we are apart
You’re always with me in my heart

I travel back with Tony, partly because I need to be with him now and partly so that Martin and Paul can be in the first family car with their parents (Lucy and husband), my brother and sister Pauline.

Mum always said she wanted the 23rd Psalm and “Jerusalem” at her funeral.  I´m so glad that she got both.  We all said the psalm at the chapel of rest and the organist played “Jerusalem” as the curtains closed at the crematorium. 

Everyone was going to meet for a drink and sandwich, but I want to stay a while with Tony.

I take two flowers from each wreath and spray so that I can press them, then we go to the garden centre where we buy our memorial to mum. Tony chooses a stepping stone, symbolic of mum stepping into a new life, and I get some crocus bulbs to plant around it, to bloom in spring in her memory, and a small conifer that will grow as my love for mum has grown over the years.

I feel strangely detached during the day, calm inside but odd.  At 9 in the evening I suddenly stand in the middle of the lounge and sob.  My heart is breaking.  Mum, it’s not fair.  Why did you have to go?  I need you.  I love you
20 years on, it is now 2013. 

I thank God for all the love we shared.  I thank Him that He helped her go to Him without pain.  I thank Him that one day we will be together again.

Thursday, May 31, 2012



The following is a small book I wrote about my husband Tony´s niece JULIE.  She was a truly beautiful person, inside and out, loving, caring and great fun to be with.  Sadly, at age 28, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She had a mastectomy and chemotherapy.  She died at 30. 

Tony and I truly believed that if we prayed, believing, then Julie would be healed of the cancer and would live.  I would pray, open my Bible and read the words my eyes went to.  Sometimes I would hear His voice in the back of my head.  We took the words from the Bible "whatsoever you ask, believing, ye shall receive" quite literally but forgot to ask God what He wanted.  

When Julie died we were devastated.  My faith in particular took a huge knock and it was only through continued prayer that I finally came to terms with everything.

This book is a compilation of the poems I wrote, the prayers I said and the answers I received.

I hope it will help others who may be asking "WHY?" just as I did.   God Bless you.


Julie was diagnosed with cancer in April 1997


These are the prayers I said,

the answers I received

and the poems I wrote



11 April 1998

You’re a very special person and we just want you to know

Why it is dear Julie that we both love you so

When you were just a little girl your uncle felt such pride

So talented and pretty, his joy he could not hide

And as the years passed by, all your qualities did grow

Until you became the lovely woman we both know

You’re such a bubbly person, full of laughter, full of love

Brains and beauty too, so many blessings from above

You give such love to others it is easy to love you

Not least because you’re beautiful on the inside too

So for you our Julie these blessings we now pray

Peace, contentment, happiness, to always come your way

Friday 20th November 1998

“Into Thy hands I give my hopes for others,

my dreams for myself, my past, present and future”

Message for Julie
As God has forgiven you –
 then forgive your mum and forgive yourself –
 accept His total forgiveness and you will be healed.

Ephesians 4: 31,32


Monday 23rd November 1998

You wanted the gift, you must pay the price

Prepare ….. trust in Me, not yourself

“All my trust I place in Thee

And from fear You set me free

All my hopes fulfilled in You

Faithful God for ever true


Wednesday 25th November 1998

Just Believe. John 14: 12

Trust Me, Hear My Word

“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. “And I will do whatever you ask in My name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14: 12,13


Thursday 26th November 1998

Have faith. Believe. Trust Me. Be assured.

Stop trying to do things yourself.

Pray and believe, believe and pray


Saturday 28th November 1998

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it will be given him.

James 1: 3-5

Stop trying. Start trusting.

Watch and pray.

Word for Today reading: “move first, then get word of confirmation”


Sunday 29th November 1998

Be positive. “When I am weak then I am strong”

Give Julie My Word

Take the step – confirmation will follow if it is right.

Take one step and the Lord will lead you a mile


Monday 30th November 1998
…. But if, when you do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable unto God

1 Peter 2: 16-23

I had the idea of asking Anne from church to visit Julie, but that was so that Irene might come, and that was to support me in my ministry to Julie. I need no-one but The Father.

“Lord, I see the jigsaw puzzle bits, You have the finished picture.

Please guide me to place the pieces where they belong to fit YOUR picture, not mine.


Tuesday 1st December 98

Be strong, have courage, fear not, trust Me

See the wider picture, pray for Angela´s release

Julie is healed. Angela is freed


Weds 2nd December 98

God gave me this word of encouragement before I asked Him

In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee, for thou wilt answer me”

Psalm 86 Vs 7

I am with thee always, unto the end of the earth

Wait and pray


Monday 7th December 98

I will uphold you with My love

Mine eye shall watch over you and they feet shall not stumble

It is not for you to know

It is for you to follow

Wait and pray


Sunday 13th December 98

Why do you worry? God has everything in His hands

You´ve seen how easily the devil can find a chink in your armour

– be on your guard always

Praise Me and love Me

Therein lies your joy


16th December 98

How wonderful God is. After praying and reading Colin Urquhart´s book I felt my faith renewed and my trust regarding Julie´s healing – then I took out a “promise” from my box and it read

“If ye abide in Me and My words abide in you,

ye shall ask what ye will and it will be done unto you”

John 15,17


25th December 98

Rejoice, for the Lord your God is great

and the love He has for you is never ending

I had a cough, and I asked God to heal it instead of going to the doctor – I thought if He heals me then He´ll heal Julie

I felt Him saying

Do not test me

Forgive me Lord please

My earnest wish, my true desire

The thing to which I most aspire

Is just to please my Lord and King

In all I do, in everything


26th December 98

My peace I give to you

“Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways

And sinners shall be converted unto Thee”

Psalm 51 vs 13


31st December 98

I will be your strength and your shield

Keep your word as I keep mine

Keep me with you all day.

In all things let the Spirit of God move in you.

Oh perfect Grace, what perfect Love

What wondrous blessings from above

To save a sinner such as me

To change my life and set me free


Come to Me, all ye who are heavy laden

And I will give you rest

7th January 1999

Felt separated from God. No message came to me.

Didn´t go to Harvest Group last night –

couldn´t concentrate on prayer.

Read Word for Today earlier than usual – it says

“if you need help today” read Psalm 25
It was just what I needed to sort me out

Thank you God for hearing me.

Please forgive me and teach me your ways


11th January 99

Hear My voice. I will not forsake you.

Put your trust in Me for ALL things

Be still and know that I am God


Thurs 14th January 99

“When I am weak then I am strong”

When I acknowledge my weakness

The Lord can work through me in His strength

Trust Me, Remember Gideon, Have patience

I will tell you when the time is right

Hold fast to your faith. Watch and pray.

I am with you always


15th January 1999

Psalm 21
Show your love, prove your love

Don´t worry about giving My word to others

If they reject you – better to lose a friend

Than lose a soul


16th January 1999

You are learning, slowly, surely, you will know

You know your failings

Strive to keep your word

Strive to spread My Word

I forgive you

I remain with you always – KEEP me with you always


20th January 1999


Be not ashamed or afraid to claim My power

As you believe it – claim and declare it


1st February 99

Lord, if I´ve been wrong to believe in Julie´s healing

I ask your forgiveness. I DO have faith for Julie´s healing

Yet I see that maybe it´s my own desire and interpretation

of things that has clouded my eyes.

Lord, whatever Thy will – I accept Lord, for I know

that your purpose is best and all things work for good.

I´ve asked for a miracle for ALL to see

Perhaps they need to believe by faith before they believe by sight.

Father God, I KNOW you CAN heal Julie –

I believe you HAVE healed her.

Thy will be done Father. Not mine.

I claim your promise Lord, for Your Glory


2nd February 99

Persist in prayer.

Continue in faith.

I will not abandon you.


3rd February 99

Don’t you want her to be free?

Let her come and rest in Me

Then in glory shall she be

Living, in eternity

See “God Calling” 3rd Feb

I always read this book first, but today I forgot.

When I felt called to read it I found the answer to my prayers


Julie died 4th February.

5th February 99

My Grace is sufficient for thee

Oh ye of little faith

I will be your Rock, your strength in times of trouble

Lean on me, I will not forsake you


6th February 99


I rejoice for Julie

Safely in your arms

Free from worldly troubles

Now at peace and calm

I give thanks for Julie

For the love she gave

Love that you now give her

As her soul You save

I relinquish Julie

To Your loving care

Evermore to be at peace

in heaven with You there


7th February 99

Fear not for I am with you always
You know your failings and weaknesses

Give them to Me and I will make you strong
Give me your grief

Give me your sorrow

Give me your praise


9th February 99

You are my child

I will not let you fall

My wrath is great

But my forgiveness complete

Comfort others as you yourself are comforted
I am with you always


12th February 99


It’s so hard to let go of someone you love

You want them with you, not in heaven above

You want to be able to tell them you care

And once more the chatter and laughter to share
It doesn’t seem right,  and it’s not fair you know

You want them still here but it was their time to go

You want to lash out but inside you just know

The thing that you need to do now, is let go
You have to hand over the one that you love

And let them rest peacefully now in God’s love


16th February 99

Do not grieve too much for Julie

My child can you not see

She is MY lovely daughter

I wanted her with me
It’s not for you to understand

Or know the reason why

But just to trust Me all your life

Until the day you die
Then all will be revealed to you

The truth will set you free

And you will join your loved ones here

In paradise with Me


Julie, Sue, Tricia 

17th February 99

For Susan (Tony´s daughter)

Lord take away her bitterness

Please take away her pain

Give her Your peace inside Lord

And let her smile again


25th April 99

Let it go (Julie) Some day you will understand
You are learning.

All those who learn must be corrected from time to time

to know right from wrong and to learn more.

Have patience. It will come.
Ask nothing but My love

Seek nothing but My presence

Rest in Me

20th July 99

Trust in Me – rest in Me

Stop worrying. Leave it ALL in my hands.

Have I ever let you down?

Have love for others always

I’M SORRY, JULIE     2006

Seven years of anguish and I’m asking again

What could I have done that I didn’t do then?

I truly believed in the miracle prayer

And right to the end I expected it there

God’s word says to pray and believe it will be

But I was left asking, “Lord, why not for me?”

I truly believed and I felt so sure

Forgive me if I made it hurt all the more

I just didn’t know what to do, what to say

And my heart broke the last time that I walked away.

Please forgive me, Julie


SUSAN   2006

We once were friends and got on well

But that all changed, why I cannot tell
Now when we meet you don’t say hi

Or talk or even say goodbye

Did I do wrong? I wish you’d say

Then I could put it right some way

I think and worry through the night

Please give me a chance to put things right


It is now 2012 and I have finally decided to publish my JULIE book.
I loved her dearly and look forward to the day when we are reunited in heaven.

Sadly, Susan still does not speak to me.  I do not know the true reason why
but I forgive her and pray that she will find happiness and peace.