Category Archives: Love

October 11

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The day is a special one for me as it marks the anniversary of E’s birth. Though I may not observe such days generally speaking, I never forget what they mean in my life.  I took the opportunity to take E out to lunch though not specifically to mark the day I thought she would appreciate it anyway. I treat her to lunch quite often during the year so lunches have no special significance other than to enjoy each other’s company in some convivial place other than home. It is nice to go out for lunches now and again. I asked her how it felt to be now the age she is (I’m not revealing that) and she replied just the same as it was yesterday! How true a statement was that! Marking an annual date as something special is rather ridiculous when you think about it. What is the point? It is just another day. We could mark each day equally as such, a special day and this we should be doing anyway. We none of us know how many days we have on this planet so we should be enjoying every one of them in whichever way we feel is right. In January next year, the 27 th to be precise, I will have known E for 45 years. I loved her the first time I saw her and that hasn’t changed even though many other things have since. It is all about love.

Not So Much to Be Loved as to Love

Not So Much to Be Loved as to Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life is all about love for without love we have nothing. It isn’t an option, it is a command we should obey. Didn’t Jesus say, ‘A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’ (John 13:34)? Without love there is friction, discontent, discord and a host of other things which bring us down. Love lifts us up, makes us feel good not only about life in general but in ourselves. With love in our hearts we are at peace with ourselves and with the world. I wish I could take everyone out to lunch but that is obviously impossible. I can however demonstrate love in everything I do and this is what we all should do. Every day then becomes special to us and hopefully to those we meet too. Yes I remember October 11, 14, November 21 and a host of other ‘special’ days in my life but in reality every day is special.

Shirley Anne

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Good, bad and …….

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There is no-one who does good in this world (Psalm 14:3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one). Oh there are those who some consider to be good because of what they have done but that compliment is based upon human views. Even the person whom we may consider being good falls short of the mark in the eyes of God. That aside I think we can safely say that there are quite a few bad people in this world. Maybe you have met with some of them in your corner of the world? Probably. Most people might be considered upright, honest and trustworthy and have good moral standing in our eyes but we all know there are some who are not. These will be deceitful, selfish, scheming and dishonest and I’ll wager many of us will know some like that closer to home. The good and the bad are usually easy to discern, eventually anyway but the ugly may not be.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly (album)

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I say ugly I am not referring to someone who is not as good-looking as others or who has the misfortune not to appear physically attractive; no, I am referring to one who has personality problems. The ugly person is the one who speaks ill of others where there is no justification, the one who speaks in whispers to another about someone else. Perhaps they do it through jealousy or hatred or because the person holds a differing point of view. Perhaps it is racially motivated, perhaps it is homo-phobic or based upon fear. Perhaps they are simply bullies. Whatever the reason the ugly person is the nastiest of them all. Theirs is a life intent on making someone else’s life a misery. I have met a few ‘ugly’ people like this over the years and I’m certain I am not alone. The problem the ugly person thinks their target has is actually a problem they have themselves but they cannot see that. When we were young my siblings and I were always taught that it is rude to whisper (about someone else) but I know I have not always adhered to the teaching in the past. It isn’t nice to be obviously whispering about someone in their presence and it certainly isn’t nice to be on the receiving end of such behaviour is it? Jesus said ‘Love one another’ and to do that we must begin by looking inward to our own hearts. Treat others as you would like them to treat you, with respect. It doesn’t matter who or what they are, you don’t have to ‘like’ them…..just love them. Don’t be an ugly person for the chip on your shoulder will become a heavy burden and you will crumble beneath the weight.

Shirley Anne

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The list of love

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A list of love

E, Derek, Marie, Carol, Allan, Jennifer, John, David, Tracy, Alan, Lyn, Lucy, John, Chrissie, Tina, Emily, Caroline, Sara, Claire, Jane, Amanda, Jillian, Lotte, Pam, Craig, Chris, Terry, Denise, Paul, George, Pam, Jill, Toby, Deborah, Pam, Liz, Sue, Jane

These people, as far as I am aware that is, and many others, either do not believe in God and Jesus Christ or have not called upon Jesus to be their Saviour. I pray for them all each and every day that God will open their hearts to His Word and that they may repent and turn to Him through His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Others I know who have made that commitment I also pray for, my brothers and sisters in Christ, that they will be filled with wisdom and be given a deeper understanding to grow in their faith. Some are members of my own family, my sons and friends. These too are in my list of love.

Why do I say a list of love? What do I gain by praying for them? The answer is that I love them all and want those who need salvation to be saved and those who are saved to draw closer to God. I pray for people for it is incumbent upon me to do so but also because I want to. Once I didn’t pray for anyone but since God’s Holy Spirit came into my heart I cannot resist. The pleasure I get is in the knowledge that I am doing my Father’s will, not because I am under pressure but because I am persuaded out of love. For so many years I lived in spiritual darkness without the love of God in my heart and then one day Jesus came into my life and I was changed forever (read My Faith page above). When I found this treasure immediately I wanted to tell everyone what they were missing. It often fell on deaf ears and it still does for many resist the Good News with fervour, actually as I did before I believed. It is hard sometimes when trying to explain to people that there is a hell to shun and a heaven to gain. Hell is a real place reserved for those who reject salvation through Jesus Christ. It is our sins which separate us from a loving God but it is only through Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, that we can be saved. If we ask Jesus to be our Saviour he will take the burden of our sins upon himself and they will be wiped away forever. When God looks upon us He will not see sin, He will see His Son in us. Why would anyone not take hold of such a love as this, one that ensures everlasting life in Heaven?

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

So I pray for those I love

Shirley Anne

Not that way for all

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I Accuse My Parents

I Accuse My Parents (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘We played many different games as children much as they do now., hide and seek, hopscotch, tag, football and cricket, rounders, skipping and a few others. During the summer months mum and dad took us out on weekly day trips, usually to the seaside and it was such fun getting things ready for the day out. We would make sandwiches with all different fillings, take a cake and biscuits some lemonade and a few items of fruit. We had to be certain we’d packed our swimsuits too! Half the excitement was in the preparation and getting to the destination. If it showed any signs of possible rain dad would tell us that the trip was off but most of the time he was just teasing us. Unless it was pouring down with rain and unlikely to stop we would make the trip. Often on the journey home we would tuck in to the remainder of the sandwiches and we would all be very tired after the day’s events. Those days were some of the most enjoyable times in my life and were only made so because our parents loved us so much. I thank them both.’ (Extract from ‘My Story’ above)

How much do you remember about your childhood? Was it a happy time? Were your parents or parent, attentive, loving, generous? Did they have time for you? Many of the problems we have today could be attributed to a lack of involvement by parents. Parents who do not guide their children, do not show their love often end up driving them to become anti-social and unloving or caring themselves. The problems are passed down through the generations. Is it possible that those who take drugs or end up in jail for criminal activity may not be as they are had their parents been more involved, more loving? It isn’t a guarantee of course that anyone’s children grow up to be upright citizens but it surely must be a possibility that if their upbringing  lacked a loving environment they would be more likely to end up as they are. In Scripture we are instructed to bring up our children in the ways they should go for it is their formative years that influence how they will live and behave as adults. I am so happy that my childhood was a pleasant time for me, at home at least. It wasn’t that way for me outside of my home. You can read something  about that in my pages above. Alas, for many children though their lives are not filled with love, affection and attentive parents.

Shirley Anne

Ups and downs

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So Emotional

So Emotional (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having decided yesterday (Saturday) that I was going to rest for the weekend I had no reason to get up early but nevertheless that is what I did. It is all about my sleep requirements. I find I am awake after five hours or so of sleep. I could have laid there in bed but that isn’t usually my style so I got up and found myself in good spirits. It was change the bedclothes day so that was one of the first things I did, after my daily prayers. I was downstairs around 7.15 and after putting the bed linen in the washing machine I had my breakfast. I spent a little time on the computer by which time the washing was done and needed hanging to dry. The weather these past few days has been rather wet and windy at times so rather than hanging the washing outside to dry I hung it in the boiler room. It dries just as well down there. I took my radio down into the cellar where I keep the treadmill and spent some time on it. I was feeling on top of the world. Later, after a shower I decided to peel some more of the apples and make some crumble. I was going to make a pie or two but changed my mind for the crumble instead. I had returned the radio upstairs and had it on whilst I was peeling the apples. It was the Sunday morning show on BBC 2 and they were playing an hour of love songs. I had just started peeling the apples when a song called ‘You are the sunshine of my life‘ by  Stevie Wonder began to play and when he reached the line ‘You are the apple of my eye‘ I was touched and my eyes began to water. I was thinking about E. Anyway a little later another song broke out called  ‘I will always love you’ by Whitney Houston and before it had hardly begun I was in tears, I mean streaming down my face tears. Again I was thinking about E. In fact believe it or not the tears are beginning to swell up now even as I write this. I am a very sentimental person it is true. The joy of love overwhelms me. A few songs later and I had settled down a bit. I had to concentrate on what I was doing! Soon enough the apples were cooking slowly but not too much so as the slices remained solid and I had made the crumble. I had enough apples and crumble for two large dishes and they went into the already heated oven to bake slowly for twenty-five minutes. Whilst they were baking I made myself a large cappuccino and washed the pots and utensils. It was still only five minutes after twelve when the crumbles were done. I then spent some time reading my Bible as I normally do on a Sunday morning. I am currently reading it through again from beginning to end and have just reached the Book of Job. Now there was a guy who had troubles! We think we have it bad sometimes. You should read Job. The preceding Book is Esther. That was the one I read through this day. I have read the Bible through 31 times so far with this one being number 32. I learn something new each time! I don’t confine my reading to just Sundays by the way. Anyway I was feeling on top of the world again on Sunday after feeling a little down in the dumps on Saturday. Now I was ready for the week ahead.

Shirley Anne

Forgive, forget and be forgiven

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Forgiveness

Forgiveness (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)

Do you bear a grudge against someone who has hurt you or offended you in any way? Perhaps a partner or a friend has let you down and you cannot find it in your heart to forgive them? Think about what is going on here, who is suffering? Are you happy and at peace through vengeance or do your thoughts give no consideration to the matter? Here is an article, one of which I receive every day, which touches on this subject. It doesn’t matter that you are not a Christian, though the article is written for those who are, the same principle applies to anyone.

05 Jul 2014
Forgive, for Your Own Sake!
‘…Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’ COLOSSIANS 3:13
A lady writes: ‘I found my husband with another woman. Although he begged me for forgiveness, I wanted my pound of flesh, so I filed for divorce even though our kids asked me not to. Two years later my husband was still trying to get me back, but I wanted none of it. He’d hurt me and I wanted revenge. Finally he gave up, married a young widow with two children, and rebuilt his life without me. They’re all so happy and I’m just a lonely, miserable woman, who let bitterness ruin her life.’ Now there’s no question that infidelity is wrong. But without forgiveness, what’s left? There’s a point at which anger stops being a healthy emotion and becomes a driving force. Like a drug, you need larger and larger doses. Once that happens, you move even further from forgiveness, because without anger you’ve no energy at all. It’s what drives hate groups and extremists. Without bitterness they’ve no reason to exist. If you take bigotry from the racist, revenge from the zealot and chauvinism from the sexist, what’s left? ‘Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.’ Bitterness is fatal; it kills your soul. So how can you stop yourself from becoming bitter when you’ve been hurt? a) By looking into the face of the person who hurt you and seeing, instead, the face of the One who showed you mercy when nobody else would have given you another chance. b) By realising that before the day, the week, the month or the year is out, you’ll be needing mercy yourself.

"Forgiveness" by Carlos Latuff.

“Forgiveness” by Carlos Latuff. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

© 2014: This devotional is produced by UCB, free of charge through the generosity of our supporters. As a gift to the body of Christ, permission is given to Churches and Christian organisations to copy up to a maximum of 52 daily excerpts per year. Excerpts must acknowledge The Word For Today as the source, give the UCB address and inform that free issues of the daily devotional are available for the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The Word For Today is written by Bob and Debby Gass.

Shirley Anne

It happened before

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All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
    Look! This is something new’?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.

How many times have you heard it said that it’s happened before or it’s nothing new? Well here’s the truth of the matter, there’s nothing new under the sun. What’s been will be again, maybe in a different guise but nevertheless it will surely come again. Some even claim that modern technology is nothing new. They talk about ancient batteries and computers that have been discovered in archaeological digs. Whether these things are true is very much debatable but events, attitudes and behaviour certainly don’t change on the whole. People remain as they have always been, some loving, kind, courteous, humble and others hateful, brash, uncaring , selfish just the same. The eye never has enough of seeing. Isn’t that just so true? We never seem satisfied with our lot, always striving for more yet having received it are still not satisfied. Look at those who acquire great monetary wealth. Most will say that it hasn’t necessarily brought them happiness. Wealth isn’t about the money you have in the bank but the store you have in Heaven. With mankind nothing really changes.

Something Happened on the Way to Heaven

Something Happened on the Way to Heaven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In times gone by as times today
We fought and died and lost our way
And in those days all was the same
Just as it is, we’ve nothing gained.
We grow in peace, we grow in war
But all remains as was before
A lesson learned is soon forgot
It seems as if we’ve lost the plot.
We cleverly invent new things
And revel in the joy they bring
But sadly at the end of day
We have to give them all away.
Our lives are centred in this world
Which doesn’t last, or so we’ve heard
We live our lives just for the day
But never take the time to pray.
When we depart from out this place
Do we expect a saving grace?
By then it all will be too late
If to our hearts we close the gate!

Copyright Shirley Anne 14 Nov 2010

…………..but the word of God never changes.

Shirley Anne

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Love one another

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Jesus will return!

Jesus will return!

Perhaps you’ve not encountered it before,
It overlooks mistakes and what is more,
It smothers you in kindness and forgives,
Those things you are ashamed you ever did.

This thing I have within my mortal frame,
By grace it was placed there and will remain,
And as my sins are so forgiven me,
Yours are forgiven too as you can see.

It is of course a love so deep inside,
That shuns all hatred, greed and earthly pride,
It is this thing that I do offer you.
And makes me love you just the way I do.

Copyright Shirley Anne 12 Aug 2003

New International Version – UK

John 13:33-36

33 ‘My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: where I am going, you cannot come.

34 ‘A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’

36 Simon Peter asked him, ‘Lord, where are you going?’

Jesus replied, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.’

 

Shirley Anne

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A big softy

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I am a hopeless romantic

I am a hopeless romantic (Photo credit: Luberon (sb))

Throughout my life and as long as I can remember I have been a hopeless romantic. I have a loving and tender heart, it’s part of me and who I am. I am touched by the slightest thing, a love story, a moving film and anything like that. Tears flow like a river. Some might call me a big softy and if that is what I am I am proud to be one. I have been told that I have a heart of gold, that I am a good person and generous. Well I cannot comment on what people say about me but I suppose I am giving them what they consider to be a good impression. I could say that I don’t do things to please others but in fact I try my best to do just that as far as I am able. It depends on how you look at it. I may be a big softy but I am nobody’s fool. I am generous to my family, my close family that is, my children and my ex too. I feel sometimes that I am taken for granted and not appreciated but I am not looking for praise or return of favour, no way. I get hurt often and by those who say they love me. It doesn’t stop me loving them.
It is better to give than to receive they say and it is true. Those who only take accumulate nothing. We are all creatures with the need to be accepted and loved, it is how we are made but some think that can be bought or stolen. It cannot. Love reigns supreme and no amount of evil can really overcome it. My heart breaks when I see how some people treat their fellow beings, how they use them and abuse them. No amount of money or wealth gives the same feeling as that which is felt by a loving and generous heart. I am a big softy because I love people.

Shirley Anne

Changes

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Perfect Life (Levinhurst album)

Perfect Life (Levinhurst album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Too scared to show what’s deep inside

Too frightened that you’ll lose your pride.

Too fearful of what people say

So in the closet you will stay.

The clock ticks on, time passes by

And you begin to wonder why

You have to hide away from life

And be as timid as a mouse.

Then one day you decide to be

So brave and face reality

When now at last you realise

You have no time to compromise

You put away that old dark cloak

And put on something more bespoke

Look out dear world I hear you say

The real me now is here to stay.

Copyright Shirley Anne 25 March-2 Sept 2008

I was prompted to post this having read someone else’s blog post recently where she spoke of the rough time she had spent during her ‘pre-self’ life. Not everyone, in fact nobody is born perfect and that is despite what some of my Christian brothers and sisters might say. We are intended to be perfect but that perfection comes through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately sin entered the world and God‘s beautiful Creation became tainted. But I write about how Society treats those who have just as much right to be here as the rest. People who perceive themselves to be different in some way often resort to living out their lives in a closet, too afraid to come out and face the world. I am not condoning what some people do or how they act, for instance, sexually or in the many other ways they do but nevertheless Society in general has much to be ashamed of in the treatment they mete out to some minority groups and individuals. There is a lack of understanding, compassion and love. My dad used always to say that what bothered him the most about Society, people, was ‘Man’s inhumanity toward his fellow man’. It used to upset him to think that mankind could be so hateful toward others. It bothers me in the same way. No-one is perfect but we can all love one another.

Shirley Anne

Hard accepting love

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All Is Full of Love

All Is Full of Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps you’ve not encountered it before,

It overlooks mistakes and what is more,

It smothers you in kindness and forgives,

Those things you are ashamed you ever did.

This thing I have within my mortal frame,

By grace it was placed there and will remain,

And as my sins are so forgiven me,

Yours are forgiven too as you can see.

It is of course a love so deep inside,

That shuns all hatred, greed and earthly pride,

It is this thing that I do offer you.

And makes me love you just the way I do.

Copyright Shirley Anne 12 Aug 2003

Did you ever meet somebody who could not handle being loved, someone who had never felt loved by anyone? I met someone like that back in 2003 and the above poem was written shortly after we had met. The person I met hadn’t had an easy time in life and had no real friends. She found it difficult to accept that anyone could love her just as she was and just as I did. It wasn’t a sexual kind of love, I was drawn to her simply because of who she was. For want of a better description  we were a kindred spirit, like friendship but a little deeper. She needed love and acceptance, she needed kindness and consideration, she needed someone whom she could rely upon and who wouldn’t let her down. For a short while I was that person and would still be there for her now but she moved away and we lost contact. I often wonder what became of her and whether she finally found that someone special who would treat her well and love her for who she was. I hope she found it possible to be able to receive love without any fear and to just be loved.

Shirley Anne

I’m at a loss again

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Exponential loss

Exponential loss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know that everyone in this world faces problems of one sort or another at times in their lives and I am no exception to that. Every problem has a solution, not that a problem suddenly disappears, though occasionally that might happen but if it cannot be resolved it must be dealt with in some other way. We can hide from or run away from our problems but that isn’t always a practical thing to do therefore the only thing we can do is face up to them and learn to live with them. I have learnt to live with the things I cannot fix in my life and I am not talking about material things, I am talking about relationships. Some people are easy to get along with, some are not and I have both in my life. Those I do not get along with I try to avoid but tolerate their presence when it is unavoidable and in such cases I have to be careful what I say or do, it’s called diplomacy! However there are those in my own family I sometimes have difficulty with too. I have always been wary of people and was never one to form close relationships until I met E, my former spouse. I loved her from the first time we met and although we are now divorced that remains true. The reasons we divorced are well documented in the pages above so I will not explain here. At one point we were going to go our separate ways but eventually decided to stay together under the same roof. Naturally the relationship we have is not as it once was but there is still a bond of love between us which keeps us together. It hasn’t always been easy living with E because of the way she treats me at times but I try to persevere just as I have always done. I could easily have left her years ago and I often wonder why I didn’t but then realise that I love her too much to be apart from her, even if it has to be the way it is between us. Our is an off and on sort of relationship, much like it has been for most of the years we’ve been together. What happens is this, everything is going well between us and we get along as people should but then her attitude suddenly changes because of something I have done which doesn’t meet with her approval. Now I am not talking about anything I am doing that is nasty but as an example I might pick up the guitar and play a song or two very quietly and she will deliberately make a noise trying to drown the music and then storm out of the room. If I happen to attempt speaking with her when she is watching television or doing things on her computer she makes it known that she is annoyed. I leave the room dejected as usual with my feelings hurt yet again. After a couple of days we are again on speaking terms for a couple of months and something else sets her off and I stay out-of-the-way once more. I never receive an apology but it is always me who heals the wounds between us. I sometimes think she will never change and maybe she won’t but I will never give up on her. I’m at a loss again. Once more I am mistreated, once more we are not speaking. Thoughts spinning around in my head again, not knowing what to do next as I have pretty much exhausted all avenues. All I have left in my ammunition box is love, it’s all I really need though.

Shirley Anne

Friends and family and all I know

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Friendship, Göteborg, Sweden

Friendship, Göteborg, Sweden

The saying is ‘You can choose your friends but you are stuck with your family’ or words in a similar vein. ‘A man’s enemies are the members of his own household’, to quote Scripture (Micah 7:6). I have only ever had one friend in my life, that is if I exclude E. She has known me for more than forty-one years and is the only person in this world, apart from our children, whom I could trust with my life. When I was between the ages of five and twelve I had a childhood friend who was as close as a young friend could be. He was also my defender and stood in the gap between me and those who liked to bully me at school and even outside of school. I was an extremely timid child and was an easy target for the school bullies of which there were a few. When I left that area to live elsewhere my friend and I lost contact. As I progressed into my teenage years I became more and more introverted and anti-social. I became stripped of any confidence I had and still remained the victim of bullies. I was so anti-social that I turned my back on my old school friend when he appeared one evening to pay me a visit years later. I told my mother to explain that I wasn’t at home. He left and never returned and at that time I felt no guilt. It was only after I had been working for twelve months that things began to change for the better but even so I remained anti-social until around twenty-four or five. I had no friends but I started to form friendships with a few people, none of whom became close friends. E came into my life when I was a couple of months past my twenty-sixth birthday. I never developed a deep friendship after meeting E but there have been a couple of people come into my life during the last twelve years I consider to be friends. Sadly they too have moved away or live too far for regular personal contact. As far as family are concerned, well I might as well not exist for most of them never contact me or have ceased communicating even though formerly only doing that rarely. Other people in my life are merely acquaintances and yet more I have never met in person but know only through the Internet. I would like to call them my friends and as far as it goes they are I suppose. You could say therefore that I am devoid of any close friends and only have the closeness, support and understanding of E, which I cherish incidentally. I read the post of a fellow Internet ‘blogger’ recently where she explored the concept of loneliness as applied to her own situation but assuring her readers that she was quite happy with her circumstance. I hope that she is. I penned this small poem as a comment….

Happy in life
With cares but a few
No-one to sit with
But only you
Watching the couples
Walk by in the sun
Look at the children
Indulging in fun
Life isn’t bad
It’s as easy as pie
But who will be there
To mourn when you die?

Copyright Shirley Anne 9 April 2013

For myself I need people around me, the closer the better.

Shirley Anne