“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones you accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you you no matter what.” – Unknown
So, we return with another view of life from the ground and, without apology, I return to look deeper at love, family, and friends.
When I say deeper, following the #TeamDuke blog (thank you to everyone who took time to read it and share a piece of my world. Thank you also for the wonderful feedback. It means so much to know that the blog resonated so much), I would like to share more about the Team Duke journey and look at the extended members of Team Duke and their contribution to our life and how we are continuing to grow strength from their strength. But also how the inner collective of Team Duke, being me, Ben, and Liv move forward together. And let’s not forget the starring role of Zeekee.
My intention through sharing our development is to show that there is hope for everyone. As I’ve said previously, we have had our dark hour – or, as some would say, our dark night of the soul – but, as I featured in the #TeamDuke blog, we were blessed to have light provided through incredible family and friends. And, as the quote above says, family isn’t always blood so effectively we have all joined as family.
I know I’ve featured the definition of love in previous blogs but I found this, which I believe sums up what we have been lucky enough to experience – “Love can make you do anything and sacrifice for what will be better in the end. Everything seems brighter, happier and more wonderful. If you find it, don’t let it go.”
It’s funny – not in a ROFLMAO sort of way – but I always thought I understood love until the dark hour came. Only then did I truly start to understand love. The sacrifices that people made in the quest to support us; the happiness that people brought to us; and the light that was shone.
I’d previously been very focussed on doing my own thing, but a big, big lesson that was learned quickly was, if help and support is offered – accept it gratefully and gracefully. The more you say ‘yes’ the more the offers flow – ‘come round for a me or we’ll bring the food to you’, ‘do you fancy some company’, ‘do want to meet for a drink – wine, coffee, tea, whatever’ etc. Just say ‘yes’.
It’s good for the soul to feel the love, to be loved. When the support comes in, it tops up your strength to then look after the inner family – in our case, Team Duke. Over the last 6 months or so the support has been constant and consistent and for that we send our love to each and every person who has been there for us. Your support – in what ever form it has been – has been so appreciated. You make feel a quick text or Facebook message is nothing, but you hey all mean so much. To know people are there.
So, my advice for those who have tough times, accept every offer of help because you are blessed to have such wonderful people around you. I promise to be there for who ever needs me.
And then, there’s the continuing development of Team Duke. I talk (maybe too much) about where we were and where we are in the previous blog. But, as I have previously discussed, I never though the Team Duke could get closer, but how wrong could I be. It’s the small things, and it’s the big things. But, the main point is our bond is so strong.
I think a key learning for us, and something I talk about when ever I get chance is that we talk, and then we talk some more.
As a family we have always had our meals around the dining room table. We have always been a communicative family. But, since that dark hour, his need to communicate has been more and more important. To talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly. It doesn’t matter, just talk. Then, it’s looking for the telltale signs that something is not good. When asking ‘how’s things?’, if the answer is ‘okay; ‘yeah, alright ‘; ‘not bad’ (double negative), I always dig deeper. But, it’s not just about me. Ben and Liv do the same. We’re a team of 3 (plus Zeekee) initially, so we look out for each other. We look after each other. And we always talk, whether up and or somewhere in between.
My learning has been the importance of verbalising not bottling up. To bottle up is, I believe dangerous and bad for your health. Eventually, the risk os of popping like a champagne cork.
And to close. Again, as featured in the #TeamDuke blog, I’ve learned to love a good hug. I’ve never been a tactile person but, as I’ve talked about above, I don’t refuse an offer these days. So, hugs have become a feature. Thank you to all for the offers 😀.
Even the offer at 5:00 am this morning from Ben. I’m a light sleeper, so when I heard voices from the living room, I was a bit concerned, only to find that Ben and Liv were talking. Ben had just got home from a ‘good’ night out; Liv is a late sleeper. The sound of my large feet resulted in a beaming Ben appearing with the hug offer. You can’t say no!
Okay. That’s it for now. I hope you’ve enjoy the update. The next blog may be back to one of my other passions. Who knows. I hope you’re enjoyed the read.
Lots of love