I am addicted to 'Charlie Brown' cartoons. There is a character called Linus, who sucks his thumb and carries a blanket around. Everybody tries to 'wean' him from it, particularly his grouchy sister Lucy. Then, a challenge is offered, if Grandma gives up smoking, will Linus part with his blanket? He agrees with utter confidence, Grandma will never give up her fags. She does. Consternation, Linus pictured with hair standing on end.
I am writing this on Christmas Eve 2017, having the blog today on 'Parties'. At our age Christmas cards/letters/e-mails are usually fairly predictable. Aches and pains, deaths (if not notified at the time) and the achievements of grand-children. But one floored me completely, from very good friends in Adelaide, Australia. One of their daughters had bouts of depression, quite seriously – but she seemed cured enough to finish her doctoral thesis. Now I hear she is hospitalised with profound depression, which must be pretty serious. Their other daughter (two sons as well) is a GP.
With her husband they struggled for 11 years with infertility treatments, until finally giving up and adopting two Indian brothers (wee bit of influence from us). Now, we hear he has early onset dementia, and, at 55, is in a worse state than my husband at 87. Their life is wrecked; she has had to stop work. At that age you are usually at the pinnacle of your profession, saving for your retirement and educating your children. Not only is the present grim for the whole family but the future 'mortgaged' to this dreadful illness. I read this e-mail having left Mr G's care home, where at least sufferers are usually in their late 80's. I looked for comfort, and found it.
I keep my own blogs in my inbox – quick reference to the subject matter, try not to repeat myself. I read the posts to many – particularly to 'I never promised you a rose garden'. The replies, now over three years of blogging, are a 'comfort blanket'. My subjects can be something arising from a previous blog or post, something silly that has happened, a distant memory.
Moodscope was 'conceived' for depressives. But 'all human life is there'. We are, naturally, obsessed with our own problems – usually what drove us to Moodscope in the first place. But throughout there are word pictures of people's lives, loves, environments, problems. Also, favourite books, music, humour, information (on helpful therapies, medication etc). A comfort blanket indeed.
The picture is of yet another Christmas in India. I had made individual shawls for the children in the convent, and we'd gathered masks and hats. People might ask 'Shawls, in India?' But the children, in a Catholic convent, got up early for mass, they also got fevers. They had few personal possessions; those pretty shawls were personal, all very pretty, vital for an Indian girl.
I do hope you have a 'comfort blanket', real or metaphorical.
A Moodscope member.