#ShareAdvent Day 7

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Lighting my candle is in memory of two people who have impacted my life. One is my grandmother, Catherine Dennehy nee Ryan. The picture above shows my lovely granny with my lovely offsping. Together they are two of the most important women in my life. (Gran may have been laughing at the fact that her rambunctious young great-grandchild just blown her knee off…ahem).

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This was one of grans favourite photos of Megan. The, now Teen, was my grans first great-grandchild. Gran was tickled pink when Megs was born. My age didn’t enter into grans estimation of my parenting ability. She was just glad that I didn’t get married “just because” I made a baby with a man. There were better reasons for getting married in her estimation. Anyway, when Megs was born, she was a slender and long baby. Her fingers were likewise long. She was born with vernix caseosa from her elbows right down to her fingertips. Gran attributed this and my newborns long fingers to the new little humans potential to play the piano in grand style when she grew up. She declared that Megs had been born with opera gloves as befits a future pianist. Sorry gran. Our “Bright Eyes” is more into hip hop and has no notion of playing any instrument. You can read more about my lovely gran here.

Having a child at the age I did provided a way of bonding with my gran parent to parent in a way that I would have missed out on had I been of a “proper” age. I learned so much about social history and about the quirks of my extended family thanks to the memories that Megs prompted gran to recall.

The following is reposted from last years World AIDS Day and is about the other person I’m remembering.

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day 2011. I’m sitting here remembering a lovely man called James who passed away several years ago due to AIDS related complications. I still miss him. I wish he was still around to tease me about being a lesbian knitter “when in London, only the gay men knit”. He chuckled every time he saw me knit.

He was really important to me. He was one of the first people I met through Rainbow Support Services. He made me tea (after inviting me to paint the walls lol!). James welcomed both Megs & I to RSS & always left us feeling included, wanted, appreciated, heard and like we were important people in the world. James made a world of difference to me. He helped to create a space where I could relax, grow & challenge myself & be all of who I am – queer AND a parent AND a knitter. “You knit, and you’re gay *and* you have a child! Ohmigosh! You’re going to challenge everyone who comes in here. Fabulous!” 😀

(He was right. A lot of people were challenged by the fact that I was out & have a child…..and by the fact that I knit)I remember when he told me that he had AIDS. I knew not to make a fuss. I just let him tell me. I helped tell the other members of the youth group. He wasn’t feeling very well at that point & felt he needed us to know. I didn’t get to say a last goodbye to him. I miss him so much. I’m so utterly glad I got to meet him. Every so often I get a clear image of his lovely smiling face & feel caught between smiling and crying.

Sometimes I give in and end up doing both.

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Even just reading through what I’ve posted before has brought tears to my eyes.

Excuse me while I go put the kettle on and curl up under a blanket.

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