It feels like forever since I last sat down to tap away on my keyboard with stuff that's probably not the most exciting for you all to read - don't think that will stop me though :) What's kept me away? Mothering Sunday - in the UK that is, for the rest of the world celebrate on a different day to us (we like to be different over here :) )
It was the first time in my 31 years as a florist that I've been completely alone for Mothers Day and I was dreading it. Year on year we get busier and so to go from having 2 of us making the orders up (answering the phones as well as serving customers) and 1 running around tidying for us both to find I was completely alone was an extremely daunting thought. However, I made it through to today with just 2 mistakes (one order I'd put the number 30 on the envelope for the delivery address and it was number 38, the other I'd put lilies in the bouquet for the recipient to ring and tell me she hates lilies and her son would never have ordered them for her - she was right for in my rushing around I had just picked out the price and saw the word Lilies, not looking at the previous word which said NO). Still, I proved I am only human and as I made up over 650 orders between Friday morning and Sunday lunchtime I'm not going to be too hard on myself for making just those 2 mistakes. I had one no-show on Saturday - he came in wanting something immediately that I wasn't able to do (I know in this day and age not being able to produce something in a second is unheard of, surely?!!). I asked if he could give me an hour (I had several other orders to make for people who were collecting and had pre-ordered ahead of him). He said (begrudgingly) that "would be fine" and oddly offered to pay for them as he was on his way out of the door. I told him to sort the money out when he came back. He never came back. He did happen to mention what business he owns locally though so I know who to look out for in future!!
Now all my real "peak business times" are over until Christmas (obviously weddings keep me busy at weekends and other bits and pieces during the week) I can get back to concentrating on raising these funds so I can achieve a dream and the kids can escape the reality of their lives for a few weeks.
I spoke to my niece yesterday. It was the 5th anniversary of their Mum's death (has it really been 5 years since me and her have taken the piss out of each other? I miss her more each and every day). For the anniversary to fall on Mothers Day I think made it that little bit harder for them all - especially the middle one who is the eldest of the 2 I want to take with me. She's had another set back at home too. Currently she's at college on a child care and development course - she wants to work with children quite badly. There is/was an opportunity for her to go out and work at a Ski resort in Switzerland as a child care assistant. For the past year this is all she has talked about with me. Not only will it be a great opportunity and experience for her with her career, it will also take her away from home for 3 months which is not a bad thing at all - the family (excluding her and her brother) all went out for the day yesterday. Her and my nephew were excluded because the day wasn't about them but about their Step-Mother and her kids. How fucking disgusting is that? To know it's the anniversary of their own Mum's death and to exclude them from a "family day" is just the lowest and most despicable of all things to do. It would have been a wicked thing to do on a normal day but yesterday? I absolutely hate their father thing and his new family with a passion. To treat 2 kids in such a way. Ok, Sarah, enough, stop now or you're going to get yourself all angry and on a rant. Back to Switzerland. She has been so looking forward to it (not that the job was guaranteed by any means she would have still had to interview for it like any other person wanting the experience) but she prepared herself for the interview, has put in extra study for it, learned about what would be expected of her - in essence she's not just sat back and waited for the job to come to her, she's made her way to it. Then the despicable things that are meant to be encouraging her, bringing her up, looking out for her have told her they will not look after the dog while she's away because they "won't have the time". They have their own fucking dog who lives in the same house. There are 6 of them living there so one of the remaining 5 I am sure would be more than capable of feeding the dog and making sure she has fresh water. She's quite old now so wouldn't need to be walked very far. Her own father thing bought the dog when he was with their Mum so in essence it's his dog anyway so if she can't find anyone to have the dog while she works over there than she can't go. I don't think it's about the dog at all. I think they'll just miss having their skivvy "cinderella" around to do everything for them (her friends call her Cinders because of all she is expected to do with the step-mother and step-sisters sit on their arses doing nothing). What I don't get is how a woman (who has 3 kids of her own) could treat 2 youngsters (who have lost their Mum and had to change their whole way of life) in such a way? What kind of woman would be so cruel? My best friend hated her and I thought it was just because she'd split with their Dad and this thing now was his new girlfriend. I made excuses for her at the time but now can see why the kids Mum despised her because is a vile nasty thing. I'm sure if my friend had been in the right frame of mind when she was sorting out what would happen after her death she never once thought their lives would have become what they are. I'm sure she truly believed their Dad would go to the ends of the earth for his kids and see them right. She could not have been more wrong. Aside from putting a roof over their heads that man has done nothing for them. My nephew (14 years old and still at school) has to buy his own lunch out of his own money because the step-mother thing won't allow him to take a packed lunch. Is it just me that thinks it's wrong? They get family allowance for him and have a responsibility to ensure he is fed and cared for yet refuse to allow him to take a packed lunch. I'm all for teaching kids how to look after themselves, about how they need to learn the value of money but for things they want like computer games, phones, bikes etc. Not for the basic necessities like food. As parents they have a responsibility to provide those kids with 3 meals a day.
That's why I will push as hard as I can to raise the funds. I will be here every day if I have to be. I'll beg as often as I feel I need to. Those kids deserve some small thing to look forward to in their lives. They deserve at least one happy memory from their teenage years - for right now they've not got any.
You really could be the light in their darkness.