NO. 5: THE CREDITS: A little less conversation, a little more action please, or so long and thanks for all the fish

Please see part 1 as to why I am writing this…

And so, to the most important part of my life – the people. These people have made me who I am today. Each one of them has brought something unique, from whom I have learnt to be a better me. With most of them, I have laughed a great deal, most of them have seen me cry, all have loved me more than I probably deserved. I’m sorry if I’ve missed anyone out x

I did write this weeks ago, but more than ever, I hope my father can hear me, all the way over here. I also have put the Hubster in an earlier section, and my children, well, what they have taught me is another story altogether.

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I can’t begin to thank my family Lennons for all that they have given me. My mother is warm and loving and smarter than she knows, and my father was right, I did need to slow down and there’s no such thing as an accident, but dad, you don’t need to live in fear and worry.  Please my dear father, do this one thing for me. Put as much effort into getting help for your bodily pain as you do worrying about it. As wise Merit says, you need to change your diet, start doing yoga and/or get a dog so that you can relax. Your health was the number one reason that I would have come home (and that I know you both miss your grandchildren so much) but I can’t make you take care of yourself, only you can. Do it quickly, because I love you more than pretty much anybody else on earth and I’m not ready to let you go. My dear brother, forgive me that I have never really known how to be a good sister to you, I love you. As I watch wee Flo mimic everything her big brother does, just wanting to be near him, I see you, Ju and I playing together. You will never stop being someone I look up to. My hope for you is the same as for Carol, below. And my sister, who I have walked behind for so many years, I find it hard to express how much I love you. From the comfort you brought me as a child, to your love and support of me and my family in so many ways, especially financially and practically, I owe you so much. Including a picture. But mum, I really did need a puppy all those years ago, because I needed to learn how to care for something other than me.

The Hutchinson-Smiths have been such a wise, funny, generous family to all of us. The Halls and the Stearns welcomed me in to their family, and I am so grateful. I’m sorry to my mother in law that I found it so hard in the beginning, with Ethan. I was very defensive of what I knew was wrong in my life, and needed your help and instead, I reacted badly. I love that we share a similar taste in books, and Classic FM. And I love being with you.  I hope and pray that the love and understanding that you deserved and never got in your marriage will come in the future. Anything is possible. You raised my husband and his brother so well, and I am so, so grateful to you. You did a great job x

My father in law is one of the most interesting people I know. It has been such a pleasure to get to know you over these last few years – not always easy I grant you – but never a dull moment. There’s lots to say, but for now, we love you – the collective JEFF thinks you are pretty awesome. Merit, you are generous to your core, and a-one-of-a kind, extraordinary woman. Without your kindness, by letting us live in your house for a year, paying for our visas, and so much more, we literally wouldn’t be here. Please take time to look after yourself!

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There are many saints (in the biblical sense: believers) who have walked before me and to whom I owe a great debt of thanks for showing me the path I should take. I know that my way has, and will have, included much suffering and sorrow, so must have yours, or else you would not be the people you are.

To those I don’t know, but hearing their teaching directly changed the course of my life, thank you:

– Jackie Pulliger, Bill Wilson, and Terry Law.

To those I do know,

  • The Ghent family, particularly Ruth Mae. I learnt more about being a Christian wife and mother in 3mths with you over 15 years ago than in any other time in my life. 
  • Andrew and Sue Owen. Thank you for all that you taught me. You words and actions come back richly to me now.
  • George Alexander, a great teacher. It was a wonder to hear you first thing on a Monday morning. I am still thinking it all over. 
  • Jan Treadgold, who heard my confession.
  • Jane Gebbie, I didn’t always understand what you said at the time but now I do, thank you.
  • Peter Anderson. Your enthusiasm and integrity is a beacon of light. I’m so happy to have built with you and all at Destiny
  • Auntie Christine. You have dealt with so much, over so many years. I have listened to you, watched you and laughed with you (sometimes being laughed at!?) and your words and actions have been essential to keep me going at times. 
  • Marilyn Duff. My salvation is in part due to you, you are a wonderful, special person, and although this world has been tough to you, you have made it a better place.
  • Jo, I just love you and miss you. Walking with you on this journey has been a joy, filled with laughter. Thank you for everything.
  • Jacki, you encouraged me and kept me going when I had nothing left. The best is yet to come.
  • Jolene and Jennifer, my newest ‘J’s’, my time in Dallas has been so much better with you in it, thank you, wherever you end up, it will be a better place having you there.
  • Dr Jennifer, thank you for listening, and for asking the right questions. 
  • Emily Dodd, you are an outstanding human being, and an inspiration to me. I often  find things that I think you would like and want to tell you about it. 
  • To the Stansberrys, Fritsches, Kimmels, Cramers, Hootens, Goulets, Bowlers, Wakeems, Pfeifers, Pittmans amongst others, you have already carried and supported our family so far in this last while, I hope we can keep going forward together.
  • Edd and Jen your friendship has brought me through so much, and has been so much fun. I’m so pleased that you now have such wonderful partners, who are right for you and who I love as much as I love you.
  • Beth, you are my favourite dance partner. Whoever your fella is, is just about the luckiest man around. I think maybe you need to do like me though, you need to take a deep breath and dive in. You’ve been searching for a long time for His heart and He is desperate for you to find Him. Make one choice at a time. I think that’s all we are able to do.
  • Emma S (?) – how we laughed as we talked about sex! I thought it might be hard, but I knew you’d get through it.
  • My dear Ortons, so far away, you are wonderful. I miss your friendship but I know you are where you should be, for now. I’m thinking that between you, you may be running a country one day. 
  • Norman and the family Stones. Thank you for welcoming me into your family, You are wonderfully talented, kind and brilliant. Norman, thank you for teaching me so much about the industry. The first thing you ever said to me was, ‘Are you hungry?’ And gave me some food. Love it. What a great teacher. You fed me in lots of other ways as well. I just watched C.S.Lewis again – it was a tough one but I’d forgotten how good it is. Thank you.
  • MOPS at Lakewood Baptist. I think without doubt, this group of extraordinary and ordinary mothers have brought me closest to where I am right now, more than anything else in the last few years. You fed me physically, mentally and spiritually when I was so hungry and couldn’t feed myself. You let me cry openly and talk too much. You taught me crafts and tips that I would never have thought of myself, and all the time you looked after my children. Thank you so, so much.

For my Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Newcastle, Canadian, Aussie, NZ, NI peeps, and all, thank you. And I am from Newcastle, as much as my spiritual home is Scotland and Northern Ireland. I’m excited about the new pope and new archbishop of Canterbury. From what I hear, they are wise, and humble and servants of God. As my pastor Peter was so strict on, disunity and gossip in the church are two of the most harmful things and must be addressed quickly.  Let’s hope we can stop bickering, us prods and Catholics  and after 1000’s of years of fighting, work out our salvation with fear and trembling. 

  • Crazy Nancy – you are crazy and wonderful and very, very smart and talented. Never before has one mis-placed chocolate orange led to such a great friendship. 
  • My Dallas ‘moms’, especially Amy, Katie, Melaine, Michelle, Lauren, Lawra, Brenda, you have been so supportive of us, and we love having all your families in our life. 
  • Lyanne and Angie, I think it has cost you dearly to be the magnificent wives and mothers that you are. You are two of the most beautiful women I know. Thank you for your unwavering and ever generous heart to me and my family. It’s time you had a rest too.
  • Emma, my oldest friend. We had a lot of fun didn’t we? Our parents gave us a great gift in the freedom to be kids and play our make-up games. I’m glad we got to do it together.
  • All of my friends – dahn sahf – J’s pals. Thank you for taking care of him, he needed you!
  • Kathy King, and Savannah, my friends – my first in coming to Texas – have taught me so much, and have been so generous to us as a family. 
  • Colin Goudie – never before has such enthusiasm been matched. We love you, you are so talented, and so good to be around. We loved Anne dearly, and are so glad to hear about your happiness now.
  • Alex Mena – how fortunate I am that you did call! So, so good to be your friend, working with you, and figuring this all out together.
  • My Illusionist family, I’m sorry I didn’t know more at the time. I would have been much better at my job. But I probably would have been fired in a week, by offending someone. But you’re all great and talented and I hope you are the ones picking up the Oscars before long.  Paul and Bob, it was really great, and hard, and brilliant to get to hang out with you for all those years. I learnt so much from you both. I do miss you hanging out with you. I hope you’re doing well. And Javi was totally, totally right about needing a siesta in the afternoon.
  • St James Episcopal school. You have been an un-ending blessing to us and our family. Your teaching, your patience and love, and because you took Ethan off my hands for a few hours, well,  you may have saved my sanity. 
  • My Stirling posse – Jo, John, Bev, Lindsey and Elaine. I know it wasn’t always easy, but those four years that I lived with you, I remember as I time of never ending laughter (even when I needed to sleep). Your friendship is second to none, and through the hurts we have all experienced, I hope we will keep laughing.
  • Kathleen and Dan, I’m sorry about not inviting you to our wedding, if that was what caused the rift in our friendship. I don’t know what happened. I’d love to meet Cormac, I love the name.

You are invited to the renewing our our vows on the banks of the beautiful White Rock Lake, Dallas, to celebrate 7 years of marriage (much more significant than 10 to me), in October. In fact you all are – Dallas friends, meet my brilliant world buddies, its about time you met and found out why I love you all so much. 

My wonderful, beautiful friend Anna in Edinburgh had a vision, which I share with her, to have a place of healing, space, listening, beauty, practical support and prayer for all who needed it, especially mothers. They are the ones who are often worn out but who are holding everything together. I desperately want to create that in here Dallas – among all our stuff here I don’t think we have it. I want it to be free or low cost at the point of access (the theory of the NHS is really a wonderful thing, even if we’ve never quite got it right, don’t stop trying UK). I know where the perfect building is to do it, I know the people who could run it, design it and work in it. Most of them live within a mile of it. If anyone else would like to do that I’d love to talk to you.

I would quite happily live out the rest of my days working doing that, maybe making the odd film, learning to cook with local food, maybe a bit of singing and dancing. And I have a ton of ideas for pieces of art that express my heart without talking as much as I have here. And God willing, visit a few more places, like Beijing and Norway and Sweden and Argentina and Australia, and New Zealand and Africa and more of America, and Europe and Japan and South America. And the beautiful country and city of my daughter’s name. I really, really do want to learn how to stop talking and control my tongue like in James and most of proverbs, which has more wisdom in it than I can even start to understand.

On the walls of the central library in Edinburgh are words from proverbs, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Go see it when you visit that magnificent city.

 TBC… and, that’ll be the last one…

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