Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Evergreen, Forever Love
By Grace O’Reilly

What has a wedding ring, an evergreen tree, love and the seasons got to do with each other?
My husband proposed to me back in 2011, and four months later we were married in a nice civil ceremony in “The Grand Hotel” in Wicklow town.  A ring (circular in shape, hence the name) is a symbol of a love that is never ending, like a life to an extent, always changing but always there and continuing on regardless.  Like a marriage, life and the seasons always have their good and bad patches but once you remember the love, happiness, positives and light there is no stopping it.  A candle is symbolic in a wedding ceremony of the light of love eternally burning, like the evergreen; evergreen ever prevalent and forever there.
Everything in this life revolves around time, seasons, weather, plants, flowers and trees.  It revolves around human beings, animals and air and water, everything.  This is called the circle of life as Elton John sings in Walt Disney’s movie “The Lion King”, and it is true.  We need nurture and love in life as well as food to live and continue to grow.
The beauty of the evergreen or as some people call them coniferous trees is that they seem to live forever.  The other beauty about them is that they are always green, hence the name and never lose their foliage.  Regardless of how bleak the wintertime gets, and how lonely and deathlike it seems, the evergreen is still there, saying hello as you trod along on your travels or you go out for a walk.  They are there in the springtime, when all the other wildlife springs back into life and are only beginning to bloom again.  The evergreen welcomes them back to the land of the living.  In the summer time when the weather picks up, and families are out and about having leisurely picnics in the park the evergreen is there taking in all the happiness around.  And in the autumn time when all the other trees are starting to wither, age and turn a crispy brown before it turns into damp decay on the footpath, the evergreen is there to say farewell.
A partner in life who loves you unconditionally for the person you are is like an evergreen.  They share the good times with you, and the happiness with you.  They are there to pick you up, when things are bad, and you fall like an autumn leaf feeling like you may wilt, because things for whatever you’re reason has gotten so bad and too much to handle.  You’re partner is your rock when in the winter blues or baby blues or any time you are feeling blue they are there so you are not alone.  And of course they are there to share the birth of your child in the spring of their life, a new and precious little life, and they are there to help ease the pain of losing a loved one in the winter (or sometimes sadly not, the loved one is younger) of their life.
My husband Simon is my evergreen, my forever friend in love, life and marriage.  He is a doting father to Olivia our beautiful baby daughter and son Benjamin.  They are the apples of our eyes.  She is a cutie, 2 and cheeky and he well he is a new born (6 weeks old) and a gummy bear.
Back to the ring!  A ring is a circle, never ending.  Like love, the seasons and time, and of course the ever green is evergreen (positive, vibrant and living), and forever love.
At the end of this piece of writing is a poem I wrote called “Life and the Seasons” when I was just 15 and going through a very difficult time in my life.  I felt like I was in the winter of my life and that it was the end.  I was badly bullied in school, both primary and secondary school.  Things got so bad in secondary that I changed schools.  I thought about suicide but fortunately I didn’t.  I did however go through a 6 month stint of Bulimia.  It was an outlet for me like my writing, and the only control “I” had over my life, so I thought.   I would eat my dinner and as I vomited I would say “This piece of potato is the bully X, who ironically was even at the time the bullying in secondary school became extremely terrible, was supposedly my best friend”.  I would force my fingers down my throat and hurl and that was X dealt with, and so on.  It didn’t help that bully X (there were spate groups but bully X was my supposed best friend and the worst) sprayed “GRACE DOWNES IS A FAT COW” on a wall in her estate (a 5 minute walk from mine).   Thankfully I copped on, that hurling my problems down the toilet was not the answer and stopped.  It was many years later than I confessed to my parents I had been briefly Bulimic.
I know now in my life two very important people in my life have had issues with food and I am glad that I didn’t go down that route for my health, sanity and loved ones.  One of the people was severely overweight and suffered terribly throughout their life with their weight and heartburn and the like.  They started to walk, changed their diet and lost an awful lot of that weight.  The trousers now fit me and that person into one leg of their old trousers which the person keeps in their attic as inspiration not to pile the pounds back on.  The other person battled Anorexia for 12 years and at one point was fewer than 6 stone in weight, a very dangerous weight.  They could barely hold their child.  Again that person had their own reasons but has now since fully recovered.  Fortunately, they are both happy now and I love them both so much and am proud of them.  That was a blue time in their lives.  They continue to support me with my dreams to be a writer, and believe in myself as does my husband and other loved ones and pick me up when I am down and praise me when I have achieved my own goals.
I hope I can do the same for Olivia and Ben and that one day they will be proud of “Mummy”.  At the moment Olivia is very funny and apparently Mummy says “Mummy”, Daddy says “Daddy”, Thomas says “choo choo” and Peppa Pig says well I suppose really grunts “Snort”, that nasally grunty sound.
The reason I mentioned the loved ones with eating disorders that I love is that food is vital to live as is love.  Food is something that we constantly need in life to live and can share with loved ones over a nice meal and glass of wine.
Another tough time was when my ex fiance of 5 years and I broke up after I accidently drove his car into a wall.  It turned out his car was more important than me.  He swore at me while we waited on an ambulance, demanded the ambulance stopped an atm machine to get money for him to buy a new car.  I kid you not, and so forth.  Also turned out he was doing the dirty with a girl he worked with and has now married her.   Again below is a poem about how I felt at the time.  Writing for me is very therapeutic and helps me get things off my chest (well deep real writing like this).  Some fictional pieces are based on true events but mainly not! 
Funny how my supposed best friend and then years later my ex fiancé (both who I compleately trusted) hurt me.  Well Karma is a bitch.
 My family were and are still there for me.  They are supportive but I still felt alone at that vulnerable stage in my life, and felt that there was no end to the misery I endured.   Fortunately times did change, like the seasons and my family were and still are my evergreen, ever there, like my husband and babies are now. 
I still have my ups and downs and am still extremely scarred and probably will be forever over what happened but it is vital to take the positive out of the negative and to live life to the full.  After all you only live once, but life always goes on regardless so it is important to be happy and true to yourself and your loved one while you are living.  Follow your dreams and share them!!!
As I said earlier, I wrote the poem below when I was 15 and going through a tough time.  I am now 29 and come a very long way since then.  The poem means as much, maybe even more now that I am older, wiser and understand what it is like to be a mother and a daughter.

Life and the Seasons
By Grace O’Reilly

I am 15 just gone into Spring
Do not know what’s ahead of me
That’s a scary thing
My sister’s ahead in Summer
My parents further on in Autumn
And I am just sitting here with lots of thoughts in my head
My Granny is in Winter
Skin weathered like the trees
‘Why is life like this’? I ask
Life by age and months are these
 Do we go to Heaven
And repeat like the months do again?
Or is it just all over
With no point to the word ‘Amen’?

You said I was your Shining Star
By Grace O’Reilly

You said I was your shining star
And then our World, our sky, our dreams, our love
All fell apart

Met you in a disco
In the year 2002
Then I fell head over heels
In love with you

You told me that I was your gem
And that I was your shining star
But when I crashed that precious car of yours
Then you went too far

CRASH! Went your car
CRACK! Went my heart
And then our World, our sky, our dreams, our love
All fell apart