"Having been placed back on fortnightly blood transfusions again since my blood count after the Christmas break became critically low, I return to hospital for another much needed couple of pints today.
Though I have had some additional ailments to contend with over the past year since I finished nine months of cancer treatment, such as pneumonia, a leg ulcer, gout, arthritic knees and one hand operation (the second hand operation scheduled for six days time), the year has witnessed so many more good experiences for me than bad. For a start, my children have shown me many times over that they are my children, my family, my family and my friends, my friends.
One of my sons, whose marriage ended in divorce, found love again with a lovely woman after a lengthy period of unsettledness. Another son of mine out in Australia with two degrees in economics decided to give up his regular, well-paid job as a city accountant and instead work four or five part-time jobs which provides him with half the wage, longer working hours, but double his job satisfaction. He is currently on a six week meditational trip to India. My only daughter gave up her highly stressed job on medical grounds fifteen months ago. She subsequently left her London flat and moved back in with her mother to live for the next year. After Christmas, she felt well enough to secure another highly paid, highly stressed job back in London, along with another flat and has since returned to her life of independent living. In her time off work, she learned to drive and pass her test, although her first car was recently written off and towed away for scrap after the December floods while spending Christmas in Haworth with me and Sheila.
Despite their difficulties over the past year, I am extremely proud of all my children and their refusal to stay down when knocked down. My parents were like that, my siblings are like that, I'm like that and so are my children!
The past year has also blessed me with the discovery of so many new friends, many of them made through Facebook. There was once a time in my life when I would have been keen to make the clear distinction between 'acquaintance' and 'friend', but would have to admit today of not being as quick or as confident in my discrimination, especially from my Facebook contacts. Being a friend means being there for you when needed. A friend sticks close and does not fall away.
One of the things which has been reinforced for me over the past year, is just how resilient and strong in the face of the harshest of adversities many of my Facebook friends have been as they have negotiated their own personal ordeals with health issues, relationship breakups, family heartbreak, crippling injury or the death of close ones. I have learned through my many private and more public communications with them, that like my parents, siblings, and children, they also refuse to stay down when life's events knocks them for a six! It looks like good people are all made of the same stuff, be they parents, siblings, children or friends." William Forde: January 20th, 2016.