Counting Blessings

Last week I wrote from the heart and shared a little of what I was feeling about being back in the UK (see here).

I thought I was being restrained and for professional reasons, if nothing else, really didn’t let rip with the wash of emotion I was feeling at the time. I tidied my thoughts, made the post a little prettier with structure and avoided writing the gush of habijabi which filled my brain and would surely have resulted in those of you physically living close to me searching out medical help for me.

Despite these efforts to constrain my thoughts, I was overwhelmed by the number of comments on the blog, personal emails, text messages and messages on Facebook which followed. It was very humbling. I made one comment:

“There’s been various other problems too, meaning other large expenses and the end result is we begin February with pennies in the bank account and that’s all. “

I feel somewhat guilty about that now. While it was true, I wrote it without thinking anything other than sharing that life in the UK is horribly expensive and that unforeseen events are crippling. I hadn’t even conceived that friends would immediately want to help.

We had many offers of aid and concerned messages for which we are very, very grateful. The most touching was from a Bangladeshi friend who I haven’t seen in years and is not, in the slightest, a wealthy man. Yet he offered all his savings to help me out and was insistent that this ‘loan’ was not something I needed to worry about paying back in the near future.

While I refused his kind offer, this friend – who I already admired greatly for his kind and gentle spirit – went up several notches again in my esteem. There’s no doubt in my mind which of us is the ‘bigger man’. It struck me that he embodied the principle of sacrificial giving more genuinely and truly than I’ve ever managed in my whole life. Such things usefully remind you just what your place in the universe truly is.

Things turned around over the week, as they do. The pennies we do have seem to have stretched, monies of different sorts have been found and we’re managing. Food is on the table, though it will be a long while before caviar and champagne is consumed in the Ford-Powell house (just as well – can’t stand caviar!), bills/rent/school fees are paid so far. I can’t ask for more really.

The internet is working reasonably well though the App book I’m trying to write using Authorly is not proving to be the quick and easy job I believed it would be (I spoke too soon – this post has been delayed three days because of internet problems ). The whole app (using pictures of Bangladesh I’ve collected) has to be created online and we have the worst internet in the UK here in St Bees. It’s on and off all the time. At least, when it’s on, it’s faster than in Bangladesh – but not by much. My ADHD-fuelled need for speed is rather frustrated! Still, I’m getting work to editors and catching up with the huge backlog of work I failed to do over the last two months.

Another reason last week was so awful was that things did not start well at school for Thing II. I won’t go into details but I’ve never seen him so low before (Thing I, being a teenage girl goes from crisis to crisis on an almost daily basis so her ups and downs tend to blur a little). He is the stable one in the family who just wanders through life blissfully unaware of almost anything except guitars and fast cars.

I couldn’t bear him so low, in tears and devastated. He was certain he would quickly be rejected at school and have to leave, uprooting his life yet again so soon. We’re all still so fragile and supporting him through this was hard. Tears flowed freely last week. We shared the same fears wondering how the first week would go.

A week later and both classmates and teachers love him!

He’s suddenly gone from being fairly average at school in Bangladesh to getting brilliant results in daily tests here which are much harder than anything he received at LAMB. We’ve been astonished by his progress and his attitude. He’s meeting the challenges and expectations of the school so well that he came home yesterday with a ‘cushion’ given out each week to the student who has worked the hardest.

My proud boy :)

My proud boy 🙂

I love my son to bits, but he’s never won an award for effort in his life! So right now, not only do I love him but I’m also massively proud of him. I would have given up on day one, crushed and defeated; he’s pushed through and beaten the monster.

Today then, I’m counting my blessings. Most of our problems are still with us but I’m much more aware that we have wonderful, supportive friends. We’re in a nice village, the kids have a supportive school and our children, while struggling with life after LAMB, are putting their heads down and doing their best to adjust to an alien lifestyle.

Meanwhile. Wifey and I skyped the village mobile back in Bangladesh and spoke to many of our friends and family there. It was wonderful to hear Surola’s voice – I miss her so much and miss her cha even more! We all shared much love together and after the conversation I felt like crying; I’m British so I didn’t, but I still miss them so much.

Now I’m listening to the music from Slumdog Millionairea film we first watched in Bangladesh and so closely relates to life there that it automatically conjures up thoughts of the country when I hear the music. Music always cuts straight to my inner emotions so I’m misty-eyed as I write.

The hole in the heart is still there but it has been well-padded with love, care and affection this week.

I’m counting my blessings.

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About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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12 Responses to Counting Blessings

  1. Pingback: Changing Eyes | kenthinksaloud

  2. Seyi sandra says:

    I’m glad to hear your good news: counting your blessings keeps one sane and one is able to face the future! Things can only get better my friend!
    Much love. 🙂

    Like

  3. Naomi C says:

    I love to see you sharing your heart, and I’m sure others as well as me enjoy reading it! And, the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack is pretty great!

    Like

    • Thanks Naomi – yeah it is an awesome soundtrack and introduced me to MIA who is such an incredible artist too. However, I can’t play it without a) having the urge to watch the movies again and b) bursting into unmanly tears!

      Like

  4. stay the course. a good moral in your story
    blessings
    doug

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  5. I’m very very happy to hear you are adjusting well and with beautiful news like these! 🙂

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  6. Its great to know that you have adapted and settled yourself back in UK…good to hear about your son too….

    Like

  7. It’s nice to know that things are getting better. Jai ho! 🙂
    You are rightly to be massively proud of your son. An award for effort means much, much more than an award for achievement.

    Like

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