For some reason, Peter Pan popped into my head today. I think it was because after my dad passed away, our minister, and also our next door neighbour, posted my sister, my mum and I the loveliest sympathy note. He described my dad as ‘the Peter Pan of Upper Crofts; he never grew old.’
I was playing in the garden with my little cousins and my sister the other night; it was dusk and the air was cold, yet the sun was still shining. It was that lovely time between daylight and darkness. I watched Molly and James play with Crystal, my dog, and realised how carefree and full of love they were. I remembered being a child and being the exact same. I loved animals, I loved nature, I loved my family, I loved playing outside, I loved the seaside, I ate and enjoyed my food, I worried about nothing. It struck me that we, as human beings, were never meant to grow old.
As we age, the world has an effect on us. We realise life is not as good and as simple as we remembered when we were young. Yet who is to say that was meant to happen?
Instead of loving and caring for every living thing, we are taught that we should kill and eat animals for food. Hand a child a rabbit and it will love it and look after it; it has no instinct to eat it. Instead of appreciating nature and the environment, we destroy it for our own good, in order to generate money and satisfy our ever-enlarging egos. Instead of taking in the beauty of the earth, we sit indoors and stare at a television or play on an xbox. Our nation is obese as we don’t look after the miracles that are our bodies. We fight and kill one another without realising how sacred we all are, all for status and power. We worry about silly, man made things, and obsess over wealth and possessions and appearance. People are judged on how much money they have, their status in society, and what they look like. It truely does make me angry, and I feel like I am the only one who understands.
People comment on the fact that I don’t watch the news and how I should be more knowledgable on worldly events; to be more ‘sophisticated’ I guess. I could not care less. ‘Ignorance is Bliss’, as they say, in these situations. I would rather know nothing than watch our perfect world crash and burn because of the selfish, egotistical nature of the human race. I feel ashamed to be human sometimes. I truly believe that once you realise what the meaning of life is, it can become unbearable living in a world where people wander around in a selfish daze all the time. I feel like it was never meant to be like this.
In a sense, if the world had not become overpowered by badness, we would all still be children at heart, with the same values and appreciativeness for life. I wish people would realise that.
Ever since I was a little girl, my daddy meant the world to me. He was perfect in my eyes; I couldn’t have loved him more. I always worried about him, I really did. I remember him going away on business trips and I would cry myself to sleep, worrying. The love I had for him was unbelievable.
I was watching the film ‘Notting Hill’ the other night and I heard the song ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ by Ronan Keating. It was the strangest thing, but it gave me such an anxious, empty feeling. I remembered right then that it was the first sad song I had heard as a little girl, and I remembered realising when hearing it as a child that one day I was going to lose my dad. It hit me right there - that one day he was not going to be there anymore. It made me feel sick with sadness and worry, mixed with this overwhelming love for him.
Ever since then, I worried my little heart out. It was so strange, really - as I never, ever had that feeling about my mum, even though I loved her just the same. It was just my dad. I realise now, that even then, he was slipping away from me; fading. My dad worked in Holland, getting a flight early every Monday morning and late home on a Friday night. I would feel such relief when he called me on the Monday afternoon, and when he walked in the door on a Friday night. I constantly reassured myself that I was being silly. I worried he was going to be in a plane crash, I worried he was going to be in a car crash, and I worried, most of all, that he would have a heart attack. I heard stories of young men collapsing and dying instantly, and I knew that it would be a miracle if it didn’t happen to my dad. I knew it was going to happen to him. He was too special, too fragile, too good to be true.
Over the years this worry got worse and worse. It began getting really, really bad last Christmas time. I remember coming home and being so happy to see him and to spend time with him. I remember going a drive with my then-boyfriend and literally crying my eyes out about him; I felt so sad, so melancholy, as if he was disappearing.
The worst night was the night my dad flew into Edinburgh and met me for dinner in November last year. We went to Tigerlily’s on George Street, his favourite restaurant. And I remember, that night, seeing him and feeling like I wanted to burst into tears. I don’t know why. I remember us sitting in our little booth, chatting; I was so happy yet so, so sad. I was struggling to contain the tears. I couldn’t put my finger on it; it was a mixture of overwhelming love for him, and an overwhelming sense that I was going to lose him. He had already started slipping away. I knew he was leaving me. The only way I can describe it was like sand running through my fingers - he was there, but he was fast disappearing, and there was nothing I could do to stop him.
My dad died on the 3rd March 2012. My world was turned completely upside down. I got the call from my aunt whilst I was at my friends flat, and I was rushed home immediately. I didn’t know that he had gone during the journey to the hopsital; it was my mum that told me when I arrived at the accident and emergency in the early hours of the morning. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach; I fell backwards. That was the worst night of my life, and it feels like a nightmare when I touch back on it in my mind.
He had been playing football and had collapsed whilst saving a goal - he had gone instantly. It had been a heart attack. The strangest thing is, I wasn’t surprised. Many people were shocked that it would happen to my young, handsome, healthy dad, yet I wasn’t. I just knew it all along.
The one thing I used to pray for was that God would look after my family, and take them under his wing, should anything ever happen to them. God answered my prayer. My dad was doing the thing he loved the most when he died - playing football with his friends, in his lovely village of Alloway - which he hardly ever did, as he stayed in Holland. He had purposely gone round all his friends in Holland to say ‘goodbye’, as he was meant to be moving to Dubai in April. He had bought me, my sister, my mum, my aunt, and my gran all presents, as leaving gifts for going to Dubai. The night that I came in from the hospital, there was a gift bag on my bed from him; a beautiful bracelet, now my most treasured possession. Claudia had told me that that night, before he had left for football, she had never seen him so happy. He had coincidentally bumped into my mum on the way home from Glasgow and they had gone for coffee that day. They had settled lots of financial things and sorted their differences. He had seen Crystal, Oskar and Ruby. He had spent a whole week with me, the week previous - going walks down the beach and going out for dinner (our favourite thing) as I had had had a reading week and he had miraculously had a week off at the same time. We had passed Fisherton Cemetry the week before he passed away and he told me that he wanted to be buried somewhere that we could go and visit him. He is now buried there.
I know now that as well as me subconciously knowing that he was going to die, he knew it as well. It was his time to go, and in the saddest of situations, it is the best way it could have possibly happened. This gives me so much faith, knowing that he is in safe hands, and that I will see him again one day soon. But for now, I know that that love we have for each other will never, ever disappear - and that is enough to keep me going. x
We are all just special little souls, that need looking after.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been imaginative, creative, and a believer in magic. I’ve always known there is more than meets the eye in this life. A typical day in the life of 6 year old me would be writing a letter to the fairies, doodling and drawing magic animals, searching the forest for fairy glens, and making potions. Even still, I love quirky places; Edinburgh to me has a magic feel, hence why I adore it.
I believe that we all somehow lose our magic and creativity in the journey through to harsh, adult reality. Rent to pay, jobs to find, work to do, stress to endure. I find this a real shame. And I also still believe that we all have unbelievable potential inside of us, that we can break free from this dull, human reality, to realise the wonder of our being, the miracle that is being alive. I came to realise this last March.
Up until then, I had been a typical, angsty teenager. My thoughts really revolved around makeup, clothes, my hair, and magazines. I was a first year student at Edinburgh Uni, and I was enjoying partying and drinking every week. I never thought ‘outside the box.’
This all changed when a little girl, a neighbour of mine, was diagnosed with cancer. Before this happened, she was the pretty, quiet girl that I sometimes saw walking around my village. A casual ‘hello’ would be exchanged when I came across her. I never would have believed that to me, she would become a special, incredible soul that has changed my life completely. Heartbreakingly, she died last March. Our whole community was deeply saddened. She had a great impact on many people’s lives.
I went to her funeral. Even though I didn’t know her that well, in the crowded church I could feel the overwhelming sadness and love that came from everyone. It was then that I couldn’t help but question life - why this should happen - what was the point of it all.
After that questioning, which I did all day, going deeper into my thoughts, as if to find an answer, my life changed forever. My mind literally opened up; I gradually started to feel light headed, as if I was ‘floating’ above the whole world, and I could see down from a different perspective. I could see everything that was irrelevant; I could see that we were merely on a ‘plane’ that was one of the bottom of many levels; and I could see, most importantly, that love was all that mattered. I felt the sense of being a ‘soul’ inside a body. And I knew, right then, that Ailsa had merely passed on to the next plane, and that she was in a better place. I had never been so certain in my entire life.
Prior to that day, I had not been religious. The idea of it actually scared me - I thought it was ‘weird’. However on the day of the funeral, my mum said that, as I explained to her how I felt, it was as if I was reciting the Bible - even though I had never read it in my life. Every hymn I had been forced to sing at sunday school made sense - ‘seek and you shall find’. Every religious story, I realised, had a hidden meaning, and I knew exactly what that meaning was. I literally felt ‘enlightened’. Love surrounds us all - that is the reason for our being - as a loving force, otherwise known as God, has created us. Nothing bad was ever meant to happen to us. Animals were put on the planet for us to love; families are a blessing of love; the flowers, the stars, the sea, all here for us to admire and appreciate. Most of all, this loving energy loves us and is here, surrounding us, always. For that I am certain. And that is what helps me through each day - in the tough reality, created by human beings that have no concept of this higher love - knowing that a loving force is around us always, always looking after us. And also, that our souls are eternal, never ending. That is why we should celebrate and appreciate life. This amazing realisation is all because of this special little angel, Ailsa, and I thank her so much for this.
Since this enlightenment, I have never been the same. Nothing seems as bad. I have had many strange dreams since - some, predicting the future; some, with family members talking to me that have passed away. Sometimes I wake up and feel this massive, loving white light surrounding me, so bright I can hardly see. I really wish I could help people that are stuck in this life, because now, I have an answer for everything. In a way I believe this was all a preparation for what was to come in the next year of my life. M x
My name is Melissa Rollo, currently a law student at the University of Edinburgh.
I enjoy my family, my friends, my animals, coffee and cakes, music (lots and lots), drawing, wandering around the city, doodling and Desperate Housewives. Typical 19 year old girl really!
I would call myself a bit of a daydreamer. I like to think alot and spend time alone. In the past year my life has changed beyond belief. I’ve started this blog so I have somewhere to write down my thoughts as they come. M x