Catherine Micqu

#tbt what a difference 17 years make

This is an old picture of me. I like it quite a bit. In a time without photoshop or filters, I looked like this when the sun was about to go to sleep and the first half of the bottle of wine was empty, lol

There are not many pictures of me as a young woman; here I was 19. (My husband took the photo in 2002)

I was in Brittany with my husband, my sister, and three German guys whose lack of knowledge of the French language made for a couple of running gags that are still existing 17 years later. My sister married one of the guys and ran off with him. She never came back home again. (Well, she did, but only about a handful of times in all these years…)

The woman on this picture is not the same woman I am today. And that is good. Physically, I stayed the same height, just a little wider – more to love?! Emotionally, I am a different person.

Writing these sentences is quite trying. I am not my best friend and focusing on nice things to say about myself is hard. I wrote a lot that put me down but erased all the negativity again.

The woman on the picture is a strong one. She achieved every goal without any emotional support. In fact, she was often told that she was stupid and not good enough for anything at all. A lot of my emotional damage comes from this time and the years before that. Caring for my mom as a child was challenging, but I was naive and didn’t know it any other way. It became a burden when I was a teenager. I believe that if I had been treated with more love and care from my family, a lot of my mental issues would not exist. Maybe that is a bold statement. Maybe I was born this way. Maybe I was born with a predisposition… I don’t know.

But yeah, this woman on that picture, that version of myself had a goal in life. And I achieved it. And despite everything (and the mental health…) I became a successful woman. And I did it all without any help from my family. Granted, I often wonder why no one was ever there for me in times of need, why did I have to fight alone; but in the end, it doesn’t matter. Because I got shit done. It would have been easy to find excuses, drop out of school and do nothing – but that was not how I was wired. And so, I got my driving license, I got my professional degree from a university of applied sciences, I have a family with loving children (and they are loved and supported unconditionally) and I was told often enough that I would never become a good mom when I was pregnant with my first child… No matter what I did and no matter how many successes I had to celebrate, my family always found something negative to say about it, and I was always a failure for them.

But what can we do? We all fight battles and we all have a past. I am not trying to belittle mine, but my own experiences aren’t better or worse than yours. The only difference is that they are mine…

Below is a picture of me with my two angels. They didn’t want to let me go to work so they decided to pin me down to the bed by climbing on top of me.

What a difference 17 years make!

The lost stories…

Sometimes I wish there was something in my head to record and store thoughts and ideas for later use. (A brain maybe?!) For instance, I was brushing my teeth, and I had a vision of a first scene for a novel. I formulated sentences and all. When I spat the toothpaste out and rinsed my mouth, I took my phone to write it down, but my mind was blank. It happened before, and it will happen again, I know. But I wonder if I will forget the next bestseller this way.

It was something like this…

He closed the door with the heel of his foot and took off his mask. He shuffled a few steps to the fridge, took out a can of beer and made his way to the couch. It had seen better days; he had too. With a sigh and a groan he fell down and closed his eyes, assessing his body after today’s job. One of his ribs hurt, his left eye was swollen, and his feet hurt. He bent over to take off the tight boots and let them fall down on the floor. He wiggled his toes; freedom. His cape got stuck when he sat back again. Cursing, he got rid of the piece of cloth. He tried to throw it across the room to his boots, but it refused to fly. Just his luck. He was tired of his job, and it dawned on him – it was time to retire as a superhero. After two decades of saving humans from their own stupidity and not once facing an evil counterpart, it was time to stop. Being a superhero was annoying, but what else was he supposed to do?

There was a knock at his door; he didn’t get up. He had earned a couple of hours of rest. But the slip of paper being pushed under his door spiked his curiosity. It was an odd thing to happen. Mysterious.

(…)

Does this happen to you too? Do you imagine a story but before you can write it down, it has faded from your memory? I call them lost stories. 🙂

Have a great Sunday and an amazing new week.

Cathy

Et le temps court…

My bed is empty. My mind is full. I am tired, fighting a headache. Lying in the dark, I am listening to the rain. The window is open, and I feel the breeze on my skin. I know I should be asleep, it would ease the headache and maybe prevent the bad mood I am sure I will suffer in the morning. But I can’t fall asleep. I had troubles letting go the last few nights — dreams; not a nightmare, just unsettling dreams.

I have so many things to say and to share, and yet, they don’t matter, and so I keep them to myself.

There are times when I share most everything on my mind. I let my fingers write, and my mind think, and I just float on that wave that jumps from one thought to the next. I can’t seem to do that right now. (Although I am doing it) It just feels like stealing your time and attention. I know that you give it freely or else you wouldn’t be here, but my mind is trying to tell me that no one cares and that I don’t matter?

Why am I sabotaging myself this much? After all, I am an okay person. Ordinary, but okay.

I ordered new music today (her name is Calla – animal choir). And I watched two movies (untamed heart and pump up the volume) with my favourite actor (Christian Slater). I also listened to music by Coastlands (postrock from Oregon/USA), burnt down an incense stick (sandalwood) and ate pizza (prosciutto). I read a couple of pages in my book (the I undiscovered gyrl by Allison Burnett)…

Who cares?! I want you to care, to be honest, because I want you to care about me. But again, who cares about this narcissistic vanity.

Do you dream about specific colours? I am used to having dreams that repeat themselves. They used to be in a green hue. Like a green veil or fog in front of my eyes… Nowadays that fog or veil is blue, but the images I see – the pictures in my dream are still the same.

Maybe the breeze and the rain will let me fall asleep eventually anyway… Who knows?

The title of this post is French and could be translated to “the time keeps running”

*hugs*

Cathy

Unforgettable

One of my biggest and most irrational fears is to be forgotten. Rationally, I know that we don’t forget the people we like. We don’t forget the people who we invite in our lives or hearts. And yet, I am afraid to be forgotten. Once in a while, I ask people not to forget me. It must sound strange to them; maybe even annoying. Just, at that moment, my mind needs a reminder that I am unforgettable.

I am a piece of work.

Un-asleep

2:45 am. I can’t sleep. I woke up from a dream – not a nightmare, but unsettling too. I keep trying to recall my dream, but it is gone – lost in the corners of my mind. I just know that I was wrong about something. I did the worst one can do when unable to sleep; I took my phone and checked notifications. I was on Twitter and on a whim, I unfollowed a couple of accounts, the one of my former favourite band too – turns out they are a bunch of pretentious bellends. It took me almost 20 years to see it. I still appreciate their music; it was the soundtrack of my life, and yet… I really don’t like the people they became. Or is it me?

Am I drifting away from the person I used to be? I feel empty and overflowing. Sad and happy. Tired and wide awake.

How did that happen? When did everything change?

In a little more than 2 hours my alarm will go off, and I need to go to work. Early shift. I like that – if only it started later, lol.

Birds are beginning to chirp outside (the window is open); my husband is snoring next to me, and my mind is thinking too loud.

Period.

Dear readers, if women and their monthly ordeal is nothing you want to read about, then please skip this post. If you are curious, don’t say you haven’t been warned; this is about a woman’s period.

I am a 36-year-old woman who gave birth to three children — the natural way. (Maybe I will write about the births of my kids one day – spoiler: fucking hell, it hurt!)

Every woman is blessed (cursed) with a week of menstrual flow each month. For me, it started when I was 11 years old. I remember the day very well, even 25 years later. I wonder if every woman does. I had my first period the day that I was allowed to go shopping with my sister on my own for the first time. We met with her friend and two guys. I even know that I wore jeans and a T-shirt with Michaelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel. One of the guys pointed out that there was a naked dude on my shirt… Lol, he was only 15, of course, he was shocked, and I felt very grown up.

I started with using pads, but I didn’t like it: the mess and all; it was a lot to handle, and I was still a child. I was reluctant to use tampons at first… The thought about inserting anything “down there” was not something I could imagine. But once I started using them, I actually preferred them to pads. I felt better with them. More secure. And if they are worn correctly, you don’t even feel that there is something inside your body. I was blessed to have a light flow without cramps before I gave birth for the first time. (PMS, though that has been a tough one from the beginning, and I am full of cravings for chocolate, even though I don’t usually have a sweet tooth) My cycle was never just 28 days long as you learn in school, but that’s okay; I got used to it quickly. I was on the pill for quite a while, but I definitely stopped taking any hormones after the birth of my second child. Everything in my body was rebellious, and nothing was normal anymore… After a birth like the second, who can blame it?! I was in labour for 5 hours and only had one real contraction before the girl was born. After that, I had a laughing fit. Between child two and three, I didn’t really care about contraception. And after my second daughter (and last child) was born, I got an IUD. Currently, the one I have is made of gold. Lol… Not even kidding. Because I am worth it!

With the IUD, my monthly flow became more prominent, lasting longer, and I also developed cramps and other pains. PMS stayed the same… I am really very angry and irritated the day before I get my period; and chocolate! Who ate my chocolate?!

A couple of months ago, I began thinking about all the pads and tampons that I used and will use in my life. (I get those brainfarts once in a while.) I mean, I probably have 15 more years to go before menopause will start (or more). Sanitary products are expensive and a massive source of plastic waste. I am not someone who is militant about protecting the environment – I admit it, but I try to live a conscious life and to teach my children to live conscious lives too. I want to leave a good planet for my kids and grandkids. And just all that monthly trash – it is a lot. To think that I have two daughters and sooner rather than later, they will need pads or tampons too, they will make more waste and spend more money on hygienic products too. Is that really worth it? There must be something else.

I was searching the almighty and all-knowing interwebs to find a solution, and I found the menstrual cup. I was sceptical. I found out that there are two sizes – for women who have given birth and for those who haven’t. There are various materials available, and contradictory information too. I read a lot about it and did my research (I always do), but something that kept me personally from getting such a cup on the spot was the fact that I am wearing an IUD. A couple of sites advise against using a cup and an IUD because the cup is held in place with a vacuum. They are concerned that once you remove the cup without removing the vacuum, the IUD could come loose.

I decided to ask my gynaecologist about it, and she explained to me that it is practically impossible to pull the IUD out with the vacuum. Needless to say, I was relieved. She gave me a couple of tips and a brand of menstrual cups that is silicone free. I ordered one right away online and began using it this week. And this brings me here, to this moment. I never thought that I would write about my period one day, but I am so excited this month, that I want to share it. Honestly though, who cares? Who cares that the cup is so much easier to use than I ever thought? No leaks, no spills, nothing. I don’t feel that it is there at all. The only disadvantage I experienced until now is the fact that the toilet looks as if I slaughtered an animal when I empty the cup (It can take up to 12 hours worth of flow… Three times as much as a tampon for me… Cost effective!) I have yet to find a way to make it less messy. Because no matter how you do it, you will come in contact with your blood; you will have to touch and insert your fingers into your vagina to loosen the cup or to put it in. If you are uncomfortable with that, the cup is not for you. Definitely. But honestly, this is your body, nothing about it should be gross, even less something that happens every month. It is another way of getting to know yourself better.

What I like, is that I don’t have to think about changing a tampon at work or when I am not home. I don’t have to think about leaks or spills – on heavy flow days I have to change my tampon every three hours (and I am using big ones, lol), the cup took six hours and more, with ease before I emptied it. I will not have to worry if I carry tampons in my handbag or if I forgot them. I will not have to worry anymore if I have what I need at home, in case the period starts earlier than expected. (When I was younger, I had to count the days on the calendar to know when my period was due. Since 2011, I am using an app on my phone that has a countdown. I love it. Very easy.) The cup seems to be the right solution for me right now.

I can recommend the menstrual cup wholeheartedly. If you are tired of pads and tampons; if you believe that it is a waste of money and doesn’t do any good for the planet, then consider a menstrual cup. That said, the first days I used a pad because I didn’t trust the cup. I was paranoid about leaks and blood stains on my clothes.

I cannot make any promises to you about how you will feel with the cup, but since I am a person who likes everything fast and easy and simple, and the cup is just that for me; maybe it is an alternative worth thinking about for you too. And hey, if it is not, then there was no harm done.

So, that was it. My ode to the menstrual cup. It is 3:46 in the morning, I have a migraine (again), I am tired, and I can’t sleep because of RLS (restless legs syndrome) – I wasn’t bothered with that in a while… Maybe my tired mind just wanted to get rid of all these thoughts, and this post will be incredibly embarrassing in the morning when I get up. Maybe not. Maybe it was necessary to write something like this for once — an other genre of stream of consciousness.

TC

Currently reading

I am currently reading the book pictured above: Kurt by German author Sarah Kuttner. It was released last week.

Whenever I am asked about my favourite writer, I am reluctant to mention one, but this woman is definitely a favourite. Her books always touch me, her writing is flawless.

I am not sure if there are English translations but if you read German, try “Mängelexemplar” or “180° Meer”.

That’s my weekend sorted…

xx

Cathy

Throwback – I’ll never stop giving up

*stream of consciousness*

I sit, and I wait. Sitting and waiting. And I hope that no one will ask what I am waiting for. I would answer “Life”, and they would quote John Lennon “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”. And they wouldn’t even know that it’s not a simple quote but that this sentence is a line of lyrics from a song he wrote for his beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy Julian. And I would bite my tongue because information like that is plenty in my brain. It’s just – no one cares about it. And that’s why I keep sitting and waiting. For life to happen. And to understand it. But that is not entirely true. Because from my place, I have a nice view. I observe and analyse, and I keep to myself. The things I know, are not the things I need to share. But on the other hand, all the half-truths and snippets of misinformation I know, are not the ones others want to hear. It’s a circle. And if I don’t find the right corner to get off, I will stumble, and my clumsy attempt to catch myself will end with me lying face down enduring the spiral, the slipstream that brought this upon me. Upwards or downwards? Which way does it go? Maybe just sideways? Either way, I will end up puking on the floor and emptying what little is inside me. All of it, until the heaving is dry and the acrid smell of bile chases everyone away. Everyone left the building. Including me. I need to pay attention to the little things. Hold on tight to the pillars of this meagre existence, to keep myself from stumbling. And while I am doing just that, all these unfiltered thoughts are rushing down onto the screen.

I put the cigarette to my lips and inhale. No filter. Rolled with my own shaky hands. Because – yes, why? Because it is edgy. Cool people roll their cigarettes themselves. It’s all pretending anyway. Oh yes, I’m a great pretender. Who gives a crap about my cigarettes and my thoughts. But I keep writing. Someday, the romantic voice inside of my head suggests, someone will read the mix of weirdness and eclecticism my brain produces. They will beg me to publish a book – a memoir – a biography of this writer and all will be good. At least, I have dreams. The other possibility, far more probable, is that the words stay unread. I will die in a stuffy room with overflowing ashtrays and too many empty bottles.
Maybe a cat or two. Sheets of papers with the start of the next big novel is strewn across the floor and the bed — music loud and on repeat. And in the centre of it all; me. Picture me like Jimi Hendrix, suffocated on my own vomit. A rock star death. Don’t be alarmed, though. I am not a rock star. I don’t play the guitar well enough and all in all, I am just a coward who never did any drugs. On second thought, aren’t most rock stars ridden with anxiety? Isn’t that why they turn to alcohol and drugs and whatnot? Always on the hunt for the next high? But one day your brain (and your soul too), are just too used to the girls screaming your name and the papers printing your photographs, your name in the headlines. And while you pretend to crave your privacy, the thought of being left alone and forgotten scares you to death. And so you power on, with some chemical help, because you couldn’t do all the shows and interviews and all that other crap that comes with being famous, without it. I don’t envy these people at all — not one bit.

And so I stare out onto the lake. The sky is grey; the water is too. And I wait for the next idea to come up. A real writer wouldn’t wait. They would write. Or am I wrong and a real writer would draw charts and write every idea down? Being organised? Where’s the fun in that? So – no labelling my ideas. Just sitting. Waiting. Staring. Smoking. And while I am doing that, the music plays softly in the background. It’s not loud enough to drown out the voices that keep telling me that I am a waste of talent. I can still hear them judging me and how I spend the days. For them, I am doing nothing. For me, I am savouring the moment. It’s as a friend told me once: We need time to understand who we are before someone else comes along and makes us into the version they want us to be. So maybe – just maybe, my answer to the question “What are you waiting for”, would not be “Life”, but maybe the truer answer would be “To understand”. I guess the reaction would be close to the same. They would urge me to get up and do something.

But, if they don’t see it, does that really mean that I am not doing anything? Because in my mind, eccentric as it may be, I am doing a whole lot. I am not giving up.

###

Author’s Note:

Written in March 2016.

I haven’t had a cigarette this year… And, I don’t know how you feel about it, but I think that the last paragraph in this piece of writing is the most important thing I have ever written. Whenever I encounter people who are struggling with their mental health, whenever I am struggling myself, I remember these words. I am not giving up, even if people are not seeing that I am fighting.

Throwback – it’s the little things

  • Crying during a movie
  • A song that turns back time and carries you to one specific moment
  • A book you can’t set down
  • Tea that has the right temperature
  • The sun shining through trees
  • A formation of clouds
  • A rainbow
  • Thunder and lightning
  • A right pressure on the spot where your back hurts most
  • A child saying your name
  • A child giving you a hug
  • Birthday wishes from people you thought had forgotten about you
  • An evening with friends
  • Hugs (but hugs aren’t a little thing)
  • A song on the radio that you like
  • Your child singing along to your favourite song
  • An entire paragraph that was written without a typo
  • Writing the first words after having felt uninspired for a long time
  • Not setting the alarm
  • Empty plates
  • A decent parking spot
  • One last chewing gum when you thought there weren’t any left
  • A smile from a stranger
  • Giving a busker some money and the gratitude in their eyes when you offer to buy them something warm to drink
  • Old pictures
  • New songs
  • The smell of my pillow
  • Clothes that are still warm from the tumble dryer
  • Smooth skin
  • Even numbers (grocery shopping, gas pump)
  • The scent of my favourite perfume
  • When the hurt goes away
  • Being aware of life’s beauty
  • Not forgetting life’s challenges
  • Sleep
  • Lists
  • Realising that many little things make some big things
  • A kiss
  • A good dream
  • Serenity
  • Thinking without succumbing to melancholy
  • An old voice message that still makes you smile
  • A memory
  • Knowing that everything will be alright (even if it doesn’t look that way)
  • Being present (are you there?)
  • The clock that says 23:09 or 08:02
  • Sunrise
  • Not feeling regrets
  • Remembering a friend who has passed away
  • Thinking of people who changed our lives (I am thinking about you daily lately – are you there?)
  • Notifications
  • Stars
  • I am what I am
  • The wind in my hair
  • The soundtrack of my life
  • The perfect shade of your favourite colour (raspberry or aubergine)
  • A picture that touches you
  • A song that pulls at all the right strings
  • Being understood without the need to explain everything in detail
  • A life in pictures that were never taken
  • Everything and more
  • …

Forgotten Hopes

Once, a long time ago, I wrote a poor version of this and put it up on my Wattpad account with this as a cover. I still like it somehow; that’s me, by the way.

She was fifteen when she first heard the song that changed her life and became path and direction of her journey. Music had been a distraction and a companion for most of her isolated childhood and youth. Being subject to emotional abuse, she had found somewhere safe to hide in her mind when music was playing. When silence reigned in her bedroom, thoughts threatened to destroy her fragile mind. Once in a while, her older sister took her to the city. They browsed stores for clothes and, her favourite part, for music. Their shopping spree always ended with an obligatory trip to the newsstand. Her sister bought the latest teen magazine, and she invested the last of her money in music magazines that came with free CDs.

On the bus home, both girls looked out of the window, trying to find ways to ignore what was awaiting them at home. The older one retreated to her own bedroom as soon as they walked through the door; the younger one was greeted with new chores that were added to her list and verbal abuse when she was not able to do the things she was commanded to do. She was not innocent though, she replied to every insult thrown at her with another insult. Inside, she broke apart, but she refused to show it to the outside. They would love to see her cry, and she was not willing to grant them this victory. Once done with everything, she too found her way to her sanctuary, where the first thing she did was putting on some music. But the music she listened to made her angry. Angrier than she already was. Her friends had suggested those bands, and for once, she had wanted to fit in, and something was appealing too, but she was beginning to see that those friends were morons who weren’t able to see past shallow lyrics and worshipped ugly minds and ideas. This was not her. She was too open-minded and free-spirited for this hate and ugliness. She had enough of those at home already, and she wanted more; needed more. Somehow she always knew that she deserved more.

She unpacked what she had bought, new CDs to put in the stand next to her stereo and listen to one after the other; a new black top with a large white and silvery bird, and the magazines from the newsstand. She wanted to give the new music on the free sampler attached to the magazine a listen first. Awaiting rejection, she knocked on her sister’s door to ask for the laptop they were sharing. With relief she saw that the older girl was not using it and with a warning to bring it back within an hour, she could take it. Once everything was plugged in and mounted, she was in for a surprise.

4 minutes and 42 seconds were about to change her life. The CD started on its own accord, and the first sounds she heard was an acoustic song by a band that was unknown to her. She didn’t know much about music, but she knew when she was touched by something good. She looked at the screen in front of her and was intrigued by the two men she saw with their guitars. One was sitting on a chair, strumming and singing; head slightly bowed. The other lay on the bed cradling his guitar like a lover; eyes closed. A myriad of emotions ran through her mind and body, too many emotions to place them and all she was capable of doing was sigh and smile. Wow! The song ended. The screen faded to black and she, she released another long breath. She was mesmerised by what she had heard and seen. Before the next song came on, she had to play this one again. The repeat button was the only option there was. This time, the smile was there from the beginning. As soon as the song had ended a second time, she knew she needed more; more of this beautiful and sad music. She was greedy, but this music, these lyrics, and the men somehow too, they had touched something deep inside her. Something was born and awoken in those few minutes of having listened to the song. In a frantic nearly obsessed way she browsed the internet to find out who this band was. They were brothers and part of a band. The clip of them in the hotel room was made to advertise their newest release. This British band had been around for a while, and she made a point to purchase as much of their back catalogue the next time she would go to her preferred record store. It was 1998; she was fifteen and deep inside, she knew that this band had just changed her entire life and thoughts.

She was twenty-six when an unexpected bout of depression hit her. It was the first time she felt helpless, hopeless, obsolete. Friends had long gone; only a couple had survived and morphed into adult friendships. Life had changed; she had moved on with a family of her own. She had a house, a husband, and two kids. Her mind had changed too; of course, it had, she was not a child anymore but an educated and intelligent woman. The music she listened to had changed, as well as the meaning it had in her life now. The band that had changed her life in her youth was still there and had stayed the same; more or less, releasing new music regularly.

It was 2009, and everything looked good on the outside; to some her life was perfect. But inside; inside everything was different; she had lost hope. She had forgotten how to have hope for a better future. She had no dreams, no goals, no future. She was existing, but not living. No one had ever promised anything to her. No one had ever punished her for dreaming. And yet, she was bruised by the daily struggles. Hurt by her own high expectations and standards; and yet she couldn’t change. She was powerless. Hope was lost.

She sat in front of the computer. It was silent in her room. Just she and her tormenting thoughts that became louder and more vicious with every passing sleepless night. She clicked YouTube links by the dozen to distract herself from the noise in her brain, but the music didn’t bring her peace anymore. The songs were filled with melancholy, and they all made her want to cry and hide from the world even more. Until seemingly out of nowhere, the song came on that had changed her life a decade ago appeared in a random playlist. The exact same version. With both men in a hotel room and the camera focusing on the guitarist who lay flat on his back playing the intro to the song. Forgotten Hopes.

The song that had changed so much such a long time ago was doing it again. She didn’t smile once when it played. She just watched. Frozen. Her mind was empty, devoid of thoughts. This hadn’t happened in a very long time. And when the screen faded to black to begin playing a new song, she paused the playlist and buried her face in her hands. She finally cried. She cried the tears she had kept in for years, and when she was all cried out, she felt freer than she had ever felt. Snot was running down her nose, and dark dots that used to be warm tears adorned her shirt, but it was okay. Her head hurt from the sudden release of those locked up emotions. But that too was okay. And once again, this song, this band that was ever-present in her life, had changed her train of thoughts. It was okay. It was okay, and everything would be okay. Music was healing her mind.

She was thirty-two in 2015, and after supporting one of the musicians of the band that had been her longtime companion in a crowd-funding campaign, she received a personalised song. It was the most unique gift she could ever receive. Forgotten Hopes, and it was sung just for her. It took her a couple of tries and a lot of headshaking and worrying, but in the end, she dared to send an email to the man whose lyrics had guided her through her life and whose words were inspiring her own creative mind. She thanked him and told him briefly how much she owed to him, his lyrics and his passion. He had touched her in all the right places, and now she wanted to touch him too. Give back a little. And by doing so, her life changed again. And maybe, his did too. For her, it was Important that he knew and understood that his presence on this earth had saved her, that it mattered. In her mind, every artist deserved to know that their light gave hope.

Forgotten Hopes. A vivid reminder to her to never lose hope.

Anathema – Forgotten Hopes

(partly autobiographical)