Hugh’s Story

Hugh Montgomery Howatson 11/04/1923 – 29/12/2013 ‘ A man who inspired…’

Hugh was a truly amazing Man, and a beautiful human being! He was good, he was kind, he was patient, he was intelligent, and he always offered encouragement even when the odds were stacked against you! He epitomised Strength and Gentility! At the beginning of World War II he played his part by becoming an ARP Warden (Air Raid Patrol). Then as soon as he reached 18 he enlisted and joined the RAF, and was attached to 294 Squadron as a WAG (Wireless Operator Air Gunner) in Air Sea Rescue. He was just a boy at the start of the War but had strong values and believed in doing his duty by his country and his family, and fought for the continued freedom of his fellow countrymen and women. Joining the War Effort was just par for the course. While serving King and Country Hugh demonstrated a skill for languages, and during the war years mastered fluent French, German and Arabic. He was a very talented man. He attained a Degree in Chemistry with the University of London as an external student, and later became a Research Chemist by Profession, a job which he stayed in until he retired. He was a devoted family man being a wonderful Husband, brilliant Dad, loving Brother, Uncle, Grandfather, Great Grandfather and friend! He worked hard all his life and always paid his dues. He had always been a healthy man, and always looked much younger than his years. He never ever complained about anything, least of all his health, and just got on with Life. He believed that if a job was worth doing it was worth doing well and to the best of your ability. He had many hobbies and interests. He was a brilliant Photographer, an avid reader, an exceptional craftsman with wood, making his own beautiful items and restoring antiques. He used to enjoy making his own wine. He would always tell us to follow our heart and our dreams!  He passed on his love of learning and his many gifts to all of us. We are all better human beings for having had the honour and privilege of being a part of him. Getting mixed dementia was not on the agenda. You always think things like Dementia and Alzheimers happen to other people, and other families! When it comes, it can be a gradual process, and even go unnoticed for a long time. But when it takes a grip it does n’t let go! Each day bit by bit the person you love is taken from you until they no longer know who you are or even who they are. There are drugs that are currently used but in all honesty they fall far short of doing anything that really helps. Resources are limited to say the least! Much more Research is needed to explore this soul destroying illness in its many guises. 

This story is Hugh’s story but it could be anybody’s story. Alzheimers/Dementia does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, male or female and not always when elderly. It’s a cruel, unforgiving and soul destroying illness which lays claim to an individual bit by bit chipping away relentlessly until a person is just a shadow of their former and vital self. Families are heartbroken as they watch their loved ones die, and then when physical death occurs they lose their loved one all over again. When Hugh was in hospital he shared his part of the ward with Bertie, Terence and Tony. All had Alzheimers/Dementia in one form or another. This illness is on the increase! A former Global Summit said we need to do something! So let’s do something  and raise awareness to find a way forward.  No one knows what the future holds until it happens. Let’s make it a future free from Alzheimers/Dementia!

© Liola Lee 2014

It is five years today since our beautiful Daddy passed away from this World to the next. I originally wrote this piece in 2014 when I set up a charity page in his memory. It was about raising much needed funds for research, the message remains relative and of course to raise awareness. The page is no longer running but the message remains as important today as back then I am posting this article here in his memory and in memory of all those who have suffered from Alzheimer’s/Dementia and of course for all their loved ones…

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Today is the day ~ Fat

I have made a decision. It is one that I have made from time to time over the years at various stages of my life. At times, that decision has come to fruition, and at times it has not but not to worry for today is the day that I have decided to stop being fat. Maybe I am not hugely fat but definitely overweight, and much larger than I should like to be and most certainly much larger than I ought to be. Perhaps I am not so fat that I would require a bigger seat on an aeroplane but most certainly tipping the scales these days in the heavier, not lighter side of the perfect weight, for my slightly less than average height. I am not what I would consider too short but would not be seen as taller than average by others, but I always feel tall, so I guess I walk tall, and am therefore tall on the inside, though the outside does not give that away. Today is the day that the slim person who resides inside me with the tall person mentioned earlier, is coming out to play and stay. The short fat woman that looks back at me in the mirror is being evicted. She has been hanging around for far too long now and now it is time for the other me, the old me or rather the earlier me to return or maybe a newer me. And there lies my decision. I shall not be fat now or ever again. Think slim, be slim is my new motto. 

© Liola Lee 2010

‘Today is the day’ …was a collection of musings I wrote during the Peri menopause years. It’s spoken in the first person, and was based largely on my journal entries written around that time. Journalling is a wonderful way to express this, that and whatever else needs to be said whether aloud or silently…

Today is the day…My catchphrase

Today is the day…’ is fast becoming my catch phrase. Every morning or at least almost every morning, I announce these words upon waking, sometimes to my husband and sometimes silently to myself when I think he’s fed up of hearing me repeat them yet again.  Sometimes I determine not to say these words at all because if today does not turn out to be the day that I hope for then I will not feel as though I’ve failed, and let myself down. Each day as I see it, is a new beginning, a time for me to forget the mistakes of yesterday and start afresh today. Mondays are the best as that’s a new week too but any day will do. Only thing is I’ve been saying this for years now and I’m still just plodding on but each day when I say it I really do mean it. Perhaps each day is my groundhog day which is why I say it each morning silently or otherwise. 

Today is the day when I shall get back on track with my health and fitness, lose weight, stop drinking wine because it’s making me fat, and refrain from anything that has even the remotest amount of caffeine in it. I shall not get angry, I shall not cry, I shall not lose my temper and I shall not let the little things in life get to me nor the big things either. I shall not be negative but will try to stay positive at all times. I shall endeavour to practice mindfulness at all times. I shall be mindful of what I put into my mouth and even more mindful of what I let out of my mouth. I shall take care with my thoughts and even more care with my actions. I plan to make every minute of every day count and live each day as though it were my last and of course to be present in the here and now living the moment mindfully or at least as mindfully as possible. At least that tends to be the general plan on most days. My list reads something like a revised edition of the 10 commandments only there are more, although I hasten to add that I have not killed anyone, not yet anyway. That said, maybe I’m being a bit too hard on myself and I do rather fancy a coffee, just a small one or maybe three… just to give me a kick start, so perhaps today is not the day to give up caffeine…just everything else.

© Liola Lee 2010

‘Today is the day’ …was a collection of musings I wrote during the Peri menopause years. It’s spoken in the first person, and was based largely on my journal entries written around that time. Journalling is a wonderful way to express this, that and whatever else needs to be said whether aloud or silently…