Life may serve you sour grapes, but it's up to you to make the wine...

Wow! What a year. 2016 by far has been full of lessons and unimaginable experiences to say the least. Without these lessons, I don't think I would be in the position that I am today, so with what you are about to read, please know that this is all from a place of gratitude.
The later part of 2015 saw me turn 30 and with so much on the cards, it was a chapter that I was looking forward to. It was promptly shaken, although not stirred, with the passing of my Babou (Granddad - Dad's, dad) He was a man of his word and to this very word, he kept it. He always promised us his grand and great grand children, that he was going to live until he was 100 and then he was going to pass. And that he did! I couldn't be sad for my Granddad's passing, because of his age and his desire to be reunited with my Grandma. With a short visit to Cyprus for his funeral, my perception on death had completely shifted. I knew I was going to miss him in the physical, but feeling his presence with me all the time, I knew it was only a physical absence. We always celebrated his birthday on Christmas Day as in 1915, in Cyprus there weren't any registry offices, like today. My god-mother (his youngest daughter) had planned a 100th birthday party for him of that Christmas, with all the family due to attend, as it was all planned, most of us still went, only now it was a celebration of his life, which was still beautiful in it's own right, because this is not something Greeks do well! We returned to London, before the New Year and ready to see in some new changes..

So 2016 began with my partner & I heading off to Sunny Spain the first weekend in January to see my dad, I love starting the year with a trip, but this was one of those trips that left me leaving sad. I could see that Dad was in pain after having trouble in his back. I left him with some of my essential oils as they were helping him and after a long weekend, my partner and I made our way back to London.
Who knew that a few weeks later, he would be taken into hospital on his birthday and I would be on the next flight out to be with him. The only flight I could find was a 9 hour journey via Brussels to get me there the next day, the one way ticket was booked and off I went. I hadn't expected this to happen and with what was about to go down, I can now only see it as a massive lesson and blessing in disguise. To cut a long story as short as I can, he had an infection on his spine, which in turn he had to have 2 operations on. He had been wiped off his feet and had to slowly improve his walking again, after being on his back for more than 7 weeks. I was in Spain with him for 2 weeks, a massive blessing for me, was to have the ability to go and be with my dad, because I could. I didn't have to ask permission from a boss or worry about my life back at home. I returned home as I had a show that I was participating in and needed to be back. The 1st week in March, my Granddad, (Mum's Dad) who had a Stroke in July 2015, had been taken into hospital and we were being prepared for him having taken a turn for the worst. We made our way to the hospital to say our final goodbyes, but as strong willed as he always was, he stuck around for another month. The week leading up to his passing, we had a beautiful last conversation, which I never thought I would hear words as those from my Granddad, and with that, I knew that was going to be our last conversation in the physical.
On Monday 18th April 2016, he took his breath and with that, I felt a sense of release for him as he was reunited with my Grandma whom he had tragically lost, 38 years prior and his son 2 years before his passing. I felt that with someone who had lived their life, witnessed his 6 children get married, had 15 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren and buried a Son, how could I mourn his death, when others have barely lived and they are dying?! With his passing, what I was not expecting was what followed. A further 7 deaths in the following 8 weeks! An Aunt the same week, an uncle the following and the list went on! 4 Weeks after Granddad number 2's passing we had his funeral, on the same day, my friends dad had passed, and another Auntie told us she had cancer. It all became a bit too much, and I made an impulse decision to cut out ALL refined sugars from my diet, because of the damage it does to us. 
Well let me tell you, this has been the most interesting and challenging 7 months of my life that I can remember... I will unfold more over the next few days. I can not even begin to tell you the transformation that has happened.. There are certain things that our human vocabulary can not relay or translate. The woman that I have grown into has been the woman I always knew I could be and having so much support and guidance from my Mum and Mentors has been absolutely phenomenal.

When I was convinced I had learnt enough tough lessons for the year. More landed on my doorstep... The Summer...