Aliit ori'shya tal'din ... A message for everyone !!!

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Aliit ori'shya tal'din ... A message for everyone !!!

Postby Grand Master Gray » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:33 pm

I returned from "exile" about a week ago now and have finally caught up !!! Whilst it was tempting at times to "mark all the discussions as read" I did think it was important to read everybody's contributions ... because without those contributions the NJO would not exist. I would like to thank each and every member for keeping the site alive and for their posts, pics, competitions, fun, generosity and ongoing commitment ...

Although a few of you know why I have not been an active member of the NJO during most of 2009 I feel that it is now time to explain. If you are a member of the NJO then you have joined something that I started and therefore would appreciate it if you took time to read the following ... because each and everyone of you continued to contribute to this site despite the fact that the person who created it all must have appeared to have "fetted off" and forgotten about it all. Well that wasn't the case ... but there were a number of issues I had to deal with as well as a number of personal reasons as to why I felt I could not actively take part. Seeing as you were the ones who kept the NJO alive then I feel I owe you all an explanation. Thanks for reading ...
When our official website launched in 2008 I was a very active member of the NJO. It had been a busy year too ... a year that had started with an insane trip to London to meet up with OJM to see the premiere of Family Guy Blue Harvest as well as a fantastic NJO Meet with OJM, Pink and Andy to visit the Star Wars Exhibition on London's South Bank. At the end of the Summer the plans for the Official NJO Website were well underway and together with ttsa and jedi58 I entered into a three month creative period to develop this website. On the evening of 8th Novemeber 2008 that creative process came to a conclusion and the live lauch at the 2nd Anniversary Party will be a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.

However, that period of my life was also a difficult one too ... Claire and I had moved to the coast following an offer of a dream job but things hadn't turned out as we had hoped. We missed our real home, regretted renting it out and moving and the pressures of work, money and being new parents were starting to show. Then without warning funding for the "dream job" was pulled and I was left jobless. We couldn't return "home" as we had rented out our house ... we were also stuck in a tenancy agreement oursleves. Jobs were scarce ... and in order to support us Claire had no option but to move away to work. Being away from each other didn't help our relationship and for a few weeks things looked very bleak.

At the time I had taken a couple of weeks away from the NJO as i dropped into a state of depression. The doctor had prescribed anti-depressents and I was slowly turning to the darkside. Fellow NJOers noticed that i was less talkative and that my mood was "dark". At the time I got a lot of support from NJO members (who have become good friends) ... support that I genuinely appreciated in the wee small hours when the only company I had was the North Sea gales as they were rattling against the windows of my rooftop apartment.

Time apart, however, eventually made us appreciate each other and what we had lost and early in 2009 we made a decision to return home to Echo Base. As soon as we arrived back we realised we should never have gone and being home gave us both the boost we needed. I also made an announcement on the NJO that we had returned to Echo Base and with spirits high started making plans for the 3rd Anniversary party. Claire had a great job, I was busy ebaying and thinking about a career change and Thomas was happy and healthy. It should, therefore, have been a very positive year ...


However, as you all soon realised things weren't ok ... my posts became less frequent, plans for the party had fizzled out and communication was disrupted. Within just a couple of months following our return I had stopped posting ... and I think that I owe you all an explanation. I know that I don't have to but I genuinely want to because without your input the NJO would have ceased to exist ... and my dream of creating a website for Star Wars fans would now be on the last page of Google and the group of friends we have all become would have been scattered across the galaxy !!!


I don't actually want to go into too much detail ... but let's just say that despite 2009 starting in a very positive way it very quickly descending into darkness !!!

On returning to Echo Base we realised that our tennant had run up a number of debts that as her landlords we were responsible for ... the legal issues started and the end result was one that cost us dearly. Yes Claire was working but I wasn't and things were tight. I was, however, in the process of looking for a job and trying to scrap together stuff for eBay ... and at that time my time on the NJO became a little more scarce.

And then out of the blue my grandad was taken into hospital following a fall. He was 84 years old but still very active and mobile and what should have been a simple period of rest and recovery soon turned into a three month period in hospital in which my grandad's health deteriorated. Even worse was the fact that he was neglected. During his stay in hospital he was dropped, given the wrong medication and left alone while he had a heart attack. He became too ill to return home due to the fact that he had been on oxygen for the past few years could not leave hospital. My mum is only child and so am i so we were constantly at the hospital. My grandad begged her to get him out of the hospital and it was heartbreaking to see. He may have been frail but his mind was crystal clear (which made it all the more tragic). I was there to support my mum too as she has Leukemia and was looking ill herself. She did, however, do the very best for him and at the end of summer managed to get him a place in an excellent home. A week before he went, however, he was dropped again by four "healthcare professionals" the drip in his arm was ripped out and he had another heart attack ... and wihin days had become very quiet and inward.

He arrived at the home and the manager brought in social services as in her opinion (having read my grandad's file) his injuries and current state of health were caused by neglect. He was on the wrong level of tablets for his blood (which caused the heart attacks) and had not been cared for to an adequate standard. He was very scared, confused and didn't know where he was. He also had bed sores because the hospital had ignored a care plan that had clearly asked for him to be moved and exercised (which the hospital confirmed had been ignored).

Within a week of being at the home my Grandad's health improved. His mind had returned. He was no longer hallucinating and as he looked out at a stunning view across the countryside he seemed his old self. He also died.

As he died in care an autopsy followed and the cause of death was blood poisoning caused by the bed sores which lead to heart failure (caused by stress and heart attacks he had whilst in hospital). My mum blamed herself for not getting him into a home sooner (which was impossible) and the autopsy dragged the period between his death and his funeral on for a month.

It was September and I realised that I hadn't been on the NJO for a couple of months ... I had had to get rid of my mobile phone and landline/broadband due to financial issues. My contact with the world was limited to a few trips to internet cafes ... and that time was spent listing stuff on ebay !!! I had also been writing some reviews on word docs and uploading them to a review site I had had recommended to me ... like eBay it was a case of "every penny counts" !!! I knew the 3rd Anniversary party was coming up but didn't know what to do. I was going to make contact with a few folks but it was at this time that I discovered that I had become seriously ill.

Financial pressures. My grandad's summer long stay in hospital and death. Supporting my mum. Looking after Thomas. Being unemployed. All these things had contributed to an all time low I had hardly noticed due to the stress of the summer. I hadn't given myself any time to relax, my grief was on hold and the end result was my health had suffered. I went for some tests (more waiting) and the news wasn't good. Yet again something else to worry about.

I couldn't even talk about stuff with my family so the idea of coming online and discussing it terrified me. Each of the individual issues I was dealing with are issues that so many other people face on a daily basis so I didn't want sympathy but combined these issues were simply too much to deal with. And, when I realised that i was seriously ill I simply "closed the blast doors" !!!

Before I knew it November 8th had arrived. I hadn't been back to the NJO for months at this stage and felt like i had let everyone down. I briefly logged in to say "happy anniversary NJO" but it didn't feel confident in being there. There were hundreds of new posts, members I didn't recognise and my head hurt just trying to think what to say. But in those few minutes I spent online I made contact with a few old NJOers and realised that my destiny was to return ... just not then !!!

November and December have been a time of healing, greiving and sorting things out. The financial situation still isn't great but it's better than it was ... I am also looking to start back at work this year. A change of career ... maybe a few new projects ... and the book I started the NJO to research to complete !!!

Our Christmas present form my parents was getting our house finally and completely decorated ... all the projects we started when things were good have finally been completed. And although my dad doesn't "get" why I like Star Wars he has completely redesigned and redecorated the loft. Echo Base is reborn, my collection (after a year in storage) in finally out on display ... there's even a custom built NJO notice board/wall of fame !!!

And as for the three of us ... we're stronger than ever ... and despite everything that has been thrown at us we have got through it together. For the New Year we went back to Scarborough. The last time we were there we realised that moving there had been the biggest mistake of our lives. This time we went back as tourists ... and enjoyed the New Year by the sea. We partied on New Year's Eve and Thomas loved staying up ... on New Year's Day we went to the Sea Life Centre. It was the holiday we couldn't enjoy in Summer ... and the perfect way for us, as a family, to start the new decade.

I also took an NJO Pilgrimage and on a cold morning on January 1st 2010 I stood outside Mojos ... the venue where the NJO's 2nd Anniversary Party was held. It was the place in which I was surrounded by fellow NJOers and friends when this website was launched. I then made a New Year's Resolution that when I got back to Echo Base I would make my return ... and finally show the NJO that the person who started it all in 2006 hadn't turned his back on everyone or forgotten about what a great place it was.

The thought terrified me ... and back at home I didn't know what to do. Our new broadband was installed the day we returned and I also got a new mobile and contract. I had the tech but i didn't have the courage to take that first step ... and then Andy's PM arrived ... "urgent" NJO Council business and several comments from members that they would rather wait until they had heard from GMG until any decision was made. That was the push I needed ... if I had a role, a job to do, something to sort out then I could come back and get stuck in.

I have now been back for about a week. The NJO Council Election Process is now well underway and i have spoken to many of you. To be honest it feels like I have never been away !!!!!!!

I hope you appreciate that I needed to come back strong if I was to stand any chance of coming back at all. During 2009 there were days when getting up in the morning caused me to panic ... and every waking minute was spent worrying. Had i come back to the NJO then I think my input would have been negative and had a negative effect on everyone else. I was aware of the all the good news going on too (babies n stuff) and didn't want to bring my issues into the arena. I have so many good frends in the NJO too ... and they would have known something was up. I think at the time, had anyone offered me any help or support I would have crumbled !!!


Yes, I may be the person the who created the NJO but during 2009 it was everybody else who kept the spirit of the NJO alive and when I returned a few a days ago it filled my heart with pride to read your posts ... to see that so many of you were still here, to see that old friends who had once been part of the original eBay group had joined whilst I had been away,to read heart warming news of babies being born and to catch up on some fantastic new posts, projects and ideas. I was over the moon that there had been some cracking competitions and prizes, thrilled that OJM had marked the NJO's 3rd Anniversary with an online "virtual party" (complete with ticket) and excited at the new designs currently being developed for the site. I realised also that the NJO had done what it set out to ... to gather together a group of people who would become guardians of peace and justice ...

Since the NJO was created many members have taken a period of time away from "active duty" (for many different reasons) and am pleased to say that most of them have returned (and usually stronger). I never planned on being away this long and i apologise to any member who feels that I let them down ... I wan't ignoring texts or emails either ... I simply didn't have the means to stay in touch. It really was like being on Dagobah some days ... and am sure that everything I have experienced has somehow made me stronger (just doesn't seem like that some days).

I want to thank my family for guiding me through the dark times and back to the light ...

But I also want you remember one thing ...

Aliit ori'shya tal'din - "Family is more than bloodline"

So, finally, I also want to thank each of every member of the "NJO Family" for being the "Champions of the Force" throughout 2009.

Together we can make 2010 into the NJO's most successful year yet ... it is our Destiny !!!
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Re: Aliit ori'shya tal'din ... A message for everyone !!!

Postby OJM » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:13 pm

"The Force Is Strong With This One"

Welcome back Graham. I'm looking forward to seeing you later this year!

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Re: Aliit ori'shya tal'din ... A message for everyone !!!

Postby ttsa » Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:29 pm

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."

Welcome back old friend
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Re: Aliit ori'shya tal'din ... A message for everyone !!!

Postby bigbaddaddyvader » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:42 pm

Graham as I said to you privately I very much empathise with where you have been personally as we have had very similar problems.I always appreciated your concern and messages throughout my horrendous illness and on a personal level I am very glad to see things picking up for you and your return to the NJO.
I will say this for myself but I know that everyone here will echo (pun intended,lol) these sentinments that you should NEVER feel as though you have let anyone here down after everything you have done for the membership here both past and present.
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Re: Aliit ori'shya tal'din ... A message for everyone !!!

Postby Sith Master Maul » Tue Jan 12, 2010 10:58 pm

all i can say is that i agree with guy,ttsa and nialls posts we welcome you back mate and although bad times have visited the good times are here to stay .
welcome back mate 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)
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Re: Aliit ori'shya tal'din ... A message for everyone !!!

Postby x-wing_flyboy » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:20 pm

Its great to have you back Gray.

May The Force Be With You.........Always
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Re: Aliit ori'shya tal'din ... A message for everyone !!!

Postby Grey-Paladin-Dez » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:34 pm

I will echo the sentiments of the others.

Welcome Back Gray

"You're outmanned, laserblade."
―Embo to Anakin Skywalker on Felucia
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Re: Aliit ori'shya tal'din ... A message for everyone !!!

Postby jedicub_2005 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:04 am

Good to have you back dude.
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Re: Aliit ori'shya tal'din ... A message for everyone !!!

Postby Oldfool » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:13 am

Having experienced some misfortune myself, as I'm sure many have, I can totally sympathise with you Gray. I know how much it can take to carry on and it's a credit to you that you've made the journey back. I hope the road gets easier from here on in.

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Re: Aliit ori'shya tal'din ... A message for everyone !!!

Postby X-Wing Fighter Pilot » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:15 am

good to have you back.

Return of the Jedi.
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