Talking about it doesn't mean it's about to happen

I know I talk about death a lot in this blog, but everyone who knows me personally also knows that I am the most optimistic, positive person out there.  Because I talk about death doesn't mean it's going to happen imminently,  it just means that when I die I will, as the British so quaintly say "have my affairs in order", as you can imagine my affairs are somewhat complicated so all the more reason to make sure they are in order.

Death and taxes, they are the most inevitable things about our life on earth.  Yet people who will easily visit an accountant to manage their tax affairs would not consider going as easily to a solicitor to sort out their will.

London Marathon 2016: Job done.



2016 London Marathon done, not a personal best time but pretty decent at 04:24 given everything else I have had on my plate.....



It was emotional at points, being out on the course for over four hours gives you a lot of thinking time but I was lifted by all the people lining the route, especially my friends from ShootingStar-Chase Hospice and from the Wimbledon Windmilers Running Club.

It's only been 4 months

It's only been 4 months.  4 months since I last held Andy's hand, 4 months since he was in this house. In the days and weeks afterwards I was swept along by the wave of practicalities, the memorial, the funeral, the paperwork.

In the past four months I have been grateful in many ways for the challenges and distraction of keeping the plates spinning with my family.  The week after Andy died it was Daisy's birthday, then Christmas, New Year, the final goodbyes, hospital appointments for Daisy, meetings at the children's schools and colleges, two more birthdays - Theo is now 19, Xanthe turned 17, Easter, Valentines, Mother's Day.

It's about time we stopped treating disability issues as an afterthought

A couple of weeks ago I decided to take Daisy to an inclusive Dance & Singing workshop at the Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank in London.  I had seen it advertised the day before and thought it would be a fun thing for us to do together on the Saturday morning.  We live in London, we have an amazing mass transport system, except, of course, if you are disabled like Diasy, then getting from A to B involves a lot more planning and preparation.



22nd March 2016

Today I was supposed to be in Brussels.  Today was supposed to be a day just for me, a first chance to get away with a friend and have time to wander, shop, visit museums, eat, drink.

Today ordinary people were going about their business when their lives were shattered by terrorist bombs.  They left their homes, their loved ones, never to return.  All over the world this is happening.  Not just in Brussels today, in so many cities lives are being changed immeasurably, forever.

I could have booked onto an earlier train, I could have booked a flight instead of the train, I could have been in Brussels when the bombs went off.

 When the first messages began filtering through about a bomb in Brussels airport we were already on the Eurostar train, with five minutes to go before departure tweets started coming through about further bombs on the underground and we took the decision to get off the train.  This was all to the great surprise of our fellow passengers and the platform staff, seemingly unaware of what was unfolding at the other end of the line.  Being a parent of a child with special needs you think about scenarios that other people probably don't have to contemplate, my main concern was being stranded in another country and not able to get back for Daisy.

 As we go about our daily business none of us know what is around the corner.  Today I was fortunate not to be caught up in a terrorist atrocity, my children were spared the stress of worrying about where there mother was and when she would come home.

I spent a lovely day in London with my friend, rather than being angry that our plans had been ruined we were grateful that the sun was shining and we were able to enjoy time in our wonderful city.

Tonight I'm thinking about the families in Belgium who never got to say goodbye.

Don't leave things unsaid, don't live with regret, don't live with fear, life really is too short.




Memories, milestones & wishing time would stand still

So we're mid way through March, spring is definitely here in London.  Yesterday I did a 20 mile training run in preparation for the London Marathon.  The Thames towpath was slowly coming back to life after winter, hawthorn blossom, clumps of daffodils.

Easter is looming full of rebirth and new life, but I want time to stand still, I wanted time to stand still from December last year.

I'm not alone in this, a recent conversation with another woman  also widowed prematurely in 2015 confirmed she felt the same as me.  We both discussed how New Year's Eve had affected us, I wanted the year to go on forever because the chime of the bells at midnight meant that we were no longer in the year he had died, that it was already in the past, she felt the same, it was a relief to know I was not being irrational.

Bye Bye Daddy - Talking about death when your child has a learning disability

This is the makaton sign for sad




And this is the makaton sign for Daddy




Daisy uses these signs all the time at the moment, she uses them a lot when people come to the house because she wants to tell them about daddy.

She also uses her voice , at least 100 times a day she says “bye bye daddy” .

One Month. One Week. Bowie.

Today is a sad day.  One month ago today I held my husband's hand as he took his last breath.  I told my children that their daddy had passed away, I tried to help my learning disabled child understand that daddy was not coming back.

A week ago we held his funeral.  We struggled through my daughter's birthday, Christmas and New Year before we could say our final goodbyes.  We had an evening of celebration on Saturday 2nd January filled with laughter and stories, eulogies of hope and pride.  His funeral on Monday 4th January was when it hit me.  He was not coming back.
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