Song for Ten. Two years in.

"A young widow is a statistical outlier" - I read that in a paper today, it was part of a feature on Christmases without your husband.  I was 47 when Andy died and much as I thought life was tough, it got tougher still.  Sole parenting four grieving children, being on my own making decisions about my youngest daughter's end of life, organising and speaking at two funerals.  It's not what you expect to do in your forties.  This was supposed to be our time, now I'm on my on and I'm still tied to term times and parent-teacher meetings.

Yesterday we got through another December 14th.  The anniversary of Andy's death. 

I talk to him a lot.  Whole conversations.  We were together for so long I know what he would say, how he would react.

Two whole years have gone by since I last held your hand Andy.  So much has happened.  We have been tossed about in the biggest waves, we are bruised and battered by experience and sitting blinking on shore.  This is our new life and I know you would be so, so proud how despite it all, our devastation at losing you, then losing Daisy, we are still standing, we are still moving forward, we are carving out a new life, taking our steps on yet another unknown path, but missing you so much.

It's funny, I still expect you to just come back home as if nothing has happened. Asking for the latest news, the football results, you would be taken aback by the changes we have made at home.  I wanted the children to know that we are moving forward but not forgetting.  All those years caring for Daisy, house maintenance took a back seat, so we've been redecorating and changing things around, it doesn't have to be wheelchair friendly anymore, I think you'd approve.

Jules has grown up so much, he's as tall as Theo now and so handsome.  He misses you.  He was only 12 when we first had to sit him down and tell him about your cancer, only 13 when you died, 14 when his sister died, so much for such young shoulders.  I'm glad he has so many memories of time spent with you, time in France, indulging in your mutual love of all things military.  Camping out in the van, pretending to be Bear Grylls.  He has stepped into your shoes as house chef, he loves cooking and like you finds it so therapeutic.  He also has your talent for drama, I just wish you were here to tell him to go for it, he needs you to tell him that he could follow his dreams at drama school and spend his days doing the thing he loves.  He'd listen to you.

Xanthe is applying to Film School now.  We joke that you would have wanted to apply too as a mature student, you would be so excited for her and she would have probably had to remind you that it's her application not yours!  She has your talent for film and photography, she has my drive, she's a scary combination and her own person, I know she is going to go far,  we always knew she had the self belief.

Theo.  Remember how we worried about him?  Yesterday he wrote a facebook post to mark the two years since you have gone.  He's let me reproduce most of it.  I think it says it all (and it's 6 years since he first met his girlfriend at a public speaking competition, they are still going strong).

(By the way, he's still as obsessed as ever about Dr Who.  It's our fault, but I guess there's worse obsessions to have!)

"It’s funny. The day you lose someone isn’t the worst - at least you’ve got something to do. It’s all the days they stay dead." - The Doctor
 (Doctor Who S9E11 Heaven Sent)
It's been two years to the day since my dad died. For the last 2 years, it has been tough to continue my life as normal, because what was once normal is now abnormal. My dad dying changed my life irreparably as minor little things such as having someone to talk to about the latest episode of Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, which by the way I really wish he was here for after the trash last couple of series, or simply having him cooking dinner.

I wish he was here now to see how we was a family have adapted. Over the last 2 years we've learned how to live without him, with some days being harder than others.
Thank you to all my friends and family who have been there to support me, from just messaging me to see how I was doing, to coming round to watch Doctor Who or Dragon Ball Super.
I'm going to finish this post with some more Doctor Who. The song "Song for Ten" from the series 1 and 2 soundtrack, was in the 2005 episode "The Christmas Invasion" and was expanded for the soundtrack to reflect the characters of Rose and The Doctor. The last verse for me is the most important.
"Well I woke up today, and you're on the other side,
Our time will never come again;
But if you can still dream,
Close your eyes it will seem,
That you can see me now and then..."

In universe it's about Rose being in a parallel dimension, however I feel for me it's about death.
I will never see my father again, however I have my memories of him.

We'll keep on negotiating this new normal Andy.  Hopefully now all the biggest storms have passed.  Much as I try to stop it, I can't stop time moving on and you would not want me to stand still. Onwards and upwards as you always said.

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