Archive for February, 2010

Someone up there has a sense of humour

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

One of the things my family has always enjoyed is grabbing a bunch of movies, maybe some nibbles and settle down to nest together.  We thought this seemed like a plan and I went to our local video store.  I carefully chose three films that I thought met the bill; an animation, a new Jennifer Anniston romcom and one with Michael Caine and a young boy.

They were all good movies, all worth watching but it turns out that they all had one further thing in common… each one had as a core of the story that the leading man had just lost his wife!  My kids looked over at me and told me (with wry smiles) that they were not trusting me to go to the films in future!

I have to tell you that “Up” is truly delightful film, “Is there anybody there?” is a beautiful little British film and “Love happens” is not bad either…

Hey ho.. another day.

A second chance… for someone else

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

We got a letter today for the transplant team telling us that a small flock of phoenixes rose from the ashes of our misfortune.  A 34 yr old lady who had been waiting for 4 yrs has a kidney, as has a 54 yrs who had been on dialysis for 6 yrs.  Her liver is helping a 64 yrs old man who is married with a family.  A 50 yr married man has her lungs and her heart vales, corneas and skin will be able to help others too get over their traumas.

For us, it is important that we have enriched a few other lives, set some people free of fear and suffering. 


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It’s the little things..

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Who would have guessed there are bear-traps in Sainsburys?  I was shopping there with my daughter yesterday when I was suddenly struck by the horrible truth …that Carys wasn’t there and would never be there again.  Don’t get me wrong: we loathed shopping there, it was always a chore, so I didn’t expect to have this kind of feeling.  It left me feeling empty.

I’m sure this is the way of it; you are ambushed by the tiny trivia of your lives.  A pair of trainers, a coat hanging in the airing cupboard, a book left half read…  and yet Life goes on.

The birds are still singing

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

I stood in the garden at dusk, and I stood there listening to the birds singing.  It was as beautiful as ever, pure trills and cadences.  I was  moved and saddened in the same moment.  I couldn’t quite decide if it was sign of hope, in the enduring nature of beauty, or one of sadness because I was one my own whilst enjoying them…

Click to hear blackbird’s song

Goodbye – the service

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Yesterday we had a service for Carys at St Peters In Hascombe.  It is jewel of a church in a beautiful hamlet, village green, pond, ducks, pub, nestling beneath Hascombe hill.  We were lucky enough to find a canon who helped us construct a service that truly matched Carys and the needs of those present.  It was dignified, beautiful and appropriate.  Of course there were tears, but there was laughter too. 

We moved on to the hall were we had thrown a surprize party for her 50th and my daughter masterminded a wake that Carys herself would have been proud of.  The day went off perfectly.  Everyone rallied round to help clear up. 

I came home in need of some quiet, with a few friends and family but struggled to stay awake at 7pm and gave up at 8.30 and just crashed. 

My wife had a send of as beautiful as she was…

11 days on

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

In some ways, 11 days on, it is no easier to believe that our lives could have been so fundamentally changed by such a random act.  We all wake up each morning and get on with the mundane tasks that make up the web of our lives.  The toughest thing to deal with is the ‘delta’ that exists between the apparent normality of what we do with the unreality of our new position, and the moment that awareness strikes home is when the bottom drops out of our world all over again.

Yet, even in the middle of a bomb site flowers grow; people’s kindness, the strength and love of my children, the beauty of an almost spring day..  Somewhere on the other side of night must lie dawn.

You can learn to be luck

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Richard Wiseman, in his book “The Luck Factor” says that we can learn to be lucky.

There are three easy techniques that can help to maximise good fortune:

  • Unlucky people often fail to follow their intuition when making a choice, whereas lucky people tend to respect hunches. Lucky people are interested in how they both think and feel about the various options, rather than simply looking at the rational side of the situation. I think this helps them because gut feelings act as an alarm bell – a reason to consider a decision carefully.
  • Unlucky people tend to be creatures of routine. They tend to take the same route to and from work and talk to the same types of people at parties. In contrast, many lucky people try to introduce variety into their lives. For example, one person described how he thought of a colour before arriving at a party and then introduced himself to people wearing that colour. This kind of behaviour boosts the likelihood of chance opportunities by introducing variety.
  • Lucky people tend to see the positive side of their ill fortune. They imagine how things could have been worse. In one interview, a lucky volunteer arrived with his leg in a plaster cast and described how he had fallen down a flight of stairs. I asked him whether he still felt lucky and he cheerfully explained that he felt luckier than before. As he pointed out, he could have broken his neck.

I’m a huge believer in the power of our intuition and though I was initially sceptical, on reading the above am inclined to give it some credence.  What do you think?


Food is Love

Monday, February 15th, 2010

My wife came from a family that showed their love through food which may account for why she was such an amazing cook.  She was always reading about it, watching it or doing it.  She communicated not only those skills but that passion and caring to her children. 

I have my daughters ensuring that ‘Dad eats’, but not just food but platters prepared with so much love it is incredible.  I was asked what I wanted for lunch, I said “Bread & cheese”.  What I got was a platter of cheese, toast, chiabatta, hummus, chopped carrot & cucumber with mustard relish that would do a pub proud.  “What do you want for supper Dad?”…  what I got was a fabulous feta and lentil lasagne tasting better than most restaurants!

We often say “I love you” and that is great, but this love in action is something else.  I hope that you are finding practical ways to communicate how you feel to the special people you share your life with, because, just sometimes, there is no more time.

Valentines Day (with a twist)

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

This is obviously a rather poignant anniversary after Carys’ passing.  I’d bought her a card that is now sitting unused in my drawer.  I woke this morning to an envelope under my door from my middle daughter with a card; she didn’t want me to wake without one.  Inside she’d written

“Even though she has gone now, no one will ever forget how perfect you two were.  And if it is true that a little bit of her lives on in me, then I think its only right that I treat you exactly how she would want me to treat you…”

What can I possibly say other than “Thank God!”  and “I couldn’t be more proud!”

Sunshine and clouds

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Yesterday I slowly became aware that the shock had finally caught up with me; I realised that I was having a physical reactions.  I tried to take it very gently but there was a mountain of stuff to be organised, and supporters venting their stress!  My children continue to amaze me; the eldest is baking for my brother’s birthday and the middle daughter taking charge and organising us and feeding me!  It was lovely to see.

We were invited out that night, and we had a silly, normal evening, laughing and talking about farting!