Thursday, 29 January 2009

Highs and Lows

Ok, so what has been happening in my life over the last couple of weeks. Well lots and nothing all at once.

We've used the money from the sale of the van to buy a new suite which we love and we have said goodbye to Stewart's car and replaced it with an automatic Renault Scenic which I love even though it reminds me of what is missing in my life.

On a daily basis we are plodding on, there are still tears and tantrums but not quite as many as before. however, we had an upsetting weekend when my eldest's ex girlfriend rang to say she had a blood clot on the brain, was having surgery the next day and it was 50/50 chance of survival. Poor Jamie had a sleepless night at his friends where he was, an awful journey home to me and then a nerve wracking wait for a phone call - when it came she claimed to have had the op and was discharged (some 2 hours after the operation!!!) Alarm bells rang and it was obvious something was amiss. After many calls round we found it was a hoax and a very cruel one at that - so although I am angry about it, I am also relieved that he is out of the situation and I think he is too as he can get on with his life.

Things seem to have evened out on a daily basis. I am not sure how much of this is that Jamie has signed up to a gym and is playing tennis and going into the gym a lot which gives him space to take out his anger away from home, but it has meant that things are calmer. I think the fact I have been to my first counselling session has helped too - not sure what benefit it is but actually being allowed to chatter (something I am good at) about me and my life and my anger etc without feeling I am putting on people is wonderful. Back again next week so will see how it goes.

The next big hurdle is I have Macmillian Benefits team coming next week to try and sort out whether it will be financially better for me to stop working. I need to make a decision once and for all and sort myself out. The big problem for me is obviously it feels wrong that in the current climate where jobs are few and far between but if i do what's right for me now, will it be the same in 2 years when Jamie leaves home and benefits drop and if that happens will I be able to get a job suitable for the kids. With Alex on DLA it means i need to be around for him for the forseeable future. There are so many questions to ask with no answers.

As for me, well as long as I am busy (and I am with making invitations) then I cope but when I go upstairs to bed it all hits me like a hammer in the heart. Every night is so hard, I have a chat to him but it just upsets me so much, I suppose I block everything out during the day but when I chat with Stewart it opens up so many open wounds. The funny thing is that I know he is listening to me (I got a message from my friend the day I had my counselling saying he had asked her to contact me and tell me he loved me because I was having a hard day - yet no-one knew I was going!!) and probably getting totally fed up of my incessant chattering at him and crying, he hated both of those things. I sometimes feel as though he is in the room with me and its a lovely feeling, see just as I typed that I felt him here!!!!

Right, I've gabbled on long enough tonight - I know my posts are fewer but sometimes it feels wrong to pour out my heart on here continuously - I am sure anyone reading this doesnt want that every day - but I will update here weekly if I can and hope that soon I can add in some scrapbooking stuff too. Once the next set of invites are finished my mission is to scrap for britain - it's been a long time since I did scrapping at home and I think I need to get back to it, even though most pictures are of stewart at the moment and it is therapeutic.

Good night all and catch you all again soon.

Friday, 16 January 2009

An end of an era and a sad farewell

Well, there have been lots of things happening over the past week in my life but tonight culminated in one of the saddest. Tonight we sold Stewart's van, and although I know it couldn't stand outside forever and that sometimes, when I pulled into the street my first reaction was "oh good, Stewart's home" before that sinking feeling, it was so hard watching it drive away for the last time. He loved that van, it was his second home and he bought that with such joy and had it sign written and was so proud of it, yet today I waved it goodbye and it felt like I was saying goodbye to him all over again.

The boys have been quite good about it but Gemma has been heartbroken, it's all she has ever known and this has sort of made her realise that daddy isn't coming home.

So what else is happening in my life. Well Jamie has taken his AS level exams this week, Alex has baked an apple pie, I have looked at a new(ish) car, I have looked at a very funky settee, I have worked really hard, I have sorted out temper tantrums and mood swings from the kids, I have made invitations, I have spent far too much on stash considering my financial situation, I have laughed a little and cried a lot. It has had many ups and downs and there are days when getting out of bed is so hard and others that I just get up. I am still recovering from the flu which hasn't helped me at all but even with that I haven't managed to stay in bed for any length of time - the kids still need getting up and therefore it meant me getting up too.

One of the nicer things to have happened is that Alex has decided that he will take over from Stewart and bring me a cup of tea every morning, ok granted it's at 6.30am when I am not really awake but it is such a sweet thing to do.

Jamie has found a new song by Lonestar which says exactly what I am feeling at the moment

The Lyrics are:

Last Night I had a crazy dream
Wish was granted just for me,
It could be for anything
I didn't ask for money, or a mansion in Malibu
I simply wished for one more day with you

One more day, One more time
One more sunset maybe I'd be satisfied
But then again; I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you

[Oh one more day]

First thing I'd do is pray for time to crawl
I'd unplug the telephone, and keep the TV off
I'd hold you every second, say a million I Love You's
Thats what I'd do, with one more day with you

One more day, One more time
One more sunset maybe I'd be satisfied
But then again; I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you

One more day, One more time
One more sunset maybe I'd be satisfied
But then again; I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day....
Leave me wishing still, for one more day....
Leave me wishing still, for one more day....
With you

[Oh... One more day]

It was obviously written by someone who knows exactly what I feel and puts into words exactly what I feel.

I still haven't managed to get up to see Stewart, so many things have stopped me getting there and I feel really guilty - I would like to go on Sunday after work but as Gemma has a friend staying and I can't leave them too long with Alex it looks like I won't get there unless I go up when Jamie gets home.

I have still to make decisions regarding work as I would really like to continue but I need to sit with my figures and work out if I can afford the mortgage etc without help. It's just another decision to make on my own. In some ways if Stew had lived longer and I had needed to look after him it would have made the decision so much easier but ifs don't help and he isn't here to guide me. I love my job and the fact I am my own person when I am there, even though there are still lots of tilting heads from visitors, it is my saviour at the moment because for 75% of the time I dont think about Stewart because I don't have the time. Is that bad? I do feel guilty but know I can't spend the rest of my life thinking solely of him.

So thats this week's update. Without my friends, your comments, your support I wouldn't get through a moment so for that I will be eternally grateful.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Another First

Before I start this post I want to say a huge thank you to Skye for that beautiful poem, it was a lovely thought to write something for me and it meant a lot.

Well, it's nearly midnight which means we have hit the 3 month mark since I lost my beloved Stewart. I can't believe it, 3 whole months without him. To be honest, it still doesn't seem real at all, we have never been apart longer than a week in 20 years and the past 3 months feels like an age. I cannot get it into to my head that I will never ever see him again. To be honest I don't want to, I won't and I can't accept he is never going to come back in through the front door. I know that in time I will have to accept it but at the moment I just WON'T. The kids are having a really tough time, Jamie has admitted that although he knows it is hard for me, that I won't have to go through this again but he will and he doesn't know when. That is such a frightening thought for a child. I cannot imagine it at all, I am still lucky enough to have both my parents so what he is going through is something I cannot comprehend but something I find totally heartbreaking. He is a wonderful young man who shouldnt have to go through this. He was wonderful before this and didn't deserve this pain. He feels he did something wrong and is being punished and although I have explained it to him that it isn't his fault, I can totally understand because I feel the same. I have looked at my life in depth and I admit I have made mistakes, could this be my punishment?

Tonight I went to a good friends birthday/anniversary party. I didn't want to go and nearly bottled out at the last minute but I knew how much it would mean to them if I went, so I slapped on some make up for the first time and put on some heels and went. It was so hard. I walked in and just wanted to turn round and run, but Anne and Rafi who picked me up held my hand and gave me the strength to go through with it. Everyone was lovely - only a couple of tilted heads, a lot of questions of "how are you doing" and "how are the kids coping" but I managed to sit through the whole meal and when i went out to check on the kids people came out to check I was alright. The funny thing was I knew Stewart was with me, I could feel him and he would have so loved to have been there. The food was his cup of tea, and he actually would have known most people there. I have to say the support I got from everyone there was overwhelming and very heart warming but once the dessert came out I knew I couldn't keep it up and needed to go home. Bless Jamie, he came straight away to pick me up and I have felt better being home.

I am working tomorrow and won't get up to see Stewart, as I have Gemma on my own, which is very hard, but I know he will still be there on monday (he doesn't get out much these days!) when I have the chance to go on my own. I am not sure how I will get through tomorrow. Half of me hopes it is really busy so I won't think about it, and the other just wants me to get home to the kids as quick as I can. I am so blessed to have the kids, my family and friends around me and supporting me but I now realise that it is only me that can get me through this. Nothing I do will change anything in the past but I hope that wherever Stewart is, he is watching me and smiling down. I hope I am doing things the way he would want me to, that I am bringing up the kids the way he would want me to and that we are thinking about him and talking about him as much as he would want us to. I also know he would be kicking me up the rear end if he was here and telling me to get on with things, but it is so hard every day to continue living a life I just don't want to live. This wasn't what I dreamt of, my dreams have all been shattered and I am not sure I have the strength to build new ones. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Ups and Downs and denials

Well, we are into the first week of a new year and so far it hasn't been too bad, well maybe not too bad is an exageration but you know what I mean.

There are still many issues to sort out - Jamie being 17 is being a mix of a typical 17 years old teenager and a young man trying very hard to step into his daddy's shoes. However, the problem we have is that we are not ready for this and it sometimes makes things difficult. However, tonight we have had a brief chat, well more me telling him and him listening and I hope he understands but who knows, I just got the obligatory grunt - however he is still being amazing but he just needs to find his feet.

Alex is really suffering from middle child syndrome - he isn't the man of the house and he isn't the baby and he feels that we don't listen to him. To be honest, we don't most of the time cos he tends to talk total and utter crap (always has so this isn't new) but I do believe that we need to take the time to listen to him at least even if we don't follow up on things. He has been amazing this week and bless him, is helping me out so much.

Gemma is really throwing the gauntlet into the ring with some of her behaviour. After taking advice that when she has a strop and shouts things at us we should ignore it and it will stop, it slowed down but when it happened it was horrendous. So last week I broke all the rules in the book and gave her a piece of my mind, telling her if she continued like this she would make me unhappy and I would have to go into hospital and then she would have to go to grandma's. She wasn't happy about this option at all (grandma is loving but exceptionally strict) and having had a real talking to, with the offer of telling me she is angry instead of shouting at me and the second option of going into the bathroom and shouting it at the wall, without me telling her off for her language or anger, she has definately improved. I felt awful, taking away her security blanket of me being here for ever but I just couldn't cope with it any longer, it was making my life even worse which I never thought possible. She is also back to her old tricks of coming downstairs after going to bed and not getting enough sleep. So after a long chat with a friend (thanks Charlotte) we have set up a new routine that she goes to bed at 9pm and is allowed, for an hour to either watch telly, listen to music, read, paint whatever she wants but it is lights out at 10pm and from 9pm she isn't allowed downstairs. The times change for non school nights to 10pm and 11pm (bless her she is a night owl so won't sleep earlier). I have promised in return that if she does this every night, I will reward her at the weekend with a special hour together doing something together, such as painting her nails, pedicure, baking, painting, doing her jigsaw or doing a LO together. Lets see if it works but so far so good tonight!!!

As for me, well I have the flu with a chest infection and swollen glands and not only do I look divine but I feel really really bad. I know if I could go to bed for a couple of days I would sort myself out but obviously without Stew to help me, that's impossible so I will have to get on with things.

I have also decided that instead of thinking of Stewart not being here and never coming back, the easiest way to get through the day is to think of him either at work or upstairs and so far I am better for it. I know I will have to deal with the forever at some point but with everything else going on, this will have to be the way I get through it.

I so miss him all the time and just want one hug, one kiss (ok a big kiss but one kiss) and to hear him talk to me and tell me he loves me one more time. I know Jamie is right in saying that if I got that I would want more, but at the moment I would settle for that!!!!

I have been off work sick but need to go in tomorrow - not sure how I will cope - I might be home again quicker than you can say "jack robinson" so we will see. Its a busy time of the year (actually it is always a busy time but its a busier time) so I really need to sort things out.

I have had some lovely emails over the last few days and one very special one from a fellow UKS'er who unfortunately lost her husband a few years ago offering to meet up with me. She is a member of a group for young bereaved partners (think you have to be under 50 to join) called WAY which I have joined but not actually attended anything yet. I thought meeting her might be nice on two levels, obviously she sounds lovely and has been very supportive and she has been exceptionally understanding and supportive but also because we have something other than bereavement in common - we have scrapping. Sounds like this could be good for me and I have promised myself I WILL make the effort to meet up with her soon.

As for my scrapping - well I am only really doing it at the crops at the moment. That's because between times I am sorting out my life (no tall order that one!!), sorting out the kids, making ordered cards but most importantly making ordered invitations. I have got my 4th ever order which means I have 3 on the go at the moment which certainly keeps the mind busy!!!

I moved my dining room round on Saturday morning - don't ask, I just got up with bags of energy and a mad idea of how I could make things better and actually have a comfy chair in here (the room where we eat, I craft and is the kitchen too) so that I can chill out with the telly if the kids are in the lounge. Well after doing it "arse over tit" as Jamie put it, I got there with some help from the kids and I must say I think I am pleased with it. It is definately roomier in here and I think more organised but then again I can't find anything as I am too organised (LOL). So I am sat here at my craft desk, the patio is open so Boo can go out if needed (we are STILL trying to housetrain him) and my legs are freezing (it must be minus 4 at least) with a cup of tea typing this. However, one of the jobs I have to do over the next few days is sort some kits out with photos as I am cropping on Saturday (6 hours of MEEEEE time - so excited) but hopefully now I am organised this shouldn't be too bad.

I did treat myself today to the new cricut blade which is supposed to cut out chipboard - haven't had the time to try it but I will (how odd, I am actually talking about crafting of my craft blog and not just about my sad life - I must be moving forward a little!!). I did some lovely (though I say so myself) LO's at the last crop - 2 doubles and a single which I must photograph so I can upload for you.

Right I have waffled and waffled on here, not sure it makes sense but as usual I do feel a benefit of getting my feelings onto "paper" if you know what I mean, and I hope you have managed to follow it!!! Off to bed now to warm up with a water bottle and another cuppa!!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year Messages

Well I never expected to be sat here an hour and half into 2009 in such a calm mood. The support on my blog, UKS and in texts received all evening tonight have been amazing. Did I have tears tonight, well yes I did but they were brought on by the most beautiful text a mum could receive from her son. Jamie is in Manchester with his friends, hopefully having as good a time as he can, but he took the time, just before midnight to send me a beautifully heartwarming text telling me all things I needed to hear (ok, I'm off in tears again at the thought!!). I don't know what I or Stewart ever did to deserve a son like him, but I thank my lucky stars every day that we had him.

Other special moments tonight that will stay me are:

Our friend, Malcolm, who lost his parents whilst young (and our host tonight) writing a message on the top of his car in the snow (Hello All) aimed at his parents and Stew - WOW, that blew me away especially when we stood looking up at the stars together

His wife, Debra, just holding me and making me smile at all the right moments tonight without getting too sentimental

The kids all 7 of them just getting along without a cross word all night and the only tears we had were when Gemma stood on some meccano and her foot bled!!!

I realise how incredibly lucky I am to have the most amazing friends to support me - I was always told if you could count your true friends and they filled a hand you were lucky - well after the past 4 months I need both hands, both feet and a few spare ones - so no matter how unlucky I feel when I think of my life now, I also realise that with 3 amazing kids, amazing parents, amazing siblings and their partners, amazing nieces, amazing family of Stewarts (excluding my MIL but that's a long story) and my amazing friends - I really am blessed.

I can't tell you or even myself why I am so unlucky to have lost the love of my life but I do know that from that tragedy I have been truly blessed. Maybe, just maybe Stew is up there watching me and smiling at the support we have down here and knowing that because he was such an amazing man (and I suppose I haven't been too bad a friend either) we will have love and laughter and support for a long time to come.

I know that no one can replace Stew in my heart, no one else will put their arms round me and make me feel that I was in the safest place in the world, no one else will kiss me and make me feel like I was flying, no one else will shout at me but I will know it is for all the right reasons, no one else will make me giggle at some silly joke quite like Stewart did but I will know that I have more than a girl could wish for to get me through the next month and years so maybe, just maybe there is a chance for 2009 to be a fairly good year. I know there will be times that I can't see past the next hour or even minute but sat here today, for the first time, I realise that there will be people (and Stewart too) carrying me through all those awful moments and together we will come out the other side.

To Stewart I want to say I love you with every cell in my body, you are my everything and I miss you soooo soooooo much, more than words can ever say but I will love you forever and a day my darling. I hope wherever you are you are at peace and are able to watch over me and the kids and guide us in our dark moments and join with us during the better moments. God Bless you my sweetheart.