Friday, 31 July 2009

Its tough but you gotta get on with it

So what a month July has been. Work has been difficult as my work colleague lost her grandma who she was very close to and obviously is very upset. I am not much help to her and i know she must find it hard to talk to me about it which is difficult for me as i would love to help her. I have started having migraines again which are being brought on by stress, along with palpitations, dizziness and tiredness. The doctors think its just stress but i am undergoing tests just to be sure - the difficulty is that i can't really tell anyone other than my best friend because i don't want to worry my mum and dad or the kids. It's just another time that i realise how much i miss talking to Stewart. I realise that that offload time when we both came in from work and talked about our days, however mundane was a real stress reliever and without it i am really struggling. I have had a difficult week with the bank starting to hassle me over increasing my payments (that they set at a low rate) to them to pay back the unsecured business loan stew took out, but i was joint signatory. They are threatening to get a charge on the house and I don't know whether just to let them do it, or whether they are allowed to do it. Looks like i will be taking some advice on that but its another worry i just don't need.

However i have had two lovely things happen to me over the last 7 days.

The first is i visited my friend who happens to also be a medium. I went for a hearing and boy did Stewart come through. He couldn't stop chatting and she hit on so many things that she couldn't possible have known. Things about both stew and I that are impossible to know that it is frightening. She even told me that i had a friend who was heavily linked to barry manilow - that will be Fi who is a regular there and one of Stews favourite people - and the last person to be with him and me before he died. How strange was that. There were funny moments, touching moments, and heartwarming moments and I think I have gained a little comfort from knowing he is around even if I can't get to talk and touch him. What I wouldn't give for a cuddle off him right now, and a kiss on the top of my head that he always gave me when he walked by. I realise how much I miss him, it isn't getting easier but I know that i will learn to walk alongside the pain, there isn't any way other than that even though there have been times in the last few weeks that I could have curled up into a ball and given up. My kids are my life savers. However bad i feel, I look at them and know i can't give up for their sakes. They are so like their dad. Each of them has a little bit (in some cases a lot) of him in them. Jamie speaks like him and has his sense of humour and knows exactly where he was coming from. Alex is inquisitive and loves cooking just like him and gemma, well poor kid, she is the image of him and every time i look at her Stewart looks back. How can I give up on them?

The other amazing thing to happen is that the charity walk we are arranging in memory of stew to raise money for the hospice he was in has gone live. It is official. The Stewart Rudette Anniversary Walk for men will be held on October 18th 2009, 1 year and 1 day after he died. The link for the walk is - the wording is beautiful and i have even been allowed to add a message from us to those taking place. I would love 100 men to take part, more would be better and i would love to raise £5000, the cost of the care given to Stewart whilst he was in. It was a bittersweet moment but I know that by keeping his memory alive and raising money for a wonderful cause will give us the strength to carry on.

The next few months are going to test us all. We have the consecration of the headstone in September along with the Jewish New Year. It will be hard to be there on the first day as that was the last time Stew went out in public. Last year he was so determined to be in the synagogue for even a short while that I picked him up from the hospice and took him in a wheelchair. We only lasted an hour but I am so pleased to have had the memory of him, Jamie, Alex and my dad sat together one last time. We then face the jewish anniversary of his death (we have a seperate calendar as we go on the lunar calendar as opposed to the english calendar which is by the sun) followed by the anniversary of his death. To help us through that, we have booked a holiday between those two dates in the hope that although we have to get through those days, some sunshine and relaxation in between will bring a little light relief. We are going with my best friend, her husband and kids and although her youngest and gemma don't know we are actually going together yet (they will drive us mad if they did) we are looking forward to it.

I hope that this year will be over and things will start to brighten for us. I know the pain won't go but I also know that once the year is up we have to start living again. Stewart wouldn't want us to be down forever and we must start to look to the future. We will remember him every day, we will miss him every minute of every day but we must make sure we don't waste the lives we have - he wouldn't want that - he believed in living life to the full and in his memory I am going to ensure that the kids live their lives and their dreams and carry on the dream he had for them - to be happy, to be healthy and to have fun - life is too short to waste.

Monday, 6 July 2009

what a weekend

Well what a few weeks it has been but this weekend has been especially amazing.

My best friend's daughter had her bat mitzvah - the equivalent of a boys bar mitzvah - coming of age and to be part of their special occasion has caused more than a few tears from me - for all the right reasons. I have been heavily involved in the preparations, making the invitations, table plan etc and helping Debra choose her outfits which has meant that I have felt like one of the family, I even ended up washing up after afternoon tea/dinner on the saturday night. Paige was magnificent, looked spectacular all weekend and did her mum and dad proud. Her Dvar Torah (talk) on saturday in the synagogue in front of near on 300 people was amazing, clear and brilliantly delivered and I felt so proud to see that little girl so grown up. The afternoon tea today was amazing too and listening to her give her speech was wonderful, even though I was exceptionally nervous as I had written it with her LOL.

But to add to the amazing weekend was the fact that I took part in the Race for Life at Temple Newsam in Leeds. Not long after Stewart died, Gemma suggested that we should once again take part in this amazing event. Well not to do things by half, I thought what if I got a few friends to join in. Well, those few friends turned into 68 wonderful ladies and young girls - gemma's friends, who met with us sporting tshirts with Stewart's name on the back. Everyone bought their own tshirt and thanks goes to the wonderful printers, screenmachine, who charged very little for the tshirt and printing. he even did special ones for Gemma and I. I had expected about 40 people to join me, but no, 68 of them came with another 5 in the afternoon event. I was overwhelmed by the wonderful support of everyone but to see Gemma's friends join with us and do this fantastic walk/run was amazing. The walk was hard, with some exceptionally difficult hills but we took it steady and I am so proud of gemma for doing the whole 5K without moaning (well only a couple of times).

On the walk I found myself meeting some lovely people too but the greatest surprise was when an arm when round me and I looked to find one of Stewart's consultants. She had seen the tshirts and was very moved by the number she had seen, and she was only seeing a small percent of them. She had spotted me and came for a chat which was lovely, and without realising it she helped me answer some of the questions I had had. I now realise that what Stewart had was exceptionally rare and he was exceptionally unlucky and NO ONE could have changed the outcome. In some ways this has given me more peace than anything else.

To come round the last corner to find friends and family who had already completed the race or were there to support us was amazing as were those at the finishing line cheering us on. Gemma and I went through the finish holding hands and I have to say to see her beaming face as we finished, was the last straw and i broke down. The emotions of the day getting the better of me.

What surprised me most was the response of our friends supporting us and those taking part with us - they all said how incredible it had been to do it (some of them having done it for many years) and that it had had so much meaning but that also they thought so much of me for organising out group - no mean feat to get 60+ women organised, I can tell you. Yet, I don't think I am incredible, for me it is them that are incredible. You see I lost Stewart and I want to desperately find the cure for cancer - which I personally can't so all I can do is raise as much money as possible to help Cancer Research. It is those women and the kids that turned up having been sponsored to support me that are amazing and incredible. It is them that took time out of their busy lives to be by gemma and my side. It is them that walked the 5K with me. It is them you see at the top of the page (well most of them, my organisation isn't that good LOL). They are the incredible ones, more so because I decided to set a silly target of £5000 between us. And do you know what - they did it - and more. We are waiting for a final figure but I am so proud to have these people as my friends and colleagues. They truly are an amazing group.

I must also mention the fact that although they all ran for Stewart, each and everyone there ran for family and friends lost through this awful disease, and one special young lady was remembered more than any other amongst us. Kitty Doerfler, who died aged 18 months after fighting Leukemia from birth. I was honoured to walk alongside her Mum, Sarah, today - someone who came into my life since I lost Stewart but who has become a best friend. She is an amazing lady, strong, brave, courageous, funny, loving and warm - Sarah I admire you for everything you do and Kitty would have been proud of you today, I know how hard it was to walk with us all when we had our daughters there but I promise you, Kitty was by your side today as she is every day, smiling down on you.

After all this, my feet hurt, I am absolutely drained emotionally and physically but I am also exceptionally proud, not just of everyone round us and of Gemma but of myself because I did this, I made it happen and I have managed to succeed at turning the negative into a positive which was my goal. Now it's time to start organising, alongside St Gemma's Hospice, the mens walk - the Stewart Rudette Anniversary Walk which will be held on October 18th. And I will be challenging the men to beat the ladies fundraising :)

Good night to everyone and god bless you all, so many of my UKS friends have taken the time to support me through this and sponsor me - I couldn't have done it without you.

Miss you Stewart every second of every day but I hope today Gemma and I did you proud xxxxx