and if I could spell auf Wiedersehen I would have added that to the title.
I think tonight's post is my final post before returning to my scrapping, although no doubt my everyday feelings will come into the blog but I want to turn a corner and I think this might be the moment.
So much has happened in the last few weeks that I think this could turn into an epic posting, so my apologies for anyone who is reading this but I hope that by the end of it you will understand why.
I would firstly like to re-iterate something I have written on many occasions throughout this blog and that is my gratitude to those of you who have followed my story. Many of you have taken time to either leave a comment of here, post on UKS, send me emails or private messages or in some cases all of the above. Your constant support over the past 14 months have given me strength at times when i couldn't see the wood for the trees. There have been many nights when I have taken the time to re-read your comments that I have realised that although those 14 months have been horrific, there has been some good come out of it and your friendship has been one of those things.
I knew I wouldn't be able to face posting this blog for a while and it is only now that I truly believe I can do justice to my final chapter on this story, for although the story will go on continuing, it is time to stop looking back and to look forward.
Over the past few weeks we have finally conquered the last of the obvious firsts that we knew we had to face.
We faced the first Jewish new year without Stew, something that was very poignant because one of his last wishes that we were able to fulfil for him was last year when we took him in a wheelchair to the synagogue on the first day of the Jewish New Year. He only managed an hour there, but to sit upstairs (as we ladies do) and look down on my darling husband, my two wonderful sons and my daddy all sat together, it was a moment that I knew I had to keep in my head and my heart forever because I knew it was the last time. So this year I bottled out of going to the synagogue because I knew it would be too hard, but my wonderful boys went and although difficult they did it.
We also got throught the Day of Atonement, the day it is said when god decides who should live and who should die during the next year. Last year I wasn't there because by that point Stew was back in the hospice and we knew we didn't have long. This year I faced it and went to the synagogue. I am not sure how much I still believe, in that such a good man wasn't given another year but who am I to judge? I only hope our prayers this year will be heard and we will all have a happy and a healthy year along with all our friends and family, no matter what religion they are.
We then had the Jewish Anniversary which is traumatic because it means the boys, once again having finished saying the memorial prayer every day for 11 months, had to go back to the synagogue and say it, side by side again. We lit a special candle which I thought wouldn't be difficult but it was so hard to do and had so much meaning. But we survived it.
I do believe that it is easier to face the anniversarys that you have to face than the days where you wake up surrounded by a black mist because you are prepared for them.
We were then lucky enough to go to Tenerife for a week with our dear friends Debra, Malcolm, Paige and Joff. The trip and first few days were stressful and fraught with tension as we all had to adjust to it being just four of us. Jamie found it hard and we battled through the first days but I think, somewhere in those heated arguments, we found an understanding of each other that we hadn't had before. The holiday was just what was needed, even if a little hot - 111 degrees on one of the days, but at least it ensured that we sat by the pool and relaxed - it was too hot to do anything else.
We came home the day before the anniversary of losing Stew and we had decided we would wait to see how we felt before making plans. And I think we were right to do that as we spent the day quietly together, sometimes in our own thoughts, sometimes laughing but we didn't make to much of it.
On October 18th my wonderful boys led a sponsored walk, the Stewart Rudette Anniversary Walk, with 37 men and boys round our local reservoir. Some ran, some walked, some brought their kids, some brought their dogs but these wonderful men raised money for St Gemma's hospice and along with other friends who couldn't make it, who went out and raised money, it looks like we have raised over £5000 - we are waiting for the final total, but to say that I am proud is an understatement. We will have raised over £11,000 in Stewart's memory and I truly believe that we have turned the negative into a positive. Our fundraising isn't over, we will continue but it really has given us all things to focus on and given back to those who helped us.
So we have done it all, well not all as there will be all those special occasions that are bound to happen that Stew would have been proud to be there for, but we have got through that first year, still intact as a family although I have to admit there were times I wasn't sure we were going to get there. We're not over it, we're not through the tough times totally but we have survived so far and I am incredibly proud of not only myself but my amazing kids without whom I wouldn't have lasted a day.
Although I have found some inner peace now we are over the year, in that I can't say - this time last year daddy........................ which in some ways makes it easier to get on with life, the pain and the heartache are still with me but those that told me you learn to live with the pain are right, it isn't easy and there are tough times but you do have more good days than bad and the bad ones might not be as terrible as they were. I am not over losing Stew and possibly never will be. I have lost my best friend, my heart and my soulmate but I do know that he is sat right behind me as I type this and although I long to feel his arms round me properly one more time, to feel the safety I felt in his arms, to feel his lips kissing me again, I know that when the time comes for me to go, he will be there waiting for me. I have no fear of dying but I also know I am not ready for it and won't be for a long time.
I can sit here and look back at how far we have all come. I always knew I was a strong willed and bolshy lady, but I never knew how strong I could be. I am a survivor.
I have managed to go back to work, run the house, feed and clothe the kids, make all the invitations I have been asked to do and now, as things on the invitation front quieten for a while, it is time for me to have some Susy time and time with my family.
I know that I am ready to return to my scrapbooking, something that at the beginning gave me a focus but during the last few months was something, if I am honest to myself, was too painful to do. So many of our memories need to be put into the scrapbook, yet so many of the photos to scrap are since we lost Stew and it felt wrong to scrapbook memories that occured without him.
I have survived threats of repossesion of the house, I have survived working through one of the most difficult periods of working life and stayed strong and focused and not let others push me out, I have been able to love and adore my children for the two of us and most important of all I have managed to keep Stewart alive for us all, in memories and stories that we regularly share. He will never be far away, I only have to look at the kids to see him every day and knowing that gives me the strength to say so long, farewell, auf wiedersehn, goodbye to the hardest blog I could have written. This has truly been a life saver and as I now start the next chapter of my life, I hope to share the happy times with you all.
God bless to you all - may you have health, happiness, peace and love in you lives forever.