My First Castle…….

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Medieval Wales
I sit here looking at my very first castle in all its ruined glory….. Thinking of how many hours we spent watching Escape to the Country, both dreaming we’d see it first together….. Hand in hand imagining we were really back in the 15th century. The UK is everything we’d dreamed of and more….. The architecture is magnificent, and even the shops like “Starbucks” have the honour of sitting within 500 year old walls. Paula and I stayed in a 17th century farmhouse last night, on the third floor of an old dairy farm complete with roll top bath and enormous exposed beams….. It was screaming romance, and all I could think of was you. I wanted to snuggle in that tiny bed in your arms talking excitedly like we did when we had a common love for something…… The countryside and beautiful old buildings was our thing…… And I had to try and enjoy it without the reason I got up in the mornings until 23 months ago when you were taken from us all. I have loved this trip in so many ways, with the perfect travel companion and the opportunity already to see some places I’d only dreamed existed…. I am so grateful to all of my family and friends who have helped pull an impossible task together, and I will never regret coming….. But I feel like by coming and doing that one thing we promised each other we’d do in our retirement… It’s like letting you go. And I can’t. Every time I do “another” thing that was meant to be done with you, I feel like another piece of my insides die a slow and painful but quiet death. I can’t talk about you like this anymore….. I have to only say positive and funny memories of you out loud because I would burst into tears every time if I didn’t…… And when I cry for you the noises that come are from the depths of my deepest despair and no one should ever have to witness this. This beautiful, eery, magnificent place is everything we thought it would be, and more…. and I just wish you could enjoy it by my side….. Not in my mind. Miss you babe. Xxxx


Why I blog……….. (Safe to read!)

I realised recently after talking to a close friend that my blogs can be brutal…… true… honest….. (almost incriminatingly honest) but brutal…. and they can make some people feel…. well sad. It was not my intention when I started writing after I lost Trent, I just couldn’t save my emotions up and disperse them in my one hour session a week with my psychologist.  I came from an outtie not an innie family. Not belly buttons, but openness. So just as some families can’t get out what they’d wish to say, I can’t keep mine in.  Then I just happened to have what seemed to me to be an extraordinary time in life…… so much so that I could not keep it inside my almost close to exploding mind. So I started writing. At first it was the brutal truth about what had happened in the three weeks leading up the 23rd of July 2013, clearly the worst time I’ve had in my life…… I had to put it into words as I could not believe what I had witnessed, and did not believe it to be really happening. But then it just continued, as did everyone else’s lives….. and when you lose someone so enormous in your family, your life as it was stops dead in it’s tracks. So I don’t know when the writing will stop, but just as it began, I will know when I am done. It has been like a therapy  that no one person could have given me, and a year and a half after I started it and released it into the universe, you all became my therapists in a way. Your little messages of strength and offers of support have guided me through an otherwise impossible situation, so for this I will be forever grateful.  Today is a beautiful day for many….. and a horrendously sad one for others. My life can now be segmented into “Happy days” and Crappy day.” I am happy because today I get to share the day with my kids, and without my beautiful man I would not have them. I also get to share the day with my Mum. I am so lucky she is still here, and although I have experienced loss, I still can’t imagine life without her.  Since starting the support group I am in, I have met so many kids that have lost their Mums. Way too young. For me this brings such sadness as I know they will wrap their presents and take them to a cemetery, or lay some flowers in front of a candle, or let a message go with a balloon into the heavens….and will not be able to lie in her lap, or cuddle her and thank her for giving birth to them. To all those Mums that are no longer here,  I will have a special moment for them today, and their families that are left behind. For me, I am spending my last day here at Mums with the kids, before I head off on my European adventure, which sadly would not be happening if my man were still here. I am still very grateful, and although a little trepidatious, I will be sure to suck in every moment that I get while away, for I know how lucky I am to be going.  The girls as you may have read in my past blogs, have not really coped too well with my leaving. My baby, Poppy (8) has particularly suffered and her anxiety (which she never had before Trent dying) has become so severe that even with the help of some medication and therapy has not dealt with my leaving her. Apart from just being furious that she will not be able to come and cuddle me when she wants, she knows I can’t promise her that I will come back in one piece. It has been a  tough three months as her anxiety is mostly anger, and she begged me last night to stay….. not to leave her, and how could I do this to her at  the age of 8 when she’d already lost one parent? You cannot reason with a child whose Daddy was there one day, and gone the very next. Of course my guilt could sink a battle ship. But when Mum suggested just months after Trent died that I should put some money away and go to Ireland like I’d dreamed my whole life…. and that if I wanted to leave the kids, I needed to do it while she and my Dad were still young  enough to help.  We planned it for last year, but a year after his death seemed too soon for the kids…. who knew a year later they’d cope even less? I know only too well that life is not predictable.  A couple of weeks ago we attended a Grief Camp. It was incredibly draining both emotionally and physically, but was run like a tightly wound clock and by the most incredible and wonderful group of volunteers I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The young adults that ran the kids section were so brilliant they even got my Ruby on side. If you don’t capture her attention in the first five minutes, she is like a horrible haggler at a comedy show….. she will make you wish you never got up there! But this particular guy had her at hello….. he was so funny. I couldn’t hide my smile while he was around… he had worked at Camps all over the world, and had a witty answer to every cheeky question that Rubes threw at him, so she became his offsider instead of his worst nightmare.  Even Poppy who recently wouldn’t allow anyone to take her away from me, after the first session wasn’t even hanging around to wave us parents off as we were taken to a separate venue in town all day, both days. Brilliant. She became best mates with a stunning little Indian/Fijian/Australian 6 year old who had lost her Mum, and her Dad was the only male in our parents group, poor bugger. But we were both so happy to see our little girls laughing and smiling, and cuddling each other constantly……. they were inseparable, and cried when they had to leave each other on the Sunday.  Rubes met a flurry of cool kids that were crazy and fun just like herself, and it was just nice to see them be kids. Such a rarity to see them do simple everyday things like running around, exploring the bush, following kangaroos, playing on play equipment and not being attached to a screen of some sort. They had a candle ceremony for their lost parent, and had photos of them that they put next to the candle. Rubes broke down and it was amazing to hear her wall start to crumble. It is a rather large one, and her emotions about Trent don’t flow out as easily as all of ours. A tiny breakthrough perhaps. So it’s been a crazy few months, couple of years and and an even crazier few weeks…. but I have made it through with the girls to Mothers day, and nearly to the day I board my plane. I am relieved, excited, exhausted, scared and strangely calm that it is here. Bring on the trip, I do know I deserve it….. and so I shall grab that old bull by the horns, and lets hope my next blog is nothing but a happy one! Happy Mothers day all. xxx

Ps Thanks to my folks, my Mum in law and my Sis in law for taking my gals for me! Without you all I would not be going at all. xxxxx