Monday, 25 April 2011

Blue Skies

Good evening lovely people, I hope this finds you well.
Firstly can I say a very big thank you to everyone who has left posts and kind words, reading them brought great comfort, like having many arms around my family with hugs from near and far.
Hasn’t the weather been gorgeous here? Our Friday afternoon was spent in the countryside with my step brother, his family, my bloke and my Mum. You see since Dad became ill I have only just got to know my step brother, I mean really know him. We had seen each other in passing, over the years, at the usual events, or in passing at Mum and Dad’s house, but as he had lived abroad  for years  and was a long distance lorry driver, I didn’t actually know him that well at all. He also has a sister (my step sister) who had become distanced from my step Dads family more than 35 years ago (I had never met her, and didn’t really understand what had happened) but when her Dad (my step Dad) became ill she arrived at the hospital and for a short while he knew she was there, thank goodness. She is a lovely woman, and although I will never know why there was no contact between her and her Dad I hope she can find some comfort in the fact that he was a good Dad to me for all these years. So out of this tragedy comes a little glimmer of brighter skies, as I now spend more time with the step brother I didn’t really know, and I have the chance to get to know my step sister too. So, at the request of my step brother we went to where he and his family were spending the bank holiday weekend camping. We had a tour of the pretty site, walked by the lake, ate barbeque and chatted and chatted, taking in the glorious sunshine and learning a little more about my relatives and reminiscing. I learned so much more about my step brother and his family, they are really lovely people and I sure we will make a big effort to meet up much more, it was great.
I have been busy scouring the loft for a photo album of mine. The album contains many photos of things I have made over the years, including lots of dresses, event dresses and party wear. I could really do with it to show customers, as I have been getting increasing orders for dresses again. I have a few plans up my sleeve, business wise, so watch this space! I guess events make you re-evaluate your choices and opportunities, and I want my Dad to be proud of me, where ever he now is.
The warmer weather has meant we have been eating lots of salad so at least my cold-slow-expensive oven hasn’t been used much! We have been busy pottering though, Mum has been here too, planting out (keeping busy) and we have plenty ‘coming’ up. Chris had started digging the concrete slab up at the bottom of the garden, where we are to be building raised beds, but he has put his back out, so we are on hold at the moment. I did do some digging myself last week, but for about the last 10 weeks I have had a proper dodgy arm and can’t hold the spade for long (don’t we sound like a pair of old wrecks!?). Under my Mums instruction I did go to the doctors last week about my dodgy arm, and I am now awaiting the results of blood tests, doc thinks it may be something rheumatism related? I think it’s just heavy bingo wings, or pure cheddar in my biceps, so we’ll see!
Well, I will attempt to resume a regular blog.... ha ha, sorry, I am so easily distracted by reading them and not writing my own. I will leave you now with a favourite photo of mine – it’s of Dad and me, bless him, taken many years ago (1977) when I was 12 and we were flying a kite on the cliff tops in North Devon, happy memories.

Bye for now, love to you all, Sue xxx

Friday, 15 April 2011

Goodnight Dad

Good evening folks
Sorry for the lack of blog. Today has been a sad day, but with a massive sense of relief I write this blog.
 Dad lost his fight for life, and peacefully left us just before 12 last night. He had battled on for more than 2 weeks, bless him, and for those of us seeing him begin to suffer, it was pure torture.
He had had a brain stem stroke, and from what we can deduce, it was severe. After nurse and doctor consultations we were aware of his plight – total paralysis from almost his chin down, but with the sensations of pain, and inability to cough and even swallow at times. He was a strong and brave man, but simply couldn’t hold on and after a very long 16 day beside vigil he slipped away just after we returned home for an hour or two, possibly preferring for us not to be there...who knows.
Dad only opened his eyes a little during the last few days, although I am sure he knew we were all there. Many, many friends and family came, and cried and said goodbye. At one point there were 8 young people (grandchildren, nieces etc) all leaving the ward in tears, and I felt proud when I saw the nurses looking, almost surprised at the army of ‘young-uns (as Dad would say) that had come to hold his hand.
Dad was my step father for 38 years. We had some tough times (me the rebel) and so, so many good memories for us all to look back on and smile. Dad was a bugger for DIY, and admittedly sometimes he was a ‘bit of a bodger’. Being very security conscious he always added extra bolts, latches, padlocks and booby traps but his most fabulous tools of choice where possible seemed to be blue tack, selotape and bits of wire! I am sure he is up there looking forward to fiddling in his heavenly shed, making something out of guttering, duct tape and copper pipe! 
These few days have brought friends and family close, and it’s been lovely to see people although you break your heart every time they walk in. In the grand scheme of things, you see, people are really the only important thing in life. What you have and have not isn’t important, its who you love and have in your life, for it is so short really.
Words can’t express how grateful we are to those wonderful staff of Ward 41, Coventrys Walsgrave Hospital. I know they see it every day, but they were truly beautiful people who made his visit full of love and dignity.
Dad is now reunited with my brother Steve, who left us 2 years ago, another great bloke who went too soon, and I am sure they are somewhere more tranquil dismantling something side by side now. I am not sure about religion, but I do think the soul is somewhere. People have such presence in life, such personality, it can’t simply die, they are all out there somewhere.
My priority now is to be strong for my Mum. She is (and those of you who know her, will agree) one of life’s true selfless people. Mum is a wonderful, happy, lovable, funny, inspirational woman who I can honestly say everybody loves. She has always been mum to all of my friends too, and now is a granny to many, as all the grand-children’s friends call her Granny Brenda too! If I turn out to be half of the woman she is, I shall be very happy. Mum is hurting so bad, but smiling on, with bleary eyes and an obviously heavy heart. She’s relieved but quietly empty. She is one in a million.
Well, enough now, much love to everyone in this mad world, I sign off by saying it’s been a tough week, Rest In Peace Dad, you are in a better place now. I will look after Mum, til we all meet again one day.

Love Sue xxxx