Today would have been Andrew’s 50th birthday.
Today this blog has been up and running for a year – well technically my first post was made on 28th November but I wrote it the day before.
Last night we had a party to celebrate Andrew’s life and to thank the friends and family who have supported us this year. It was a lovely occasion but I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked as I have been over tired of late. I am full of cold, finding it difficult to breathe and waking up every couple of hours in the night.
There were things I wanted to say but because of exhaustion I fear I said everything wrong. In my head at 5 a.m. it all made perfect sense. I’d start by sharing memories and speaking about my grief, add some words of thanks and finally a poem to raise a smile before a toast. All sorted.
Writing this blog has been a great way for me to assimilate my thoughts. I can type and delete as necessary. Cut and paste and form the sentences in a considered manner to convey my emotions and in the process make sure what I write is what I mean to say. Therefore there is less chance my comments will be misconstrued.
I should have written out a plan last night but decided to improvise as I was amongst my closest friends. At the funeral it had all been so easy to stand up and talk about Andrew, my words prepared in black and white in front of me. It stopped me getting nervous, emotional and overawed by the occasion.
Last night I fell apart and felt a wreck. I didn’t explain things as I wanted and it left me feeling wretched.
I wish I’d have said how wonderful Andrew was, a good provider and a great father. I should have mentioned how much he made me smile, how safe I felt in his arms. I wanted to say how much I missed him and tell of that special relationship we shared.
As I looked around at all my friends each one married I wanted to remind them how lucky they were. How each other was worth holding onto despite the daily disagreements and disappointments of married life. How often I yearn for someone special to hold my hand. How much I wish I had someone to reveal my deepest thoughts to. How lonely it is when the whole is ripped apart.
The truth is they know how I feel and are aware of what they’ve got. We are blessed to share each other’s lives.
I wanted to end my speech on a happy note, a poem to look to the future and express my thanks to my friends but the tone was somehow wrong and I don’t intend to repeat it here.
Pulling myself together I finally finished with a story. I’ve written so much in this last year that I couldn’t say if I have told it before but here goes anyway. I was reminded of it because my nephew played his saxophone, the same piece of music as he played at his uncle’s funeral.
When Andrew and I went on our honeymoon we went all the way to New Zealand to visit my aunt and uncle who emigrated when I was five. On our way home we stopped in Singapore. All our excursions were pre-booked including a harbour cruise one evening.
We got down to the jetty and there in front of us was the most amazing vessel all decked out in fairy lights.
We didn’t have the right tickets for this floating fairytale and a little was further along was a much smaller and less impressive looking junk. They were pleased to welcome us aboard. To start with we were a little dubious but decided to make the most of things and put it down to experience.
I’ve written on “re-ravelling” about first impressions and how they “count” but sometimes even the best of theories can be turned upside-down. Often it is not until much later you realise that what you considered important really wasn’t and that which you carelessly disregarded was the real gem.
That evening was one of the most romantic of our married life. The boat wasn’t overcrowded, the staff were attentive and the food delicious. We suddenly felt sorry for the people on the boat that was all show. This was a far more authentic and less touristy experience. The background music was Kenny G, mellow and haunting; it always transports me back to that balmy evening.
My nephew playing the saxophone reminded me clearly of that special time, a special man and the wonderful life we shared together.
Happy 50th Birthday Andrew - to you from me xxx