Monday, August 31, 2009

America-land! Woooo!

Today we went to America-land.

It's like America. But smaller.

Ok, it's the local USAF base, but it's cool. I bought some things I'd been after for a while, including pretzels, grape jelly, that kind of thing.

I bought a new top. It has pink on it. I don't wear pink. Apparently it suited me though....

I hung out with my friends. It was good.

And now I'm tired, so I'm taking something nice from my America-land purchases, and going to bed.

To get to America-land, we had to drive past the place where Rich died. That was not pleasant. But at least I know the exact spot. No messing about or guessing.

In 2 days time we go back to school. I'm not ready, but it'll be ok. I can't afford for it not to be. I don't have the option of sitting on my backside and letting the state take care of me, because I have my pride and a good work ethic to install in my child, and because wallowing like that doesn't work for me. Maybe it works for other people, I don't know.

I know I miss him.

I know I love him.

I know he loves me.

And that could be, all I need to know.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


My brother has lent me an iPod something or other to see if we like it. If we like it, we might buy one.

Whilst I would love an iPod Touch, can I really qualify spending that much money on something just for my pleasure? Well, yes, I probably could to be honest.

Whether I will or not is a different matter.

But life is good. I spent time with a 2day old baby today, with a 4 month old baby today, with a 2 year old, and a 4 year old and my 6 year old. And my brother and his lovely, lovely wife. Who is lovely.

She did roast dinner and home made lemon pie and all sorts of cool and funky stuff.

We played, and took the kids to the park, and all pretended everything was normal. Yay us! And it is normal. This is our normal now. Our new normal. Not our old normal, that's gone, obviously, but our new normal. I even took pictures for the BG, but obviously I can't send them. That's going to be a hard habit to break.

Ah well.

And now Joe is hunting spiders. Big ones. Good boy Joe!

Tomorrow the AC goes to his fathers, and I go to America-Land as we calls it, to see friends. I have to sort out fish tanks, filters, clothes for Thursday and Friday and so on.

Then back to school on Monday. And another phase of the New Normal will begin.

How depressing, and how uplifting, at the same time.

To bed then. To read!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cheeseburgers in Paradise.

That's where we've been tonight.

We ended up with our lovely American friends, on a lovely American airbase, with their lovely American friends, who had lovely American children, eating lovely American burgers and pretzels and the infinitely gorgeous but sickly s'mores.

You may have noticed, Dear Reader, the use of the words "lovely" and "American" in that sentence. The eagle eyed of you will have seen that the two words go together, no less than 5 times. Those of you who read here regularly will know that this is nothing short of a miracle.

We had a good time. It has enabled the AC to rethink his opinion of Americans. He knows one nice set - the family we went to see, and one very troublesome set - the She-Ex. (He still sees the BG as English, but being brought up abroad.) So he, and to some extent I, was of the 50% variety. And now, we know more lovely Americans than we do troublesome ones, so therefore life is good and the country itself looks a little more rosy!

Yes, he and I both appreciate how daft that is, but you'd have had to live our lives and loves to really understand. The suing conversation happened again tonight as well, but I forestalled it.

But we had Mandatory Fun.

Most of today, the AC spent wanting to be with me, on me, around me. It was a very snuggly day. As a bereaved child, I think he's entitled to a few of those!

I missed Rich a lot tonight though.

(We went past the place where it happened today, twice (there and back) and I felt it both times. I will have to go there and do the thing that needs to be done. It's cool.)

We had a good time, I was at a place he had never been to, so there were no memories, but in the other trouser leg of time, there he was, chatting about Sci-Fi fiction with Curt, taking part in the breadstick duels with Jazz, showing the AC how to roast marshmallows, sitting with his arm around the AC and I, watching the bonfire, carrying the AC to bed at the end of a long night.

But it's a poignant missing of him, not a gut breaking pain, tonight. And so that's ok. I'm going to bed. I'll read for a bit, and I'll think about him.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Giving up on today

Today is just a seriously odd day.

The AC and I have had a good day. We've been out for lunch, been to the pictures, (saw Aliens in the Attic - very funny film) been to play at a friends house, come home, he went straight to sleep, it's all good right?



I have no idea what is wrong, but it is. Something is wrong. I can't keep my gameface going forever, I know that, and that's cool. I'm not expecting to be able to.

I think it's more of an anticipation of a storm about to break. The She-Ex has been very very quiet. I have no idea if she is still reading this, and I doubt she'd tell me honestly if she was. It's like evesdropping, or something else equally sneaky. But I expect she's enjoying the more painful posts. She said she wanted me to suffer, well now I am.

I-t-B has been on holidays, and I really hope he had a good time. I have no idea when he's due home, nor when or if he'll contact me. I have no idea about any of it.

And I think that's the problem.

I don't know.

And Rich and I always sorted things out together. We talked them over, usually late at night, in the dark, curled up against each other, his arm over mine, his leg over my leg, holding hands in the dark and talking, giggling, crying, anything and everything together. I feel like a part of me is missing. I feel like my grounding is gone. He kept me solid, just like I did for him.

I can't bear to look at a picture with his face on it right now. No, not his face, his eyes. Piercing blue eyes he has, that know my soul. He knows me inside and out, and no one has ever cared enough to do that, or known enough of me to do that. He and I gave all of ourselves to the other one. I knew his secrets and he knew mine. I understood the things he didn't talk about, and the reasons why, and he was the same for me. Maybe they would have come up and we would have talked about them someday, but not now. But when we were us here, they didn't matter.

The past didn't matter. We love the BG, so we keep in touch with her. I cared about her mothers sanity and well being as my friend, but there are only so many lies and attempts at manipulation, and insults, and kicks in the teeth a person can take. So whilst I cared, I stopped trying to be friends with her. Rich couldn't stand her, and had said on more than one occasion that he'd rather live in a 12ft single room than live with her - and he hated small spaces! We had come to terms with the He-Ex. We knew what he was about, and what mattered there, and why. There was an uneasy truce between he and Rich, and between he and I there was what mattered for the AC. Rich and the She-Ex never got to that stage. That wasn't my issue, that was theirs. Letting go was a problem for her, and that's ok. We all have our problems.

But our pasts were an irrelevance. The children were in our present, and our Ex's were in our past.

Today is destined for the past.

Tomorrow? Who knows.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Less tears, more gentle sadness

Tonight has been a night for gentle sadness as opposed to the utter bawling of last night.

This is a good thing, infinitely less exhausting and less traumatic for other people.

This time next week I shall be ready for back to school I hope.

I've just been sat down, writing the new calendar and diary, going back through the last years ones to see what we did and what needs to be carried forward. We had so many good times. Yes, it hurts not to write on the things we were going to do, but there will be other things that the AC and I will do instead. We will cope. We are coping.

And tonight I overheard my son talking to his friend.

"Yeah, well even though my Daddy is dead, he can still beat the monsters under the bed with only one sword."

He went to sleep tonight reading My Mega Book of Motorcycles. He's accepted that it wasn't the bikes fault, that it was just an accident. We went over it again the other night, with Hotwheels cars, and he's fine. He loves Rich, and Rich loves him.

Yesterday the Police collected the letters that I had written to the driver and the nurse and today I had a phonecall to say that they had been sent on. That the Police thought it was a kind and caring gesture. I just pray they are received in the spirit in which they were sent.

And before this degenerates into ramblingness, I'm going to bed at a fairly reasonable hour. Kinda.

2 hours later

And I haven't actually stopped crying yet.

My head is throbbing, my face is sore from tissues, my shirt is wet, my eyes are itchy, my nose is blocked.

And I still cry.

I can't stop.

I can't stop.

I don't understand why he is gone, and I can't stop. There is an ache inside of me that I cannot describe, like a lump, like a cancer eating me, like a band around my lungs to stop me breathing.

I feel like a 6 year old, wanting to shout "It's not fair." Like that would make it better, like someone would say "You know what? You're right, but I can fix that."

It's not fair that after everything we've both been through, it all gets swept away like that. It's not fair that after everything the AC has gone through, he loses the man he loves and respects. It's not fair that after the lies we both lived with for all that time, that the one relationship we have that's worth anything is destroyed.

I want our old life back. I want him sat with me, I want him here. I want our life back. I want our hopes and dreams and plans back. I want him here. I just want him here.

I cannot do this without him, and yet because he is not here, I have to do it. And if he was here, I wouldn't need to do it anyway.

I don't think all that even made sense.

So I'm going to bed. I have good friends I can call, or text. I don't want to be a burden to anyone though. SiM said to me tonight that it is ok to break, to cut myself a little slack, to not be seen as coping.

And I'm not. I'm not coping tonight.

So there you go world, now you know.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Folding washing

I was folding washing tonight. It's not that unusual that I need to blog about it btw, it does happen on a regular basis, but it had been an ok day. One of my better ones, for certain.

And I'm pulling stuff out of the basket and folding it (size 12 trousers people. Did I mention the UK 12?) and not really looking at what I'm doing, like you don't when you're watching tv and doing something dull.

Then I pulled out a pair of Rich's work jeans. They are filthy with ground in oil that I will never get out. I pulled them out, I folded them, I stuck them on the sofa to make a pile of his clothes, and then I carried on folding stuff, until I saw them again, and realised that he would never wear them.

And I hugged them, I sat on the floor and bawled my eyes out in a snot-producing cow-noise-making kind of way.

The sense of loss, of anger at that loss, not at any one person in particular, but just at the universe in general for taking away the man who we love, the man who loves us, who completed me, who planned babies with me, and holidays and a future, who was going to adopt the AC, who loved doing things as a family together. And I wanted that back.

So I phoned a friend, who I hadn't spoken to for a long time, and sobbed and snotted down the phone for a while, he explained the situation to a colleague who covered for him, took his lunchbreak early so he could talk to me, and just listened whilst I cried and railed.

SiM has done that for me so many times over my Uni years, over the years in between. He just listens, and hugs me, and he's having a crap time at the moment in some ways, so we put his world to rights a bit as well.

But folding washing got me. I can't not fold stuff though. I have to go through all his clothes at some point soon and *deal* with them. I have to go through all his stuff and *deal* with that. There are boxes in the loft from him and the She-Ex that I will *deal* with.

And if folding washing is this bad, how bad will all that be?

Already 2pm on Wednesday?

How come?

Well, Anna came round with her two little ones, (little? They are 6 and 8) and Ian-the-Policeman came round to collect the letters, and he thinks that they are fine.

And I've vegged a bit, and discussed MP3 players with my brother, on the grounds that Father Christmas might bring the AC one this year. Or me one a bit sooner..... The AC has one now, and uses it a LOT, but it's not got a lot of room on it, so a bigger one would be better for him I think.

I've had such a lovely email from some relatives of Rich's, that I cried. They are such lovely, lovely people.

And yeah, that's been my day really.

I must eat, put some bread in, and so on, and start naming clothes for school.

How's your day going?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The end of Tuesday

Well, I got to the end of Tuesday.

Joe the cat is on antibiotics. :-( The whole vet bill was about £25, which is ok, and will be just fine. He has 1/4 a tablet 2x a day.

I have had post, which I have deposited in the SEP field. All is well there.

I have had a friend round, which has been lovely, and she said some very sweet things, including that she had never heard me say a bad word about Rich. Not ever. She wishes she and her husband had the relationship we had.

I have eaten fusion cuisine. I had sausage gravy in the freezer. I made nuclear rice, mixed it in, called it risotto and plonked grated cheese on top. Yummy! It's a mix of American and Italian, see!

Lilly's quilt has been published in the magazine! A national magazine has put in my letter and picture because they liked what I made. And it got star letter, which means I gets a prize! Woo!

Life is ok you know.

There's a picture on my desktop right now, of the AC and Rich at the Landrover show last year, just playing about.

Rich was throwing the AC around, and the AC was loving it, as you can tell.

Happy days.

They played together a lot like that. They loved each other unconditionally, and without end. They played, they talked, they laughed, they told jokes, they gamed, they did it all together, as part of our family.

It's the family side of things I miss tonight. I miss him being sat behind me, talking over our week, planning where to take the AC at the weekend, chatting about the visit to Wales, just being together.

We talked about everything. It was the key to what made us great. To why I never said a bad word about him - because I never had to.

I love him.

I love him.

Right now, it seems incomprehensible that he won't just walk in. That he isn't just away somewhere, that he won't just turn up.

Oh, I know he won't, there is an ache deep inside me that says he won't. There is a hunger in my body for his touch, a need to hear his voice, the want to be kissed in the special way he kisses me, like I'm the only person in the world for that moment.

But I love him.

I may not be his next of kin, his legal wife, or any of that.
I may not have entitlement to even the flag off of his coffin nor yet to know where he is finally laid to rest.

But I love him.

And I look around, and I see him everywhere. His clothes are in my wardrobe and his shoes are by my bed and his cup is in my cupboard and the things he loves surround my son and I. We may not have the pomp and ceremony of saying that I am his widow, nor yet the pension that goes with it, but I know he loves me, and I know what he felt about the She-Ex, and how badly she needed to hang onto to that piece of paper to cling to him, and I am at peace with that. I truly hope she is at peace with what she has done to him, and to BG. I look around me, and I know he is here with me, and I know that he will be around for as long as he wants to be, and as long as I want him to be, and that eventually, we will be together, in whatever form that takes.

Because I love him.
Because he loves me.
Because he loves the children.

And because I love him, this hurts.

And that's ok.


I think it's Tuesday.

I often have problems with Tuesdays. And this feels like a problem day, so it must be a Tuesday.

Today I need to

Take Joe to the vet at 3pm
Go into town and pick up a few bits, (going to do that first thing)
Finish washing and drying all the school uniform clothes and put them away.
Sort out space in the bedroom.
Reset Mya the baggage.
Write a blogpost on grokking, which I *still* haven't done.
Ring Electric company and see if I can pay my bill yet.
Throw a couple of things in the SEP field.
Start church notices
Think about whether I should do the Sunrise Walk
Get a shuffle on!

Not many things lol, but enough.

You don't know what you've got....

... til it's gone.

And I don't mean Rich and I, we knew what we had lol.

I mean the He-Ex, who is now on his third lecherous text this week. Maybe it's just oversensitive on my part (although I think not, I know this man's modus operandi!) but really, texting your bereaved ex-wife to say she looked lovely in her top and he appreciated the view is just not on.

If it was so great, why go looking elsewhere on the internet when we were married?

It was one of the things that got Rich and I together though - the fact we shared the same problem with our Ex's, so I suppose it was good in one way lol.

Anyway, it's bedtime.

I've just been texting with a chap I know, very lovely bloke, very supportive, and I was just thinking about all the times that all Rich and I had was text. It's amazing what you can say and send in a text. He used to text me when he left work, even if it was just "omw!" so I knew when to expect him. He used to text to say he loved me, or that he missed me. I used to text him pictures of my underwear in the morning so he knew what I was wearing when he was away lol. It started his day with a smile!

I went to text him whilst we were at Carolines, and of course, I realised that he would never get that text. That broke me all over again for a little while.

But it was ok, and I got through that bit, and that's what I'll keep doing, just getting through it, slowly, but surely. AC is camping with his father and I miss him, but more than me missing him I want him to know his father in the same way he knew his stepdaddy, I want him to spend time with his father in the way the BG was prevented from doing, and now never will. I want that, more than I want the AC home.

And I want Rich home more than anything, but I know it isn't going to happen.

I also know he loves me though, and that is worth the world. At least we knew what we had, and it wasn't wasted.

Monday, August 24, 2009

And another thing....

.... I miss BG.

There's no point asking how she is - I haven't got any answer the last few times I've asked, it's just been about stuff the She-Ex wants from the house.

There's no point writing on the blog - it was barely read whilst Rich was alive, and commented on less than a handful of times in those years.

So there's nothing I can do.

But I do miss her. AC misses her.

Oh well. I guess that's the way it is.


I'm in my jamas.

Today, Charlie and I went and bought fish.

8 white cloud mountain minnows for the Molly tank.
8 Cardinal tetras for the shark tank.
4 Cherry barbs for the barb tank.

Nothing for Dave's tank - he'll eat them.

The tetra's look magnificent in the big tank. I think I might save and save and get another big tank. Not sure where I'll put it yet - probably where this computer desk is now. And in there I'll have a LOT of tetra!

But I probably won't you know. I'll probably do something sensible.

Not today though. Today I'm making a brew, putting on ANTM, and resting, before hopefully an early night. I may even have a beer as the AC isn't here.

Last night's picture

I went up to tuck the child in last night for the 5th time, after a world of up and down-ness and he was already asleep. Looks like he found what he needed to go to sleep with.

Now tell me that their feelings for each other don't matter.

Look me in the eye and tell me.

You can't.

But he slept til 7.45 this morning, which was cool, and good for him!

It's a new day.

It's a new dawn.... and so on!

So far today I have put some lovely pictures up on Facebook (if you want to see them, just leave me a comment!) and made bread, made tea, put a load of washing in, curled up with the child, and just had some us time.

He has now gone to his fathers. I have rubbish tv on whilst I sort his uniform and so on.

He has

2 pairs swimming trunks
15 pairs socks
7 pairs pants
4 pairs trousers
6 white polo shirts
4 weekend t-shirts
2 pairs jeans
2 pairs joggers
2 pairs combats
school coat
school bag
school lunchbox

I have

4 new bras (that fit! Woo!)
7 pairs pants
1 pair jeans
4 pairs black trousers for school
4 t-shirts
3 long sleeve tops
6 pairs socks
funky new purple boots

We saved all over the place on deals, which was good.

But now it all needs washing, ironing, labelling. Ah well.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Coming home

The Welshlands were lovely, and there will be a suitable upbeat post about it all at some point in the near future, with Bad Godmothering and all sorts.

I was prepared to come home. I knew Rich wouldn't be here. I knew that we are now over 5 weeks, and that he's been cremated and scattered, although I have no idea really where. I was prepared for the emptiness after the AC had gone to bed again, and again and again, and may yet need putting back again, but I cannot do him the disservice of backsliding on him sleeping in with me. He is 6 now, and beyond such baby behaviour - and besides, how much would be for my benefit?

I wasn't prepared for the sudden sense of loss again. For the tears again. For the wanting and the missing and the needing and the I don't understand to hit me all over again. I love him. I know he loves me, I can still feel his love around me, and I get so much strength from that, but what we had was so good, so right, for both of us.

We'd never been this happy.

He loved being a family, not playing the charade of it he had with the She-Ex. He loved being him, not having to try and be what she thought she wanted that week. He loved the trust and the acceptance of who he was and how he was and he was happy.
I loved being a family, loved the AC having a father who cared about him, loved him unconditionally, played with him, planned for him, cherished him. I loved the way he loved me for who I was, appreciated what I did for him, and did little things for me, I loved the way he was building our home inside it's own shell, and I was happy and the AC was happy.

Maybe it's wallowing. I don't think so. He was a wonderful man, a fabulous partner, and an amazing father, and I don't see why that should be forgotten because it doesn't suit other people.

I miss him. I thought I was prepared to miss him again tonight, and I wasn't.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Wii bowling

I am so not the champion.

It's a fact.

But I'm microwaving garlic bread from earlier, so I clearly know how to live when at my friends house.

Good day, bought a shed load of school uniform and stuff for me, so all sorted, and some funky purple boots.

I'll list it all another day, but it was good.

And the AC went to bed at a reasonalble time tonight, which was good.

In the WelshLands!

Oh man I love train travel.

Yes, that's true. It's spottery of me (as in train spotter!) but it was great. I'll never use the car for long journeys because it's just too much fun.

anyway, I'll update this properly later because it's breakfast time!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

And we're off!

We don't have to pack much, as we are buying his new clothes down there.

I'm getting new clothes down there as I'm now down to 10st 2 now (about 142lbs) It's all ok so far, but I'm keeping an eye on it. Whilst I don't want to be enormous, I don't want to be super thin either!

Someone I'd known since I was a little little girl said yesterday "Well, you were never a skinny child were you?"

I mumbled something, and she added, "Well, you were never fat, but you were never a skinny child."

Which is true. I've always been a healthy weight apart from the stomach flu at Uni when I went to 8.5 stone, about 120lbs, which on my 5ft 3 frame is just not enough.

SO yeah.

Trains all sorted, getting tickets on the way.
Notices done, dropping them in on the way.
Child almost ready
Me almost ready.
Animals to feed, and we are out of here!

Yesterday it was texts that kept me sane. Weirdly, from an armourer and a rigger. They are such nice boys who show they care by sending rude jokes and letting me know what beer they are drinking, the same as they would have done before Rich died.

My life seems to be split into two halves now.

Before Rich died, after Rich died.

but it's ok. I can think of him, caring for our babies, watching over us, loving us, until we meet him again. He knew we were going to Carolines this summer, just now it's on the train and not the car.

Last night I talked to him for a long time, and it was good. For some reason when I went up yesterday our room smelled of him, his deoderant, and it was a warm and loving place. I am so proud to have been his girlfriend, been the person he wanted to marry and raise a family with because he wanted to, because he loved us as a family.

But I must get on before I get all maudlin again - need to leave the house in about 45 minutes!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Of trains and Derby and Chester Woo-wooo!

So there is a plan in place to rescue me from this doldrums.

1) AC and I get on the train at 0820ish tomorrow morning.
2) Change at Ely
3) Change at Leicester
4) Arrive Derby
5) Lunch, chat, See Old Haunts.
6) Depart Derby
7) Change at Crewe
8) Arrive Chester
9) Get collected by Caroline and breathe a sigh of relief.

Whilst with her we'll do the AC's school shopping, veg out, eat Jaffa Cakes, buy me some clothes that fit, then she'll drive back on Sunday, stay over night and disappear some time Monday morning.

Before we go I need to................

pack things for us - not much (after all, going to ASDA living!)
sort out the fish, cat and pig food (Rachel has offered to feed them!)
do the dishwasher
hoover through
clear the dining room table
Church notices

Sew more! The rainbow bargello-ish looks gorgeously good.

The heebie-jeebies are gone after more sleep and tears today. I've just got up from a 2 hour nap and feel much better.

I can't do this.

I can't do this.

Not right now.

I can't.

I cannot explain the hole in my person, the perpetual ache, the tears, the horror that is every day life without Rich.

We did everything together, or in the same space. We weren't apart when we could be together - we had so many apart times forced on us by the job, that we took every advantage to be together. We love each other so much, that I know, he's around, he wouldn't leave me.

But right now it's not enough, right now, I want him here, physically here, I want him to hold me and tell me he loves me and tell me I'm his gorgeous sexy darling, to wrap me in his big bear hug, cross his legs over me so he surrounds me totally, and just breathe with me.

Just be with me.


I don't know.

I don't know what else to do, what to say, how to say it, who to say it to. I've written to all the people who wrote such nice letters to us, I've written to the driver to say it's ok - because it wasn't her fault, it wasn't his fault, it was just a weirdoid accident, and sometimes they happen. I've written to the nurse who was there to thank her for trying so hard.

I want to shout and demand he is brought back right now. And I can't. I don't even know where he is scattered. Today that matters, or rather, right now that matters. I know later it will be ok, that I will pack these emotions up in a box and store them carefully until next time they break out, and I will cope and manage and do all the things I do so well, but it hurts.

Like I want to throw up, that kind of physical hurt.

And I feel like I can't do this any more.

But there are no other options. All the other options are, well, stupid and lazy of me.

So I will have a cup of tea, pull myself together, bleach the kitchen, and get on with it.


Need to start sorting out his clothes as well. :-(

Heebie Jeebies

I have them.

Last night I had a dream about the She-Ex which was awful, and I had one about the Family Picnic which was awful.

Those kinds of dreams I can live without.

No, really!

I don't often dream about the She-Ex, and even more rarely do I dream about her with the BG, but the BG was in this dream as well, looking small, and basically in the same age and condition she was when she left.

Rich and I had talked a couple of times, about the fact that her face was still imprinted on our minds, a small child, untidy hair and tear streaked face, being dragged away from her father. The She-Ex was crying too. I think she thought he'd say "Don't go!" but she'd made her decision, and he wanted her to take some responsibility for her own actions, instead of doing something and then blaming it on everyone else but herself. This one, there was no one else to blame. She chose to go, she chose to take the BG away, and now that little girl will never see her father again. That's a hell of a responsibility to take when she's older. Eventually, BG will ask what happened, and now there will be no other side to the story, it will just be the fabrications of her mother.

Maybe that's better. Maybe the lack of confusion will be better for her. No doubt I will be the Queen of All Evil, and that's ok, it'll give the She-Ex a scapegoat. But I always promised him she'd know the truth one day, and she will, somehow.

But that's the kind of heebie jeebies I have today.

Shower, then cup of tea, and see if they go!

I sewed

all night.

And I mean from 7pm to gone midnight.

I think if I put in a couple of hours tomorrow, I'll have some idea what this will look like. And I'll put the pictures up.

But I didn't cry all night. That's a good thing.


Bob and I chatted for a bit, and that was nice. I've sent a couple of texts. I've had communication, but much more gently. It's good.

I missed out on a long call with Annilee this afternoon though, and I'm going up to see Caroline on Thursday, so LOTS of communication with those two! Who are great. And Welsh.

Are all Welsh people great?

Am I babbling?

Oh yeah.

No babble monitor. Missing him. Maybe should sew more?



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Acceptance and Resignation

'My peace I give you...Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.' JOHN 14:27

Jesus says to us: 'My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.'

The peace Jesus gives is like a magical blanket that wraps around you silencing every unkind word, soothing every out-of joint emotion. This peace comes from knowing you're God's child - that's right God who controls the universe, loves you and always has your best interests at heart. That's why people who've lost everything will often tell you they wouldn't go back because of how precious that peace has become to them.

Joni Erikson Tada discovered this supernatural peace when an accident paralysed her from the neck down, and Corrie Ten Boom found it in a Nazi death camp.

Missionary Elisabeth Elliot found it ministering to the primitive Amazon tribe who'd killed her husband. She wrote, 'Only in acceptance lies peace...not in resignation.' There's a big difference between those two words!

Writer Creath Davis points out that: 'Resignation is surrender to fate; Acceptance is surrender to God. Resignation lies down quietly in an empty universe; Acceptance rises up to meet the God who fills that universe with purpose and destiny. Resignation says, 'I can't'; Acceptance says, 'God can.' Resignation says, 'It's all over for me'; Acceptance says, 'Now that I'm here, what's next, Lord?' Resignation says, 'I'm alone'; Acceptance says, 'I belong to you, Lord.'

A better day?

Today is a better day.

I have pottered around, tidying up. I have spoken to my parents on the phone, to lovely Annilee on the phone, I have thought about the Visit to the Welsh Lands, which I am *so* looking forward to. I've phoned ahead to the ASDA there to tell them to double their Jaffa Cake order for those few days, although apparently there are other supermarkets should we consume everything of a orangey chocolately nature in that particular one.

I have stopped, looked for my sense of peace about the actions of others, found it, and moved on.

The next post is why.

And again....

Again I have slept through the Star Wars IV film. The first one, which stopped being the first one a few years ago.

I've slept through so many films, snuggled up to Rich, warm, safe and loved.

Tonight it was Charlie-Paul though, so I wasn't snuggled up!

Tired though, so going to bed, hopefully to sleep more than 3 hours. A girl can hope...

Rich and I tried to watch a Star Wars film once, and I went to sleep, and got cold. I woke up to find he'd taken his jumper and wrapped it over me, to keep me warm. That's the kind of thing that made me really start to love him, that kind of love and care and consideration for the feelings of others, and the way he thought about my needs.

He's amazing, and I love him.

And I *know* he's not coming home, but I can still wish he would.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh yes...

... to do....

guinea pig cage,
more letters
wipe sides in the kitchen
hoover front room.
make bread.

That shouldn't take too long.

Stiff talking to! And kisses.

I have given myself a stiff talking to, aquired a stiff upper lip, and have sewed a lot of squares today, randomly.

I'm going to use the purples, reds and greens to make a big throw for the bed upstairs, and I want to do that before I start on the memory quilts for the children. That is such a finite amount of material!

I've also got some blues and greens to use up, and some lilacs, and some patterns, and in fact a LOT of material. And that's ok.

I've heard from Rich's credit card company today who have been very helpful and appreciated getting the information that they needed for this to be sorted out. Something else sucessfully placed into the SEP field.

I have written cards to thank all of the super important people that wrote to the AC and I after Rich's death, and have been slightly awed by the ranks and addresses I have had to use! Wow, they are some bigwigs! lol!

I have made a strong cup of tea, drunk it, and am about to go and make another one. I've eaten boiled eggs and airmen, I have tidied the kitchen and the dining table, and actually, when I list it like that, it wasn't a bad couple of hours.

I had a phonecall to make sure I was ok, from the Authorities, based on the fact it is a calendar month today.

I sat in the quiet time, and I talked to him, and I said I missed him, and that I love him so much. And from nowhere there was a bouncing off of the road rainstorm, which I choose to take as him missing me too. The weather was always something that he was able to predict and use to his advantage, and whilst it may be poppycock later on, right now, I feel it.

The first time we kissed was during a massive thunderstorm. We were outside, drenched in the rain, loving it, because I love thunderstorms. It was right overhead of us, and so loud and so bright. Rich was stood behind me, and I turned to look up at him to say something, and he just leant down and kissed me. We stood, for what felt like the longest time, arms around each other, like something in a soppy film, utterly drenched, looking at each other, and he said afterwards that he wasn't sure if I would run away or not, but when I tilted my face back up to him, he knew. And then we kissed some more. Lots more actually. I had never been kissed in such a heartstopping way. And now I'm sitting here with a big grin, just thinking about it.

Later, when the thunderstorm had moved on, we came inside, and he borrowed some tracky bottoms and a tshirt, and we had cheese on toast, and he had coffee and I had tea. And we talked.

Not long afterwards, we went to the Christmas do together, and things progressed from there, but that was our first kiss. And it was magic.


today I am tired, nervous, afraid.

There is a lump under my breastbone that will not shift, because it's just a lump of emotion, and fear. A fear of life without him, a fear of life without the love and strength he gave me so willingly. Somehow, sometime, it has become essential to my being, that I have this, like a drug, like the more there is the more I want.

To not even know properly where he is scattered is more painful that I can admit, even to myself. To not be there to let him go, myself, when I was the only reason he stayed, is a failing on my part. I know he won't see it that way, and he will be providing of slaps upside the head to various people when we all meet again, and that for me there will just be his arms around me, my head on his chest, his lips kissing the top of my head and his voice in my ear, telling me again that he loves me, he's missed me, and he's glad we are together.

I prefer the numbness to this. The pain is too raw, too much, too much. And yet........

See me plaster on my game face.
See me pull it together for the child.
See me stand up to my full height, which isn't a lot, and face the world head on.

I will not hide in a corner and cry.
I will not make my child unhappy with excessive tears.
I will not depend on others for my emotional stability - they all have lives and loves of their own.

I will be...


The end of the first month

This time last month, I wrote *this*

We were so happy in our lives.

Now I'm sitting here, after 3 hours sleep (1am ish to 4.30ish) and I am peaceful and calm, and alone.

The AC turned up in my bed at 4.30 am, bad dreams, wants Rich, so I hugged him until he warmed up, then just lay in bed, thinking.

It's been one hell of a month.

I can't even write about it right now.

It's madness, that's what it is.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


... going to bed now.


Not even Mini-Me blogging. Nope.

I'm not tired, but I have to sleep - been up since 4 and actually got to sleep around 1am, so need more sleep than that. And when I was asleep, I dreamt we did go to the Big Family Picnic that we've been invited to, and it was a Good Time With The Family except for a couple of really weird things, like people being part of this family that I know aren't, but apparently in my dream the Family were taking over the world.


Rich never mentioned these picnics, I don't know if he and the She-Ex and the BG went, I suppose they must have when they were living down there.

To be honest, I can't think of anything I want to do more, or do less. I'd love to go and see his family, but at the same time, they didn't know the loving family man that I knew.

I changed my Facebook photo today, to one of the AC being zipped into a flak jacket ready for the desert. I didn't know then the action it would see, obviously! But I remember them doing it, stood in the front room, the AC trying on all the desert kit, and believing Rich when he said that it would keep him safe. It didn't cover his arms though, but luck is luck. He had his fair share out there.

The AC was and is so interested in Rich's job. What it was, what he did, how he did it, why he did it, what he wore, all that kind of thing. They loved fixing things together, heads bent over something, or Rich lifting the AC to sit on the side so he could see inside the bonnet of the car and make the right noises. Rich had all the patience in the world with him, always willing to explain. I've found some lovely video of them talking about parachutes and doing experiments.

I think, sometimes, it's harder on the AC than any of us, because, as I've said before, they were so important to each other - Rich was the AC's world, and although he was aware he had to share Rich with the BG, he never minded that, he knew Rich loved him, and knows he loves him still. There are things that the AC wants to put in his memory box, that make me laugh, but are so them.

Ah well.


Everything is fine...

... and then suddenly


Like a kick in the stomach
Like a bang to the head
Like a camera flash to the eyeballs
There it is again.

And there you aren't.

Damn. I hate it when that happens.

Should I worry....

.... when I go out to get the washing in, and the child whom I have left in the bath appears, covered in foam, obviously in the nude, in the garden, with a large foam lump coming out of his tummy, telling me that he hasn't been born yet, he still has the tube!

Now I DEFINITELY want the other trouser leg!

No response and trouser legs

There's been no response to my "Wait a little" email to the She-Ex about her grasping already for things.

And it is just things.

After all, when she left the house on base to move back to the States, she said she had everything that she wanted.

Logically, that says to me that anything in this house, is things she didn't want.

So yeah.

We'll see. If she asks for specific items, I'll consider it, in the same way that my wishes have been considered. And after last week, it's hard to be gentle. There's a couple of weird things in her email though, that don't make sense, but I'm guessing it's between those two, and I'm staying well out of it. I just don't need it!

I suspect the whole thing is just to try and wind me up to be honest. She's angry about something (probably the money) and so she's lashing out. And that's ok. She's got over it before, she'll get over it again.

We've had a lovely afternoon with a friend of mine from school, who I saw for the first time in ages at Tesco's 3 days after the accident. And today we went for tea, and it was great. Very chatty, she's still the same!

And I came home, and on the way, the other trouser leg of time (to paraphrase Mr Pratchett) came into course, and I could hear the conversation that Rich and I should have been having, about where I'd been, and how we'd got on, and what it was like, and a few stories from my past, and maybe a couple from his, and then crumpets, and tea, and bath the child, and bed for the child, and some tv, then play WoW together, make cups of tea for each other, or a summer ale as it's warm, and bath for me, and him "interrupting to make sure I'm ok" and go to bed, all snuggled up and *ahem*! And then get up in the morning, make sure the AC is ready for his father, and go back to bed, and get up later and putter about and think about Ellie, and just do nothing and everything.

And in *this* trouser leg of time, I came home, and I made crumpets, and I wrote in my blog and had a text from an armourer to see how I am (bless those boys!) and it's still warm, and I may still have an ale if I have one in the house, but I probably won't, and I'll drink tea, and maybe I'll sew or play WoW and eventually I'll go to bed, sleep from sheer exhaustion, and then get up in the morning to send the AC to his fathers and clean and sort and clean and sort and write letters of appreciation to people. And sew and play WoW and clean and sort.

Weird how this trouser leg is. I wonder if there's a hole in the knee where I can get over to the other one?

Matthew 5 : 4

There's been a number of Bible verses that have given me great strength in the last 4 weeks.

Today, unbidden, Matthew 5 : 4 came to mind. Maybe it was an email, maybe it was a Facebook thing, I don't know. But today it is this verse.

"Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

It comes after a day which started at 0430 with my son kicking his juice onto the floor and the glass it was in breaking. I got all the glass up, mopped up the juice, remembered not to go and write Rich an e-Bluey about it, and thought about going to sleep.

I couldn't.

So I logged on to see what the world was up to.

And it's up to trying to cause grief. There's no other word for it. Why else would someone answer an email 2 days later, and with a hugely antagonistic attitude? Who knows. I surely don't.

It's all going to degenerate into "I wants!" from people now I think. And there's a word I'm looking for....... TOUGH!

LOL. Ok, maybe that's not the word. Maybe the word I want is "Wait".

The AC and I are mourning for Rich, not wallowing in the pseudo-grief that I have seen and heard of, but mourning with a profound, life changing emotion, that is, at the same time, doing that which grief should do - waning, changing, growing a new us.

Waning - the initial impact has almost gone. That's not unreasonable - after all, if I was still making the cow noise at this stage I might need sectioning myself! It would be of no benefit to the AC, of no import to Rich, and be a pain in the rear end for those around me. And besides which, I get all swollen and snotty when I make the cow noise. Really people, it's not attractive!

Changing - so it's changing. Into a long aching emptiness. Into an expecting to see him ness. Into an incredulousness. Into a physical wrench in the stomach that is just *there*. I can live with it, I can function, I can care for my son, chat with my friends, write the church notices, change the bedclothes, cook a meal, do *stuff*. And it is just always there. It's like living with the arthritis that I Officially Do Not Have. The pain is always there, and every now and again it really kicks.

Growing a new us - The AC and I have to go back to being just us. The She-Ex would have it that I was never a single mother like she was, and I won't argue with her. I was single, I was a mother, it was just different, that's all. And now I'm there again, but without my best friend. And that's ok. Our old ok was fabulous, this ok, is just.... ok. We will have fabulous times again, I know, and I will make them happen because something like this can scar a child for life, and I see no reason for that to be Rich's legacy.

So on we go.

We are blessed in our mourning, because we are being comforted - by friends, family, Facebook, Rich and God. We can rest in all of that love, climb up, face the world, and return to it when the world is all too much.

There are many worse ways to grieve, with guilt, anger, pain, lonliness and without a security in where the spirit has gone. We are lucky, the AC and I, in so many ways. We shall be comforted.

Jokey forwarded emails.

I don't usually do these, but I thought I would this morning - after the way my day started I could do with a laugh!

Here's the test.... Later today I'll put up my answers, as to be honest, I know some people read the blog backwards, and I'd hate to spoil the surprise for you!







1st. Get PEN and PAPER


3rd. GO WITH YOUR FIRST INSTINCTS!!!!! It's very important for good results.




On a blank sheet of paper, WRITE NUMBERS
1 through11 in a COLUMN on the LEFT.

1 & 2,


3 & 7,




next to
4, 5, & 6 .


8, 9, 10, & 11







THE PERSON YOU LIKE but your relationship CANNOT WORK is in

YOU CARE MOST about t he PERSON you put in

















Mini-Me blogging

I've borrowed, with a view to purchase, a friends eee-pc. It's tiny. I've nick named it the mini me. It'll be easier to carry around than the laptop though, if I do decide to get it, although it is absolutely TINY!

It's been a good day, all in all. There have been some tears, but not so many, there has been laughter and smiles and playing and friends round and cleaning and doing and talking.

Tonight, we were talking about beaches. I was talking about the time that the She-Ex was angry because the BG remembered going to the beach with the She-Ex and her Daddy and it wasn't the She-Ex, it was me. We had a lovely day that day. The BG was wearing a pretty white dress I'd bought her when I saw it in town one day, and the AC was loving being out and about. Rich drove and we were supposed to be going to a castle that day, but we didn't, it was too expensive, so we went to the beach, and there were very few people there. We had a carton of juice and crisps, and the children ran around and collected stones ad dared each other into the sea. Rich and I sat, leant up against each other, chatting, and it was a picture perfect moment of how family life should be.

Later, he told me it was one of the reasons he knew that he and She-Ex couldn't be together, for the BG's sake, because she should be free and happy and running about like that, and he wanted that for her so badly. He said it was a glimpse of normal family life, which he realised, that day, was what he wanted. not necessarily with me, that came later, that realisation, but if it could be with the She-Ex, then good, and we talked about how he could try and help that to happen, but eventually it was clear it wouldn't. But t was a glorious day, and I don't mind who that little girl thinks was there, I'm just glad she had a memory of her Daddy, because now, that's all she'll ever have.

And that's so damn sad.

But as the AC said "He can see her whenever he wants now." and he can. And that's a *good* thing.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Sleeping in shirts

The AC has just got out of bed, fumbled about in our room, then got back into bed.

When I checked, he was wearing one of Rich's work t-shirts. *tears*

"I miss Richard Mummy."

"Yes, baby, I know."

"We all do don't we?"

"Yes baby, we all do."

"But he's better now he can see BG isn't he Mummy? That will make him happier, won't it?"

"Yes baby, it will."

"Does she know he can see her now?"

"I don't know sweetheart. I don't know."

4 weeks.... and icecubes.....

... icecubes.

That's what life feels like at the moment. As if everything I try and do, is like picking up icecubes. I think I have it, I think I'm doing it, and then I realise it's slipped away and I'm sitting on the floor, staring at nothing. Or standing staring at nothing. Or staring at his cap, or his jacket, or the car, or where he sits, or.... you get the idea.

The house is falling around my ears, and I have to get a grip for the sake of the AC. I cannot allow him to grow up in squalor.

Financially, we'll be ok. The world is doing ok in that respect at the moment.

Family wise, all is well. There is an invite to the Picnic in my inbox from one of the Aunts. I'm pretty undecided at the moment - it's 4 hours in the car or more by train, but I feel like going, if only to show that I am not unhappy with the Family. Yeah, they get a capital letter. That's the kind of feeling I get from them - lots of them, well organised, purposeful. It's not a bad thing.

She-Ex wise, there's been a couple of things, but I fixed the blog again (going to have to look at that as I suspect she thinks I'm doing it on purpose, and I'm not. She asked for the login details, but Rich didn't want her to have them, so *shrug* I understand his reasoning!) Oh, and it's *my* fault there was no insurance. I think she'd find, if she could speak to Rich, that it was because there was no divorce. Oh well. It's a couple of terse emails. I can live with it. I have done for the last almost 4 years, and with the benefits of living with Rich and the efforts to protect him and his little contact with BG. I can live with it now.

He-Ex wise, he's not paying any maintenance, and that's the way it is. I've told him we can manage until September, because I want him to carry on taking the AC out places now that Rich and I can't. Although driving lessons should start again soon, with a view to passing my test around October hopefully, and getting Ellie or the Disco on the road. Sorted. I've got to do it now, as opposed to it being useful before.

Electricity bill wise - I still *can't* pay it. I have the money, but I'm not allowed to pay it until the 28th. Even though I asked. Even though I gave them new readings. Even though a thousand things. No. They do not want me to pay until then!

Sarah-watch is winding down as we hit the 4th week, and I'm quite seriously not going to implode with grief or something. It's been fabulous, and I've loved it in many ways, but there comes a time when a girl has to stand on her own. I can't go on depending on other people )my mother especially, who has been amazingly supportive) for ever. The world goes on. I will go on.

Ashes wise, I am still in shock. But I'll get over that too.

Things to do list for tomorrow, then for before school, then for me going back to school, then for a few days at Carolines, then for London, those must be done.


I have a to do list of to do lists!


But yeah.

Icecube life is weeeeeird!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Family and friends

Today the AC and I did what we always do on a Thursday.

We walked to town, we got the bus, and we went to see my parents and go to the market and just putter about town. And it was great.

We had lunch.

We went back to my parents place and I slept on the sofa for a while.

We went over to see Fran and the children (Ru is up a crane somewhere in Greenwich!) and we played. We came home via the Golden Arches as a treat for the AC, and he's now in bed, reading a book on Inline Skating.

All so terribly normal.

And yet there were terribly abnormal things in the day.

PC Ian had read me the witness reports on Tuesday. I know now exactly what happened. Precisely. It was hard hearing, but now I know. And that's ok. But when the AC asked me "Did a wheel go on Richard Mummy?" I had to decide what to tell him. Does he need to know all the details? No. Not yet. Maybe when he's bigger, maybe not.

Someone asked me about the scattering, and I had to tell them what had happened. They were shocked, and told me I was too reasonable. What difference will unreasonable make now? Two wrongs will not make it right.

The waves of nausea are still there. I'm now down to 10st4. -144lbs. That's almost a stone now (yeah, the weight had crept on because of Feb and April, but that's ok.) The nausea is making it difficult to eat, but that's ok, I'm getting there slowly. As long as I stay over 140 I'll be fine. I could stand, medically, to lose more, but I'd rather not! 140 - 160 is about my limit really. There's not medical reason for me to go over that weight again!

Those things are abnormal.

But the rest, the rest is becoming my new normal. And it's ok. As a new normal goes, it's ok.

I have a plan for the next 3 weeks, and when it's getting there, I'll do a longer one. And it's ok.

It's all ok.

Ok, is the new normal. The new wonderful and fabulous, is now, without Rich, just ok.

But hey - I guess I have a pretty spiffy life still right? Yeah baby. Oh.... apart from.....

Status updates and meteors

is deciding whether to stay up and watch the meteors or not. Probably not. But I remember standing in a field to watch some, wrapped in Rich's coat, (yeah, he was wearing it at the time!) and him telling me about meteors. Romantic? Maybe. Geeky? Yeah. Warm and loving and special? :-)

And it was. I loved the feeling of standing with his arms around me, leant against his chest. Often he would randomly kiss the top of my head - he was that tall!

We watched meteors like that.
We watched the Red Arrows like that.
We watched landrovers race, and twist off, and soldiers fight at Naseby, and a thousand and one other things, just like that. It was like being in our own bubble of twoness. The AC would come and stand with us, and slide his arm between us, so that he was entwined as well. Into a threeness. Rich would bubble the world around us, as he put it, keeping everyone else away, keeping us safe. He will never abandon us in that way. Even the AC knows that Rich can now fight the bad dreams from the inside out, instead of just from the outside in.

I know he's taking care of me, because I know what I know. So much of the world is now in an SEP field, because of his actions, and I don't need to worry about it. That's a warm feeling, that's one that says he's taken care of us, even from beyond the veil.

It seems impossible to look at the pictures of him, and realise that he is gone from this world, but he is, and I know it, but even now, I know he's around. The world may think that's crazy, but I know real love never ends, and this won't. Because it was real. Not based on what he could do for me, or my own poor self esteem, but based on his love for me, as a person, and as the person I could be.

Yes, he wrapped the AC and I and kept us safe, but we did the same for him in our own ways. The AC was able to let him play, in a way he couldn't with the BG, because she was gone from him. I loved him and supported him and was the woman he loved and wanted, the girlfriend he was proud of. The woman who made him want to be a better man.

And he was better. For us, for BG, for himself, he was better. And I love him. I can feel his love for me.

So bedtime.

G'night folks.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Today's quote?

"I had thought — I had been told — that a 'funny' thing is a thing of a goodness. It isn't. Not ever is it funny to the person it happens to. Like that sheriff without his pants. The goodness is in the laughing itself. I grok it is a bravery . . . and a sharing… against pain and sorrow and defeat."

Stranger in a Strange Land.

I grok this.

Laughter and joy as a bravery and a sharing against pain, sorrow and defeat.


I shall think some more.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just when you think it can't get any worse...

.... it does.

And that's ok.

I can cope, I can deal with it, and I will not give in.

I have friends I can call on, and I did, and then spent the evening at a local base, drinking beer and eating pizza. Well. I had a beer and 3 slices of pizza.

We watched some John Dunham. I did some thinking. I thought about the shock I had had earlier in the day, the sense of anger and loss, and I began to grok it.

I'll get there.

But not tonight. Tonight I'm going to bed.

Tonight I choose to ignore the stupidness of the day, and think about watching a film.

We watched War of the Worlds, with Tom Cruise. We sat together on the sofa and watched it. When I woke up, it was almost over, and I was lying snuggled up against Rich. He had his arm along me - not round me, just along me. He was watching the film, and absent mindedly drawing patterns on my arm with his finger. And I realised this was a good friend. I only ever fall asleep on people I really trust. We stayed up so late that night, talking, eating cheese on toast and drinking tea, sat on the back step, it was hardly worth me going to bed when he left, but it cemented our friendship, totally.

He was my best friend, the best I had. He grokked me in a way no other person ever has.

To bed then, to dream of bad films!

Over a week....

.. since the Celebrations.

I still haven't heard what the BG thought about it all, and I guess that's the way it is. She wasn't able to be there, so I guess it was just another set of pictures for her. And that's ok. I'd rather that for her than the AC's broken heartedness any day. I love her, I don't want her in pain. I love him, I don't want him in pain, but he has lost the man he loved and wanted to be, so of course, he is. She has a different pain, I guess, and I'm glad it's not possible for it to be the harsh one of constant reminder.

At the end of this week it will be 4 weeks since Rich died. Monday will be a calendar month. Already.

And life is still carrying on. The sun rises and sets, the people come and go, the flies get on my nerves, the world turns. The AC and I are emerging from the flooding of our grief, into the calmness of the aftermath, into the functioning that has to occur.

Today I need to do lots of things.

Find the table again after excavating the dining room side thing. Dad and I are going to look at completing a lot of the work that Rich and he had discussed about the house, that Rich had asked for help or advice on, or had just said what his plans were. So we're going to rack all this wall, and bookshelve it! Wooo!

Clean the kitchen sides - it always needs doing lol! Just a wipe, but it's a plan.

Sew more pinwheels.

Plan the cover.

Obviously get showered and dressed and so on.

Phone Annilee.


Think about the rest of the holidays with the AC - we only have 3 weeks left at the end of this week! He's had a good time with his father, he loved going to the Armoury, we've had day trips to Sandringham with Rachel and her children and so on.

Phone about driving lessons.

Phone about theory test/ Hazard Perception Test

Be still and know that He is God.

Watch ANTM. - you want to make something of that? lol!

Make a bank appointment to open the AC's new bank account.

Write Church notices.

Sort through Rich's clothes from the clean washing pile. (Not looking forward to this, although lots of it is just pants and socks in there)


It's a long list, and other things will go on it and things will come off of it, but so far today I have completed my inital morning routine - up, clothes, feed Fudge, feed Joe, hair, cup of tea, emails. I need to start adding things to that slowly, ready for back to school. We have to be organised for back to school. Mum and I are doing an ASDA run for school uniform at some point soon, and I'll get the AC's shoes, trainers and plimsolls in town after payday, I also need to make him a dentists appointment and an eye check.


Second cup of tea, and then on we get!

Monday, August 10, 2009

E-card Shmee card

I tried sending the BG an e-card earlier, for her back to school-ness. We always do. So I thought I would.

I hope it gets there, but if it doesn't, I hope she knows we love her anyway.

I guess hope is all there is.

On the other hand, I made pinwheel blocks that meet properly in the middle. That's got to be worth something, right?


Bedtime. I can "hear" him laughing at me, telling me I'm babbling and so it's bedtime. He's right lol. Wish he was here to take me up.

That's the funny thing about all of this dying thing. It's why St Bab's prayer was so good for him. To change the world by my hidden acts, it says, and that's what he did. He changed my world with his hidden acts. The small things he did, that he did just for me, just to make my life nicer. The small things I did for him, just to make his life nicer. And it's the small things I miss. The casual touches, the back-of-the-neck-as-I-was-passing kisses, the random drinks, and the silly msn messages.

Just little things.

I guess little things do mean a lot.

Still babbling though. Still bedtime.

G'night folks.

Paying it weirdly forward.

Paying it forward.

Someone does something nice for you, you pay it on forward.

Just now, I was sewing half square triangles, getting my sewing back on track before I start The Quilts, and there was a knock at the door.

It was a boy, about 18? in full bike kit, with his mate, proper textiles kit. They'd seen a bike parked outside here before a lot, and knew a biker lived here. He wanted to borrow a 10 mm spanner as his front brake had seized on. I found him an adjustable spanner, and he fixed his bike. Little Honda CBR job. Nice little thing, his mate had a Yamaha. He apologised for startling me, and I explained it was not the knock on the door, but the bike kit, and I said what had happened to Rich. His mate's dad was one of the firemen who went out to the scene, and I asked him to thank his father for me. He replied, "It's his job!" and I smiled and still asked him to thank him for me.

I told him to keep the spanner, and if he was passing back this way, drop it through the letterbox, if not, it's fine. I couldn't let him on his way, knowing his brake might seize on again and he'd have nothing to sort it with.

And I gave him a minor telling off for being out with no high-visability vest, His mate had one, and they were paired riding, so I'm not so worried, but he promised to put one under his seat.

He probably thinks I'm a weirdo. But it was nice to be able to pay forward so many of the kindnesses shown to me recently, and to do it for a young lad, just starting biking.

Thanks Rich. I needed to do that, and to do it for a biker? That's Rich that is.....

Difficult day and a warm memory

Today has been hard in places.

We have been sorting and filing and moving and generally doing the big sort out of the front room that Rich and I had planned. His handwriting is everywhere, our books remind me of him, the Potato Heads remind me of him, the chair where he sat and the coaster he used and so on are all still there.

And I moved them.

I had to.

We can't live for years with a Richard-Shrine. I'm not going to forget him and move on, but I can't leave his empty cup where it was (and it was empty, not mouldy!) just in case he comes back - he's not coming back.

Today I've had several of the weirding out episodes as well, where life just gets too strange and my mind takes a break for a while. All very normal, inasmuch as any of this is normal, so I'm not worried about it, but I do need to apologise to Caroline for weirding in the middle of a phone conversation!

Rachel and Stacy were round earlier, and then Mum, then Mrs O (who found my diary! YAY!) then Ru, then just Mum, and now no-one. I've randomly sewed, I've chilled, I've panicked, I've calmed down again. That's how life is. The AC is at his fathers. They're camping.

I've found out how much it is to insure the Landy, and it's doable, so that's cool, I'm getting stuff sorted for that, do my test, have some wheels, and putter about.

But right now, I'm going to have a cup of tea, and probably clear the sofa, watch some ANTM, and think about what I need to do tomorrow.

I was digging through some pictures earlier, and found more of the AC and Rich that I had forgotten, of us at a show somewhere - I think it was a Spring LRO, and sitting in the back of the Rangy, eating picnic.

Actually, it wasn't. This was the Battle of Naseby. Fabulous day. Just a spur of the moment thing to decide to go and see what Charlie Paul did with the Knot.

We did that a lot. Pack up lunch, go off somewhere randomly, wander around, then back to the car, sitting in the tailgate and eating, chatting, deciding if we had missed anywhere or if we were finished. We would go home eventually, AC asleep in the back, Rich singing to the music under his breath, and usually driving with his hand on my hand, or on my leg. Warm, enclosed, happy memories, with all of us feeling seriously loved by the others. Almost the perfect life in so many ways.

Well "apart from" the obvious.

Going to bed

I'm not fond of going to bed any more.

But I just reread the last post, and I remember that feeling, the look in his eyes, the way he stumbled on his words, and the glimmer of confusion that happened behind his eyes. He said later he never imagined that the kind of love that we had, was really real. It was film romance love, rather than what he had before, because this was, truly, never ending.

So I'm wrapped in his love as I go to bed, remembering the feel of the soil under my feet, the cold beer in my hand, and the softness of his voice, the humour, the laughter, and the friendship that we had.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ride a white swan...

Rich knew what he wanted for his Celebration. We'd talked about these things at 4am, like friends and couples do. Sitting in my back garden on base, having a beer and putting the world to rights, we talked about a lot of things.

He would be chatting to Lee, or Caroline, drinking Badgers Golden Glory, or another summer ale. The boys would be smoking, the twins asleep in the pushchair and the AC in bed upstairs, with the windows open so I'd hear him if he yelled.

I would be gardening, barefoot in the dusk light, skirt kilted up around my waist, and I would look up to see him watching me, just watching. He loved me then, he said later, he just didn't know it, because he'd never felt it that way before.

Often, we'd all still be there at midnight, just sharing and talking. Just being together. Being friends, being the people we wanted to be but hadn't been allowed to be, because others had wanted us to fit their mold.

And songs came up, and he wanted this.

All the songs we had at his Cremation and Celebration meant something to he and I, but this one will have made him laugh to know we played it in a church.....

Ride a white swan, TRex (click the link to see it on Youtube!)

Ride it on out like a bird in the sky ways
Ride it on out like if you were a bird
Fly it all out like an eagle in a sunbeam
Ride it on out like if you were a bird

Wear a tall hat like a druid in the old days
Wear a tall hat and a tatooed gown

Ride a white swan like the people of the Beltane
Wear your hair long, babe you can't go wrong

Catch a bright star and a place it on your fore-head
Say a few spells and baby, there you go
Take a black cat and sit it on your shoulder
And in the morning you'll know all you know, oh

Wear a tall hat like a druid in the old days
Wear a tall hat and a tatooed gown
Ride a white swan like the people of the Beltane
Wear your hair long, babe you can't go wrong

Da-da-di-di-da, da-da-di-di-da ....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Character creation

We created our new characters tonight, for Curt's new game. It's going to be good. Rich knew nothing of this game, and it's the first thing that he's known nothing about. That's weird.

But also, we laughed a lot, and although I cried a little bit, where no one could see me, we laughed a lot more. And laughing is good.

I don't know what the future has in store, but I am so glad I have good friends to share it with.

I was going to write a lot more, but I'm tired, so I'm off to bed. I will lie there, talk to Rich like we always did, and go to sleep. And because he said it so often, I will hear his "Goodnight my darling" as I drift off.

I'm lucky that when he died, he was loving AC and BG and I. There is nothing for us to feel bad about - we did our best for him just like he did for us. And he loves us still.


We may be a thousand miles apart, but he'll be with us, wherever we are.

He's already here.

night night

Friday, August 7, 2009

The other end of week 3

Today the AC and Nathan and Megan and their mother and I went to Sandringham to walk in the woods, let the children run off some energy and so on.

I phoned the Council Tax people to let them know that I was a single person occupancy house now. They are going to sort out lots of things, bless them.

I sorted out a couple of other things as well.

It's all going to be fine.

We went to KSW and the AC was great, and Sir spoke to him about his grading last week. When he asked the AC what the AC thought he ought to work on, apparently the AC said his forms. Which is exactly what Sir thought as well.

And he said he would ask Rich to help him, but he couldn't now.



Off to bed.

night night.

The end of week 3

Week 3

21 days without him.

21 days of no kisses, no cuddles, no random touches, no squeezing past, no loving, no sex, no nothing.

Interesting Cremation.
Lovely Celebration.
Fantastic support.
Great friends.
Bad news.

But no him. The vitalness that was him just slipped away that day.

It is still here, at times. In the dark of the night I can hear his voice, feel his touch in my dreams, and wake to think he is still here, that if I slide my hand back, I will feel the warmth of his body, smooth skinned and firm. That if I move my body back, to touching his, that his arm will come over me, pulling me into him, folding himself around me, legs over my legs, arms over my arms, his mouth on the back of my neck.

I miss him.
All of him.

Everything we did, we did together. Most of those things we did separately, but we did them in a shared space. He read, I marked books. He played games, I blogged. I baked, he tidied. We did different things in the same space.

But I know he loves me. And I love him.

Plan for the day....


washing machine and tumble drier are doing.
dishwasher needs to go on.
I'm showered, but need to dress, the child needs to dress.

Possibly we're going out with friends, but if not we'll go to town and get tea and cake.

We'll play Descent, we'll play on the Wii, and then later, the AC just asked if we could look at the pictures from Monday. He doesn't want to do it now, but later.

That's fine.

We also need to write thankyou cards and we need to think about who else we need to write to.

And I need to fill in the Child Tax Credit form so I can get the £10.50 a week. Mmmm. That's going to go a long way...

I wish...

.... Richard was still alive Mummy, because he made good quests."

The AC is struggling today.

To some extent, I am glad that the BG didn't know her Daddy properly in the last 4 years, that she hadn't been allowed to maintain a proper relationship, that her mother did choose to take her so far away, because that little girl doesn't have the immediate everyday hurt that the little boy on the floor playing Descent does. She isn't expecting a story in the evening, or looking up everytime a bike pulls into the layby. She doesn't think about what he would like for tea. She doesn't call him for help in wrestling games and then realise that he will never come. She has her own hurts, from a distance, and I am so sorry for those hurts, but I am glad that they are different to what the AC has, because his heart is broken.

I did the blog for her on Tuesday, and I have no idea what she thinks, how she's doing. I know she's back to school on Friday, and I hope that she does well, that this isn't used as some reason why she isn't reading properly yet. I worry so much about that little poppet, and I love her, and I refuse to turn it off.

When we talked about getting married, Rich asked me to make sure to look after the BG if anything happened to him. He said he knew he didn't have to ask me, because he knew I loved he, but it needed to be said out loud. And I promised I would.

Strange how things turn out.

But I love him, I trust him, and I know that whatever reason he had for leaving things the way he did, he did it for a good reason, and one that was the best reason for the AC, the BG and I. He knew he could depend on me to look after the AC.

I know he loves us, he told us on the day he died. We were so lucky.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Prayer of St Barbara

This is the prayer, read so wonderfully by the lovely Kev, at Rich's Celebration. It is bringing me strength and joy and helping me through this time as events unfold. It is a wonderful prayer, and I know that I am not small, I am not alone, and I *can* change the world through my hidden acts.

The Prayer of St Barbara, the patron saint of armourers, military engineers, gunsmiths, and those who work with cannon and explosives.

Prayer of him who suffers

Saint Barbara, many people around me lie. Teach me to resemble you by hating falsehood and treachery, and preferring everything to them – even social failure, even humiliation, even poverty,.

Saint Barbara, many people around me hate. Teach me to be like you by returning good for evil and by praying for those who hate me, remembering that Christ said: “If you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven”, and “The measure you use will be the measure used for you”.

Saint Barbara, I am crushed with suffering, and cannot bear any more. Teach me that suffering offered with love is alms, and that it can save a soul. Christ offered me such alms on the cross, and you imitated him in the torture chamber. This is how he saved the world, and how you converted your country.

Help me to remember under what conditions you lived: It will give me courage. Then I will see that I too, can achieve great things with that I have, and that if I do not like what is happening. I can change it by my hidden acts – even though I am small, even though I am alone.


Rich hated liars, he prefered to hear nothing than to hear a lie, he had stopped hating, and never hated some of the people he was accused of hating, he never deliberately tried to hurt or harm anyone, he suffered because of the acts of others, and he was brave, strong, and full of courage. He did change the world through his hidden acts, both my world and the world around him for the better.

I love him.
AC loves him.
BG loves him.
He loves us.

Those things will never change.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A day of tears and terrible behaviours.

Yesterday was a tearful day, as I let a lot of pent up emotion from Monday go. And I found out a couple of things that had happened, that I am trying to see the other person's point of view on.

So far I haven't, but it's ok, I'm numb from their action, so it's not painful yet!

So I am shutting my door, and walking away from the world for a while today. Whatever anyone wants they can wait. After all, no matter how long anyone waits, Rich won't come back to this world, so *shrug* wait some more.

Right now, I'm going into time out for a while.

See you in a bit people.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Cremation and Celebration

Can we believe that Ladies and Gents?

18 days without Rich.

The Cremation is over, and went fairly well, all things considered. There were pictures taken for the BG, as she couldn't be there.

He came down in the hearse, and the Marham people lined the route. I was so proud of them, so very proud. The coffin was borne in, led by the adorable Cpl A.

On his coffin was his cap, his medal, his belt and bayonet, and flowers from his mother. The flowers from AC, BG and I were just a small spray, that didn't go on the coffin when it was all beflagged, but didn't come back to church with us, because they went with him afterwards, as they should have done.

The AC and I followed the coffin in, followed by I-t-B and his girlfriend M, who seems very nice. The Crematorium was full. Full to bursting almost. There was standing at the back.

I-t-B did the Eulogy, then one of the Sqn Ldr's from Rich's old base spoke very highly of him. Then there was the committal, and the curtains closed around him as the Last Post played. And all I could hear was the AC crying softly. He wanted them to open the curtains again, just one more time. But then it would have been one more, and one more, and one more.

And there is no more.

And after the Silence, Reveille was played.

And then we mingled outside for a while, before heading down to church for tea and cake. Lots of cake. Big on the cake. The RAF lads were very appreciative of the cake. And tea. More tea. More cake.

Then the service, which went really, really well. The Church was filled to capacity downstairs, and more upstairs. Not bad for "a monkey in a uniform with no decency" And there were different people there to those at the Crematorium, mostly the same, but about 1/4 different. How amazing is that?

The AC, Charlie, and I brought in the things we had agreed, the personal symbols of him. His RAF dress cap, his sword, and his dice bag. All things so personal to him. Things which were about him and the person that he was.

We sang for him, we celebrated him. I managed the Bible reading, without much of a falter, I did my part.

Charlie and Curt shared about him. Caroline had sent a piece up, and Annilee, and obviously the children had sent a little piece in. AC's made people cry again.

Sam says “I like playing wrestling games with Richard. I liked watching him play Horbatha. I liked going to Pensthorpe with everyone to see the sword fighting. I was a bit scared but Richard said he was there and nothing could hurt me. I helped him fix my bike and he’s the only one who really knows how it goes together. He stopped my bad dreams and read books with good voices. I love Richard and want to cuddle him.”

I almost wanted to take his tears, and his words, and show them to the horrible person who had said that his feelings for Rich didn't matter, and Rich's for him didn't matter, and tell her to explain it to him now. Explain to our six year old son, that his feelings were of no account. And she saw him yesterday, in my arms, crying, and she looked away. But that is for another post, another time.

The minister spoke, and yes, some people won't have liked it, but that's ok. Yesterday was about Rich, not about anyone else.

We watched the pictures from his life, and Lonestar played our song.

We prayed, we sang "I vow to thee my country"

We had the blessings.

And then we played more pictures whilst people chatted a little, and the songs were ones that mattered.

T-Rex's Ride a White Swan.
Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer "I'm a Believer!"
Bonnie Tyler "Holding out for a Hero"

People had more tea and cake and I hugged people goodbye as they left.

Then a few of us went for a beer. Just a couple of them, because it wasn't about drinking, but about celebrating. I had given the Chief some bar money for the boys, and they were drinking in the Legion, and would have come out with us but couldn't as they were uniformed. I had some great texts from them though, and they are such a lovely bunch of boys.

And then we came home, and cups of tea were drunk, and that was really the end.

I went to bed, and finally, finally, cried.