Monday, November 30, 2009

t-8.5 and counting



Sleep was for the birds apparently.  AC had a bad one, and when I went to bed at 0030, he was crying at 0300, 0430, and then up at 0600.  He's fine today, little bit of a cold, little bit snotty in that delightful way that small children can be.

He's hardly small now.  He's 6.5 years old.  He has seen so much in his years.

So the plan for today. 

Make bread
Make cake.
AC to school.
See supply.
Get tights
Phonecall from Mark.
Hoover and so forth.
Get changed.
Go to the inquest.
Hear how and why and so forth Rich died.
Come home.
Mum is collecting the AC.
Feed the massed support with cake and biscuits.
Watch everyone go home.
Put the child to bed.
Spend a quiet evening with M-T-A who is on SarahWatch tonight.
No idea what time he'll go, but not late, he's on earlies.

Course tomorrow morning.

And then, Dear Reader, the rest of my life is sitting there, like an elephant in the corner.

Last night I was on the phone to AAM, who was asking how life was, when C phoned, so I hung up from A and spoke to C, and she was lovely, as she always is, and then M-T-A texted, and I texted him, and then he texted me, and then I phoned him, and cried down the phone for a while, and he reassured me and in the end he made me laugh and so that was ok.  Then I phoned my mother, who is Worrying, as is her right as my mother. And then I had texts from A, and then I spoke to AAM again.

Then I went to bed, read more of Anne of Green Gables on the ipodtouchreaderthingy and that was my evening.

Why cry?  Because of the hassle that I-t-B and the She-Ex have with each other.  Because inquests are only for dead people and this makes it official.  Because I'm tired, overwrought, and facing an uncertain future. Because with M-T-A I can cry - he doesn't love me, so he doesn't worry, he just accepts that right now I'm crying, and that's ok.  I know what I mean.

I could count on the fingers that stick out of my knees how many supportive comments I have had from the people who supposedly love Rich so much.  I would need to borrow fingers from the AC and others to count how many people have let me know they are thinking of us today, even WoW have been in touch.

But that's ok.

It's all stuff and money to the others, and it's a real friend to the latter.

I must go find the spray starch now, and get myself a stiff upper lip for today.

Later people.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I'm so nervous.

I'm almost in tears.

The child is safely tucked up in bed, having requested "Once there were giants in our house" which is a tear jerker in the silence of my room.

There is a gut wrenching denial of the fact that tomorrow I go to hear how he died.  There is a hatred boiling for those who cannot be bothered to be there, but want to benefit from his death, because all he was to them was a source of money, or a source of derision, or both, and now their greed is really showing.

I've just typed in an email to someone "It will all be fine.  It has to be.  There are no other options."  because it does have to be.

Right now it will never be fine again - how can it without him here?  How can it?  How can anything every be completely right again?

I'm not stupid, I know it will be, I know all that stuff, but right now none of it matters and I want him here, I want him to hold me and tell me it will be ok, and tell me that he loves me, and that I am his wonderful gorgeous darling, his amazing girl, his playmate, all those things.  I want to hold him and feel the strength inside him, feel his emotions, feel his energy.

And I can't.

So I'm sitting, almost in the dark, crying softly whilst I type.

Not being strong.
Not being brave.
Just being.

I will find my game face for tomorrow, and I will smile and I will be polite, and caring and lovely and all the things I am, but that gliding swan is for tomorrow.  Tonight I am a duckling, paddling like hell to stay afloat.


The countdown is still on.


Last night I found some paperwork.  It's important, this paperwork, because it makes something very clear.  And if it's as clear to others as it is to me, the boot may well be on the other foot.  Oh yes.

The question is, what would I do with that knowledge?  What could I improve?  Well, I could stop the arguing, and that would be nice for everyone.


It's just SO clear though.  SO clear.  It's the paperwork we were all looking for, and it was here, in his folder.  It's all dated and so forth, so it's all valid.


I'm going to sew tonight, to take my mind off of the feverish speculation.  If I'm wrong, nothing changes.  If I'm right? I'll be making a couple of polite enquiries, then seeing a solicitor.





Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday. T-51 and counting.

The Time reference is to the inquest.

It's Monday, 2pm.  I'll be there.  I'll have two lovely RAF backup.  I'll have lovely Pete who is such a rock.  Mum will pick up the Adorable Child from school.

I don't know how long it will take, I don't know what will happen, I don't know.

I know I love him.  I know that hearing the details of his death will be hard, but that the Family Support Officer will also be there, and he has read them to me before.

I know who will be there.  I feel so sorry for this woman, who accidentally killed him.  I don't feel anything bad towards her, and I hope she isn't in fear of seeing me.

I know I'm crying.

I also know it's Rich and She-Ex's anniversary today.  She stopped us having any of those, so she could hang on to hers.  Today though, that's ok.  Although I-t-B will never read what she wrote to him (she used an old email address I think) she at least appreciates what I am trying to do for BG.

I so badly want to phone BG, but today is not the day, for her mothers sake.  4 years ago though, on the first wedding anniversary since she and BG had gone to the States, only 2 months after they had gone, she had BG phone her Daddy to tell him that the video player was broken and could he come and fix it.  Hearing him have to explain, to his 3.5yr old, that no, he couldn't, not because he was too busy, but because he was too far away, was one of the most distressing phonecalls I have ever seen.  It was the first time I had ever seen pure malicious cruelty from a woman to the man she supposedly loved.  It wasn't caused by anger, but by nastiness.

Today I believe he can see BG, and us, whenever he wants to.  I believe he knows what is going on, and I know that it will all be fine, in the end.

Today I have
sent bluey's,
written emails
sewn some HST's
cuddled the cats
cleaned the sink
written the notices
planned work

and now I need to move on to getting things sorted out for this afternoon, when we have Thanksgiving here.  It will be lovely.

I'm tired though, so maybe a little nappette first......

Friday, November 27, 2009


I'm tired, and I'm going to bed.

It's been a weird day, that I just need to let mellow, so bed it is.

At 9pm.


It's my house.  Bothers none but me.

The argument thing is rumbling on, but slowed tonight after the She-Ex came to my defence.  She was so nasty to me last night, and then giving I-t-B what for today. 

Life is a funny thing.

Oh dear.

Oh dear.

Just oh dear.

Today is 19 weeks since I last saw Rich.  I'm still dealing with the stuff left over, even though I'm not the next of kin.  What else can I do?  It's not I-t-B or the She-Ex who gets the letters, because Rich lived here.

Last night there was a whole world of conversation about Rich's medal.  It was sent to BG apparently.  That's ok.  I'm fine with that.  I know how Rich felt about that medal.  When I look around the house though, where Rich's presence is everywhere, in his uniform, his clothes, his dressing gown (which even now I am snuggled up in!) his cups, his coats, his dice, his everything, is here.  Somewhere are his ashes.  Somewhere is the flag from his coffin, which was what was demanded so long ago by the She-Ex.  Somewhere is his medal.  These things were not apportioned by me, and I would have done things differently, and accorded the things of importance to those who deserved them and for whom they had relevance.

But at the end of the day, and perhaps with the security of a solicitor behind me, I know that what is here, is here.  What is there, wherever there is, is there.  I can't stop the bickering, although I will try.

I did refute the She-Ex's allegation that it was *me* who was trying to take the medal from BG.  I would never try and take something like that from a child.  It isn't that which I would have given her, but as long as it is kept safe (and that side of things does bother me, in all honesty) then that's the way it is.  She can't wear it, cuddle it, or anything like that.  Only I know the stories that go with it, which means that until she finds those out, it's pretty much just "something"

It's all so sad.

Sadder though, is the reasoning behind all this madness. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Seriously? Yeah! lol!

I just found this on the station page for the station Rich was at when he died.


Lori Kelley- Hannis my husband was stationed there....SAC Richard Hannis. 26/09/75-17/07/09

23 August at 15:26 · 

That's an interesting descriptor.

"My husband"


Lets look at some other names shall we? (We'll just do some of the 7 months of this year, because I have stuff to do.)

"you simple minded son of a bitch," 05/07/09 (I dated that one because 12 days later he died.)
"apparantly richard couldn't tell time"
"you need to get your head out of your ass
and tell us the damned whole story once in a damned while"
"jesus fucking christ grow the fuck up"
"you really are a low life scum at times arent you richard"

And as I was trolling through, I found this one - and after yesterday's phone calls, and the other calls I've had to make, it just made me laugh.

"I don't do what i can't pay for right away any more." 24/04/09

Seriously.  That's what she said.

Ah well.  It's started my day with a touch of reality.  She's still pretending lol!  And yes, I think it's funny in some ways, but also I feel sorry for her, that the guilt she carries for what she has done to him and BG, which can now never be undone, is causing her to be like this.  I am sad for her, that she can't face the reality of the situation.

I'm not angry and upset like I was yesterday.  I'll get on with life today - after all, I don't have someone else to make it all better for me, I have to fight my own fights, and that's ok.  Hopefully by not sending stuff on to her, and by dealing with it here, it gets dealt with quicker, and BG gets a calmer mummy.  We can but hope!


Very busy day today.


Ready........................ steady............................ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

enough is too much already.

I am tired of dealing with HER debt.

TIRED of it.

Tired of having to explain to debt collection agencies that he has died, that she is in the States and whilst she so badly wants the "my-husband-the-tragic-war-hero-give-me-the-flag-and-medals" stuff, the "I'm-next-of-kin-give-me-the-money" side of it all, she wants nothing to do with clearing up the crap.

Tired of justifying myself to strangers, because if I don't justify my position, I can't even talk to them and the letters will keep coming.

I bet she's loving all this.  I bet she is.

And I know when I calm down I'll be ok, but right now, this is just not fair.  She hated him, and she gets everything she wanted.

I love him, and all I want is him back, and not to have to tell another stranger that he's died, in a bike crash, and yes, I know he owes them money but there is no money.


More tea vicar.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

4 emotions in one day....

Today we did trip.  It was good - the children were well behaved, everything was organised, everything was good.


The Deputy Head, who was going with us, hadn't thought about the route.  My sense of direction is legendary, in that it is appalling, and so I hadn't thought about it.

And that's why, at 9.30ish, we were going past where Rich died.  I cried.  The children didn't notice - I was sitting at the front.  On the way back I didn't cry - I knew it was coming, I stiffened my upper lip and manned up for it.  On the way there, it was just such a shock.  Such a heck of a shock.

Never mind, right? Move on right?


Not yet.

I did buy advent calendars today though.  That was enjoyable!

I blogged to BG yesterday, but I haven't heard anything.

Monday, November 23, 2009

moan winge ad infinitum

I am poorly.

I have a stupid cold which is really being obnoxious, and I can't take tomorrow off because I have trip to do for the children.

Wednesday? Now Wednesday might be off.

The details for the inquest are confirmed, which is great, sorted, all ready to go.

Nelson's Journey came tonight.  Kit is lovely, AC was great, all is well, he is abnormal for a child of his age, but normal for a child going through what he's going through, and doing really well because of the positive memories of Rich, the fact he is mentioned most days and so on.  I'm doing something right!

There was something else, but my head is full of mush.

Oh I know.

I blogged to the BG tonight, just..... because.  I told her about Kevin, and about AC's yellow belt.  I may or may not hear from her, and that's ok.  In years to come I want her to know that she was in my thoughts, even without her Daddy here.  Still love her.

Bedtime now though. Tired.


I woke up to a memory this morning.

On 1st August last year (2008) my sister got married.  In Wales. Yeah. Wales.

It was a long drive,  We hired a car.  Rich was only just back from the 'Stan, and had been to Families Day, my grandmothers Celebration, and now was driving 6 hours to Wales.  We went down by the coast road, and at one point AC asked him about the Ocean.  Rich pulled up on the side of the road, and told him it was the Atlantic Ocean.  He told him that BG was just on the other side of that Ocean, but a long way inland, in the driest part of the continent.  AC said we should visit, and we all agreed we should, and we would.

As we carried on the journey, Rich looked at me, squeezed my hand, and told me he loved me.  I could see the sadness in his eyes, that another year was passing, and the theft of their relationship was still as raw as it ever was.

Our plan was originally to let the AC grow up here, and then move out there.  I could teach, Rich could make things, AC would be educated by then and could make his own choices.  I would have gone sooner, but Rich didn't want to have another child's life destroyed by moving all that way.  He never wanted BG to go in the first place, what father would want his daughter thousands of miles away, but told he was down the road and just too busy to visit?

We waved at the Ocean on the way to Carolines, and the AC told it we'd fly over it to BG one day.

It was a whole combination of things that year that made Rich decide that now was the right time, that the She-Ex couldn't destroy their relationship any more than she was continually trying to, and that we should start our own family.

Happy days, holding hands in the car, smiles back in his mind again and love for us all in his heart.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

And the reason for the blearliness would be?

I have a cold.

A stinking cold.

Not swine flu or anything melodramatic, there's no need for panic and isolation, it's just a cold.  I feel like poop however.  So I'm going to bed.

In the morning I'll get up early, run the hoover through, and finish tidying ready for Nelson's Journey to come tomorrow afternoon.

AC was asking about the accident again tonight.  Again, I told him what happened, reinforcing how quick it was and how accidental it was.  He knows the inquest is next week, and that's fine with him, he has chosen not to go, which was better for him than me telling him he wasn't going.  I know that attending the Cremation, walking in behind the flagged coffin, sharing in the Celebration, all those things have made the transition into a Rich-less life much more palatable.  He is managing.  We are managing.  We are a proud Forces family, we don't need that which is not ours, and although we have been denied that which is ours by moral right, (and I'm not talking money, but never mind!) we are ok with that, and can forgive those concerned.

Well, we can work on forgiving them anyway.

That's more honest lol.



Whislt I can still walk.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Super Saturday?

Weirdness abounds today.  I'm clearly tired, bleary, unfocused and so on.  I need to shift my behind to get things done.

So my plan is to walk down to Tesco, get eggs and things, and potter back, and hope that wakes me up!

Macaroni cheese for brunch should start me off nicely.

I'm watching National Geographic at the moment, about the Bermuda Triangle.  One of those programmes where they present it all as a major mystery, then in the last 10 minutes destroy all the mystery, but leave a weirdoid cliff hanger because they can.

Ah well!  Opium for the masses!


2012 was a loooooooooooooooooooooooong film.

It had an intermission.

So now I'm off to bed.

But I wanted to thank Blended Families for her comment she left me.  He was a sweet man.  He was sweet, kind, loving, generous, handsome, as good a father as he was allowed to be, a wonderful stepfather, a conciensious school govenor, a hard working man, a practical man, a fun man, a gaming man, and I love him.  To know that someone else sees the sweetness, is cool.

We've come back from films so many times, chatting about the film, sitting on the sofa having a cup of tea togehter, knowing that we're going to go upstairs to bed, to snuggle in the warmth of our love, to have a long lie in (if you're him) in the morning, and then shower, town, lunch, home, bed, friends, AC return, and to bed once more. It wasn't an exciting life.  The She-Ex referred to it as "spiffy" once.

"Really Sarah, what are you guys living with, apart from Richard not having BG, his life seems pretty damned spiffy right now."

It was 29th June, this year.  

18 days later, he was dead.

I guess, "apart from" not ever seeing his daughter since her mother took her the way she did, (or in fact not having even had pictures for 6 weeks before he died) his life was spiffy.  We built a good life, a strong life, a boring in places but we loved it, kind of life.

I'll build it again,  piece by piece, just like I did the last one. There will be room in it for all who want to be in it, and all who I want to be in it, whether they want to be there or not lol!

We were sweet to each other, he and I, and we enabled each other to be sweet to other people by removing the problems for the other one as much as we could.  Isn't that what love, relationships, marriage, are about?

I think so.

Thankyou Blended Families lady.  Sweet is a good word.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Knock knock

Where was Thursday?  Thursday was A Long Day.

It was a good day though, made longer by Children in Need, made shorter by sleeping for a couple of hours from 8pm onwards, made longer by the child having bad dreams every hour and a half during the night.  But as I didn't get to sleep until about 1am, he only woke me 3 times, and the other times I was already awake for! Yay me! lol!

The work for today is prepped, which is good, and it's Children In Need day at school, which is less good, (oh bah humbug!) but is fun.  We won't get a lot of work done, but I will go to school in jeans and one of Rich's favourite red shirts.  He loved that shirt, and one of the first times we went out together as a couple, and spent the night together afterwards, he threw it to me in the morning when I needed the loo.  I put it on, and he said there was nothing sexier than me wearing his shirt in the morning.  I could see in his eyes how much he meant it, how much he appreciated my body.  The He-Ex had told me that my post baby body was not great, and certainly it sagged in places, but by this time, things were still loose in the skin department, but I hadn't let myself go to fat, in fact I'd lost some weight with the breakup from the He-Ex.  But I remember the adoring look in his eyes, when I returned from my necessary journey, bringing him coffee in bed, dressed in his shirt.  He said I was the perfect woman for him and that I made him happy.

He said it just the day before he died as well. 

He said it so many times in between.

That, dear Reader, is what I based my judgement of his happiness on, amongst other things.

The fact he told me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Usually, I quite like WEdnesdays.  There's nothing wrong with today's Wednesday, it's just me.

I refuse to be beaten by this though.  I refuse to give in to this weakness, this malaise.  I refuse to roll over and let it ruin the life of my beautiful child.

I refuse.

Therefore I am uploading Tom Jones "Reload" album, which is great, and I love it.  Rich and I love this kind of music and had it in the car sometimes.

We love music, he and I.

One night, we went to the Airman's ball.  He said if the She-Ex could find a sitter, we'd all go, but she couldn't, so it was just he and I.  He was living in the block then.  There was a tribute act on, Bon Jovi tribute act, and I remember sitting with him, singing so loudly together, (and so badly!) that we were hoarse the next day.  It was an excellent evening.  He walked me home afterwards - he always did, he was such a gentleman - and we sat in my front room, drinking tea and laughing about The Girl With The Huge Chest and other things that made *us* laugh.  It was the first time in a long time I'd let go, and he saw that, and he loved me for it.  We were just friends then - you'd hardly invite the wife out if you were going out with a mistress lol - but he loved me all the same, and I loved him.  He saw the person I should be, and I saw the person he should be. He stayed until early in the morning, and we talked and talked and talked.  He wanted her to come - but said later that he knew it was over when she couldn't be bothered to find a sitter.  I had nothing to say about that.  What could I say?  But he kept trying, right until she left, and I applaud and love him even more for that.

I'm glad we ended up together though.  He was so much fun to be with.  We had our dark times, but we had a lot of fun.

Wednesdays were often fun.  He often finished early, and AC is at his fathers.  I think that's all I need to say about that ;-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

4 months

Today is 4 months and 1 day since I sat here, Rich behind me on the laptop, I was working, and we were just chilling out.

Today is 4 months since I sat here, in tears, having looked into the face of my dead lover, and entered into the darkest time of my life.

He was so cold, so pale.  He was heavy - when I touched him, he was solid, not giving like he usually did.  His flesh was hard, and his eyes were closed.  He had a cut on his left cheek, and he'd bitten through his lip.  He had a mark under his chin from the strap on the helmet.  He was in one of those paper dresses, and covered with a blanket.  I kept trying to tuck the collar of the dress thing down, because he hates things around his neck, but Ian the Policeman kept putting it back.  He told me I couldn't hold his hands, and I knew his legs were bad - he had no tents at the end of them where his feet should be pointing up.  He was so heavy, so very solid and heavy.  I ran my fingers through his hair, and Ian got worried, and I know why now, but at the time I didn't and I didn't find out.  At the time, I knew he was dead, not the details of the horrific injuries he suffered.  I will know on Monday week just how bad they were, but I know enough to know that whilst I might not be better with him dead, he is. 

Today I miss him so much it hurts all over again like the first week, like an aching inside that can never be assuaged, like a physical pain deep inside me.

Today I don't want to hear from anyone, I don't want to know the outside world.  I just want to be left alone.  Because the person I want to be with, can't hold me, touch me, love me, take me to bed and possess me in such a vibrant and amazing way.  I won't hear him tell me how much he loves making love to me, how much he loves that I love it too.  I had the best time of his life, and I'm glad it ended on such a good note.  I'm glad I had time to put it all back together after what the She-Ex did to him. 

I'm glad, that if he had to die then, he died happy, and the best man I ever knew.

I will always love him.
AC will be helped to remember and love him.
He will always love me.
He will always love the children.

We are lucky, we will be ok.

I have to believe that.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I have cried so much today.

I had to phone my brother, I was crying so hard.  Crazy lol.


Because the Disco went for scrap.


Oh man.

sums it all up....

I had an email sent apparently by accident by the She-Ex this morning.

It's from April 2008.  It's from her mother.  And it just sums up everything.

Sara, Is there any reason that you can'not say a good thing to or about She-Ex.  The comment you made that all of BG's goodness was just from Richard is completly uncalled for. 
She-Ex is a good Mother and works hard teaching BG how to be a good person each and every day.
I am not saying that Richard isn't a good person. It is just that I think that it is time that both of you give her a little credit for the things tthat she does on a day to day basis.  I see  e- mails that you send and listen to phone conversations that come this way and I for one am tired of it.
It reflects on BG morre than you realize.  I think that the glory that you two have needs to stop and give She-Ex credit for what she does.    She-Ex's Mother.

The thing was, that I hadn't said all of BG's goodness was just from Rachel,  I'd said she had his kind and generous heart.  She does.  He was a loving and generous man, and the thing that she did was a lovely thing to do.

But this came from the She-Ex's mother, it was based on a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts, it denies that we think about BG's feelings, and it insists that we glorify ourselves.  Now I understand why the She-Ex's mother would do this.  Her daughter continually presents to her that we abuse her, and so she has had enough.  I used to wonder if she'd seen the emails about how nasty her mother was that She-Ex had sent us, but I knew she wouldn't have done. (Besides which, if she'd have seen so many of my emails, she'd have known how to spell my name.  I *always* sign emails that are detailed.  I think it's rude not to.)  But this email just sums up everything that went on.  The reply she got was long, detailed, and ignored by them.  That's ok.  That's part of what is summed up. 

So I told her I'd recieved it, and that it summed every thing up really, because it does, for me.  Immediately she was defensive 

i was c leaning out my drafts that was still in there...


and it sums up what?


I said

Oh, it's ok.

Hope Rachel is fine and happy and school is going well.


There's no point in trying to explain anything to her at the moment, and that's ok.  She's in an odd mood, and I don't want to antagonise her, for BG's sake.  She doesn't reply to emails properly anyway, so there's little point in wasting time on a long reply.  She still hasn't said when to call BG or what she's been up to or anything.  I-t-B has said she needs a Death Certificate, so I expect she's been moaning to him that I wouldn't send her one or something. 

That was funny as well.  As in funny and made me laugh, funny.  She demanded a Death Cert, and I said when I had one I'd send one, we'd send one after the inquest and suddenly that was me being difficult! Oh well.  I thought eventually she'd understood that I couldn't send her one until after the inquest, but it looks like it took I-t-B to explain it to her.

See, now I sound grumpy and bitchy.  That's not good.

And I'm 3 days late on.

That's just weird.  Or stress or something.  This doesn't feel like PMT - not that I get it when I'm not on anything anyway. Yes, I delayed going back on the Pill - I don't need little white pills to keep me going! I am strong enough to manage without!  Although if it's going to mess around like this I might go back on it for ease of knowing what's happening next!


For sure.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Normal day?

I spent some money on *me* today, and bought a dock thingy that my iPod goes into.  It's to wake me up in the mornings.  AC and I had a gorgeous day, and finished it off with homemade bread and homemade organic vegetable soup.  Lovely.  Utterly, lovely.
I am tired today though, and that's ok.  I have Kevin sat on my knee, I'll pop him into AC's bed when I go up.  He and Joe are getting on really well now.
Waffling approaches! 

Another silence....

Earlier this week, late last week, however you want to put it, I wrote "Silence" the first poem I'd written in a long time.  Shall we say 17 weeks-ish?

Today, there has been another silence, and now the news is out.  :-(

I hate being right at a time like this.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

And so to bed

It's the end of another Saturday night.

Tonight I laughed, joked, and played. Bob remarked on it. "What have you done with Sarah? This is not our Sarah!"

The last few weeks have been so hard. I have almost slipped into a dark place so often, but I will not. I refuse.

Some people do not have that option - depression takes them. I won't let it take me, I know the signs of it too well, and I will fight it off at every given opportunity. And if I'm not given an opportunity, I'll make one. Ha!

I know it's serious. I know it's out there, or in me, or wherever. But I have a gorgeous son, and so much to be thankful for! I'm happy in myself, I like my physical being, my mental being and my spiritual being. I have my own place, I'm not reliant on anyone, I have money to make the ends meet and a little over, I have a proper job, with prospects if I want them, and it's ok if I don't.

I have a Joe, and a Kevin, and a Dave, who are all lovely parts of the menagerie, and I have the fish to watch, the guineapig to care for.

I can sew, bake, write and make people feel loved and cared for.

I have a lot of good stuff going on.

I also know I have chaps out there, biding their time, waiting for me to look interested in that side of life again. Blokes who are kind, understanding, and decent men, who would make good father figures for the AC and good partners for me. How do I know they are decent chaps? Because they are not pressuring, not asking, not doing anything other than being there for me, whenever I need them, listening, understanding, caring about my son and I. A couple have mentioned being interested in something more, when *I'm* ready, not before, and if I'm never ready, then they'll still be here.

That's a true friend. I may never be ready. I may never want another man again. I don't at the moment - after all, when you've had steak it takes a while to go back to burgers, if you see what I mean!

Rich loves me so intensely, so completely, so wonderfully, so amazingly, that that is a hell of an act to follow. He told me I made him the happiest he'd ever been, and I made his life the best it had ever been. He said the difference was I was honest and I loved him just as he was. No-one had done that for him before. Other people had always lied to him, or cheated, and tried to make him something he wasn't. I was honest with him from the start of us, and right to the end of us on this plane of existence.

And so to bed. Loved, warm, happy, content with my lot as it is. Yes, I'd have him back in a millisecond if I could, but I can't, so aside from that, I am content.



I wrote this the other day, waiting for my lift back from my course. I hadn't heard from friends of mine in The Abroad for a while, and I knew what that meant from when Rich was out there. Some people didn't understand I was sad when I didn't hear from him, not because I hadn't heard from him, but because I knew what it meant for someone else. And now I know what it feels like for me to tell the AC, it's worse to know someone else is having to explain to a child that Daddy isn't coming home.


I can tell by the silence that bad news is on the way
There is no chime of email, no call to lift my day,
There is just the nothing, for there's nothing you can say,
I can tell by the silence that bad news is on the way.

It may not be my bad news, for I've had mine and more,
The knock has already fallen on my classroom door
But somewhere, someone else's wife is happy in her day
Not knowing and not thinking that bad news is on the way.

If I could stop it for them, then Lord you know I would
Sometimes it's hard to think that this is for the greater good.
Somewhere, someone else's son is just a child at play,
But a man he'll be tomorrow when bad news has come his way.

Lord, let the Hercules bring back whole strong men.
Even though we women know they won't be quite the same again.
Let them walk within their families as they go about their day,
Lord let the knock, the bad news, not be theirs today.

It's stupid o'click


That was originally a typo, but as I'm sat on the computer, it probably is o'click. Kev and Joe are around and about, AC is at his fathers.

Times like this are when I used to come down if I couldn't sleep, then go an creep back in next to Rich, all warm and gorgeous. Some nights I'd try not to wake him, if he was tired or had had a bad day with work or the She-Ex. Some days I'd definitely wake him, especially if he'd had a bad day with the She-Ex (There are different kinds of bad with her - and some good occasionally) Some nights he'd just wrap himself around me, holding me, loving me, needing me, even in his sleep.

So now I'll go back up, and it'll be empty, and I'll read or something and go back to sleep for a while.

I miss him.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Where did the week go?

This is the longest that I haven't blogged for in some time.

There was so much to say, I couldn't say it.

There was Remembrance Sunday, which was beautiful and amazing and I cried so much, as the shock of it all just slapped me again and again. The child was fine, and with friends who were here a lot of the day, and I only really cried when he could see me in the 2 minutes silence at the War Memorial.

There was Monday, Rev Neil's Celebration, and a magnificent day, full of wonder and joy, praise, laughter and eight hymns. 8. EIGHT! But all good, and all sung as only Methodists can.

There was Tuesday, which was ok. Weird, but ok. We had an author in, which was nice, and he was great with the children.

Wednesday I was on a course, and it was Armistice, and the 11th hour fell during coffee break. I made the computer put bbcnews on live, and I watched the service from Westminster, and I stood for the silence, thinking I was along, tears streaming down my face, unashamed of them, of what they mean and symbolise, not just for me, but for all the lads and lasses who died, and are dying, and are injured in Selly Oak, and around the world - it's not just British and American lads that die, although thankfully our losses are still few enough to still make the national news. The silence was broken by the Lord's Prayer, and I prayed it, out loud. And then I looked up to find the rest of my course group had come in, and were all stood, as was I, behind my chair, just waiting. One of the girls, gorgeous in her hijab (sp?) who I know, smiled at me, so gently, stood supporting what? I don't know. Maybe those who died, maybe me, maybe just remembering all the losses, from whatever faith.

Thursday was a phonecall from the Police about the inquest, a pointless course in the morning, and then swimming and nothing really in the afternoon.

Friday was today.

And this post was inturrupted by a phonecall, from a land far away. I am a lucky girl in many respects. It wasn't from BG unfortunately, and I've had no word from her mother as to when a good time is, or how she is or anything like that. That's ok. (ok, it's not ok, but it's the way she is, so *shrug*) But I had a phonecall, and someone reminded me that everything will be ok, that we just keep soldiering on, in our own ways, and we'll get through our times of trial.

Tonight, I shall eat noodles, clear the table, sew, and read.

Tomorrow Kev goes to the vets, life is chilled, I bake, and clear and we have guests at 6.

Life is going to be ok. No matter how I feel.

Monday, November 9, 2009


As you can see from previous posts, a) I can upload to my blog from my phone, and b) we have a new kitten.

His name is Kev. (Short for Kevin) He's named after one of AC's favourite armourers, after we decided that he didn't look like a Diz or a Malc, he looked like a Kev.

Oh man I'm tired.

I'll do this in the morning.

Night all.






On the way back

Sunday, November 8, 2009


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod-mega-gadget-thingy! Wooo!


We will remember

Weird end to a lovely day.

I've copied this from an email to a friend, because I couldn't write it all out again. I should have been in bed an hour ago.

"Apparently on Friday night it was noticed that during "Don't Stop Me Now!" I cried like a girl. Yeah yeah, I got over it and busted some phat moves (see my modern spelling!) but I did. Stacy is a bouncer at Heights where we went, and was working Saturday night. She got asked if I was ok by a friend of hers who was working Friday night. Stacy explained about the accident, the song, the whole enchilada to her, and to her boyfriend, who is also a bouncer at Heights. Turns out 2+2=4.

Stacy's mates boyfriend (still with me?) is a First Responder. Rich was his first fatality. He was desperately trying to tell Stacey that he did everything he could for Rich, that he tried everything he knew, and he couldn't save him. Now, to you and me, who know the details, this is not news. Nothing short of divine rewinding of the whole morning could have saved Rich, and that just hasn't happened. Apparently he's up and down all over the place, not sleeping and so on, always convinced he could have done *something* more and Rich would have been ok.

So I've suggested that she tell Stacey to tell her friend to tell her boyfriend that a) he's welcome to come round and see me and I'll tell him about the accident and that there was nothing he could do from about the time Rich left the bike, and b) see if he can make it to the inquest - it's a public event - and hear the nurses statement for himself."

So yeah.

Weird end to the day.

I didn't email the She-Ex today. I would have found it hard to phrase things properly, and I don't want to antagonise her at the moment. I don't need it. I just need to work a few things out.

For the Fallen

The words that are used in the Act of Remembrance all over the world today come from this poem. The AC and I also like the last verse. Whilst it speaks a lot about things that they will not do, it gives hope at the end, of a life eternal, of light in our darkness and a reunion.

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

So there's the ditch!

The fireworks at CP's village were excellent.
The promotion was excellent - AC got his yellow belt and we are all very proud.

I am so tired, so missing the man, so emotional, that I'm not going to blog too much tonight.

There is an email from the She-Ex, but there's nothing much in it. It can wait until the morning. I have no idea how BG is from the email, other than her reading has improved.

6.5 hours later, I'm awake again, and clearly didn't post this. That's how tired I was lol.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fireworks were great!

We went to fireworks last night. AC was late to bed on a school night, but he'll survive. No one at school will have planned anything much after knowing all the kids were going to fireworks last night.

We've sorted out the issue with the Celebration on Monday, I'm going, AC is going, some of the other children are coming as well, it's going to be good. Celebrations are good. I wish BG could have come to something of her father's Celebrations, she was asked if they wanted to go over for it and her mother said no. I can't imagine why. It can't be the journey - she made a 3.5year old go through it, after all! I will never understand why she was denied the right to say a proper goodbye to her father. But then she was denied a proper life with her father, so why should I be surprised? This is not about Rich though, it's about Neil. BG didn't know Neil. AC knew him, loved him, and is wounded by his death. He starts his bereavement counselling on Monday properly, which is good. He has his promotion on Saturday for his grading belt. He has more fireworks with Charlie and all the gang on Saturday. He has a good life, but one which he holds together through sheer hard work. He's working hard at school, but becoming distant at times, which is what I was finding after I told him about Neil. I'm confident we can help him though this - no child should be left to work through major trauma on their own. It can cause irreparable damage to them as adults, and often produces a cyclical effect.

I had a phonecall from AB last night, which was lovely. It was after I'd gone to bed, but it was good.


we had a visit from *nameless* last night. Joe and he got on very well. He didn't stay last night, because of the fireworks, but he's coming on Monday for the week. He has the cheek of Old Nick though, he really does - even taking sausage out from under Joes chin! He's a real explorer, and could be really good company for Joe, but if it doesn't work out then he goes back to Georges mum.

All in all, a good day.

Today's thankful letter is F.

I'm grateful for FIREWORKS! The colours, the sounds, the smells, the way my son smiles when he sees them (He cried a little bit - Rich was in Afghan last year for Fireworks, and so he'd said to AC he'd take him this year. But that's ok) I love the patterns, the bonfire, the whole thing.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

The British Soldier

Poppy Appeal reminder!


They are doing their bit.....please do yours by reading this and forwarding it to someone else:

The average British soldier is 19 years old.....he is a short haired, well built lad who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy.

Not yet dry behind the ears and just old enough to buy a round of drinks but old enough to die for his country - and for you.

He's not particularly keen on hard work but he'd rather be grafting in Afghanistan than unemployed in the UK. He recently left comprehensive school where he was probably an average student, played some form of sport, drove a ten year old rust bucket, and knew a girl that either broke up with him when he left, or swore to be waiting when he returns home.

He moves easily to rock and roll or hip-hop or to the rattle of a 7.62mm machine gun.

He is about a stone lighter than when he left home because he is working or fighting from dawn to dusk and well beyond. He has trouble spelling, so letter writing is a pain for him, but he can strip a rifle in 25 seconds and reassemble it in the dark. He can recite every detail of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either effectively if he has to. He digs trenches and toilets without the aid of machines and can apply first aid like a professional paramedic. He can march until he is told to stop, or stay dead still until he is told to move.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation but he is not without a rebellious spirit or a sense of personal dignity. He is confidently self-sufficient. He has two sets of uniform with him: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his water bottle full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never forgets to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes and fix his own hurts. If you are thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food is your food. He'll even share his life-saving ammunition with you in the heat of a firefight if you run low.

He has learned to use his hands like weapons and regards his weapon as an extension of his own hands. He can save your life or he can take it, because that is his job - it's what a soldier does. He often works twice as long and hard as a civilian, draw half the pay and have nowhere to spend it, and can still find black ironic humour in it all. There's an old saying in the British Army: 'If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined!'

He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and he is unashamed to show it or admit it. He feels every bugle note of the 'Last Post' or 'Sunset' vibrate through his body while standing rigidly to attention. He's not afraid to 'Bollock' anyone who shows disrespect when the Regimental Colours are on display or the National Anthem is played; yet in an odd twist, he would defend anyone's right to be an individual. Just as with generations of young people before him, he is paying the price for our freedom. Clean shaven and baby faced he may be, but be prepared to defend yourself if you treat him like a kid.

He is the latest in a long thin line of British Fighting Men that have kept this country free for hundreds of years. He asks for nothing from us except our respect, friendship and understanding. We may not like what he does, but sometimes he doesn't like it either - he just has it to do..

Remember him always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

And now we even have brave young women putting themselves in harm's way, doing their part in this tradition of going to war when our nation's politicia ns call on us to do so.

When you receive this, please stop for a moment and if you are so inclined, feel free to say a prayer for our troops in the trouble spots of the world.

I wouldn't dream of breaking this chain - would you?

Slapping myself firmly!

In order to slap myself out of the doldrums that I am wallowing in, I was poking around some blogs and found this at The Common Room Aside from the fact that Thc Common Room is one of the most fascinating and wide ranging blogs I have ever read, this particular post is also a good idea.

Over the course of November, I need to follow the alphabet, and find 1 thing each day I am thankful for, and post it. I've missed a few days, but here we go.


A is for Andy. Specifically, Andy's. I know Andy B, Andy M, Uncle Fat Andy, amongst others, and they are all good chaps. All adorable, all very affectionate without being pawing. Lots of supportive hugs over the interwebs.

B is for Babies. Gorgeous babies that snuggle and play, grumpy babies that scream and need cuddles, babies in general. Although my baby days are pretty much over (even I know you need a chap around!) they are still wonderful, and I will cheerfully sit for anyones baby.

C is for Children. Children at school, children at home, children who visit, children at church, the Adorable Child, the Beautiful Girl, lots of children. I love my job, I love the things I do, and I love the fact that there are children in my life that I can do this for.

D is for Dishwasher. I know, I know, all very high and mighty thankyous, and then a dishwasher. But I love it. It saves me time and energy and life to spend with my son. Rich bought it for me, because he wanted me to be able to spend more time with him and Sam. That's love for you ;-)

E is for Existence. I see my very existence as a blessing. Although life is certainly hard, painful and tricky at the moment, it is not as bad as it could be. I suppose only I can see that sometimes, but I can, because I'm the person in my life. I'd rather have my life than She-Ex's, than He-Ex's, than my sister, than anyone really. There's nothing wrong with their lives, they just aren't my life. Although if I'd have grown up with their lives, I'd have not wanted my life. This is getting complicated. I'm happy and thankful to exist. Let's leave it at that!

I will not continue to be miserable. It is a choice that I have to make, before I become a bitter and twisted old hag who likes to deny people and hurt them on purpose. And I don't want her life!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I read the news today...

... Oh boys......

I'm finding it hard to write at the moment.

I have friends out there now, right now. The man I love was out there twice. He came home, these 5 didn't, 6 of their mates are being flown back to Selly Oak for treatment. We were lucky, we saw Rich on the day he died, he told us he loved us, we knew he loved us, that we were what he thought about. The families of these boys, or of the EOD boy last week, didn't have that joy. Their man was far away.

I haven't heard from the She-Ex for a couple of weeks now. Part of me minds, because it's very rude just to not answer when she started the email. PArt of me knows BG isn't seeing the blogs. I think her mother will just try and complete the whitewashing of her father out of her life. She started that when she left here in the way she did, when it wasn't the best option for the child, and she has open rein to complete it now. I chose not to contest for the pension, because I felt BG needed it more than AC did. I know she doesn't know that, but I do. She's welcome to it. One day I'll tell BG just how her mother earned that money. How many letters she wrote whilst he was away in Afghanistan. How many pictures she sent. How supportive she was. How she was always telling him little stories about her and never asked about money. Or I could tell her the truth, which is more likely....................

Oh, I'm miserable today.

Ignore me.

Regular programming will be back soon.


I've hit a period of strangeness, of utter numbness about Rich's death.

It's almost like I can't get my head around it again, but it's not shocking this time. It's almost like he was never here, and then I see something of his and it hurts and I know he was, but my everyday life is so *normal* now, that there is no room for grief as such. I don't know.

I can't explain it. I haven't tried for a couple of days, hence no blogging, but it's there, on the back of my mind, waiting.

Yesterday was 3 months since we Celebrated his life. And I had a parent round last night, upset about her child's diagnosis, wanting to know what it meant for him. I could tell her as much as I knew. However, she also said she bumped into someone in town, just after the Celebration. When she asked her what she'd been up to that day, Mrs F said "Oh, we've just come from Rich's Celebration. It was a bloody good do." Apparently you could see my hand all over it, and it was a "bloody good do" and I did "bloody well."

I read at his Celebration. I read and I sang and I Celebrated my man with all that was in me. AC went to sit with the armourers, and I threw myself into the service. I cried more on Saturday just gone though, and I think that's what this is about in some ways.

Saturday was such a release. We called them home, and surrendered them to God. I cried, but we all cried. I was brave, but we were all brave. I laughed, and most of us laughed.

I think I am starting to re-member. (I must write that blog post)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm here...

... I'm just....


I am.

Turning my brain off and voiding my thoughts in to the void. The other void.

Yeah. Right. See why I am *not* doing NaNoWriMo this year! lol! I can't make a sentence!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Facebook message from God

"Hold on to what is good, even if it's a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, even if it's a tree that stands by itself. Hold on to what you must do, even if it's a long way from here. Hold on to your faith, even if it's easier to let go. Hold on to God's hand."

It's an app that sends out random messages, but today, this really struck a cord. Watching the tears of people yesterday, some of whom were there for cadets, not even adults yet, but still RAF family, listening to the words of the sermon, about remembering and what it means, and just being with other people who were not only in the same situation as I was in, but cared so incredibly much about themselves and the others in that situation, was an amazingly powerful moment.

And that was one long and confusing sentence. I hope that made sense.

We had a good trip down there, went straight to the church, and the service was fantastic. It was.... mindblowing.

I will write it later, properly with pictures, but last night I did it for BG so she knew as soon as possible. I haven't heard anything back, not even a "Thankyou for doing it," but that's the way it is.

I just wish BG could have been to *something* for her father. As it is, she's been to nothing, and whilst perhaps that's easier short term, long term that could be hard. I've sent as many pictures and so on as I could, but it's not the same as being there. On the other hand, I'm glad she's not as upset as the AC - who would wish this pain on a child? He found yesterday really good. I'll put some pictures of what he did up later.

For now, it's showertime!

Busy day ahead - as usual!