Friday, 28 August 2009

Bank Holiday Weekend

I'm looking forward to this bank-holiday weekend with a bit of fear to be honest.

The plan is to spend the weekend at my sisters new house in Sandford near Exeter, help them with some new house type activities (sofa shopping etc) and get the kids to the seaside etc. A trip to Berryhead is also planned as clearly whenever in the local (ish) area I want to go and sit on our rocks and think about my Richie.

This time though Rebecca and Harry will be coming with me. Whilst Rebecca seems to vaguely understand what we did with Richie's ashes and why etc, I am really unsure on how to explain this to Harry. I guess I will try the approach of this is where we come to remember Daddy and celebrate how wonderful he was (is). My thinking is that this trip to Berryhead will be quite emotional for Rebecca. Rebecca to date has been wonderfully brave and coped magnificantly with everything that has happened to our little family over the past 18 months. She certainly has her moments where she is very upset and we talk about how much she misses Richie. We usually then get some old photos out and laugh at the pictures of the two of them together when she was little, and talk about the mean things she use to do to him. I think the best story of Rebecca's naughtyness to Rich when we first got together had to be the very first time he looked after her whilst I nipped to the gym.........

To backtrack slightly...... the very first time Rich and Rebecca met I would like to say was love at first sight. However, my darling little girl was clearly a little bit jealous of anyone taking her Mum's attention away from her so sweetly said "Hello" and then climbed out of her pushchair and booted him in the shin!! It all went kind of downhill from there really! Rich would try his hardest and she would just be more of a madam. If he tried to push her in her buggy then she would put her feet to the floor so it wouldn't move etc etc. Anyway, once we had been together six months or so they settled down and seemed to get along much better. The naughtyness had turned to more cheekyness and they started to become 'friends'. So, over the Xmas and New Year break Rich offered to play with Becs for an hour whilst I hit the gym to try and work off some of the excesses of Xmas! I therefore donned my trainers and headed up to the gym. Arrived at the gym, parked the car and headed towards the entrance....... oh crap its closed due to weird Xmas/New Year opening times. Oh well, got back in the car and headed home.

I arrived home to Rich and a very white face! Asked him if he was ok and the story unfolded! About 5 minutes after I had left the house Rebecca had informed Richard that she needed the loo for a number 2!! So he told her to go up to the bathroom to do the deed (so to speak). Anyway, a few minutes later she calls down to him to give her some assistance with wiping! At this point I'm about to burst out in fits of giggles...... So rich explained that he 'didn't know what the rules were about that kind of thing', but as she needed help he went up to lend a hand! So, as he walks into the bathroom Becs hands him the roll of loo-paper then promptly bends over and touches her toes to allow him to wipe her bum! Bless him, he then said he hoped that was ok! I then burst out laughing and explain to him that Becs has been fully capable of wiping her own behind for aprox 1 year now! We then walk into the lounge to see a very smug faced 4 year old on the couch looking like the cat that got the cream! 1-0 to Rebecca!!!

It wasn't long after this 'event' that Rich moved in with us and we soon settled into our own family routine. Rich was there to take her to school on her very first day and has been involved with all the major milestones that followed until he passed away. Its therefore not surprising that even though she has a great relationship with her own Dad, Richie became Daddy Rich - she would always call him Rich or Richie but in cards etc he was her Daddy Rich.

Anyway, back to Devon, even though I am sure it will be difficult to explain this all to the children again I have no doubt that my 2 little darlings will cope admirably and enjoy spending some time down on the rocks thinking of our big brave Richie/Daddy/Daddy Rich.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Some Musings From Mr Wildman

Yesterday I was packing up some more of Richard's things, putting stuff into boxes and transferring to the loft (that boy was quite the hoarder!!).

Anyway I found an old notepad of his which had some interesting thoughts he had written down so thought I would share it with you all......

All behaviour is belief driven.

The most powerful beliefs are those you have about who you are - your identity.

The strongest force in the human personality is the need to remain consistent with the identity we hold for ourselves.

What stops us is fear, what frees us is courage.

What shapes the decision is the state you are in.

The quality of my life is the quality of my communication.

Nothing in life has any meaning except the meaning I give it.

All truth goes through 3 stages:-
First, it is ridiculed
Second, it is violently opposed
Finally, it is accepted as self-evident
--German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhaurer--

"We are what we think
All that we are arises
With our thoughts.
With our thoughts
We make our world"
The Buddha

That was all I found, but thought it was interesting to read.


Sunday, 9 August 2009

Running into Brick Walls

So I have recently swapped gyms, ended my monthly direct debit for an expensive local gym and joined a work subsidised gym that is located in my office in Bracknell. With the money that I am saving by doing this I have started having a weekly personal training session to increase my fitness. The guy is really good and pushes me really hard to push myself that little bit harder than you would if left to your own devises.

Anyway, on Friday I had the day off work to attend one of my school friends weddings. The wedding kicked-off at 12:30 so I dropped Harry off with the childminder and decided to go for a run. Originally I was planning on running along the Thames path, but on-route decided to stop and run up the bridle path towards Cookham. I got out the car, warmed up a bit and then commenced the run.

When I run I plug my Ipod into my ears, turn the volume up loud then head down and crack on. So anyway, I'm running up the bridle path not taking much attention to anything except keeping one foot in front of the other when I suddenly realise I am in familiar territory. So I stop, catch my breath and take in my surroundings. Then the brick wall smashes into my face, I've basically stopped at the back of where Rich use to live when we first for together - I don't know why I didnt realise it when I started running. Anyway, for some reason I initially had a slight freak out and got a little upset. A lot of stuff went down in that place - so many memories, especially from the exciting phase of our relationship when we were first getting to know each other.

So, I was talking about it with a close friend this evening and he said that I should put some of those memories into this blog - as hey thats what this is suppose to be about now, keeping Rich as alive as possible through memories.

I remember the first time I went into Richard's house, he invited me in for a cup of tea after a drink in the local pub with the cast of a play we were doing with the local drama group. I accepted, on stepping inside he advised that he actually had no milk and no tea bags for that matter either! Glass of water it was then! The house was so the ultimate bachelor pad - pretty dirty and with crap all over the place but had a decent TV with a load of gaming consoles attached to it! The first time I ever stayed over for the night I cleaned the bathroom before having a shower - it was that bad!!!

After we had been going out together for about 6 months Rich invited me over for dinner - I remember being a little concerned at what festering food he was going to serve from his fridge (which mostly just housed cans of Fosters!!), and also wondered how we would manage to eat given the piles of books/letters/washing etc that housed the sofa and dining room table! So imagine my surprise when Richard opened the door dressed in his Tuxedo and handed me a glass of Champagne. He had cleaned the house from top to bottom and made the dining room table look all pretty (well pretty as in boy standards (clean cutlery, crisp white napkin and some candles)), he had also made a menu card for the meal he had made for us that evening - all Mexican food yum! I still have the Menu kept for sentimental reasons.

He could be a bit of an old romantic when he wanted to - and not just in the sending flowers way but with the small little things that are thoughtful and lovely. When we went on holiday to Cyprus a few years ago the day before we flew I took the day off to get my nails done etc and have a little pampering. He met me outside the spa when my treatments had finished with a blanket, some wine and some fruit. We went and sat in the park and chilled out in the sun before picking Rebecca up from school - was really nice. He wasn't always like that - a reminder to my very unromantic marriage proposal (!) - but sometimes he would surprise and do something really touching.

Anyway, I seem to have these 'brick wall' moments more regularly now. Perhaps that comes with the realisation that he has really gone, now some of the shock and numbness of the first part of the year has subsised. They are hard to describe, usually when you least expect it - perhaps running around the house messing about with the children and stumbling on something of his or driving somewhere and going past a familiar place - silly things that spark memories etc. I guess that will be something I need to get use to and in a way thankful that there are memories there to be sparked.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Stormtroppers Arrest The Groom!

So the wedding was amazing. The Groom looked very handsome and the bride looked absolutely stunning. Plus the sun shone all day for the celebrations putting the icing on the cake.

Myself and Katy started the morning with a wonderfully leisurely breakfast - a very rare thing for me! Breakfast usually last about the time it takes for Harry to eat his cereal before he zooms off to do something else. Therefore to sit and spend timeover breakfast, read the paper and drink lots of cups of tea was pure bliss!!
After breakfast we began to get ourselves ready for the wedding and then headed off to the Church (fyi driving a TT in heels is a challenge!). We parked the car up and headed into the church. As we walked up the driveway of the Church (is that the correct term? Do churches have driveways? Anyway you get what I mean) 3 stormtroopers walked passed us! We had no idea that there were part of the wedding, we just presumed there was a random fancy dress party happening that afternoon!

We headed into the church and after I was given a brief overview of what I needed to do for my reading by the Vicar we sat down and waited for the bride to arrive.

Sue arrived looking absolutely beautiful and as she walked up the aisle towards Steve it dawned on me that this was the first wedding I had been too since Richie had passed away and I was suddenly very emotional (mixed in with some nerves re standing up to do the reading!)

The reading I had to do was The Lorax by Dr Suess:-

And all that the Lorax left here in this mess
Was a small pile of rocks, with the one word ....
Whatever that meant, well, I just couldn't guess.

That was long, long ago.
But each day since that day
I've sat here and worried
and worried away.
Through the years, while my buildings
have fallen apart,
I've worried about it
with all my heart.

"But now," says the Once-ler,
"Now that you're here,
the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better
It's not.

Plant a new tree. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends may come back."

After the service we stood outside and lots of photographs were taken, which is where is became clear the the stormtroopers were associated with the wedding and not just some random dress-up people stalking through the churchyard. Sue had hired the stormtroopers to 'arrest' Steve and accompany him to the church - brilliant!

Steve, Sue, Jack and the Stormtroopers:-

Myself and Katy had to leave the church a little earlier than everyone else as Katy needed a wee and needed one immediately!! I drove to a pub up the road as apparently she wasn't going to make it back to the hotel! However the pub was closed so she had no choice but to hold and run as fast as she could when we got to the hotel! Was very amusing site, a wedding guest tottering as fast as she could in her heels and pretty wedding outfit to the loo!! Hehehe!
Having some pre-dinner drinks sat outside in the sun was lovely, it was a glorious day and there was definitely a little sunburn being created as we had all been fooled into thinking the weather would be rubbish after the previous days continual downpours.
The wedding breakfast was delicious, fantastic food and lovely wine meant we were all a little tipsy!! The speeches were great, albeit Steve's very emotional especially when talking around absent friends. I had a major 'wobble' at this point and had to go release some tears up in my room. Once composed I re-joined the wedding party. The rest of the afternoon/early evening was spent drinking wine and chatting outside on the terrace before the disco started. Then it was boogying all the way!
The following day I had a very sore head, very sore feet and woke-up still in my dress - the cocktail confirming a fabulous day and evening was had the day before.
I would like to wish Steve and Sue every happiness for their marriage and life together. It was a fantastic day guys and I would like to say a big Thank-You for inviting me to celebrate it with you.
Sammie x