I am sitting here thinking. The house is quiet, and I had some amusing snippet to share, and then my brain started dwelling on the things filling my heart instead. I am writing this primarily for those of you who know me. In real life, and also my little band of dear blogging friends. And then I will let it go and resume normal random musings, but maybe not for a week or two. If you know me in real life, I don't want to talk about any of this. Not right now.
My days at the moment are all starting with "this time last year...". I keep pushing down the well of emotion and now and then it bubbles up like a geyser. Of Old Faithful-like proportions. I never intended this blog to be an emotional place. I never intended to write about anything other than day to day musings. But then life sort of happens when you are making other plans, doesn't it?
This time last year, today, Geoff was brought home from work because he couldn't breathe. 13 days later, I watched as his life slipped away in the early hours of the morning of the 7th July. As I write, the tears are trickling down my face, and it is not an attractive sight. I remember standing next to him, holding his hand, just watching the blood pressure machine readings dropping lower and lower, and the heart monitor getting slower and slower, and thinking that it was all a dream and that I would wake up soon. I remember looking up and whispering, it is okay. You have fought so hard. You can let go now. We will be okay. Just head towards the light and don't look back.
And then the machines stopped beeping and just made that one long sound. Exactly as they do in hospital TV shows. And it was over.
I remember walking out of the critical care unit at 4 in the morning, and sitting on the steps in the empty car park, wondering how I could phone my children and tell them that their Dad had died. David was at home with one of my friends. Andrew and Ann were in London, and Diana was so very far away in New Zealand. I remember worrying that my mobile phone would have enough battery life left to be able to talk to them all. That I wouldn't be there to hold them when I told them. The hospital was an hour and a half away from home. I remember watching the sun rising as I spoke to each of my children, and to my sister. I remember every single aching second. It is as though it was freeze framed in my mind.
And so, in the space of those 13 days, our lives changed forever. I have written before about how immeasurably different I am today to that woman who sat on those steps that morning, wondering what and how to say the words that no-one wants to have to say. We had never talked about death, or its possiblity. I asked him once if he was afraid, and he said so simply....what is the point of worrying...there is nothing I can do about anything except concentrate on breathing. He was a quiet, simple man, who never complained.
Battling with tidal waves of regrets and sadness, fear, shock and a loneliness that staggered me beyond belief...... I was so unprepared for it all, even though I knew right from that day a year ago today, that he was going to die. I don't know how I knew. I just knew.
But this little family, which is the focus of my life, has made it through the first year. There have been tears, of course. Many, I suspect. But there has also been laughter too. Memories made and shared. There is still a lot to do before we can "move on" (oh, how I hate that phrase). There is an inquest to deal with. It all takes so long. I so want to be at the stage where we can just remember the man, not the medical details or events surrounding his death.
Sometimes I, like all of us, just wish for a brief period when everything works, goes smoothly and there is no more tough stuff to deal with. Sometimes, I lie in bed and everything that is "pending" swamps my mind and overwhelms me. Maybe that is why I stay up so late at night.
But this is not about me. This post is about memories, and about looking, not at how far we have to go, but at how far we have come. I can't change the past. I may wish I had done and said things differently, but I can't turn back the clock, can I. I can't undo any of it.
So for now, I will remember him tossing my babies in the air. BBQing for the family. Watching football. Sailing away...........