Friday, 30 September 2011

Dear Brian....

Brian is the person who lives in my head...(a very cunning anagram I don't think!!?!)
For some time now I have been wanting to write to here goes...

Dear Brian,

I know that you're an essential part of who I am....inseparable in fact...but I have some major concerns that I really need your help with for the future. Please review the following and action where/as appropriate :-

Firstly, I would really appreciate you NOT continuously bringing to my mind the images that you send round and round in my head of my children watching their mum do it so often, it's so utterly draining to me and it appears that you have no control over how often, when and where you will torment me with the extremes of emotion that go with it. It makes me want to curl up into a ball. I know I don't cry as much as I used to but I can really do without thinking through those days over and over and over again. If you can delete those images from memory, please do so without delay, but I think they're embedded too deep and aren't able to be deleted - so please endevour to access them much less frequently.

Secondly, please try to work on your memory - you used to have good recall of all sorts of things but nowadays you can hardly remember what you have said or done just five minutes ago. It's annoying and sometimes embarrassing. Sometimes it feels like I'm going mad. If you can work on the first item above, perhaps it will help with this ?

Thirdly, each time I speak to somebody (even long time friends), please stop me thinking that they have no idea what burdens I am carrying. Of course people don't really understand but so many are sympathetic which is good. Unless they've been in the same place as me, why would they understand the aching pain that lies beneath? So please review your thought patterns on that one.

Fourthly, please just 'switch off' from time to time - it's so much less tiring - you will be aware of the low Brian activity levels that exist when I'm on my bike coming down the long downhill of the A4074 at high speed! Those kind of activity levels more often would be much more relaxing as I can't spend my whole life on my bike!

Finally, please keep remembering The Healer, The Comforter - The Holy's what all those Sermons have always been about - He is here and never leaves us. You really need to talk to Him more often and hand stuff over to Him; only He will be able to take the torment away - and it's a daily, hourly, moment-by-moment thing. You know that's true in theory - so please put it into practice.

Thanks ever so much for your time. I really look forward to working with you on all of this.
Sincerely yours,

PS: I may write to you again soon....

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Ellie and I were talking this morning about holidays we have had....places we have seen, and fun things we've done with our children......the odd thing is (aside from this last year) we don't share any common memories.....and all our reminiscing is soured by the sadness of people who are no longer with us. Things that used to be fun to think back to are now tinged with aching pain, so mentally the best thing to do seems to be to try not to think back to those memories too much or too often. Maybe that's not the best way to handle it...people who are further down this path than I might say that it's good to look back and just smile and remember....but for me at least, for the time being, I am going to keep trying to look forward rather than spending lots of time looking back with sadness.

Grief is an awful thing - it wants to rob you of joy in every circumstance : past, present and future.

So for now at least, Ellie and I are going to work at creating some new good memories for our children....tonight whilst I was out at swimming club, Ellie and the girls got all snuggled up in duvets with copious amounts of chocolate and watched The Sound of Music....(the boys were nowhere to be seen !!!) ...a good memory for the girls at least !! Perhaps they'll reminise about it in years to come !

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Race Day...

Today was my first triathlon of the season....just in time for the season to finish !
The biggest battle I have on race day is all in my big struggle being the fear of dying mid-race (basically!)...and thus the fear of my children losing 2 parents before adulthood....but it's all in my mind of course as my days are numbered in God's plan before any of them ever happened (Ps 139:16)

Anyway....I made it to the end (alive !)
Distances were 1500m swim, 45km bike and 10km run (although I'm sure the run was longer!)
My great friend Sean and I did it together. Apart from my pre-race puncture which was rather annoying to have to sort out, it all went ok. The swim was good - in a fairly warm (not too weedy) lake (~17C) and the sun was shining. My time was fairly unremarkable but I didn't get swum over too many times in the mass start (it's not too pleasant when that happens!!)
The bike leg was enjoyable in a knackering kind of way - we kept up a fairly consistent good pace (Sean pacing us up the hills cuz he's better at hills than me, and I paced the biggest portion of the rest)....but I pretty much burned myself up on the bike so by the time the run started I was really quite Sean (bless 'im) was having to slow down for me!! So I was really glad when we eventually got over the finish line. I don't actually know our time (not sure I want to check !) but it was definitely a bit slower than last year!!
What a fab day!
What a fab friend!
Feeling slightly tired now...ZzzzZZzzzzzz zzzzzz

Friday, 9 September 2011

"Special Friday"...

Today I have completed my first working Friday of the year! Since going back to work in February, I've been doing a 4 short working day week so that I could be available for the children/school run etc....but I have been working towards going full-time since the wedding...and now that school holidays are over, it has happened!
For quite a long time now, Ellie and I have referred to Friday as "Special Friday" because it has been a day when (in term time) we could spend lots of quality time just being together in the daytime uninterrupted. Unfortunatley "Special Friday" will not now be the norm each week (unless I take a day off work).

I've also been away overnight on a work trip this week - it felt uncomfortably strange being away from home for the first time in over a year (since the Bereavement course in June last year) and dear Ellie had to do everything without help which probably explains why she's fast asleep on the sofa as I write!!'s been a week of new things, with children also back at school.

We're still working hard at trying to do 'normal' family...but as that's not really ever going to happen we'll just remain grateful for the many unique blessings that we do have.
I read PS 127 recently...verses 4-5 say, "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one's youth. Blessed is the man who's quiver is full of them..."

I reckon that makes me pretty blessed cuz the quiver is definitely full (and so is the house!) - which means today must still be Special Friday after all !

Monday, 5 September 2011

Back to school...

A few summer photos....

We've had some laughs and numerous tears....but I think we're all glad that the summer holidays are over (except for the children, that is !!)...back to school at last :-)

As of tomorrow, all children are now at secondary school (how scarey is that ?!!)