Sunday, June 29, 2008

Time to return

This summer we will be returning to Portugal for the first time since Nigel died. When I tell people we are going, I get very mixed reactions. Some of the negative ones to make me want to scream!
We are returning because we own timeshare where Nigel died. I could swap it for another location, but after careful consideration I decided not to. Nigel and I chose to buy timeshare in Alvor for good reason. It is a fantastic resort with so much to offer for a great family holiday, we loved it there, and have taken both girls there for their first holiday abroad.
I feel positive about going back to Alvor. Yes, it is where NIgel died, but equally it is somewhere I have happy memories of too. Portugal generally is a special place for us. We had our very first holiday together in Albufeira in 1998 when I was 22 and Nigel was 32. Then of course we took the girls. We tried other places, but just kept coming back to Portugal. It had everything we wanted from a holiday.
The girls have grown up with Portugal too, and have asked many times when they would be going back. I believe that they too have happy memories of our holidays there, and so I want to kindle that happiness.

When we left Portugal the Sunday after Nigel died, I felt deeply sad that I was leaving him there. Yes, he was dead and so knew nothing about it, but still I felt I should not have left him there alone. In a way, I left part of myself in Portugal that day we flew home, so returning this summer will help me reclaim that. I need to go back, experience happiness there, see how the girls and I have grown together as a more complex family unit.

I am hoping for a fortnight of happiness and good memories.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Legoland Revisited

We have spent today at Legoland Windsor with my brother, sis in law, nephew and niece. Last time we visited was in October 2006 with mum and dad. The weather was forecast to be 23 degrees today, but looked like it could rain when we arrived.

Well it didn't rain, in fact I have ended up getting a touch of sunburn. The girls had a ball with their cousins, and this time it was warm enough to enjoy the water park in Duplo Land. We went on a few of the rides, and enjoyed spotting all the lego sculptures around the park. A picnic in the sunshine made for a nice lunch. Better than nasty takeaway in the park!

Not a lot to report, other than we had a fantastic day. If you're planning a visit to Legoland, check out ticket prices on as I saved loads on buying the tickets at the gate. Cheaper even than with the one child free vouchers tesco have been handing out of late. We got cheap tickets for Chester Zoo from there too earlier in the month, so it is worth a look.

We head home tomorrow, back to reality with housework to be done, school to prepare for. Sophie has one more book to read, she managed Miss Dose the Doctor's Daughter this morning, reading to her sister and cousin.

Signing off, adios for now.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Reasons to be glad

Have I blogged about this before? I'm not sure really, so here goes.

Given everything that has happened to me since August 10th 2006, it is easy to slip into a negative frame of mind. It is too easy to allow myself to become a victim, and to blame everything that goes wrong in my life on the fact that at the age of 30 I became a widow completely out of the blue. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, working on being more positive about my life and things in it. Some days it is harder than others, but it is never a possibility to give up.

Every day of my life, I wish that Nigel was still here, wish that he could see Alex learning to read her first words, wish that he could see Sophie waking up, finding that the tooth fairy had been, and skipping delightedly all over the house. He has missed so many things, but equally he saw so much before he died.

He was there when both girls were born, cheering me on, even when I was exhausted and in agony. He was there when both girls took their first steps. He was there through thick and thin when they were babies. He was there when we took both girls on their first foreign holidays, both to Alvor where ultimately we would say goodbye to him.

Since losing Nigel, there have been many firsts, and there will be many more in the years to come. So focus on the positive I will.

I am glad Nigel felt no pain on the night he died. My GP and also the consultant cardiologist at LGI have reassured me that he felt nothing. He went back to sleep that night at 1.10am and never felt anything more.

I am glad that our girls slept through the events of that night, that they didn't see the paramedics working on their daddy, the mortuary men taking him away in what I hope to be the only black body bag I ever lay eyes on.

I am glad that Nigel made it home so soon, even though we were expecting him to take much longer than the eight days it took for all the paperwork to be completed.

I am glad that over 300 people thought so much of my husband that they came to pay their respects at his funeral.

I am glad that my girls have coped well with losing their father. How do I know this? The girls had some sessions with the Leeds Sad Events Team, Louise in fact, and she was very complimentary about how grounded they both are, and how comfortable they are with talking about Nigel.

I am glad that we didn't have to move from this house. We moved here when I was 11 weeks pregnant with Sophie, and watched it being built before then. It is our home, and I want it to stay that way. Yes, I have to budget carefully, but it is worth it. There are so many happy memories here.

Most of all, I am glad to have known Nigel, to have loved Nigel, to have married Nigel, and that he was the father of our children.

I wish he was still here, but even with wishing as hard as I can on that lucky star, dreams don't always come true.

So for now, I'm keeping going at remembering the good times, and holding so many memories close to my heart.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Quick update

Poorly me.
Got a chest infection.
On antibiotics.
Feel crap.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What to call this post

Not sure really as I am just checking in to say hello. I have taken shed loads of photographs lately, but unfortunately I can't share them. They're of the children I teach, and my school has a very strict photography policy. I have been taking class photos, and I am really pleased with how they are looking so far. I enjoy taking photos, and would love a new lens for my camera. Just can't decide which one I want first!

Alex is poorly again. She has a hacking cough, and her tonsils are all swollen again. I am going to have to push to go back to ENT again, I am not happy at all about how poorly she is with her throat. Sophie is doing fine. We spent the day at Chester Zoo yesterday, and Jenn, her best friend, came with us, along with her brothers and mum. We met Heather, Erin and Swyn there, and the weather held out perfectly for us. Nice and warm, not too hot or cold.

Other than that, not a lot going on. Just busy to the point of wanting to stop the world and get off! Managed to ignore the fact that it was Father's Day on Sunday. I did find our wedding cards whilst clearing out my wardrobe, so had a little sob to myself over those.

Ah well. Onwards and upwards!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Cardiology and Genetics

We spent most of Thursday morning at Leeds General Infirmary, looking into genetic risks of heart complaints, and then actually giving the girls a thorough physical examination. Both girls had an ECG and an ultrasound scan. It showed up that Sophie has a murmur, and Alex is borderline for having one. Not anything to worry about at this stage, but they will be having an extended ECG over 24 hours in a few weeks' time.
I am relieved to have discussed my fears with the doctors, who were very sympathetic about my concerns. They will be writing to the hospital where the post mortem was carried out, through the Foreign Office. I could do it myself, but it is more likely to be successful if the hospital does it. We are hoping that a full post mortem report will be available, which should then give more indication as to whether Nigel actually died of a heart attack. It is possible that he died as a result of something which had similar symptoms to a heart attack, so seeing the full report should help to clarify this.

I am struggling just now with misuse of the term 'widow'. I hear people describing themselves as 'football widows', 'exam time widows', 'wii widows' etc etc. I know people do not mean to be offensive, but the reality of being a widow is massively different to being denied a little time with your loved one like this. Yes, it seems enormous at the time, but it is, in the bigger picture, only a very short term thing. Being a widow is something that doesn't go away. Even if I were to find someone new, I would never leave being Nigel's widow behind. Some days I wish I could, but I know I will never be able to fully. So please, find some other way to describe the fact that you can not spend the time you would like to with your loved one. I wish I was a football widow just now... it would definitely be preferable to being a heart attack widow...

I leave you with a quick card I made today, using the May kit from Scrapagogo. It was in response to a challenge set by Sally to case a card using a Scrapagogo kit. So I promptly cased one of Sally's own cards!

I have more stuff to photograph, but the light was hideous by the time I got round to taking the pics!

And really to end with, a song I am enjoying just now. Listen to the words...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Work cut short..

because Alex is ill :(

She has tonsilitis and is running a very high temperature. She is not a happy girl at all.

Here's to a long night...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Cardiology here we come

On Thursday the girls will be having their first round of tests with cardiology at the LGI. I asked our GP to refer us, as I am worried that there could be some sort of underlying genetic heart defect which was why Nigel's heart just stopped that night. Most probably there is nothing, but I decided I wanted to have the girls checked.

I am glad they are being checked, whilst also being a little apprehensive. Fingers crossed all goes well please.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Rollercoaster week...

Half term. Time to spend some time with the girls.

Yeah right!

Enter horrid asthma, mega steroid tablets, on the verge of being admitted to hospital and pumped full of all sorts. I haven't felt ill like that since before Nigel died. It was horrid, and I am so glad I feel better now!

The girls have since spent a few days with my parents, and I disappeared off with some friends. I have come back feeling refreshed, ready to give everything my best shot!

So hopefully time for some crafting very soon! Watch this space...