Monday, 29 February 2016
Well, it's almost a year since my last blog, so I am consistent! That reminds me of movies and telly programmes when you hear someone say "Forgive me Father, it's been a year since my last confession" and maybe blogging is a bit like the confessional. You can tell all your sins, worries and whatever and get them off your chest. One wee annoyance which has stopped me from journalling on occasion, is that Blogger doesn't seem to understand that as well as being allihobbit from the UK I am also Allison Carroll in USA. So when I try to switch from one to the other and log in, it all gets very confusing and I get messages about not having the right e-mail or password or both! I think it's simple enough but ........ oh well. No big deal really. Life has changed dramatically once again. Glioblastoma finally got the better of my wonderful Tom, and he died on the morning of Saturday 20th June 2015, two years and nine days after the first brain tumour was discovered. He fought every day to live and do as much as he could. He hated having to give up work and longed to be with his students again. He never complained about all the treatments and changes that cancer brings. I would tease him and say when he had a cold he was miserable, but brain cancer? No problem! I was, and still am, brokenhearted. I miss him so much that sometimes I cannot bear to think about anything. Some days I want to think about and remember every detail of the times we had together. I want to talk about him. I don't want anyone to forget him. Most of all I want him to be here. Impossible, I know. In the last few days of his life, he would look at me, and we both knew it was almost over. He couldn't speak, but would stare at me and squeeze my hand. He managed to smile when Maggie came to visit. I believe he was happy to see us both together. Pam, Emily and Kerry stayed with me throughout the last days and, along with Paulette and Neil, kept me going. They did everything! I really don't know what I would have done without any of them. Neil was amazing. He made me smile and laugh when I believed I would never do either again, yet he seemed to know when I needed to be alone. Paulette is still at my side whenever I need her, and believe me, that's often! I will be forever grateful for their love and strength. I was totally numb for SO long. The summer was a blur. Neil and I went to Panama City Beach in July. The ocean and the break from everything was good, and we enjoyed the sunshine. When he went home and I was on my own it was devastating. Everything I looked at reminded me of Tom and the fact that he would never be with me again. Tears and heartache, day and night. In September I had a Shindig for Tom. A memorial but without a service. It was so lovely to see family and friends who loved him and cared for me too. We gathered together, ate, had a few drinks and shared memories. Tom would have loved it! I couldn't have done it without Stef, who also helped me choose a new car, and then we drove to New Orleans for a well needed break. I love that he chooses to spend time with me and seems to enjoy it! Christmas was better than I imagined in Scotland. My family and friends there went all out to make that first difficult Christmas and New Year less painful. Getting through those anniversaries is tough, but I am surrounded by those who care and help me in every way they can. Thank you all. Am I coping now? Mostly. I'm lucky that being on my own isn't a big deal. Not what I want, but shit happens, and you go on. Crying? Every single day, still, almost nine months later. I'm a mess! The life we planned and looked forward to cannot be. Tom worked so hard, saved for his retirement and wanted us to travel and he can't fulfil those wishes. I will try to travel. Tom will be with me in spirit, in my heart, where he always has been, and will be forever. Bhudda said "The trouble is, you think you have time" and that's so true. So more than ever now I tell myself "Just do it" because maybe time will run out, a lot sooner than you think. What will my life be now? I still can't figure that one out. I'm plodding along, with no real purpose. For the moment, I have to "just be" and that's enough. Friends have been wonderful, and encourage me to "do things" and I go along with that now and then. I play with beads, or crochet or knit and time passes. I cuddle my cats. They tolerate me and purr sometimes. I'm told that time heals. I have to believe that, because I don't want to feel like this forever. Sadness is not a good way of life. Grief is something we have to get through. For now, I have to find joy in simple everyday things. Happiness comes from within. I have a lot to be grateful for! I'm not good yet, but I will be!! I know I have a positive outlook, so a new chapter in the book of life awaits. Here's to moving forward!