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That Time My Brother Went Mad & Decided To Walk Up A Mountain

June 17, 2012

Hello lovelies, I am interrupting my radio silence (follow progress of the flat in this flickr set. It’s happening… slowly) to tell you about something rather exciting my brother is getting up to.

Andy was mad. Andy did things like check himself out of hospital, drive for 5 hours, do an urban downhill race, go clubbing til 4am and then drive another 5 hours to go back to hospital. Andy did things like run a half marathon with very little training, in between chemo sessions and raise a whopping £5,000 for Cancer Research UK and the Willow Foundation. 

And it seems that some of that madness has rubbed off on my brother Paul. Who has decided to do some fundraising of his own, and has taken up the challenge to trek to Everest Basecamp in September in aid of children’s charity Childreach International. That’s about a million (well 18,000) feet up, ten days of hardcore trekking and some altitude sickness too. 

About Childreach Paul wrote; “Childreach are an amazing grass-roots charity that work with children all over the world providing healthcare, education and child rights & protection. In 2010 they helped provide 40,000 children with education and 23,000 children with healthcare.
One of the countries they operate in is Nepal itself and during our time out there we’re able to witness the work they do first-hand as we visit one of their schools.
Find out more at http://www.childreach.org.uk/who-we-are/about-us

To do this Paul has to raise £2,500, he’s already over half way there through various fundraising events and sponsorship. There’s 5 weeks to go until the deadline, and if any of you would like to sponsor him that would be incredible. It may not be a charity that was actively involved in Andy’s care, but it was Andy that inspired Paul to do this.

Just click here – https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/paul – every little bit counts! 

Thank you muchly, Ses 🙂 xx

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Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes

May 18, 2012

Tomorrow makes a year.

And I miss him.

 

I’ve been angry that he was taken from me

Frustrated that my attempts at new starts have gone wrong, a lot.

Tired of being alone, sleeping alone, waking up alone, driving alone.

Sad at the absence of part of me, my best friend, my advocate.

 

But I’ve also been joyful at the blessings in my life

Hopeful for the future

Excited by the possibilities

Grateful for God’s eternal love, mercy and patience. Grateful for the people he’s put around me. Grateful for Andy and the short time we had together.

 

It’s been twelve months of every emotion under the sun, but as the dust storm settles and I step out into the sunshine I look down at my wedding ring and remember how lucky I was to have been loved so completely, and I look up to the cross and remember how blessed and undeserving I am to be loved so perfectly by the Lord of all.

And when I have that, I don’t need anything else.

~

~

Be so happy with the way you are
Just be happy that you made it this far
Please be happy now
 
Jason Mraz
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Now…

October 27, 2011

So I’ve been pretty absent over the last couple of months, but I’m still here, promise! Thought I’d keep you lovely people updated on me and where I’m at now…

I moved to Devon. My parents have lived in Plymouth for a while now and it’s the place that most feels like home. So I’m here, with the sea and the rain for the foreseeable future. I’ve found a lovely flat near The Hoe and am currently waiting on the legal shmegal to happen, then the builders are moving in to renovate the place. It’s going to be a beautiful home for my youngest sister and I when it’s done though and I’m very excited about it!

I’m enjoying settling in down here, meeting new people, catching up with old friends… looking for a church, knitting group, job (maybe, yes, and hopefully soon now my CV is finally sorted)

I had the most amazing summer, really full of fun and so refreshing for my very tired soul. And now I feel like I’m ready to get up and get on. I’m still blogging, in a short, knitty sort of way over at Stitches & Swatches. And I’ll update here if anything especially exciting happens, like I finally open my etsy shop or write a book or get the NHS to change their policy on Colitis patients.

So all that’s left to say really is thank you. Thank you for reading, for letting us ramble, for over 58,000 blog  hits. Thank you for praying and hoping and loving us. Thank you for supporting two random strangers as they faced cancer head on.

I’m going to finish with this – EVERYTHING good we did, we did it through the power of Jesus Christ. All our hope and positivity and strength, all our love for each other, all our patience and trust… was all God. Right from the start, we said we would trust that He would look after us and we would do it in His strength. And we did, and He was faithful and true. And that’s the only reason that I’m still standing now.

~ “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”~

I love you!

Ses xxx

 

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Happy Birthday

October 20, 2011

My darling husbandface,

Yesterday was the 19th. 5 months since you died. They always come round and feel like a punch in the stomach but that was the hardest so far because today is your birthday. Last year on the 19th we went out for dinner. I wanted to go to St Albans and go somewhere posh, you wanted to go to Frankie and Benny’s in Hatfield. So we did, but I didn’t tell them it was your birthday the next day because no-one wants to hear Cliff Richard singing ‘Congratulations’ again! (I think we went there too much!)

And then on your birthday we had a lazy morning with presents – you loved the jumper I bought you and wore it non stop until you died – and went to chemo. And as usual, despite having to spend your birthday plugged into a pump, you smile and charmed everyone and we had cake while you subjected us to endless Top Gear repeats. And then we went home (via McDonalds of course – a post-chemo ritual that, while disgusting, I miss so much now) and spent the rest of the day snuggling on the sofa. I cooked you something and we watched rubbish TV.

But now it’s this year, and you’re gone. And instead of spending the last week shopping and cooking and baking and  hiding secrets, I’ve spent it crying and missing you and still so cross that you didn’t make it.

I don’t know whether there’s birthdays in heaven. Or ‘salvation days’… I guess every day is a crazy mad celebration of how awesome God is and how much He loves each and every one of us. (With cake I’m sure – Jesus loved his feasting!) But I’ll be raising a glass tonight, in celebration of you. Of how much you loved me, of the amazing husband that you were  and how your voice at the back of my head saying ‘come on honey, man up, you can do this!’ gets me through every day.

I love you, so much, and I always will. And I miss every day.

Wifelet xxx

 

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Until You Die, Live.

June 28, 2011

Dear World,

I’m pretty sure unless you’re 24, nursed your husband through 14 months of sickness, knowing all along that the cancer would get him eventually and then watched him die…. you have no idea what I’m feeling!

It makes me so cross that people think I should feel a certain way. That I should be crying all day. That I should be miserable.

I made my peace with the fact that I was losing my husband back in December. I started saying goodbye in March. I prayed over him as he slipped away and gave him over to God.

When I think of the countless people who, every single day, have their loved ones ripped from them – through war and accidents and heart attacks, who never have a chance to sort things and make peace and say goodbye… I feel lucky. Everyone has to die. I got the gift of being there when he did.

I’ve also got the gift of being alive. I’ve got the gift of joy. I’ve got the gift of Salvation. And I’m going to live my life.  I’m not going to sit at home and mope. I’m going to hang out with my friends and make new ones and go on adventures.

Stop judging me for being ok. Stop judging me because I’m not grieving in the same way or on the same time scale as you are or “think” you would be. I loved him more than you could ever know. It’s because I love him that I’m going to make the best of the short time we have on this earth.

I’m 24. I’m far too young to die too, to just exist. I’m going to live.

Ses

(picture from Howies – sadly it was limited edition and no longer available.)

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Me

June 9, 2011

Today, I’m ok.

It might get worse. It might get better.

But whatever happens, it’s ok. Whatever I feel, it’s ok.

 

It might take me 3 weeks to sort out my house. It might be a year.

I might start dating next month. I might never date anyone again.

Maybe I’ll become a crazy cat lady. Maybe I’ll adopt a ton of kids. Maybe I’ll talk to everyone and anyone. Maybe I’ll shut myself in my room for days.

I’ll do whatever the hell I want to do. And it’s ok.

Nothing I do now changes the past. Nothing changes how much I adored Andy, how much of myself I poured into our relationship and caring for him. Nothing changes the fact that I spent 14 months looking after his every need and, frankly, was superwoman at times. Nothing changes the fact that I will always love him and he will always be in my heart.

But I’m not going to sit around and pretend to be sadder than I am. For a start, Andy would hate that. And he taught me that life is for living, for grabbing every moment. And now I’m not being held hostage by cancer any more, it’s going to be about me for a while. Grief and grieving will come when it comes.

 

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Footloose

June 6, 2011

I’ve never been good at staying put. I thought this time would be it though, but clearly it’s not to be. I moved to Hertfordshire to be with Andy, and now he’s gone I just really, really want to be near my family. And I love the south west – although my nomadic lifestyle means no town or city has ever been “home”, it’s the area where I’ve spent most of my life and I’m looking forward to being back there.

So I’m packing my life into boxes again and setting out looking for a new adventure in Devon.

I’m not moving right away, but it doesn’t hurt to get a head start on things. I move so much that I start to wonder why I even bother unpacking! Though I’m hoping this time it’ll give me a base for my stuff to live while I move around on my adventures. I am trying to be ruthless too – my friend Lauren popped in to bring me some bubble wrap and left with an ice cream scoop and a DVD. I might make it a rule for any visitors!