Tuesday, 30 November 2010

One I prepared earlier.....

Well after a couple of late night blogging sessions I'm exhausted and in need of an early night, so here's something I prepared earlier.  This is what I had to say at the funeral...

You may have been very surprised today that we came in to the theme tune to the cricket and thought, well I never knew Andrew was a cricket fan – well he wasn’t!  He always said it would be a jolly piece of music for his funeral!  As you leave we have a gift for you, just something else we had already planned in jest.  But sorry Andrew two songs never made the play list –“ Fool if you think it’s over” by Chris Rea and “When will I see you again?” by the Supremes.  Although the more I think about them the more they seem appropriate too, but then we could be here ‘til midnight!

Andrew sometimes got called Mr Grumpy, not least by me and the boys.  There was quite a list of things he didn’t like…..

Words like buy, purchase and spend.  Traffic jams and slow drivers in the fast lane.  Airport security.  Caravans.  He hated wearing a shirt and tie, although he wore one on our first date to impress me. 

In church he could never understand why we had to sing the words to songs more than once “didn’t God hear the first time?”

One of his biggest pet hates was dull services or meetings.  He had his own expression
“it was enough to bore the udders off a herd of cows” 
(Only he didn’t actually use the word “udders”)
He would sit beside me in church whispering “boing, boing” apparently the noise udders make when they bounce.  I would dig him in the ribs but silently giggle.  He believed church should be alive and had aspirations of filling this place with young people and holding a Christian rock concert  Putting on a big event to show the youngsters in this area how exciting God could be. 

His faith was very private and personal but no less real.  He worshipped God by “doing” things.  His domain was the media desk by the door and woe betide any vicar who ran off with the media key in his pocket!  Or any inept person who fiddled with all the switches - “why can’t people leave things alone?”   “Aborigines and jet engines” was another favourite saying.

Just as much as being at the back of church he loved being at the front, it was being in the middle he found difficult to cope with, he couldn’t sit still and would always be thinking how he would do things differently!  We’d talk later about how together we could do it “better”!

The last time he stood here he did the Bible reading.  It was a Bible reading like no other as he read the story in his own style.  It was the story of Jesus casting out a legion of demons into a herd of pigs.  He finished by saying and it’s all true – no porkies!  The reading was accompanied by a power point using the Brick Testament, Bible stories told with pictures of Lego people.  The children, and it must be said adults too, sat rapt with attention.  So many people have commented to me in their cards and messages how wonderful he was that morning.

Other things Andrew liked…

The word adequate, purple quality street, crispy cakes, mars bars and coca cola!  He loved driving buses, somehow the traffic never phased him behind the wheel of a bus.  He liked his train set – sorry that should bemodel railway.  He loved his big house and garden

He loved disappearing upstairs into his den where he pretended to be a DJ sat at the mixing desk.  It was a couple of days before I got upstairs and the turntable was still spinning.  We’d sit together finding tracks we liked and getting the other one to guess who the artist was.

Because of his love of broadcasting I believe he was rare off shore because he actually like doing the tannoy announcements.  We would even work on ideas at home of how to make the mundane ones sound more interesting.  Like the tannoy that started “It is a truth universally acknowledged….”  And if anyone can remember how that ended please let me know as I only remember the Jane Austen beginning.

Andrew liked magnolia paint but I think I may have converted him to “dusted fondant”.  That’s off the Dulux colour chart.  His tea was white, no sugar, weak and milky, a light brown oak, off the Ronseal colour chart!

After taking the children to school, a car load for me and bus load for him, we liked doing the crossword together and either we were getting very good at it or the crossword on the back of the daily mail was getting easier!

He loved belonging to the church family here.  He’d found somewhere where he fitted in, he could be useful and everyone seemed to understand his unique sense of humour.

He loved his family, although he didn’t always show it and especially loved our two boys. 

And I know he loved me, every day he would ask, more than once, “have I told you I love you today?”  He rang every day without fail from the platform and I would get anxious if I missed more than one phone call.  The message on the answer phone went “hello it’s just me looking for you.”

It’s been difficult to sleep since he’s gone and on my first sleepless night I decided what to wear today.  When I wore this Tshirt he would say “someone who loves you very much must have bought you that Tshirt!”

On my second sleepless night I decided what he should wear.  Jeans and a Tshirt obviously!

Just as Andrew bought me my Tshirt, so the boys and I bought his for him.  We got it at New Wine and it has a bus on it!  But it also has a slogan and Andrew’s everyday T shirts had to be plain so he had never worn it.  He said “I’ll wear it one day!”  Today seems as appropriate as any.

It’s a micky take on the bus adverts around a few years ago that began “There probably isn’t a God….

But Andrew didn’t agree and his T shirt says 
“ There positively is a God,
       now stop worrying
           and enjoy your life”

Monday, 29 November 2010

love letters and pot noodles

Today I found some old love letters I'd written to Andrew before we married, they were good to re-read even if they made me cry. They were so full of hope for the lifetime we would share together and the overwhelming love we felt for one another all those years ago.

Why did I ever stop writing them?

Because somewhere in the middle years we get caught up in the mundane.  Life gets hard and we plod on like a "mini submarine going through a rice pudding" (one of Andrew's many strange expressions - apparently once an essay title for a detention at school - he said it was true but knowing Andrew it may well have been a BLUFF!)

I can honestly say that in the last few months things had come full circle, life was good and we were back to the way they used to be all those years ago.  We were totally in love and full of hope for the lifetime we would continue to share together...

On a completely different note... school was cancelled today, so my friends trudged through the snow to see me with their kids.  There was laughter up and down the stairs. Soggy sock drying on the Aga.  And my first ever pot noodle for my lunch!

Andrew never wrote me a love letter in return, he wouldn't know where to start.  But he showed me he loved me by what he did for me and especially how he provided for me and the boys.

Since he's been gone so many people have shown us "love" and hopefully I've been able to show mine back because love is.....

...letters, cards, texts and hugs.  A carrier bag or two, full of shopping.  A smile, a cup of tea, a listening ear.  Making an effort to get through the snow.  A dry pair of socks and the loan of a jumper.  A lift somewhere at short notice, a poem, the knowledge that people really care.

Love can be as romantic as a love letter or as simple as a pot noodle or anything in between...

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  
1 John 4 v 7

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Diary: 27th November 2010

It was two weeks ago today that I came home to the biggest shock of my life - my husband of 16 years lay collapsed on the floor beside our bed.  I'd only gone out for the afternoon to visit a friend and had left him having a rest with a particulary bad headache.  Our two boys aged 13 and 10 were downstairs.

Despite the valiant efforts of the paramedics I think I already knew when I found him that he was gone....

Today would have been his 49th birthday!

In the last two weeks I've felt like I'm unravelling and everything is falling apart.  Some threads are pulled tighter leaving me physically in pain.  Other threads are so loose I'm in danger of letting them go.

And now we are snowed in - which doesn't help.  I feel so trapped by the silently, suffocating whiteness that has obliterated the world I know.  I can't get comfort from the normality of life, my routine has gone haywire, my only chance of a solo escape from these four walls is on foot.

Meanwhile the house, our home, has betrayed me with its leaking and dripping and breaking and cracking and moaning and rattling.

Maybe if I go to sleep when I wake up I'll find it has all been a dream....but so far that one hasn't worked!

Maybe writing this will help, I've got so many thoughts in my head and bits of stories and poems.  I could end up tying myself in more knots or completely come undone and lose the plot! 

I make no apologies for the drivel I might write. First and foremost this is for me but I wouldn't be here if I didn't want some company along the way...