Well the roller coaster of life that Clive wanted me to sit in the front seat with him has taken a downward turn this morning. After staying awake until just after midnight merely to see the growing stats on my blog (sad I know!) I did drift off to sleep quite content. I woke when it was still dark though, snuggled up to 'pillow Clive'. Oh bugger! Why isn't it light? I resisted the temptation to open the laptop and tried to get back to sleep again. Next thing I knew the phone rang around 8.30 a.m. to say the delivery I was expecting was half an hour away.
It felt like 2.30 a.m. I must have drifted off into a deep sleep and now awaken from it I feel drained, weary and tearful. I lay for a few moments and could hear Clive telling me to get up. Today I knew I wanted to wash my hair - should I do it pre-delivery or post? Throw scruffs on for now and shower later? 'Best use of time?' Clive's voice was telling me. 'Okay, okay' I replied, 'I'll do it now'!
The morning sunshine was streaming through the en suite window and as I let the water flow over me I caught the reflection of my body on the shower screen due to the light. I could see the water trickling over my left breast, down my slimmer waist and thigh. Blimey, I thought, as I washed my hair - Clive would have thought that was so horny!!!!
In a hotel once he made me giggle as I opened my eyes and he took this photo! He loved this picture and I have made it public because it makes me smile too. I loved the way he made me feel like a teenager!
When he washed my hair he would gently push my head under the shower spray to rinse it so I had to splutter a little and really feel the warmth and flow of the water. So I did that this morning and smiled at the memories. I stepped out of the shower and instantly burst into tears. The ultimate question again reared it's head 'Why? Why? Why? Why did he have to go?'
I put cream on my face, brushed my teeth then began to put body moisturiser on. One of Clive's daily pleasures and mine was to put it on my back. I'd suddenly appear with the pot; without saying a word he'd gently rub it across my shoulders and upper back; kiss the top of my head - then playfully smack my bottom! Followed by the word in the week of 'Work!' he often spoke of the importance of self-discipline and he was true to his word. This morning as I did it I just sobbed again - no more will he do that for me.
The year before last I had a hysterectomy. When he visited me in hospital those first few delicate days, he would pull the curtains around the bed, get a bowl of hot water and tenderly and slowly wipe every part of me. He would wash each limb, dry it with a fluffy towel from home and smooth body lotion into me. Clive would even put moisturiser on my face, brush my hair and complete the routine with helping me into a clean nightie. He would do it all in silence and I'd just relax and embrace the sensory waves flowing through me. Wow! By the time the curtains were pulled back I emerged clean and glowing. So much more therapeutic than talking about the weather! What do you do when you go and visit someone in hospital? Do you enrich their day or make it a 'duty' for you both to endure?
Meanwhile the mirror was approaching! Some of you may be aware that during last year Clive and I sold many of our possessions which we no longer needed to buy new things for our home - selling our past to create our future, was how he put it. I tend to be very sentimental and will keep a sachet of sugar from a cafe! I have stuff in boxes from times and places that no longer have any significance other than a memory. Clive believed that it was better to let go of things and let someone else create new pleasures and memories from them. Consequently our 'new' lounge and dining room have been redecorated and added to - new television and stand, throw, cushions, curtains, pictures, etc. For over the mantelpiece we had seen a stunning mirror in Laura Ashley but both thought it was too expensive. So I got a smaller one for a third of the price at BHS. We put it up and thought it was 'okay'. Then just after Christmas we were back in Laura Ashley to get wallpaper for the 'new' bedroom. The mirror was in the sale. We both spotted it, nodded in agreement and ordered it. Clive said we deserved better than 'okay'. So I sold a bit more on Ebay to pay for it. More lessons learnt - do not compromise on what you really want. It is worth some extra time and effort to achieve what you know you want most.
Today that mirror was coming. It was to be our finishing touch to the lounge. The delivery guys knocked and I warned them that if I cried not to take it personally, and explained why. As they unwrapped it I said how we had 'put off' getting this mirror and now I am encouraging others to actually put into action the things they keep putting off. Or it could be too late. One of the men said I was talking the same language as he does as he had lost his wife in 2005. I burst into tears again and hugged him! I asked if it gets any easier, to which he assured me it does. As I signed the delivery note as Elaine Hanzak-Gott that made me smile and the driver gave me a hug and kissed me on the cheek. So lovely! He said that it was 'a first' for them delivery something to someone in these circumstances.
Our new mirror is now leaning against the banister in the hall. Rod has offered to come and fit it for me but I want to feel in a happier place than I do right now. I want the roller coaster to turn back up.
I spoke to a dear friend of Clive and mine. She told me that when she had asked him the last few times they met or spoke was there anything she could do to help in business or personally, he'd told her that all he wanted was for her to call me from time to time. She chose this morning to ring.
So there I was feeling pretty low. I declined another couple of things to do today because I feel fragile. I am glad that the meetings in Manchester that I was due to go to were cancelled so I was not letting anyone down. So now what?
Food. Hadn't eaten. I really struggle with breakfast at the moment. I usually love porridge but it tastes like glue at the moment. So I toasted a hot cross bun. And burnt it. I made myself a cup of tea and put the last dregs of semi-skimmed milk in it (visitors complained at our skimmed!) - it curdled. I don't swear normally but I let rip and blasted Clive, cursing the teabag, Flora, everything! As the hazy swirls of smoke were highlighted in the beams of sunlight I opened the kitchen window. The force of wind was so strong that I literally had to grabbed the scales and a vase of flowers before they crashed onto the work top. Flipping heck! Was that Clive telling me to 'get a grip'? I have never experienced such a blast of air like that on such a day - the trees are barely moving in the wind.
So I have now lost a big chunk of the morning but wanted to share it. The 'oomph' I had yesterday is just not here today. The roller coaster has gone down.
But that means only one thing - it HAS to go up again. I am being gentle and kind on myself until it does.