After a very positive blog last night I came to bed but foolishly left the radio on for plenty of late night slushy records. The wave of missing Clive-itis swept over me and the only comfort I got was cuddling my soft toys, crying and rocking myself to the rhythm of the music. I thought of how tonight 'should have gone'; how much he adored going to watch the Rhinos and how we would have been enjoying these days together. Yet it was not to be.
I must have fallen asleep at some point and when I got up I looked frightful - tired, pale and washed out. I could see how sunny it was so made my breakfast and sat in the back garden to have it. That's when optimism began to creep in again.
My Mum and Dad are coming over on Monday for a few days to help me decorate the main bedroom. Time to get stuff ready! In one corner there is a tall, single wardrobe which has been hanging off the wall for ages. It hides the house alarm box at the top but it looks very messy from the side. It had to go! First job was to move the contents - some of Clive's many clothes. I got hot wearing my thick, cosy dressing gown so changed it for one of his bright orange cycling t-shirts. I had music on and bit by bit I emptied the drawers and moved the shirts. Over the bed are more cupboards and I put some of his underwear up there by standing on the bed. As I filled a big bag with his socks and stood on the bed again, Gloria Gaynor's 'I will survive' came on the radio. Next minute I was literally jumping on the bed, wearing only his T-shirt, singing my heart out to the words!!! I then dissolved in fits of giggles at myself. Oh WHAT a roller coaster!
I put my shorts on and had to use a scarf for a belt to stop them from falling down! I have to admit that maybe I do need to get some smaller ones.
I then headed off to the Post Office sorting office to collect a 'signed for' delivery. Oooh! What could it be? Shucks - a returned copy of my change of name document being returned.
Next was a BIG test. Two days after Clive died we had been due to have the downstairs toilet and basin replaced. Of course it was cancelled. However, literally hours before he died on the Saturday we had been to B and Q for new taps. It was there that he had complained badly of the pain in his chest but refused emphatically for me to take him to A and E. I decided to exchange the taps today for paint for the bedroom. I was very apprehensive but I managed to do so without a tear! I felt strangely independent choosing the best offer and the additional items I needed. As I left I felt very proud of myself for not breaking down in there.
The store is near our friends Nip and Ellie so I called to see them. Another friend Dave was there. We sat in the glorious sunshine and had a good chat. Clive's golf 'chums' are arranging a Golf Day for the Clive Gott Foundation on August 10th (the day before he would have been 53). Dave was telling me that he'd like more teams to enter. Mainly we just want a reason to have a get-together and remember him. Even if you can't play golf we can be sociable! Details are here. Can you bring a team?
I came home briefly and then met another friend for lunch at the Coach and Horses, which we ate outside. I now have what Clive would have called an idiot tan on my neck and arms! Once back home with me he helped on several tasks! Including the dismantling of the wardrobe! Beware if you visit me - you may get roped in for more than coffee!! Very much appreciated xxxxx
I am very pleased with the space now in the corner and am keen tomorrow to try my hand at filling the holes.
Within minutes of him leaving, my friend Angela arrived! We have been trying for weeks to get together. We came up with various plans on how to spend the evening and settled for a quick trip to Sainsbury's for some supper and returned for a wonderfully relaxed evening on the sofa watching television, drinking wine, and generally putting the world to rights. Bliss.
I was doing well until on Britain's Got Talent (yes we did watch it) there was a married couple who played hand bells to Celine Dion's track 'My heart will go on and on', theme tune from the Titanic. That did it! I was back on deck of the cruise ship last September. Most nights we would go up there after dinner or a show.
I know it's corny and probably many couples do it but .....
Last summer I had tried to lose weight prior to the holiday and to inspire me I had cut out pictures from the brochure and put them in front of the running machine and cross trainer. One night on the ship we walked up to the deserted bow. Clive cradled me in his arms and we stood by the rails listening to the sound of the waves. Looking at the blanket of stars. Feeling the warm, gentle breeze on our tanned skin. It was a magical 'this is it' moment. My 'picture' had come true. After a while we sat on a bench there and just soaked up the memory in the making. We spent many an hour on this holiday just 'being'. We were so in love. I stretched out on the seat and lay my head on his lap and looked up to the heavens. Clive stroked my cheek, caressed my hair and told me again how much he adored me. That I completed him.
Our intimacy was interrupted by three American passengers who apologised for disturbing our Kate Winslet and Leonardo moment. We joked that we weren't about to jump over the side though. One of the ladies asked what the name of the character was played by Kate. We all speculated for a few moments and gave up. The American guy was also trying to work out where the lights were twinkling on the horizon.
'Rhodes?' he asked.
'That's it! ' I exclaimed, 'Rose'!
It seemed funny at the time!
Tonight, eight weeks to the night Clive died, I was back on that deck and the tears did flow a little. Yet now as I type I am filled with the same depth of love we both felt throughout that 'honeymoon without the wedding'. Even better is the account of each day in my journal.
It has been a busy and sociable day today and I have another one tomorrow. I have the paint and requirements ready to turn this boring, yellow and brown bedroom into the fresh, bright and colourful haven we had planned and chosen together. I have been in wonderful company and feel very loved.
Thank you everyone.