Thursday seemed symbolic as that. Plan A had been that Clive would have presented at the Direct Selling Association conference at a beautiful 4* hotel in Oxfordshire. I would have been with him to sell his books, to be at his side and confirm the stories he told about us from the stage as true! Later, after a successful presentation, we both would have relaxed and enjoyed the ambience of the dinner dance and company before retiring to bed giddy about the further bookings he would have secured.
We would have driven back yesterday in time for the Leeds Rhinos match and the weekend would have begun on a high!
However, due to his sudden death 11 weeks 6 days ago, the DSA had quickly booked another speaker in Clive's place, Richard McCann. I know he did us all proud and that he has secured more opportunities for his messages of triumph over adversity.
Perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to do so.
My actual plan B was to have the first hangover since Clive had died! I hadn't drunk since he went because I did not want to be maudlin! With a special female friend we had enjoyed reminiscing of happy times together and next morning bemoaning we had drunk what we had! I have no desire to do it again! But it was lovely girlie time at a home where I have memories of Clive and I being very sociable and happy.
I met up en route to our home with a 'new' friend who has regularly checked up on me since Clive died. That was an absolute pleasure. The power of 'internet' relationships must not be underestimated. Although it was our first physical meeting we felt like old friends!
Instead of Plan A I was in a pub in Huddersfield for a quiz night for the Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation. Joe's dear friend Janet had been instrumental in sorting the event.
The Nightingale pub has recently been renovated and it was full to bursting with people keen to support the charity. Many worked with Joe at the hospital across the road. She was an incredible nurse who had positively helped and reached out to others over many years. Now those people are keen to support her legacy.
The pub is named after Florence Nightingale and Thursday was also International Nurses Day, which is celebrated ever year in her honour. Very appropriate!
Janet was initially nervous about being quiz master and asked me for inspiration! I reassured her that the best thing had already happened - we had a large number of people there so no matter what, it was a success!
After a few questions and plenty of warm, friendly banter Janet relaxed and buzzed like a professional! Well done! It was a joy to see her confidence and pleasure grow.
At half time pie and peas were served WITH MINT SAUCE! I still find this Yorkshire tradition novel!
Chris closed the evening with a reminder for people to spread the word about postnatal depression using our brochures and z-cards.
The evening was a huge success and at the end there were offers of help for the Foundation from several quarters. Fabulous!
I am very proud to be involved in Joe's foundation. I wasn't lucky enough to meet her in life but it is a privilege to be supporting those who knew her.
I only have one question for Janet and the staff at The Nightingale - when can we do it again?!
Perhaps that night I was exactly where I was supposed to be? Clive spoke passionately about our individual purpose in life.
I know mine is to help new families to have as content as possible start in the early months after a baby is born.
Joe's and Clive's awful deaths have ironically made my purpose stronger and increasingly possible.
And with my team within the Foundation and everyone else who is currently there for me, it will be possible.
One of the quiz questions was 'which Elvis song did the Pet Shop Boys cover? Answer ..
What am I learning?
- That as plan A cannot now happen that I must embrace plan B and beyond with the new opportunities that are presenting themselves.
- If all I was to do was sit and bemoan Clive's passing it would be a waste of two lives.