We have remained in touch ever since, although not actually met up for a few years. I had been invited to join an evening out with some other ex-college friends to celebrate Chris getting married.
Here we are at the start of the evening at 'Trattoria San Marco Ristorante e Pizzeria', between Preston and Southport. It was lively, buzzing place and the food was delicious.
It was great to catch up on the many years - of children, careers, relationships, etc.
From there we got a lift into Longton and went into the Red Lion pub where there was a live band. We became the dance troop!
It was a wonderful opportunity to just 'go with the flow' and the music and excellent company.
Although I spoke about Clive and my current situation, as they are shared their stories too, we all slipped back into the college 'us'.
What a tonic it was. When you are bereaved every thought tends to be around the loss, worries, feelings of emptiness and isolation. People around you are rather cautious of what to do or say in case it upsets you. That night it felt like the only rule was fun!
By the time the band finished playing we must have danced off the food we had eaten! I felt Clive was watching all night, saying 'go girl'!
Back at Jenny's we all had a room each to sleep in but Carolyn insisted on a girlie sleepover and 5 of us were in one room, chatting until the early hours.
Next morning as we were sipping tea in bed I suddenly felt a rush of tears. For the first time I felt I had properly relaxed since Clive died but also had enjoyed myself too. I had switched my brain off and enjoyed the pleasure of friends from a time when I had been carefree and excited about the future.
The tears didn't last long and bacon sandwiches added to a wonderful get together.
Thank you girls for an uplifting time which has motivated me to want to plan more times like that.
I have to focus on work now the next week - better get some early nights in too!
May I suggest that you arrange to meet up with old/new friends too? Who haven't you seen for years and 'keep meaning to'?
Clive ran out of those opportunities 12 weeks ago. What can you plan, in his words, 'to make it count'?
Friday night was about going back in time but I have left with an optimistic air of 'where will I be in life' for Jenny's 50th next year and mine and Margaret's the next one?
It cannot be with Clive but he will always be with me.
Thanks girls for a fab time and especially to Margaret for being there for me (again) xxxx