Friday, 5 August 2011

Beginning to smile again

Last Friday began with grey clouds at Flamborough and I must admit I didn't mind! Brendan was due to go home; I was going to Salford and Dom's Dad was joining him at the cottage! All change!

I packed up and made us all some brunch and we took Brendan into Bridlington to the station. I then drove back home quite contentedly. Once again my wonderful neighbours had cut the front lawns for me. I cannot say how much that helps me!

After sorting out some admin and repacking I was on the M62 gain heading for Salford to watch them play Leeds Rhinos. I smiled as a van for 'Take That 2' passed me. A couple of years ago Clive was MC for a charity evening held at the Radisson in Leeds. Re-Take That performed that night and we met up with them.
It was refreshing to have a memory and smile rather than feel sad!

Not sure about Camilla hair!!

Our friend Andy Preston had invited me to attend as his guest at the match last Friday night as he sponsors 'The Reds' and we reciprocate with Leeds Rhinos. (By the way hasn't the guy on Andy's website got perfect teeth? Not a filling in sight!). Last year we had gone with my sister, brother-in-law, Ann and Iain Girling too. Andy had arranged for Clive to be presented and dressed in Reds regalia - hat, scarf, etc. He was really touched!

I was pleased with how strong and happy I felt on Friday night. I hadn't been to The Willows stadium without Clive but I was fine about it. It was good to catch up with Andy and tell him, amongst other things, of how useful I had found his negotiating ideas he passed on in his workshop I attended recently.

I have said before that I find it helpful at the moment to 'look back' in order to recognise the progress I have made since Clive died. I feel so much stronger than when I last saw Andy in Bradford and hugely better than the time before at Oulton Hall. When life can seem overwhelming with challenges I find this approach better.

Of course Clive cropped up in conversation but so did my achievements and hopes. When we walked into the stadium after the meal the song playing was 'Summer of '69'! Regular followers will know the significance of that as it was one of Clive's Celebration songs. It made me smile this time - typical, Clive had to be in on the night!

The game was enjoyable with Rhinos winning 16 - 0 at half time and the final score 30 - 22 to Leeds. Well done to Salford Reds for the second half but we still won - tee hee!

When I first went to Rugby League games with Clive I did it to be with him and learn about what he loved and embrace it. I can honestly say I really enjoy it and I am proud to continue for us both.

Perhaps this poem sums up my feelings as I write this blog:-

If I should die and leave you here awhile,
Be not like others, sore undone, who keep
Long vigils by the silent dust, and weep.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
Nerving thy heart and trembling hands to do
Something to comfort weaker hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine
And I perchance may therein comfort you.

Attrib. A Price Hughes.

Today I have just received these testimonials for my new keynote aimed at business audiences:-

‘The best presentation I have ever seen. Strong, simple message linked beautifully to real-life experience. Everyone hung on every word’.
Graham Wren, Everything Everywhere

‘A real story that has had a huge impact on me personally. I would love for people working with people to listen to Elaine and truly understand their judgements or impact to others suffering from any mental health. Remarkable way of dealing with life's tough times.’
Lucinda Kirk, Training Delivery Manager, Everything Everywhere

‘WOW! Thanks for the privilege of sharing your experiences, very moving’.
Richard Holliday, First TransPennine Express

And this for my joint workshop with Ann Girling, aimed at Children's Centre staff and health professionals:-

' An excellent session which was embedded with real life examples, woven with a thread of emotive life experiences, creating a deep learning experience for all participants. In addition, the style and content of the course was invaluable in providing practitioners with core skills and tools to develop their critical thinking and every day practice in this often taboo and mis-understood subject area. I thank you sincerely for this outstanding session!'
Zena J Rashid, Workforce Development Coordinator - Children's Centres, Nottingham  

One of Clive's purposes in life was to be 'a constant inspiration to those who seek it'. Although I am not delivering 'his' stuff It would appear that I am continuing his 'unfinished business' of inspiring others. 

Just give me audiences!!

Elaine x

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