Number Ninety Five: Full Circle to the end.

It’s usually said that everything comes around again, full circle. Particularly when you work in the NHS or Social Care; those perfectly acceptable things that you did, that were replaced with the next best thing some how come back as the new best thing 10 years later. Everything always comes full circle. And at that point you start to question, have I been doing this too long? Is it time for the next thing…whatever the hell that means?

Life, as it turns out, is a bit like that. Everything comes full circle. When you’ve moved to a new town and your new Saturday routine involved a trip to the veg market. 4 years later, you’re so crippled by anxiety that a trip to the market with your new born baby and your Cancer patient boyfriend is just too much to handle. Jump forward another 3 years and you’re regularly making the trip again with your 3 year old, just part of our Saturday routine. And I tell her that Daddy used to come to the market. And she said she misses him. And I tell her I do too. And then I watch her as she runs home in front of me and we watch crap kids tv. Life has gone full circle, but in one of those curly spring circles because rather than going round and round on the spot, you’re moving forward. You’re living life. You’re more than surviving. That’s not really a bad place to be.

I’ve never wanted to be stuck in a post Beanie grief ditch. I always said to him that I would keep the blog going as long as it was needed, as long as it was useful. But I think I’m at the stage where I have finally outlived my blog. And I wanted to give it an ending rather than just leaving it drift.

So here I am. 32, Nunus 3 years 5 months and Beanies been gone 2 years 4 months. 2 dogs, 2 cats, 1 fish, one kitchen extension. One wonderful boyfriend, who I love very much. I run…for fun! Music still moves my soul and my friends and family are still the most valuable things in my world.

Some tips have been embedded into everday life. Tip #30 still occurs on a fairly regularly basis. Tip #29 probably isn’t done enough, and I should work on that a bit more. Tip #19 is something to be treasured. And I was lucky to repeat one of my favourites, tip #33 tonight!

I might revisit the blog in the future, just to check in with Beanie and to also update on big life events.

But for now I say goodbye. And thank you. Thank you for reading this far. For reading and sharing then most traumatic/fun/loving/wonderful period of my life. Please, please, please do continue to share this blog with anyone and everyone you think would enjoy it. Who would find it helpful. Or who would enjoy a bit of a random love story. It’s a bit rocky in the middle, but it’s a good ending.




Number Ninety Four: Don’t let them be forgotten

One of my favourite set of words ever, is Shakespeare Sonnet 18; Shall I Compare Thee. Initially, it just looks like a soppy love story. But it’s so much more than that. It’s eternal life, for this woman who stole his heart; ‘So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee’. As long as people can read this, you will always be alive.

I’ve always felt strongly about keeping Beanie as part of our general family conversation. I don’t want Nu to ever feel that she can’t bring him up or ask me about him. And I don’t want him to be forgotten. As his wife, I feel like it’s my responsibility to keep his memory alive. If stop talking about him to Nunu, who else will?

So, as part of keeping his memory alive, it was recently Beanie’s birthday. I wanted to do something to remember him, and to get all of his friends and family involved. I asked, and as always, they completely overwhelmed me with how much they delivered! Balloon after balloon after balloon released into the air in memory of him. It was beautiful.

He may be gone, but he’s certainly not forgotten. Thanks so much for each and every one of you who let off a balloon. You’re truly amazing human beings xo

Number Ninety Four: Old vs New = the wonderful sense of home.

I’m home.

It’s wonderful.

When I first moved back, I think that’s probably how I’d leave the blog, because that’s all that needed to be said. But with more time that passed, every box that was unpacked….yup, more reflections, realisations and ramblings! As if you’d expect anything less by now.

Aside from some relationship logistics, I didn’t really feel that much had changed since I moved out. Yes, I felt like I’d been out of my wonderful cozy home for a lifetime, but everyone else kept saying to me ‘oh it’s not too long to go’, so I suppose in my head I had shortened how long we’d been away.

The week before I moved back, we were starting to do more at the house – moving furniture around to accommodate windows being replaced, cleaners coming in, all that type of thing. Not being too distracted by his amazing new kitchen, through the dust I started to see shadows of my old life. My bed, his ex box, his DVDs, his technology, Reggie the sheep, his ashes still capped with a now very dusty beanie hat….. Things I hadn’t taken with me. Things I’d missed. Things that were home.

I moved back in, thanks to lots of help from the cheffy boyfriend. Over the next few days, old came into line with new. In the brand new kitchen, all his mugs got put away. His tall S mug, his HUGE  Mr Men mug, his tokenistic Arsenal mug. His wine glasses got put away. Boxes were opened with wedding keep sakes, that don’t quite have a place yet, so have been put away again until they do. His Apex Hotel ducks get put in the new bathroom. The toilet people family picture gets backed away for a later date.

Putting away clothes, I removed all the clothes of mine that were too big (yay!)

But as well as old with new, there was also new with new. A new Pieminster cookbook being put away in new cupboards. New arms being wrapped around my shoulders. New TV shows to watch on my old TV. Old hoodies and scrubs being pulled out of the drawers under my new bed.

My house is mine. It’s where my daughter is growing up into a little loon. It’s where my dogs cause havoc. It’s where Nunu runs round the kitchen island because she doesn’t want to go for a wee. Its where my cheffy boyfriend comes to visit and cook me dinner. It’s where my friends gather to catch up, reminisce and look to the future. It’s my house, my home.

But the foundations of my home are the fact that this was my home with Beanie. It’s the house he picked, the house he fell in love with instantly. It’s the house he made me fall in love with. It’s the home we created our family in. The home we were Mr and Mrs Cox in. It was ours. But now it’s mine. And I am me, because of him. So my home will always be his home.

I like that.

It’s good to be home.


Number Ninety Three: A Blog for Beanie

Hello gorgeous man, how we doing? You good? Yeah, I’m good.

Sorry it’s been a while. Your ‘wonderful’ idea of extending the kitchen has kind of consumed our lives over the last few months!! But, hope you’re pleased with how it’s coming on. I know it’s a lot of blue, but ultimately I’ve been think about stuff you’d like as well as what works for me and Nu. I’m really pleased, but can’t wait to get home!

But wanted to write to you tonight and say hi. Ed Sheeran’s headlining Glastonbury. It’s Sunday night. Suns going down. Needless to say, you’re on my mind. I remember us watching him on the Pyramid stage a few years ago. I remember you telling me how much you loved him, and that it was probably more than you loved me. I remember telling you that this was acceptable. I know if you were here, we’d be sat watching it together, having similar conversations. Instead, I’m here on my parents sofa, watching this amazing acceptable ginge open his set with Castle On The Hill – a song that I would have probably just enjoyed if it wasn’t for where you’re scattered. Yeah, I’m not gonna get through this without a silent tear or two…..

So, I mainly wanted to check in to let you know that despite the hectic, stressful madness of the last few months with the house and other issues, that I’m ok. I’m a bit better than ok I think actually. For the first time in a very, very long time. I think year 2 is a bit better than year one. Anniversaries don’t seem to have the same sting that they did last year. Definitely less of a squeezing-a-lemon-over-a-fresh-graze type feel. Days are still hard. Fathers day was hard. The tumour has shrunk day was hard. I’m not looking forward to July surgery memories. I still don’t have any interest in celebrating my birthday in any way. I’m not looking forward to October-December. But, I’ve gotten through year one, I sort of know what to expect. I don’t think it’ll be any easier. But it’ll be a devil I know, and I think that in itself helps.

Ed’s just started on A-Team, the  crowds lit up with mobile phone lights. So many pretty little lights, you’d like it. In an odd way, reminds me of the fairy lights that lined the beach bar in Bali, or the stars we used to watch in Arkansas or Florida when we were on holiday……

Some days I can listen to Ed, some days I can’t. Some days I can listen to Ella Eyre, sometimes I can’t. But, as you’ll have seen I’m re-watching Dr Who! I’ve stopped being scared of it now, and am actually quite enjoying it. Matt Smith is awesome, I do love him so.

Don’t now being played – reminds me of listening to this in Cindy whilst driving down into Hampshire or up into Essex. As much as I still think the evoque looks like a large animal has sat on it, I did love Cindy…..even when it became clear I wasn’t capable of driving her and crashed her twice!

Reasons I’m ok? Combination of reasons really. Keep trying to make good choices where I can. Working enough, but not too much. Eating as well as I can, but certainly not depriving myself of cake. Exercising has definitely become a major antidepressant factor for me. Still loving the running (I know, so odd!) and really determined to smash Race for Life this year. Gym every now and again, swimming when it’s hot and the occasional longer dog walk when temperament of Nunu allows. These factors makes the base, tomato and cheese of my pizza. But, there is a high quality topping. Cajun chicken mark II? Who knows.

The Boy From Lee.

He’s cool. He’s different, that’s for sure. But I like him. I really like him. Nunu seems to find him acceptable and Stitch hasn’t picked up anything I should worry about.

Lego house now…..have always preferred this song live compared to the album version! Think it’s the ‘wooaahs’.

But back to The Boy From Lee. It’s very odd. It’s like I’ve rewound 10 years. 10 years to when I was working in Gosport, before you, before any of this. I drove past the end of his road for almost 3 years, 5 days a week, our paths never crossed until the joy of internet dating. Going back, so familiar but so different. I was sat on the beach with him a couple of weeks ago. Looking out at the Isle of Wight and the Fag Tower at Fawley. Such a familiar view, that it feels I haven’t looked out on in a life time. Because it was I suppose! But I sit with him, and I feel good. I feel happy. I feel a bit freaked out, because the last time I felt this way was around the 16th August 2009…….but we had a chat about that at the Castle and I’m good with that now.

So, I’m optimistic. I think I’ve got a clearer view of the future now, of what I want from it and what I don’t. About what I’m prepared to compromise on and what I’m not.

I miss you. Every single day. And I always will. I’ll always be sad that you’re not here. And you’ll always be part of my life, not just as a background memory, but as a living present memory because that’s what I need, and that’s what Nunu needs. We’ll always love you.

Photograph…… of your favourites. One that has a whole new meaning now you’re gone. One that reminds me of the end of our first date, when you walked me home and we kissed under the lamppost outside the Cube…..

I don’t know what the future holds. I know what I’d like it to hold, but as we both know my love, plans mean fuck all in this crazy life! So, I’ll stay strong and keep hopeful that things will be ok. And that you’re still looking after me from your TARDIS, guiding me through my gut to do the right thing.

But my gut feels good now. I’m the girl with the TARDIS tattoo. It’s good.

Love you lots, miss you muchly. Cuddles for Juno.






Number Ninety Two: To the West, To the West….

Sorry, I’ve been gone a little while! Not sure where to be honest. Have had several blog ideas over the last couple of months but no time, space or emotional energy to write one. Tonight, I kind of feel like I need too. So apologies if it doesn’t make much sense!

So I’m still out of my lovely little house, bouncing between amazing friends and ever understanding family. Nunu and the pulis seem to have settled into our routine, but I still miss home a stupid amount. Not just the house, I think, but the Guildford I know. The end of town that I know. The places I used to walk, that I now drive too or drive past. The new places I go too, the new routines I have. But, the end is in sight! I think I’ll be home in about 5 weeks, and then I have no plans to leave ever again!!

To make the sense of a lack of ‘home’ easier, there have been a couple of ports in the storm. And the first was Cornwall. Beautiful, amazing Cornwall. My wonderful friend E (who’s also widowed by Bastard Cancer) won the holiday through a charity we’re both members off. It was a 7 day break in a luxury town house in Newquay. I won’t lie, I wasn’t in the greatest place before the holiday and got to the stage where the holiday was actually causing more stress than it was worth. Then Nunu got chicken pox and my stress levels reached a new level! But then we got there. And for the first time in I can’t remember how long, I felt at peace. I felt relaxed. I felt my brain stop – almost physically. I found myself standing on the most beautiful beach I have ever visited in the UK, my lovely little Nu playing in the rock pools whist holding her own pebbles that she’d carefully selected out of thousands of others on the beach, and I was ok. I breathed in, breathed out and I felt at peace. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t stressed. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t anxious. I felt a glimmer coming back of who I used to be. I felt happy. And it’s been a long time since I felt that way. A very long time. It felt good to feel like me again. At least who I think me is anyway!

Coming home wasn’t easy. And the longer I was back, the more I realised changes needed to be made. If not by others, by me. Decisions had to be made. Sad, selfish decisions that I knew would cause sadness, but ultimately, decisions that I knew were the best thing to do for me. And if I’ve learnt nothing over this journey, I know I need to look after myself, before anything or anyone else. So it ended. And I was sad. And he was heartbroken.

But then there was Frank. Frank Turner and his 4 Lost Evenings at the Round House in fantastic Camden Town. It was fun, a really fun weekend. But mainly, it gave me that grounding that only 4 nights of music can give you. It reminded me that I’m still alive, and that is the greatest gift of all. It reminded me that it’s not always a given that you’ll finish your journey with the people you start it with. Sometimes all you can do is carry on dancing for those that aren’t here anymore. And whilst you’re there, take a picture, so you can remind yourself of the times when things were ok. That life carries on, if you don’t want it too, even if you’re desperate for that pause button. And so you have a choice to sit in and wait in fear of the next storm, or to rejoice and rebuild when the storm has passed. During this time, you might feel directionless, but with the best people looking out for you, you can lift up the weight of the world from your shoulders, leaving your enemies defeated in the mirror behind.

“Life is about love, last minutes and lost evenings,
about fire in our bellies and furtive little feelings,
and the aching amplitudes that set our needles all a-flickering,
and help us with remembering that the only thing that’s left to do is live.
After all the loving and the losing, the heroes and the pioneers,
the only thing that’s left to do is get another round in at the bar”.

And so here I sit. On my parents sofa. With a beer cracked and a future ahead of me. Who knows what that holds, but what ever it is, bring it. What’s the worst that could happen right?

Number Ninety One: The importance of home and the magic of a Waitrose trip.

Well, I’m not as angry as I was. The blog post helped, keeping up with my good habits have helped. But I think the main reason I’m not as angry now is because I’m so unbelievably tired! I think the last time I was this tired was definitely after having Nunu. Not having a full night sleep for months but being fairly mellow during the day seems to have a similar impact to being super busy during the day and not really sleeping brilliantly at night. Who’d have thought?!

Stressed, that’s been my current mood over the last few weeks. Stressed, followed by now being run down and full of cold. Trigger of this has definitely been getting ready for the kitchen extension move. I can’t remember if I’ve written about this before or not but the short story is that just before Beanie died, he wanted an idea of what me and Nu could do with the house. So, he got in touch with our neighbour who’s an interior designed to pop over and give us some ideas of what we could do. He made the appointment for the Monday, he went into the hospital the Wednesday before and well, you know the rest.

Once he’d gone, I got back in touch with the designer and arranged for her to come over, to finish what Beanie had started. Fast forward just over 12 months and here I am, sat on a truly wonderful friends sofa with my entire human and canine family, because the back end of my house has been demolished! In order to get to this point, I’ve had to:

  1. Pack up the kitchen and move it into the living room/Nunus bedroom/my bedroom.
  2. Pack up work clothes, nursery clothes, dog entertainment and toys to prevent toddler sharing related meltdowns and move to our Guildford friends house.
  3. Pack up weekend related items, dog care, clothes and pretty much everything else and move it to my parents house 56 miles away round the m25.
  4. Various kitchen and home items to be sold and pick up arranged.

All of this has to be conducted alongside:

  • Work, which is SUPER busy
  • Nursery
  • Dog walks
  • Some type of dating/social life
  • Exercise
  • Trying to eat relatively healthily and not to survive on a diet of biscuits, as much as I want too.

It must have been about this time last week, that the elephant in the room came and sat on my lap. I was leaving my home. Yes, I know not forever, just for a little bit. But I was leaving my home. Our family home. My sanctuary. Him. And that made me feel awful. Like I was abandoning him, leaving him behind. Literally, he’s still in the bedroom! But I thought that I was moving into our friends home with a toddler, 2 dogs and a fish. I think the ashes of the dead husband is the line!

And so there I was, Saturday afternoon, stood in the dining room. Dad had left for Luton with a packed car. My car was packed and I was ready to go and get Nunu from friends house, to then head to Luton. There I stood, taking one last look at our crappy wooden kitchen we always both hated. The space where the Rangemaster oven was that we struggled with the plumber to get in place. The space where the dining table was, where we played our first game of cards against humanity as the sensational six and got drunk on crème de menthe (ok, not we, just me and JC!). The light fitting we both hated as I thought it looked like a sex swing and he always cracked his head on it when ever the table wasn’t under it. Knowing this was the last time I would ever stand in this spot, looking at stuff that was ‘ours’. Everything from this point forward was mine, inspired by him. So, I said bye bye, turned around, walked out the front door, and left.

It’s been a lot. A hell of a lot. But we’ve dealt with worse right? Head down, arse up, lets crack on and get it done. My hope was that once we were only in 2 places, rather than 2 places, whist moving out of the third, thing would be easier. That my evenings would be my own again and I could start to get a better balance on life.

We’re now at the end of week one out of our lovely little house and things do seem to be settling down. Today was the first time I’ve actually had a little space to breathe a bit! No mad rush after work to get 1001 things down, no popping out in the evening to buy stuff that I really should have packed or should already be in the house. Toddler collect, bedtime done, dinner cooked and bum planted on sofa. But before all of this, I popped into Waitrose to get something nice for dinner, because I was tired and pissed off because the parking office had closed earlier than I thought it would, and because I’d been a bit of a cow to TDW (sorry again my darling).

And as I had time to kill, I headed to the café for a free cup of tea and a very naughty slice of chocolate and salted caramel cake (I have a cold and was grumpy, it’s medicinal). And I bumped into Dr D – Beanie’s oncologist. I haven’t seen him since Beanie’s funeral. I’m aware that amoungst family and friends, there are differing views of Beanie’s Cancer treatment. But to me, this man is a hero. Because he tried. He tried to save our family. He didn’t succeed, but he tried and he was genuinely sorry that he didn’t succeed. And because of this, to me, he is a man in a million.

So we had a hug, and I flashed him some recent photos of Nunu (last time he saw her, she would have just turned 1), and told him a bit about the kitchen. He asked how I was, I said I was ok. That we were doing ok. He asked if Nunu knew her Daddy, I said that she could pick him out in a line up, smiling to myself as I knew she’d gone to nursery in her TARDIS t-short today. I sent hellos to the amazing colorectal nurse, and then said goodbye.

And I felt better. I sat and had my tea and cake, text TDW that I really was sorry and looked forward to the evening ahead. The therapeutic power simply bumping into a man I have a world of respect for, simply asking how I was.

We’ll cope, we’ll be ok. We’re the Cox girls. We’re fucking awesome!

Number Ninety: In for 3… out for 5…Just breathe.

Angry. That’s what I’ve been recently. Really fucking angry. The amount of times I’ve gone to write a blog to try and force myself to come through the other side, but it just hadn’t been the right time. I’ve just become more and more angry, then dissolving in a puddle of tears in bed. I sleep ok, and then wake up the next morning feeling ok. But it’s always something that builds throughout the day.

Reflecting on it, I don’t think it’s anything particular that’s making me angry. Certainly not the injustice of life or anything like that, well not on its own anyway. I think it’s more of a tolerance levels thing. It’s like its all mixed up! In a previous life, I used to have a high tolerance for most things that would blow other peoples stress levels in minutes. Joys of being a mental health social worker, I was able to cope with so many things as part of my day job that just became…..well, my day job. But, I’d get angry over poorly worded emails, traffic, plans being made, plans not being made, plans being cancelled….

Now, it’s like things have been flipped on it’s head. Traffic doesn’t bother me. Being late doesn’t bother me, emails (more often than not!) don’t bother me. I don’t really get stressed at work. I don’t work at home. Plans change, life gets it in the way of things, things don’t always work out the way you’d hope they would. Meh, lifes a bitch. You just deal with it don’t you.

But, my tolerance to stress around everything else has just gone! Vanished! I get angry at being asked to do things, or perhaps what I perceive as being told to do something. I don’t like being told what to do, or how to do things. You’re not me! You don’t know what my life is like! You don’t know what’s going on in my head! Yes, I know you’re trying to help, but you know what. Just don’t bother. I’ll sort it.

I can’t multitask the way I used to be able too. I used to be able to cope with so many balls in the air, now I get overwhelmed so so easily. I just need to be asked to do a couple of extra and that’s it, my minds blown. It seems to be ok in the context of work. I think that’s because I’m so used to it, and my job now is very different to every other job I’ve had in my career. That, and I’m only doing it 18 hours a week! But even this week, I’ve noticed myself becoming more and more stressed at the amount I have to do and the lack of time I have to do everything. Then I have an email from the builder asking me to sort out printing and my head almost explodes.


I can feel the anger rising up in me. Starts in my chest; my chest gets tight and it’s almost like I forget to breathe. My throat gets tight, my head goes fuzzy and I can’t even think about what I need to do next. And if I’m at home, I tend to start shouting. Mainly at the poor dogs, but I just start shouting. And then I feel guilty. Because Stitch doesn’t know what he’s done. I’ve found myself snapping at Nunu . And I know, there isn’t a parent of a 2 year old out there that hasn’t snapped every now and again. And the guilt I feel awful is just awful. And then I get sucked into a dangerous cycle of thinking. I think if only I had someone else here to just take her. Take her for 5 minutes whilst I go for a walk, or have a bath, or to just lay in bed under the covers for 10 minutes, I’m sure I’d be fine. But I don’t have that. And that makes me sad, sad and angry. And on it goes.

Running at such a level of high emotion is just exhausting! But, I know it doesn’t last forever. It’s not physically possible to last forever. I can’t really remember when it started, but I’m ready for it to stop.

Today it lessened. It lessened because I got my shit together and took action. Even just walking to work, thinking about the day ahead and all the things I had to do, things that were being asked of me, things I was being told to sort out, I could feel myself getting angry and it wasn’t even 9am!

STEP ONE: block out the excess noise. I shut myself away at the back of the office, and stuck classical music in my ears. This is a old habit I used to have back when I worked in mental health. When I was driving home after a particularly stressful day and I was struggling to switch off, I’d put on Classic FM and my brain just went dead to anything other than what needed to be done. And it still works. I ignored my phone, focused on my work and the tones of Puccini: Gianni Schicchi ‘O mio Babbino caro’ and life is simple once again. That, and a shit load of tea.

STEP TWO: take time out. During my angry times, I’ve noticed that I’ve been working through my lunch breaks. This doesn’t help! So today, I ate lunch at my desk, but made sure that when my head started to get fuzzy, I left. I walked through town, picked up a Starbucks and headed to The Castle and spent some time with my Beanie. The sun was shining, I could feel the heat on my face and all I could hear was the faint hum of town and birds singing. Breathe in for 3, out for 5. Better, much better.


STEP THREE: Don’t skip exercise. Which is something else I’ve pushed to the bottom of my list because I’ve been ‘too busy’. Big mistake. So, tonight, I sacked off the packing, the laundry, the tidying up. Put on my trainers and headed to Stoke Park for a run. Just what I needed. Blue sky, green ground, and a fresh breeze to spur me along. With a soundtrack from Passenger, Frank Turner and Ed Sheeran, what’s not to enjoy?!

So, I’m still not 100%, I know that. And I’ve got lots of stress ahead of me; building work, moving, toddler potty training and just the joys of general life. But, I think if I stick to these steps, as well as the other 89 I’ve spouted for the last couple of years, I should be ok. I should at least keep my head above water. Maybe even my shoulders! Now there’s a thought!




Number Eighty Nine: Blog for Beanie

Hello gorgeous man, how we doing? Good? Good.

Been thinking about you a lot recently. More so than usual. I’ve been meaning to visit you up at the Castle for a while, I’m sorry I haven’t. I will soon.

We’re good here. Nunu is a proper little girl now, you’d be so proud. She’s funny, cheeky, smart (a bit too much of a smart arse at times!), determined, independent and unique. And whilst I’m so proud of how she’s growing up, and I know you would be too, it just reinforces how long a go it was since we were a family. Leah, Beanie and baby Nunu. Photos come up on Timehop, I look through old photos, videos of us and she just looks so tiny. I show these photos to Nu and she says its “its Daddy and baby Rara”.

Sometimes our life together feels like a lifetime away. More than a lifetime. Especially the early days. Back when we lived in Southampton, both working full time, coming home to nights of simple food and crap TV, weekends in the pub, boozy Sunday roasts….whilst I remember, it’s hard to believe it was ever us. And that makes me so sad. Because I think in life, as couples grow together, they feel the same about their past but it’s ok because you’ve got the comfort of the present and the excitement of the future. No such joy here. I know it’s not helpful to think this way, and I don’t very often, but some days I just wish all of this is one very long, bad bad dream. And that I’ll wake up in our bed in your flat, back in 2010 when the biggest think we had to worry about was if we could do anything fun on the weekends I was working shifts. Simple, good times.

I’ve been back at work now for a year next week. A whole year! It was such a big step for me. Was a real ‘yes, this is the first step in my life without Beanie, without Cancer’, the first step in my new life I was stuck with. And I’ve loved every minute. And I know you’d be so proud of me going back and making it work. But in a way, I resent it because I don’t want to build a life without you. I shouldn’t have to! You should be here, sitting on the sofa with my digesting a fat Friday with us talking about what we’re gonna do over the weekend.

I long for the days when things were so simple. Life seems to be so complicated now a days! Everything seems more work, more stressful, more complicated….just more. I miss the simplicity of our lives. Even when Nu and Cancer came along, it was still simple because all we had to worry about was us. But now I feel like I have to worry about us, me, everyone, everyone else and everyone elses brother! It’s tiring. It’s exhausting! And I feel like I’m tired all the time. Which then makes me stressed and angry. And I end up snapping. And I’m worried I’m turning into someone I don’t like, someone you wouldn’t like. I dunno. Sometimes it’s just hard. I think it’s always hard, but some days are definitely harder than others.

So I try and escape. I go and exercise (finally addressing issues in #22!), or take a drive with loud music or go and walk the dogs. And something always makes me feel closer to you. Like today. This week’s been a busy, difficult one. Bsuy start, Nunu’s been poorly and then straight into work which is proper hectic at the minute. So Friday I leave work (late) and head to Stoke Park with the dogs. The suns setting and the sky is beautiful. And I come over a hill having just done my huge lap of the park and I spot the entrance to the gardens I’m heading for to go and collect Nunu. And I instantly remember that weekend when Mum had Nu for the weekend and we had a weekend just me, you and Stitch. Must have been towards the end of Sept as Stitch was still small, but it was before our next hellish Basingstoke trip. I had done a loop with Stitch and you’d gone to loose the loo (as usual). You came back and you called to Stitch from about 100m or so. And he clocked where you were and ran. It was such a simple thing, but I remember us being so proud of the ball of fluff.

Good, simple memory. Good, simple life. Good simple times.

So, this is where we are; in a good, but no so simple life, that you’re not a part of, but your memory pops up every now and again. And memories like that make my heart sing. Because nothing or no one can take those from me. They’ll always be mine. And even though they’re painful and sometimes hard to remember…would I rather not have them? No. Never. Because that would mean I wouldn’t have you.

Right, I think I’ve got to the stage where I’m not actually making any sense anymore! Ha! So, I promise I’ll come and visit you soon. Keep looking after me and your girl. Hope you’re looking after Juno, Alan and Belle. Give them all a squeeze from me.

I miss you so much Bean. The stars didn’t align for us, but the shattered pieces are always with me. Keeping holding on to me, don’t ever let go.

All my love, for always,

Your Leah xo



Number Eighty Seven: Memories are more than furniture.

So, here we are. 2017. The year I’m gonna take leaps and bounds forward. Get my life back, get our lives as a family back on track.

A big part of this, for me, is where we live. Not the post code as such, but what it means. So, until about April 2016, me and Nu lived in our family home. Me, Beanie, Nunu and Stitch. It was our home. It was the house that Beanie fell in love with from the moment he saw it. I was a bit slower on the uptake, but I remember we came out of the viewing and he took my hand and said to me ‘I want that house to be our home’. We loved everything about it. We loved that the garden was low maintenance, that the windows in the dining room were portholes, the open fire, the location…..everything. It was our home.

It then became the home we started to redecorate and make ours. We picked paint and years later, we painted. It became a running joke with friends as to how long we had paint patches in the hall way (anyone remember the coffee cup?!). But we weren’t in any rush, we had the rest of our lives to redecorate right?

It the became the house we decided to have, created and brought home our wonderful Nu. And then it was the house we battled Cancer in. Tears, laughter, tears, poop, paracetamol and tears.

Then it was the house he left, and has never come back too. The house I returned too, knowing I’d never see him again. The house that I grieved in. The house that I will always grieve in. It’s our home.

And to some extent, it always will be. I can’t, nor would I want to, erase those memories! But, I can’t continue to live in our house without him. I just can’t do it. So, as part of getting better, I need to redefine ‘our home’. It needs to be mine and Nu’s.

So, in April 2016, I started making some changes. I redecorated the living room and started to make plans on the kitchen extension that Beanie started to look into a week or so before he died.

And then I got to the bedroom. Our bedroom. Because realistically, that’s what it still was. I’d like to say there was loads of planning in it, great thought, soul searching etc. But there wasn’t. I was in bed one night, and I just thought ‘yup, it’s time for a change’. So, impulse took over and I purchased a new (smaller) bed, bedside tables, wardrobe and also got some wall paper to help redecorate the living room.

To be honest, this blog has taken me a little while. I started it the night before the furniture was delivered, in the living room on a deck chair. Now, I’m sat on my beautiful, cozy new sofa and will soon be heading up to my new bedroom to watch my usual crap tv before bed. So everything has had a little while to bed in.

Do I feel like he’s even more gone? Do I feel like there’s less of him in the house? No, no of course I bloody don’t! Because my memories are, as listed above! They’re in my head, in my heart and soul. Etched into my very being. He is more than a sofa, more than a bed. He’s Beanie. And he’s everywhere. In our heads and our hearts. And, if you wanna get literal, on the bedside table and on my wedding finger in ash form!

I feel like there’s so much happening in my little world at the minute. Tattoos, extension plans, new furniture, work challenges… Nunu’s growing up, I seem to have found myself an actual boyfriend and there’s a whole world of crazy that goes with that! Some days are amazingly wonderful. Some days I end up sat on the cold kitchen floor sobbing to Even If, whilst the dog stare on in judgement. Some days I’m just so angry, I end up just screaming! Once I’m through of what ever’s going on, blog post of course to follow.

But for now, I seek comfort in my new furniture, the memories of my soul mate and the scary excitement of what else 2017 has to hold.