26 March 2024

Wedding nerves

There's less than three months to Kay and her fiance's wedding. 

A year ago it seemed - well a year away - but too far away to panic. Rough hazy plans were made, deposits paid and it seemed way into the future. Suddenly with less than three months to go, it's panic stations as things start to get finalised, concrete decisions made on food, lighting, flowers, clothes, invitations etc. Suddenly it seems more real and VERY CLOSE!!!!

Kay's dress has been made and we have been having last-minute fittings and alterations. I too have been dress-hunting. As mother-of-the bride, I have to look the part, not least because I shall be accompanying Kay down the aisle in lieu of her father, and I shall be making the father-of-the-bride speech. I have written countless drafts and keep tweaking it over the months, trying to make it funny, succinct and not boring. Public speaking does not come naturally to me, but I want to make Kay proud, so do it I shall. I just hope Greg can send me some of his BBC journalistic skills through the cloud he sits on to help me through it.

I've just ordered 13 pairs of shoes - all different shapes and sizes to try on at home with my dress and get a perfect look. It's cost a bomb, but hopefully I can return the 12 pairs I don't want and get refunds. It's easier to do it that way, then drag my silky dress round various shoe shops and potentially damage it and in any case, I can't expect to try the dress on in the shoe shops. I've also arranged to hire a hat, as the shop where I bought my dress tried to sell me one for £295. Given that I would only probably be wearing a hat for about 3 hours (for the church and the meal, then ditch it for the dancing and never wear it ever again),  I thought that was a bit excessive. Once you mention the word "wedding" the extra noughts on the cost of things start appearing. 

Onwards and upwards. So much still to do.......

06 March 2024

Back to the Future

It is fourteen years since Greg died. In some ways, it doesn't seem that long. I can still remember vividly the weeks leading up to that, the last week in Intensive Care at the local hospital and the last hours of his life, as his blood pressure sank and his heartbeat flatlined on the monitors. I can vividly recall the conversation with the doctors afterwards and the journey home as the reality sank in.

In other ways, it seems an eternity. Days, turning into months, turning into years of coping without him, solitary confinement, climbing the stairs to bed each night and turning out the lights on my own, sleeping on one side of a huge bed with just emptiness the other side.  Waking the next morning with that emptiness still beside me. Sitting alone in the evenings all year round watching endless, mindless TV programmes to fill the silence. 

People have commented to me how much I do to occupy myself, considering I am retired and should be taking life gently. I go to three gym classes a week, two choirs, help out at the local food bank and charity shop, volunteer at the local park information centre to name a few. Not to mention single-handedly doing all the housework, gardening and house decoration.  People say it makes them dizzy just reading that list. But the alternative for me is sitting alone at home. I already watch far too much television and have lengthy discussions with the wall on a regular basis. There is only so much of that I can do without turning completely into a recluse or a zombie.

As the fourteenth anniversary comes up, I contemplate if this is what the future holds. The grief gets less painful and changes into something I can't quite put my finger on. A sort of faint longing for how things were, how things could be, a definite fear of missing out, an acceptance but not entirely accepting.  Many people have suggested dating websites as an answer. I don't know if I will ever be ready for that. Once bitten twice shy. Supposing I jump from the frying pan into the fire and that works out to be a disaster? Companionship would be lovely but at what cost, if he is an axe murderer or will rob me of my possessions or we simply fail to co-exist? I'm nervous to try. I really don't think that's an option. But what else is there other than what I am already doing?

At choir, we are singing a medley from the musical Jekyll and Hyde, getting ready for a concert at the end of the month.  This song in particular jumps out at me with the words being so relevant to my situation. I'm not depressed, in case anyone thinks otherwise, but just pensive.

I peer through windowsWatch life go byDream of tomorrow And wonder why
The past is holding meKeeping life at bayI wander lost in yesterdayWanting to flyBut scared to try