Farewell sis

Since my last posting it’s been an roller coaster few weeks. Our trip to the US did go ahead and it was just great. I’ll write more in my next posting. But on Friday we got to say a final good bye to our sister Helen. It was a tough day with atrocious weather at the graveside adding to the grimness of the proceedings. But the wake organised by my brother and his wife Deb was really good and the celebrations of her life continued long into the night. In the end it was a happy way to say farewell.

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Blessing

So here’s something poignant. My sister’s passing whilst dreadfully sad has meant something positive. The most important thing is that she’s no longer in pain and suffering from the cancer ravaging her body. There isn’t a person who would wish for life to be extended in those circumstances. It may be a cliche but the end was truly a blessing. And we, her family and dearest friends, are all thankful for that. For Caz and I there’s another smaller blessing.  Our trip to NYC to see my daughter S and  son-in-law E and our beautiful grandsons this w/e can go ahead. It’s not that we don’t leave with a heavy heart but if she’d survived for a few more days then our decisions would have been so difficult…

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More heartache

Regular readers may recall that 5 years ago we had a harrowing week away in Italy as we learned of the sudden death of my youngest brother M from cancer. He had been ravaged by the disease in a very short period. And I missed seeing him before we managed to get back. Now here’s a sad tale; my young sister H, the baby of the family 12 years my junior, had been dealing with a spinal cancer situation for the last few years. She’d been elected for an experimental drug programme after years of surgery and therapy but a sudden change in her condition necessitated a mastectomy a couple of weeks ago. Long story short it didn’t go well and her condition deteriorated. On Saturday night we learned she had little time left, days possibly, and headed up early Sunday morning to Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Half an hour away from Blackpool we learned my lovely sister H had passed away.

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Back to family values

 

So it’s a super few days for us. First up yesterday was our youngest daughter S’s birthday. We missed it last year because of the pandemic and we were unable to be with her again yesterday, sigh, but we are getting closer to visiting her and the lads in New York, and a lovely FaceTime call almost got us there. To help make up for it our middle daughter E came to visit with her school mate, buddy and BFF Cazza who we haven’t seen in ages. We had a cool lunch and lovely chat. Then today I went to collect eldest daughter R from London for a few days with us. Traffic was abysmal but given that she was stubbornly reluctant to come and visit a few days earlier (as is her want), it was great to see and get her and her 12 bags in the car and share the journey. We treated her to a slap up fish and chip dinner – she just loves it. Oh and it’s her birthday on Tuesday (whisper it quietly but her 45th!!!). We’ll do something special before taking her home later that day.  And tomorrow is another special day as E and son-in-law S arrive hopefully with our two eldest grandsons S and G for our much-delayed Xmas dinner…turkey, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, crispy veg, stuffing, the lot. I just cannot wait to share it with our family – though will badly miss the NYC branch of course.

Family matters so much; happy belated xmas folks

pigsinblankets paulie

Ranking

So regular readers will know we have 3 lovely talented daughters and we are as proud as can be of them; not just about what they have achieved in life but also because of who they are – their funny, lovely natures. Now as you may know our eldest daughter Rebecca has Down’s syndrome. She is bright and engaging and lives independently with 3 friends, like herself, in London. She’s in her mid 40’s now but she continues to amaze, delight and frustrate us (and I dare say those supporting her!) as much as she’s always done.

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Reminiscing

I seem to be in a reflective mood at the moment. Now I think about it, it may not be such a bad idea actually to log some memories down before I lose many more marbles. Certain things I see on tv are triggering memories from when I was young, especially about my mum and dad. I’ve done postings about each of them recently and here’s another about my mum which I’m certain you’ll find slightly intriguing…

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More surprises

Well my last posting on the subject of surprise endings took a while to get going. To be honest  I was scratching around for inspiration until Mr Josh happily popped into my mind. I was actually going to write about two quite separate subjects before that and I might still get round to them later.  But the surprise thing seemed to resonate with me and it might have been a little  intuitive because lo and behold we were delighted by some more surprises which are worth sharing I hope.

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Close family

Now regular readers will know we’re a close family. I have 3 beautiful grown up daughters, 2 fine sons-in-law, 4 wonderful grandsons and, of course,  my wife Caz who I love more than anything. I’m biased and this must sound cheesily gushing I know, but they really are decent and fun people and I like to be near them as much as possible. So this lockdown has been tough on us, emotionally.

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