Around the first week of July is always a poignant time for me - for the 7th used to be mine and John's Wedding Anniversary and the 8th was the day he suddenly died.
These two days were days I came to dread in the years when John first died - one day we were celebrating being happily married for 26 years and laughing about some of his antics he was telling us about from years ago, at a wonderful family meal. The very next day I was staring at him cold and lifeless in the hospital mortuary and I don't think that shocking image of him will never, ever leave me!
But I do try to remember all the best bits of having been the wife of John, he was a real cockney character and was always making us laugh with his tales and could mimic a fine Irish or Scottish accent to add flavour to the story he was telling! He was a good provider and worked very hard. He was a wonderful, loving father to his 3 girls and he adored and treasured each one of them.
Although 12 years have passed by since the sad day we lost him, I always take a quiet moment to reflect and remember him. I especially feel sad for my daughters and how they must feel about losing their dad much too early in their lives. He's missed out on so much of their lives, their courtships and weddings where he wasn't able to walk them down the aisle, his two little grandsons who I know, he would have adored. Just seeing what wonderful women his young girls have turned into would have made him so proud, cos I know I am!
I don't know how those 12 years have gone by so quickly and I count myself one of the lucky ones to have found love again and remarry another wonderful man - I would have hated to have been on my own now at this stage of my life. I'm privilidged to have Mike by my side now and love sharing my life with a very caring, loving man who completely understands how I feel around this time and supports me when I feel sad and shed a few tears for John.
John will always be remembered as a part of my life and in my heart and I 'see' him in the things my daughters and grandsons do or say in lots of little ways!
Someone who played a huge part in your life cannot be easily forgotton or pushed aside, even if life has moved on for us.
I've learnt that when you lose someone who is a part of who you are - that time will surely heal the wound but it won't ever erase the scar!
RIP John: 31st March 1943 - 8th July 1999