I picked this photo up this year off the web, the words describe perfectly the life I lived with Julie. We laughed even through the hard times we had when we were younger. We cared for not only our own children, but also worried for our extended family when they were facing their own battles.
We felt a sense of loyalty to our friends with some of the activities we were involved in, many times putting our own lives and work second to ensure they got the enjoyment they expected. Sometimes this was appreciated but as we came to learn, many of those “friends” actually just take without thinking of those around, preferring to whisper and jibe, not realising or understanding the emotional wounds they inflict.
However, as you get older you realise you have a number of extremely close friends, those who will just come and sit for a couple of hours just talking about life because they know every little helps, some who you see on a daily basis, quite a few who you’ve sat with and listened to their problems and a few who, no matter how great the distance, will always be there for you. Thank you to all of you, both family and friends for understanding and for being there over the last couple of years, you all helped Julie and I to cope and face what life threw at us, even though the outcome was tragic.
Enough of the past! What about the future? I’ve resolved to make some changes in my life! I’m fortunate to have a couple of very close friends in Tenerife, so finally on the 7th of January I’m going to pay them a long overdue visit because Julie’s illness prevented her from traveling any distance. Linda and Peter became longtime friends when both Julie and I, (then later our daughters, Leah and Hannah) worked for them at local (now a housing development) pub they were running about twenty years ago. We had a lot of laughs along with the other staff during our time there. With their “anything is possible” attitude, they built an esablishment which became the “go to destination” throughout the year. Was it hard work? Yes, but it was one of the most enjoyable times of our lives.
In Julie’s final letter to me, which I opened about three weeks after she died, she wrote “Do all the things we’d planned my darling, travel and go fishing, I’ll be with you don’t worry!” “When you sit in our beautiful garden (I’m not doing that as sit in my office writing, it’s raining and windy!), I’ll be there holding your hand. Wherever you are, don’t forget, I’m just in another room”
So 2016, I’m going to travel. I’m going to take more photographs. I’m going to write more, including my blog and the story of my life before and with Julie and of the struggles we faced and overcame together and with our family. The story of two people who were real soulmates.
Watch this space and thank you for reading XXX