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The Big Zeroes

watch us go from zeroes to heroes

Yesterday I heard that a very dear friend had died and, thinking about past times shared with them, led to thoughts of my achievement wish list. When deciding what I wanted to achieve in my 60th year I was aware that there weren’t enough days to do everything on my list, the travel items alone would take many months. I read through my agenda and became aware that many of my aspirations involved those dear to me, my daughters, sister, relatives, friends and most importantly my husband Paul.

Recently I went to London with my youngest daughter Julia and while we were there we went to dinner with my sister Joan and brother-in-law Stephen; we had such a lovely time in each other’s company, we laughed a lot and Joan and I reminisced about our years growing up. The restaurant we ate at wasn’t the Fat Duck but Petrus, one of the Gordon Ramsay restaurants. I realised that many restaurants could be interchangeable with the Fat Duck in my wish list, what I should really have written was enjoy fine dining! It demonstrates that the 60 wasn’t written in stone but is a flexible, ever changing thing.

In the same vein we went to see Les Miserable’s (my 4th time) and I count it in the same category as see more live opera; not opera, I know, but just as wonderful to me. Julia and I stayed in a hotel near St Paul’s Cathedral and I posted on facebook that we were in the area, and was amazed that one of Eleanor’s friends immediately posted to say she was having coffee in Paternoster square just outside of the Cathedral; we hastened to the coffee bar and had a very jovial time. How random! What joy we can find in friendships.

As Paul and I prepare to travel south to our friend’s funeral I am thinking of all the old friends we will meet again and how accidentally neglectful I have been of them in the past years. I am intending to have a party this year to celebrate my 60th birthday and am so sad that our friend will not be there.

Wikipedia says that grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. We form many different bonds with our family, friends and acquaintances and the deepest most enduring is with our life partner.I am grieving for the loss of my friend but feel so helpless when I consider what must be the grief of his wife , also an old and very dear friend.

As I review my tally of things to do I recommit to making more time for family and friends, in particular being more appreciative of and considerate to Paul; hopefully this will involve arranging for him and my two Sunderland AFC mad daughters going to see more live football at the Stadium of Light! This will also ensure that we see more of his sister Jean as she is an equally fanatical supporter and lives in the area!

Paul and I are off to Cuba in two weeks time (Julia will be with us for 4 days) and hopefully we will take the time to recharge our batteries and have a wonderful time together luxuriating in a new cullture.

[Photo of Cuba by Suzi]

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