Well firstly to catch up on where I left off yesterday. Shirley came around as planned. She stopped for a brew and a chat but brought the donations from the crematorium at Steve's service along with the Red Top hat, many people didn't know, (although a few asked) that the hat Shirley wore at Stephens service on Friday was his. It was worn in honour of him, a little bit of Steve's stage career there out front and she wore it beautifully, although we did tease shirley that Steve would expect her to roll it up her arm, across her chest and down the other arm, not because he did but because he was always fascinated with how it was done.
She also brought back the order of service booklets that were left behind. I have them here now so if you would like a copy sent to you then please let me know and I will post it out for you, I am guessing if you are reading this blog you will have another means of contacting me, either email or facebook etc rather than posting your address publicly/
Finally Shirley also brought Stephen home, well his ashes at least. She said he weighs a lot less than the last time she brought him home, now he just weighs 9llbs or 4kg which is not much more than the 6llb something he weighed at birth, (I dont know what that is in Kilo's). It's off having his ashes here, he sat on the floor in the lounge last night with me and then I took him to our bedroom last night. I guess thats where his ashes will remain for now until I (and his Mum & Dad) , decide what to do with him.
I was up till really late last night looking at urn's, jewellery which is made from or incorporates ashes and other things you can do with cremation ashes. No decisions made but I learned a lot. I learned I could pay up to £600 ish for a pot to put his ashes in which will collect dust on the mantlepiece. I learned if I wanted to turn him into a diamond then it's likely to cost arounf £10,000 for a decent size stone and that there are a huge amount of legal and technical issues which would need addressing to scatter his ashes in a public place.
Too many decisions to worry about right now. My head is not with it anyway so am not going to push myself to think on it just yet.
This morning the olds went away for a few days. It is my mothers birthday today and although I got her a card etc she was not feeling at all celebratory. In fact, I guess the card may have upset her a little as it was a reminder that Steve has missed what would normally be a fun excuse to spend timetogether as a family. I am guessing there will be more such events to act as a twist of the knife. I have said before, whilst it is lovely having friends and family around at the moment they have to return to their own lives pretty soon, their own families, partners and children. I can't help but think though that the tough times lie ahead. Our wedding anniversary, Christmas, Valentines day, Steve's birthday, The anniversary of his diagnosis, the anniversary of his surgery and the many other dates and times where a glance at the calendar could strike a brutal blow, a slap in the face reminder of what I (and we), have lost.
As the house has been quiet I felt like "getting on" with stuff, I started by taking down the cards we have been sent. There was almost 100 cards, I re-read them all and will keep them as a reminder of how truly loved Steve was and what lovely friends we have. I have a lovely box which will now serve as my "memory box" with special reminders of Steve in.
After that I decided to make headway on sorting our bedroom. It was tough to say the least but I thought I would start with the easiest, or smallest area, his bedside cabinet. Well there was all sorts of memories there. Brithday and christmas cards from me to Steve some 4 years ago, our first anniversary card and other keepsakes all of which Steve has kept. Lotions and potions, youth cream, anti wrinkle, eye creams and the special moisturiser he was given by the hospital to treat the sore areas of his head from the radio therapy. A mixed bag of emotion in there but quite easy to dispose of some things (like half used creams etc) and the other stuff which I hesitated over I figured those should be kept until my head is in a better place for making tougher decisions and they went back.
Next on to the two (large) drawers he had for t-shirts, some easy decisions there too, the ones he used for scruffs were easy to identify but there were a few in there, (which I have kept) which have very pleasant memories. For example the Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt he bought the day after we met, instead of taking him home to get a change of clothes we just bought new because it was easier than driving to the other side of town. It has not fitted him for a long time but I guess he had kept it for sentimental reasons too. I am not sure yet what I will do with it though.
From there it was on to his wardrobe. I counted 27 pairs of jeans, some worn once or twice only and others he wore loads. The jeans he wore the very first time I met him were there too. I have made him keep them for such a long time. His bum always looked so cute in them and they fitted him beautifully... I won't say much more though other than they bring back a lot of happy memories. On top of that there were pairs of trousers, utility pants etc so a huge amount.
Hoodies, shirts, jumpers etc, there was loads. I have kept a huge amount of stuff, in fact a full wardrobe full. It seems he had 3 wardrobes of clothes in his though so there is loads to dispose of. Some things I have sidelined for certain people though, not sure if they will want them but at least I can ask, the reasoning makes sense in my head.
After that I decided I needed a break so I decided to input some donations I had received for Steve and his chosen charities, I did that and as I write we are at 84% of the total target. I would love to be able to smash the target for him. Brain Tumours receive less than 1% of any funds raised for cancer in the UK but more people under 40 years old die of brain tumours than any other cancer and there have been no significant advances in research in the past 25 years because funding is so difficult to get. For those that have donated I am EXTREMELY grateful, as are Stephens Mum and Dad etc but please help us smash that target by sharing the facebook link, forwarding this blog, tweeting or re-tweeting (I am adifferentmark on twitter) any amount is appreciated no matter how small you feel it may be, the link is http://www.justgiving.com/teams/StephenFaccendaakaEnidWhiplash. and I would REALLY love and appreciate any help possible in reaching our goal. One less beer or takeaway this month might not make a big difference to you but to BTBuddies (Brain Tumour Buddies) and Christies Neurosciences it would.
This afternoon Steve's Mum camedown, we chatted a bit and she also brought some money down that her friends had collected in memory of Steve. We went to the Tattoo shop as Rone there had called to ask me to come down as he had something for me. It was a transfer of Steve's tattoo he had done in August last year, not long before he was admitted to hospital.It was lovely to have the original and again, that will live in Steve's memory box. Obviously I could never see his tattoo again but I can see the original artwork.
After that we did a little shopping, came home for dinner then went to Ikea for a frame for a large picture of Steve she has, (It needed to match the frames she already has) then home for a brew before she set off home again.
This evening I have sat here alone and in silence, it is quite nice to hear the silence. No TV, music or traffic just silence. I enjoy it more at the moment and I guess this is because my tolerance levels are really low.
So, all in all, it has not been too bad a day, I have had a few tears and a few tough moments but overall I feel positive. I am conscious though I have been a bit of a hermit and not been in touch with most of the world, I'm sorry, normal service will resume as soon as possible. I did just hear from an old friend though, she is not old but we have known her a while, it was good to talk, she's a bit manic but a great tonic. She said the same as many have said, Steve's funeral was different to any she has ever been to before and she really enjoyed it and felt it appropriate. We know "enjoy" seems like the wrong word but I got what she meant and enjoy is a good word, Steve wanted a celebration of his life, not doom and gloom, yes the service made people cry but it also made people laugh, not many funerals raise a laugh but Steve's did. A unique service for a unique man, my man, my husband, my soul mate, still missing him more with every passing minute, still extremely proud and happy to have had him in my life.
I am going to sign off now before I start thinking too deeply and sending myself in to another wave of tears..
Please remember to tweet, Re-tweet, share and 'like' Steves fundraising page, as I said it is VERY MUCH appreciated, until tomorrow, http://www.justgiving.com/teams/StephenFaccendaakaEnidWhiplash.