I've decided today I will not use the word "Well" to start my vlog, I seem to do it a lot and "Well" is just not something I feel right now.
This morning started pretty slowly. I got up and Steve's Mum was already on the phone to mine , not sure what about but I spoke to her first thing. I can imagine what Steve would say and what he is saying now, I just wish I could hear him say it for real though.
I had planned to do loads today but the computer went on and I got distracted, I updated the Trouble site http://troubleonline.co.uk/ which is now effectively a tribute site for Steve, I felt pleased though it's had a bit of an overhaul and is now more relevant to where we're at, if that makes sense.
That took me till lunchtime I guess so I had some toast and got on with writing a few cards. there were still some "Thank You's" to do from the funeral so I did those along with everything else. they have all been posted now so hopefully people will get them soon.
After that I got dressed and have really sort of been in a daze for most of the day. Tonight you see, Steve and I were supposed to be going to a friend's 30th birthday party. It was fancy dress but, as we had sold most of our costumes we spent ages trying to think of what to wear. Steve's first idea was that he would go as Lola. That is Lola as in the Manilow song, used to be a showgirl with yellow feather in her hair etc. This would have been VERY appropriate as we had given up life on stage.
We then decided we wanted to go as a couple, the same i guess as we always did in Drag, we always complimented each other. We were torn between either going as the Mario Brothers, Luigi and the other one or going as Miss Piggy and Kermit The Frog. I was of course going to be Miss Piggy and Steve would have made a fetching kermit. We had discussed it the Saturday before he died but had planned to decide for sure on the Sunday when we could look online at costume ideas, as you guessed we didn't get to make that decision.
When I thought about tonight's party I wanted to go to support a friend we both cared about and who has been good to us too. I was daunted at the thought of walking in to a party, a house party at that, on my own, not really knowing anyone other than the host. Usually it would never have been a consideration as I would have Steve to talk to and he would have me but I didn't have him to talk to. It's just over 3 weeks since he died and I wasn't convinced I could do it.
I busied myself with various things, making excuses not to think about it really then decided. I decided at 7.10 pm I would go. I sent a quick text to ask for the postcode for Sat Nav and got washed and changed and set off. It took less than 10 minutes to get there, just as well really as any longer and the doubts I had would have resulted in me turning the car around and heading home. I got there just before 7.50 pm so you can see how quick I was getting dressed and out the door. No, I didn't go in fancy dress, that would have required more planning and would have probably resulted in me not going.
The host was still getting ready but there were two people there initially that I did know so I chatted to them for a bit, they left quite soon after as they had to go to work but by this time people were arriving in costume and asking who I had come as. they decided I had come as "The Bouncer", probably just as well as I couldn't think of what to say, I didn't want to explain why I was not in costume and I did feel I'd let the side down a little as there were some fab costumes and clearly a lot of effort had gone in to them all.
After a while, chatting to the host and feeling a little lost I got chatting then to two ladies, talk came around to costumes as I had taken an interest in how the host had made his hat. They asked if I had ever done drag etc and I said yes, until last September I had worked every week up and down the country. One asked why I had stopped and I said, I was part of a Double Act and my partner had to stop performing. It seems they already knew of me even if they didn't know who I was as the realisation came across their face that I was the partner of the person they had heard about recently. No apology was necessary and in reality it saved me having to explain why he had to stop performing.
After chatting a little more one of the ladies turned to me and said "I know how you feel", I imagined myself rolling my eyes thinking, "here we go again", as even the most well meaning people manage to get it wrong when they say, I lost my brother, son, mother, granny, uncle, cat etc. Yes, I am sorry for your loss but it is not the same as losing a partner. You don't have the same relationship with your Mum as you do with your partner and, whilst you may be very close it is not the same, neither is it the same as a best friend, a sister or great aunty flo who died at 97.
This lady did understand though. She lost her husband 4 years ago. She crystalised my feelings in a few sentences, she knows EXACTLY how I feel. She is still feeling the pain after 4 years, it seems her relationship with her Husband was as perfect and as strong as Steve and I had. She confirmed my thoughts, time does NOT make it easier it just changes how you deal with the pain. She said she still finds it a struggle and the thought of meeting someone else is as abhorrent to her four years on as it is to me now and yes, we have both heard people say, "but you're young, you should meet someone else and be happy", NO! Why don't people understand when you have a bond that strong it cannot be replaced or patched up or forgotten. Someone else cannot fill the hole in your heart left by your lost loved one.
The other favourite saying is, "it's what he would have wanted" How do you know? You didn't know him like I do, he didn't tell you his innermost thoughts, his deepest fears or his wildest dreams so how could you possibly know what he would want? I can make a pretty good guess at what he'd want and to have other people speaking for him would not appear anywhere on his list, not even near the bottom. It was the one thing he detested most and it was the one thing people felt they had a right to do as soon as he got ill. He used to tell me "when they operated they took away my brain tumour NOT my brain" he hated how some people felt they knew what was best for him. I understood and fought his corner for him and with him and backed him all the way, thats why he went to work and thats why he enjoyed a "normal" life, because it was something HE wanted to do and WE were prepared to fight for.
Tonight I struggled with my decision, I knew Steve wanted to go to the party, thats why I felt guilty, because I didn't want to enjoy the party he didn't get to go to. I know he would want me to go alone but I felt guilty going alone, he should have been with me. I flipped the decision though. I thought about what I would want Steve to do if it was me that had died 3 weeks ago. I would want him to go, I would want him to smile and be happy and be the vibrant and bubbly person I know he can be. I would never ask anyone to do anything I wont do myself. So that was it, my decision was made and I went.
I cant say I was vibrant and bubbly but I feel I was pleasant and sociable. I don't feel I enjoyed it but I feel better for going. I didn't enjoy it because Steve wasn't there, because it was difficult and because I was hurting inside but the host was lovely, his family and friends are lovely and I don't think anyone could have made me feel more welcome than I was tonight. I feel better for going as thats the first time I have had a night out without Steve, better because the first time has been done now, hopefully the second and third and fourth will each get a little less uncomfortable and so on until they become bearable then tolerable and eventually enjoyable again. It may take years, my new friend this evening said it is still difficult after 4 years but she is doing it, and so will I.
So Will I.....