Monday, 30 April 2012

A New Box! A New Rant!

I am sure many of you will look at that title and wonder... “what the hell?.....” So, here goes. Anyone that knows me now or who has known me over the years knows I have a bit of a thing for boxes. Not the cardboard variety but just nice boxes. I have special boxes for cufflinks, obviously one for jewellery and another for watches. There’s some with photos and some for photos which are in frames, (I tend to move pictures around). There are some full of trinkets and bits and some that I may not have looked in for many months but in addition to those I have memory boxes too. I say boxes as in plural as there are a few. The most recent being obviously one which has a lot of Stuff from Steve’s last 18 months or so in there. In short, I have bought a new box, I will explain.

You may or may not be a friend with me on Facebook, it doesn’t matter if you are not because I will explain. This weekend I got more than a little frustrated with Facebook. This was because I realised how very restrictive it can be. These thoughts were brought about as I looked at the pictures I had just had delivered, they were pictures Jonathan and I have taken since we have been together and there was one I had printed so I could frame it. I really like the picture and it’s a nice memory, taken just a month after we first met.
To go with this “marker” I thought it would be nice to update my relationship status to “In a relationship”, not for any other reason than I think it is quite positive to be able to show that there can be life after bereavement, for others who are facing difficult times such as I have endured and for family and friends who are, on times, afraid to comment on how “happy” you seem as they don’t want to cause offence or appear disrespectful to the lost loved one.

To me, a relationship status of “Widowed & In a relationship” would sum up exactly where I am at. Unfortunately Facebook disagrees as I can only be one or the other. Now this puts me in a quandary. I would and could never deny I am a widower but at the same time I don’t want to deny I am in a new relationship. At what point do I make the change from Widower to whatever is next? When I re-marry? When a specific period of time has passed or just when the wind is blowing in the right direction? Even when I do re-marry then surely I would still be a Widower all be it a re-married Widower? Am I holding too much emphasis on that status as the surviving spouse? I think I know the answer, I think it has to be when I am ready to make the switch.

It is true that for a period of time when first bereaved you automatically gain a certain amount of understanding, sympathy and tolerance from people around you, “Oh, he’s just lost his husband.....” etc but I am sure that fades over time as people become used to the new ‘norm’. By keeping my widowed status am I preventing others from moving on? Does this make seeing me with someone else more difficult for them? Already it’s been mentioned that getting used to saying Mark & Jonathan feels odd especially when they are used to Mark & Steve. The top and bottom of all this though is that I don’t have an answer, there is no right and no wrong. I feel truly blessed to have met Jonathan though and, even more so when I see and hear how comfortable he is with Steve and his memory. I even heard him chatting to the Cat yesterday asking her if she missed her Daddy Steve?! Clearly the cat didn’t reply she just continued to purr but I am happy that Steve seems to have become a part of Jonathan’s life too. In an odd sort of way I wish they had both been able to meet, I am sure they would have got on fantastically. My relationship status will change soon, in the meantime I have sent an email to Facebook to note my disappointment and suggest this may need re-thinking.

Back to the new box though. Because I am at this new and exciting point with Jonathan I want to enjoy it and I want to be able to look back and remember all those fun things we did together in the early days. I have bought a new leather box, it’s quite big but, I hope it will fill over the years with many tokens, scraps of paper, tickets or any and all manner of things which will probably have no monetary value just a sentimental one. I’ve started with a few ticket stubs and a photo album which I have started to fill. I’m also taking the time to add dates to the pictures as it can be tiresome to try and recall when a picture was taken. I hope Jonathan will add bits to it too as it’s as much his memory box as mine now.... It is empty and waiting to be filled in just the same way as those megabytes of web space I have waiting to be populated and the blank pages of Jonathan’s diary he has yet to fill.
So that’s it, that’s all about the new box. I will tell you a little about our weekend though before I go. Friday night was lovely, just the two of us and two cats, sat in with dinner, a few drinks, soft music and plenty of chat. On Saturday we got up and after a light breakfast headed out to meet friends for afternoon tea in Manchester. Well, as you may expect, tea led to beer which led to further beer, we stayed out for dinner though and another drink and finally left Manchester after 10.00pm. It was a lovely relaxed and spontaneous day with good company, good food and good drinks too. I am very much looking forward to doing it again. Yesterday was a busy day, we had a late start but a friend called in and met Jonathan then we headed out to see family before coming back so more friends could meet Jonathan. He is becoming somewhat of a tourist attraction, I guess it may be the bunny pictures that did it.... hmmm did I post that here? Well here goes, he will hate it but I think he looks cute!
We relaxed last night and again just sat and chatted over a few drinks. I didn’t want to get up this morning but when I did I was smiling! This was because Jonathan had got up just a few minutes before and showed me his “Alarm Clock Dance”! I have no idea how to explain this but it is suffice to say I have never seen anything like it and it’s the first time in a long time I have chuckled as I got up on a Monday morning.

Well I hope your day has been a good one and I will be back to write again soon.


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