Sunday, 5 September 2010

Remember that song, 'Summer of 69' by Bryan Adams and the chorus line, ".....those were the best days of my life..."? It's hard for me to look back and choose periods of time like that, or even know if they are yet to come. I suppose I was in my twenties, or even later when I realised that life was more like the Queen song, "these are the days of our lives", and what we are doing with our time right now is so very important. Time is not to be wasted, you get no credits back. I can think of hundreds of, "best days of my life" and they far outweigh the worse days, so in that way I consider myself fortunate.

From the day you start to walk, there is nothing more certain than you walking into your first lamp post. A bit like when you pass your driving test. You think, 'I won't drive into the back of someone else', and we all do, at least once! It's only after that actually happens that you truly come to realise that accidents are not just something that happen to other people. I was on my way home from school when I walked into my first lamp post. It was a hell of a shock and I was very embarrassed because a group of girls saw me and all fell about laughing. I should have took it on the chin and just got up and walked on, but no, I was about to compound the problem. I pretended to burst out laughing, stood up and deliberately walked into the post again. The idea was that by pretending I'd done it on purpose, it wouldn't make me look as stupid. Trouble was, although the first bump caused me a few bruises, the second injured my nose quite badly. Having felt sorry for me initially, that group of girls now must have just thought I was a complete plonker!

There was another reason that my nose was a bit distorted as a child. I jumped out screaming, hands and legs in a star shape, on what I thought was my brother Paul as he walked out of the toilet. It turned out to be my Dad who was still on a knife edge after 10 years combat during the war. He didn't know straight away that it was me, although I guess he realised as he saw me disappearing in a bundle down the stairs. He had kicked me with one foot in a judo type manoeuvre whilst screaming something arabic sounding. As I lay on the hall floor he ran down the stairs still screaming, but I was his son, surely he wasn't coming to finish me off, but to see if I was alright? No chance! He stood over me, red faced, veins bulging in his neck, and shouted, "never do that again imbecile, or I will kill you". This was a good sign because he didn't often communicate on such a personal level with any of us.

Maria and Sofia are looking through the boxes that I prepared from them in the early days of my diagnosis. It's only three months ago, and now I look back to how intense my feelings of impending death were with some amusement. Not that I'm not still a bit scared, but it doesn't occupy my every thought like it used to. They love the old photos, especially the ones of their mum and I in happier times. They wish that their Mum and I were still friends; it's a nice wish and I hope it can happen one day. We both share memories of some very happy times.

Just to share some statistics with you.

Since it started there have been over 3,500 hits on the blog worldwide. The BBC Radio Cumbria broadcasts gave it a huge lift last week. There are people looking in on a regular basis in China, Israel, Serbia, Canada, Ireland and 18 other countries. I will give a fuller picture when I understand them more! 

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