June 29, 2006

Beautiful Flowers

Here is a photo of the basket full of dried flowers I have saved from Mike's floral tributes. As Blogger has started to accept graphics again, I have also taken the opportunity to include some other arrangements that I captured when they were at their best

Rowyn, great minds think alike, my friend - I saw your comment on my blog and smiled, because I had spent about 3 hours the previous day carefully dismantling the tributes to ensure that I kept the best flowers intact for drying. It shows .... once a crafter always a crafter, we have to think of ways of making beauty where-ever we can :-)

I think this will be a project for me to devote myself to this summer ... making a framed picture with some of the many beautiful flowers that I dried. There are 4 different kinds of roses (the cream ones dried better than I thought as they have turned an "antique" sort of beige-brown), statis (purple, lovely for drying), baby's breath, sea holly and some loose rose petals which I may make into pot-pourri.

Roses and Sweet William (from Mike's Aunt and Uncle)

Lilies, Delphinium, Pink Roses and Statis (from some of my work colleagues)

June 28, 2006

Mike's Happy Dance

Today I went to University and had a nice lunch with my tutor and one of the other professors who were obviously on "cheer up duties" - they did have me laughing out loud for the first time in ages, as they make a good double-act. I then took the long route home to collect a DMC thread 642 (stone) to complete the sampler - I could not believe I ran out of thread with only 2 of the little edges to complete. Just my luck!
As you will know, I have been stitching the above Welsh Sampler for quite a long time (approximately 9 months on and off, in between other projects and exams of course!). Well, finally today was the day I put the last stitch in this piece at around 5pm UK time to be exact.
Mike would be sitting in his favourite chair, reading his newspaper and drinking a nice glass of red wine, watching me beavering away industriously on it, so I know he will now be pleased with the result. We are slowly dancing round the room, with me in his arms ....
I have a gold frame for it, but just need to get the right piece of backing board to mount and lace it , before putting it into the frame. Once it is completed, I will take a photo of it "in-situ" in the living room. I think it may be a week or two before it will be completed because I have to go to the art-shop in town.
After such a busy day, I am very tired, so I wish you all a fond goodbye until my next blog entry.

June 27, 2006

The Start of the Rest of My Life

I just could not get over all those loving, warm-hearted comments you have left me - it goes without saying that I am very touched by your concern about me and feel as if I have the whole world giving me a big {{{HUG}}}. Its strange how, despite being surrounded by people, I am so lonely, but its only a symptom of the loss I feel, not a reflection of the wonderful support I constantly have nowadays. San and I had a long chat today over the telephone and we have planned to go to Alexander Palace in October so that will be something nice to look forward to. I was not very keen on going after the terrible journey we experienced last year, but we have decided to go there by public transport which will make life much easier.

Today I decided to try to be a little bit "normal" if that is possible after the past few weeks. So I have been working all day on my Welsh Sampler. Suddenly it appears to be nearing completion and I calculate that I will only have about 3.5 hours of stitching to finish it. Then I will be able to frame it and hang it in the living room where Mike and I decided it would go. I am so pleased that he saw it almost at its completed stage so he will now know that it looks beautiful and that it will hang in our home.

I will finish it tomorrow and can hopefully post a photo of it as well. It will be the first time for the past 4 weeks that I have been able to do anything vaguely happy, but it will be the first Happy Dance of many more, I hope.

Tomorrow I have to go to University to see my Tutor about my Dissertation which I have decided to start researching - to keep me busy over the summer months. Everyone at work and University have been just marvellous, I could not wish for a more wonderful group of people.

Keep posting,
Love you,
Ali xxxx

PS Is anyone else having problems uploading images to Blogger ... I have not been able to add any photos to my Blog for days!

June 22, 2006

With Thanks

I would like to say how much I appreciate all the wonderful postings you have left me on my blog. I cannot describe the emotions I have experienced in the 3 weeks since Mike's death on 31st May ranging from desolation and loneliness at his loss, mixed with wistful to the wonderment at the incredible support I am receiving from so many people far away around the world and near to me in England.

There were about 100 people at his funeral on 9th June, with people flying in from New Zealand, United States and Spain. Many floral tributes were sent to the family, some of which I took photos and have posted in this entry.

Pink and purple arrangement: My tribute (these were our wedding colours)
Pink roses and carnations: Mike's parents' tribute
(I will also post some more photos in a separate blog entry as Blogger seems to be acting a bit strange today and will not let me add more photos at the moment)

There have also been incredible amounts of money raised for charity in Mike's memory, being donated to The British Heart Foundation, Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital and Cancer Research. The squash club where he played for many years have set up a Trophy Competition in his name which will be played every year.

The days leading up to the funeral were the hardest for me, having to finally accept that my darling husband has left this world and is no longer with my physically, although I feel such an immense surge of powerful love from him constantly, when I am in our home and following me where-ever I go.

I visited him for the last time in the Chapel of Remembrance the day before the funeral and he looked exactly as if he were asleep and as if, at any moment, he would break out into one of the many smiles he gave which lit up my world and all those around him.

Now comes the time to start to move into a new phase, forever with Mike by my side ......

June 05, 2006

If Tears Could Build a Stairway

31st May 2006 marks the darkest day I will ever know, for this was the day that my beloved DH, Michael, passed away, suddenly without any warning or signs that anything was wrong. He died of a blocked artery which prevented blood getting to his heart and was killed instantly.

It is the most devastating thing I could ever imagine happening to him, me and to our families and friends. Michael was undoubtedly the most kind, gentle, loving, intelligent and fun-loving human I have ever known. I was truly honoured to have known, loved and been married to him, if only for a short while. We would have celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary on 20th June. I will live life in the eternal glow of his memory and his passing will not make me lose hope ,because he was a total inspiration in everything I do and will continue to do in my life.

I must continue for his sake as I knew he was proud of me and our relationship. I know we will see each other again.....

If tears could build a stairway
and memories were a lane
I would walk right up to heaven
to bring you home again.

No farewell words were spoken
No time to say goodbye
you were gone before I knew it
and only God knows why.

My heart still aches in sadness
and secret tears still flow
Mike, what it means to lose you
no one will ever know.