365 Happy Days – A smile a day – Part 31

I had some lovely news today, Luke’s closest friend Oli sent me a message on Facebook showing a photo of the twins his partner is expecting.  He’s going to be a Dad and to twins!  That’s amazing news, Luke would have been absolutely thrilled!

Such news brings a tinge of sadness as well as joy however.  When you lose a child you also lose their future, I have a lot of Luke friends on Facebook and it is lovely seeing them grow, seeing their lives change.  Another of Luke’s good friends Gavin is now a husband and Dad to 2 lovely little lads.

Luke always adored little kids, in a way had one of those ‘teenage accidents’ happened to him I think it would have been the making of him and life may well have had a very different outcome.  But, that wasn’t meant to be for Luke, life had a different path planned for him.

I can honestly say I’ve never begrudged anyone else their happiness, never thought ‘why me?’.  The opposite thought to that is ‘why not me?’ I’d never wish on anyone the loss of their child.

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The last year has flown by it seems to have disappeared in the blink of an eye, in a few weeks time it’ll be the first anniversary of the day I let myself into my Mum’s house to find that she’d passed away,  It’s almost unbelievable that a whole year has nearly gone, it’s been a year of thinking how lucky we are as a family that she simply fell asleep, what a way to go!  I’m certainly going to put my order in for some of that! As shocking as it was to find her, the way she went is in a way a comfort to see her looking so peaceful.

The last time I saw Mum alive was the weekend I went down to Gloucester to watch Saracens play; in spite of being surrounded by sport she wasn’t a lover and couldn’t really understand how I spend my down time.  A few weeks before the Gloucester trip I stayed again and went along to a Charity Ball.  I knew there was squad signed England shirt to be auctioned and really hoped I’d get my hands on it.

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It seemed I was one of the only rugby fans in the room and I came home with the framed shirt in my possession, I was thrilled.  I can to this day see Mum’s face when she found it in her living room the next morning – put it this way it wasn’t an I’m impressed face!  The words were I think – ‘what on earth have you spent your money on that for?’ – I do believe there were things about her daughter she just didn’t compute!

In spite of not being a lover of sport, Diana Hogg was one stupidly competitive lady!  Heaven forbid if you were playing a game, and she thought you weren’t kosher!  Alexander my nephew reminded me of a well placed knuckle sticking out as she’d direct a punch at the arm of an offending grandchild!  Sounds a bit cruel, but goodness it caused laughter!  And the memory of it still does!

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UNO was a favourite game, she had the patience of a saint and played for hours and hours with all of the kids, again a tale of cheating Grandma, one of the kids swapped the 9’s and 6’s all the way through the game – I have a feeling a knuckle may have been sent at the end when she realised.  Needless to say no one remembered to take the UNO cards when we all went to Paris before Christmas – we needed Grandma for that!

I’ve gone on a completely different tangent to the one I thought I was going to take tonight, but I’m going to go back to what was in my mind when I started to write.

Photos – I don’t have enough of Luke, not enough of him as a teenager and upwards – for some reason we seem to stop taking them once our kids reach that awkward stage.  Now a lot of that is because they become camera shy, I was a total misery a a teenager when a camera was pointed in my direction.

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But, with the technology we have now, take as many photos of the people you love as you can, grab your phone, pick up your IPad, they’re with a lot of us most of the time.  Take photos, help preserve those memories, it’s easy to store them – use a cloud facility such as One Drive or Drop Box you can store hundreds.  Then when your children have their own children you can embarrass them with an array of photos.

I still don’t take enough photos of Jake, Alex, Peter and Kerry but I try as often as I can, I bought a snazzy (isn) camera last summer to make sure I had decent photos to go with my rugby writing.  My One Drive is full of memories of hours and days spent doing the things I love, spooooooooort aplenty.  However I am going to practice what I preach and take photos galore of Alex when I’m in Paris and to try and persuade Jake to let me take photos too!  It was wonderful to have Kerry with us in Paris and I managed to sneak some photos in – so I’m getting there!


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