|Big Ben glistening in the early morning sun|
|Ready for a London Marathon!|
When all that happened, to say I was shell shocked is a huge understatement and although I remember trying to be as optimistic as I could in the circumstances, there were times when dark reality took over and I had to face and confront the fact that I may not get to see some of the things that people normally just breezily accept in life. Rose had just had her seventeenth birthday and Sarah turned nineteen while I was back in hospital. I didn't just have to face the fact that I was now missing out on my old and simple daily life, but things flashed in front of me, such as the girls reaching eighteen and twenty one, them graduating, them getting married and them having their own families and me becoming a grandparent. The bigger milestones in life that you expect to see were being taken from my grasp and I felt like they were slipping completely out of reach at some low points. At the same time I was still trying to find strength and was opening my arms out wide to snatch them back. I was still hungry for life, whatever was happening to my body, I wasn't prepared to let myself stumble further away from all that I loved in life.
Weekend brought one of the milestones I could only of dreamt of two years ago, as Sarah turned twenty one on Saturday. We all celebrated together as a family. We had planned a surprise get together in London and we all stayed over. Unbeknown to Sarah Rose came all the way back from Bournemouth, David came back from Exeter, and we all travelled in to London ready to surprise her at dinner time. Oli had taken her for what she thought was a weekend away and she had no idea that we would all be joining them on Saturday night. He did a sterling job at covering up the surprise. I think he had a few hairy moments, where he had to tell a few white lies and at one point she was locked in the bathroom while Rob and Oli conspired at their bedroom door! It was a lovely moment in the bar when she came down ready for dinner and we were all sat there, the look on her face was priceless!
|View from Southbank across to St Paul's|
|Horse Guard's Parade|
|Low Tide on the Thames|
I've also been thinking a lot recently about all the courageous people who have signed up to be donors and especially those who have lost their own lives and with their families have given the gift of life to others. Without donors and their courageous families, those of us who are on the Transplant List would have little hope. It is the strength of those families and knowing there are families who are so willing to give that brings great comfort to us when times feel tough.
|Early evening view across the Thames to Westminster|