Sunday, 25 January 2009

My heart is just so heavy this week its unbelievable. We've booked our flights for my Auntie Val's funeral in Guernsey (Auntie Irene's is arranged for the same day in Torquay so we cannot be there). I really need to think about packing but can't get my head around anything at the moment. I think its just brought back everything I was feeling 9 weeks ago.

I feel sad, weepy, lonely, frightened and vunerable. I want to stand on a mountain and SCREAM!

The whole week has been a funny sort of week really with emotions as they are at the moment ...............................

I have stepped up the exercise this week and have been going out every other day for a long walk. I'm out for about an hour so probably about 3 miles. My muscle tone is certainly changing and I'm aware that I may not have a big loss because of it.

I had a shopping expedition in town on Tuesday to get a new outfit for a special meal that we had booked at our favourite restaurant - I bought myself a skirt! (All those that know me will have fallen off their chairs by now as I NEVER go out in a skirt) but when I'd got ready I actually felt better than I had for a long long time. 10lb weight loss certainly gave me a confidence boost and although I don't intend to buy new clothes every week it did me the world of good. We had a fabulous night and I seemed to forget the world and its troubles for a while, got into a bubble and enjoyed myself.

Ray, Benji and I went into town yesterday and had dinner out. Eating out hasn't been as bad as I expected. I was careful in what I chose from the menu and wrote down everything I had for my food diary.

With all that said it's weigh-in day.................................

I've lost another 1lb. That's 11lb in total. I'm thrilled!!!!! It's one pound more than I expected this week and its proved to me that I can enjoy eating out as long as I watch the things I'm eating inbetween times.

We fly from Manchester first thing in the morning - My real dietary concerns are that my cousins are fantastic chefs so I'm going to have to be extra careful whilst I'm away.

This next week is not only going to be hard for my eating plan but it is going to be hard emotionally. Saying goodbye to someone you love is one of the hardest things anyone can do and after my experience late last year I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I will try to be strong for my family, hopefully I can do that!

Goodnight, God bless Auntie Val and Auntie Irene



Sunday, 18 January 2009

Is there a god

My Dad was the youngest of four brothers, Phillip and David (identical twins),Peter and then came Dad.

When Dad died last year it wasn't only a shock to us but to the whole family as he was the first in a generation to die. The first husband, the first Dad, the first Grandpa, the first Uncle and the first cousin...........Today this is not the case.

This morning we got the devasting news that not only my Auntie Val (Uncle David's wife), but also Auntie Irene (Uncle Phillips wife) died in the early hours of this morning. How wierd is that, identical twins wives' dying on the same night, they say there is a link between identicals but this is just unbelievable.

My wonderful husband went out to do the shopping this morning (with a bad back!) as we had visitors for Sunday lunch and gave me time on my own (he always seems to know when I need a little space and I love him for it).

Whilst he was gone I collapsed in a heap and cried like a baby!!!! Not only for my own sorrow as everything came rushing back from 8 weeks ago but for that of my relatives too. I can so feel what they are going through and my heart aches for them. For the sadness, for the pain, for the shock and for the suffering they are all feeling. If I could take that pain away from them I could.

Mum came for lunch today too and God only knows how she feels?! Of course we've talked and cried and laughed, as we do every day, but today is different. There is a cloud above us all that just seems so black and murky we can't seem to shift it. We couldn't have asked for better company today to help us all through it really. Thank you guys once again for lightening our load (or at least trying too). I'm sure because of you the cloud has shifted if only a little way.

I don't know what to say from here really as the whole day has just melted into a blur.

Sunday is weigh in day.

Until the news this morning I'd had a fabulous weekend and I'd prepared myself for 2 nights out. Whereas last night I was looking forward to jumping on the scales, after todays news I stepped on them instead .............................I've lost 3lb!

I've decided that now more than ever its the right time to be doing what I'm doing!

One of my Aunts died of a suspected heart attact. Why? We do not know, but by losing weight I will not only be healthier (is this diet a selfish act?, that's a question for another blog!!) but it will give the British Heart Foundation now over £750 for research ........If you would like to make that total greater then please visit my site and sponsor me.

My love and thoughts are with my family tonight. My advice to them is......... hold the memories, smile and laugh at them. It's helping me through!!


Friday, 16 January 2009

When I read the Hull Daily Mail on Wednesday I nearly fell on the floor when I looked for what I thought was going to be a little article tucked into a corner!


Thank you Joanna for writing a fantastic article on my crusade. I cried almost all afternoon. In fact everytime I looked at it and saw Dads face smiling at me I cried. He certainly would be proud of me but also humbled that I was doing it for him. xxx

I've been at the cooker most of the week making soups and I'm getting to be a bit a dab hand at them really and I think I've found a new love...... pepper!! lol. I've made Leek and Celery soup, Tomato Soup, Wholesome soup, Mixed Vegetable soup. You name it, I've weighed it, chopped it, softened it, stocked it, simmered it and whizzed it in the blender!!!
The 7lb loss last week has spurred me on this week and I've realised what a difference even half a stone can make in the way I feel about myself. My head is a little higher and I feel less bloated.

This weekend will be a tester as I have 2 nights out planned but I've also worked hard and taken them into account so I look forward to my reward when I step on the scales on Sunday and see yet another loss.


Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Today I'm smiling although I'm a little overwhelmed......

Thanks to a good friend of mine (Katie xxx) Joanna, a reporter from the Hull Daily Mail rang me this morning wanting to do an article on my sponsored slim!! ARRGGHHH.

She asked me allsorts of questions about how I'm finding the site, ( how its working for me etc. and took additional details from me. I gave her the information to access my blog for a greater insight into my situation and within an hour a photographer had been despatched to take my photograph ready for an article in tomorrows edition of the Hull Daily Mail.

The publicity is fantastic as it will hopefully not only get me more sponsorship for The British Heart Foundation but it will also hopefully get my Dad's name in the spotlight too!

Dad was always such a quiet unasuming man, he never really went out anywhere but was always in the background helping and encouraging. He never liked to be in the spotlight....................... hahahaha now he is and I'm so pleased that people are finding out about the wonderful man he was.

There was another time he was the centre of attention...................

Dad was the youngest of 4 boys and has family all over the U.K. going as far as Guernsey but they was never a single time when the whole extended family were together. For his 65th Birthday (2004) we decided to throw him a suprise party and invite all his relatives! I hadn't even met a lot of them myself so it was a first for a lot of us.

I think he always had an idea that we had something organised for his birthday but he never knew the extent to which we'd gone. We could tell that by the look of shock, joy and pure emotion that was on his face when he walked onto the patio too see over 70 people including his brothers, their families and many of his in-laws from far and wide had come to send their wishes and spend some time with him.

We had a fantastic night that night. We laughed, talked, sang, drank and danced until the wee small hours.

Tomorrow Dad you're in the spotlight again. I'm looking forward to reading the article and seeing his name in lights for a change!!

Ellie xxx

Sunday, 11 January 2009

1 week on

So here we are at the end of week one and I'm buzzing!!!!!!

Benjamin started pre-school (afternoons) this week. Off he went in his little uniform and all I could see was our tiny 10 week premmy in his incubator, remembering how Dad wouldn't even pick him up until he was about 7 months old because he was so small! How time flies!?! I then came home and had bacon and noodles. (293 calories...Lol)

The support I've had so far is unbelievable not to mention the sponsorship, nearly £700 already when I get to August with a 4 stone stone weight loss!!!

I've opened a Group on Facebook and I've started blogging! OMG

I got on the scales this morning for my first official weigh in............................. I lost a staggering 7lb!

I've enjoyed it this week, weighing and counting has been a bit of a pain but it's getting easier as the days go by. I'm aware that weight loss on the first week or so includes water retention but still 7lb!!!!!!!

Ray and I adore cooking so preparing low fat, low calorie meals has been fun and a learning curve. I do think soup is the answer, I never realised they could be so tasty, I have a new love in my life, lol.

We've been to mums tonight for dinner today which was lovely. It's still difficult walking in and not seeing Dad sat in his chair but it does get a little easier each time we walk in the door. I know he's proud of me and I know he's looking down helping me every step of the way.

Now you have an insight to what has happened! ........... A little of how I feel and a whole heap of emotion!

I'm not sorry as this is me, this is how I am and this is why I have people who believe in me and trust me. Thank you for staying with me and helping me on my journey.

After the events of the last 7 weeks I have wondered what I can do to change both myself and the people around me. . . . . . . . .

Myself I can change, but the environment may take a little longer!

With this in mind I decided to do a sponsored slim. I'm grossly overweight, as was my Dad with heart disease very prevalent in our family. What better cause can I give to but The British Heart Foundation. Both the hospital staff and the surgeons did everything they could for Dad so hopefully I can thank them all by helping them get a bit more insight into heart disease.

With over 7 stone to loose to get to my ideal weight this is no mean feat so I have to be realistic. I've given myself until the end of August (I'm 40 on the 29th August!) to loose at least 4 stone.
On 2nd of January 2009 I started back on the Wii fit weighing myself and eating healthily. Then I read about the Hull Daily Mail running their site so I've joined that too.

With singing in my sould I've done many charity nights raising thousands of pounds for differant charities, now its my turn!! This is close to my heart (almost too close!) so I will be doing some charity nights too! So beware there will be invitations going out and favours being called in!!!

I look forward to you support

The shock of losing Dad is so hard to bear. We questioned everything..............

I knew my Dad for almost 40 years. I'm honoured to have known him and to have learnt from the things he's taught me. He certainly was my inspiration (along with my wonderful Mum!) for most of the decisions I've made in my life. He made me laugh and he made me cry.........but most of all I repected him. I've never regretting knowing him, I've always loved him and I've been lucky enough to be open and honest with him so we've talked about the past, the good old times and the future.

I remember some friends staying over to keep us company the Saturday after my Dad died saying to me, 'Isn't it sad Ellie that you never spoke of things like this to your Dad?' (we were reminiscing at the time, laughing and crying). My response was......... 'I'm one of the lucky ones! I'm close to my Dad and we've spent time together laughing, looking back and keeping in touch with each others lives'. I felt sorry for him as he doesn't have those memories of his own Father. I hope he got some warmth from mine, I felt good sharing in them as I thought at the time they would help heal him too!! xxx

I was told a long time ago that if I wanted to have children I would need medical help. Without any medical intervention and after a lot of heartache and trauma, I got pregnant naturally and now Ray and I have a wonderful 3 year old boy that absolutely adores his Grampa almost as much as his Grampa adored him. Even at this young age Dad taught him to play a DS lite!! AARRGGGH. In almost all the photographs I have of Dad with Benjamin you will see that Dad is looking at him with such pride!

His other two grandchildren also had the pleasure of knowing him and learning from him too. Whether is was his love for cooking, his flight simulator or his computers, they adored him and asked him question after question on how to get things working.

It is heartbreaking that he has left us but at least he never left us in pain, he was asleep!

People out there including people I know and care about have spent their last christmas with their loved ones knowing that they won't be around at this time next year. How have they coped? MY HEART GOES OUT TO THEM!

Anyone who knew my Dad will remember what a quiet, unasuming man he was. His eyebrows were the bushiest anyone had ever seen and he only had to raise them over his glasses and people would smile. It was more what he didn't say rather than what he did. Grunting his greetings to you but what a fantastic sense of humour! He was a true gentleman, a gentle giant and always there to lend a hand if ever he could (especially if it had anything to do with computing). I will be giving you more insight to his past in the forthcoming weeks.....................

At the beginning of September 2008 he had gone to the Dr with a pain in his side and after various tests they diagnosed an abdominal aortic aneurism (AAA). Surgery was scheduled for 13th November 2008 for a repair which would take 2-3 hours. He was to be in HDU or ICU for 4-5 days following his op and his hospital stay would be 2-3 weeks in total. He had a 90% chance of survival!!

After spending the first night and waiting for his surgery slot he was sent home until the following week as there wasn't any beds available for him in ICU or HDU!! (We all understood as an emergency had landed on their step, someone's aneurism had burst so they needed the bed urgently)

On 16th November all the family had gone down to Mum and Dads for Sunday lunch and we had a fantastic afternoon, Dad was on great form and was better than we'd seen him for months.

Our son Benjamin's 3rd birthday also fell on 20th (his re-scheduled operation date) but we decided to give him a little birthday party at Mum and Dads whilst we were waiting for news from the hospital. Pacing the floor, blowing out party candles, crying with worry and crying with joy we couldn't get to further ends of the scale really but we hung in there.

We finally got news around 5 o'clock and managed to get to see him in hospital at around 7:25. We were told he was very poorly, that surgery had in fact taken 7 1/2 hours as his aorta kept calcifying every time they tried to stitch it. After a brief period in ICU, his blood pressure dropped to dangerous levels. They were rushing him back to theatre as they suspected internal bleeding so they needed to open him up again to see what was going on. We saw him briefly as they prepped him for surgery, we kissed him and wished him all the luck in the world. (Go on Bampa you can do it! Benji used to shout at him)............. Dad died in surgery at 22:10 on the 20th November 2008.

Our lives were turned upside down and inside out. Our hero, our Father, our friend, our mentor was no longer with us. How were we to carry on???????

If a family could have been brought closer together then this certainly did it!!

My Mum became an even stronger rock, her strong beliefs had helped her through many things in her life and this philosophy was working here now. We talk, we cried, we thanked God for the life Dad had rather than the life that had been taken away. People expected her to curl up in a ball and give up but she hasn't. Her head is held high, she is proud to have been married to Dad and loved him for over 40 years. She is a type 1 diabetic and the doctors still can't believe how 'under control' her sugar levels are considering all she has been through. I'm not saying she's sailing through it - far from it she has good days and bad days, her arthritis plays up. One day she is fine and the next she is a mess but she is carrying on, she's living and breathing!!

My brother, I never realised that he has the same wicked sense of humour that my Dad had. He's kept us going; kept us smiling but he can cry too!! I never knew that! His wife has kept us smiling (even though her own Dad passed away earlier in the year so her pain was being relived!) and I found she makes a fantastic cup of tea and the kids will play happily with Benjamin with joy in their eyes.

My husband always has been my rock! He's certainly lived up to that now. It hit me a few days after my Dad died that he was also my Dad's best friend too! (long story!) There he was trying to hold me up but deep down he was falling apart for his own reasons. I remembered back to the day I told my Dad about being in a relationship with Ray, gritting my teeth as to his reaction. He threw his arms around me and said if there was ever soul mates that should be together it was us..... Thank you Dad xxx

Friends have gathered round us and they've visited, phoned, texted(!), sent cards and brought mince pies lol (thanks Tam xx). Whatever they've felt necessary to do they've been there and I cannot thank them enough. People who we've not heard from for a long time have come to see us or dropped us a line. It's been quite remarkable and again friendships have been rekindled and it's wonderful .....Thanks Dad xxx

There have been the ones that we've not heard from . . . not a call, not a text, not a letter, not an e-mail! I'm sure there has been a thought flying our way somewhere but to be quite honest, it's been quite hurtful and dissappointing. I suppose its times like this that one finds out who your friends really are!! Hey ho

It took us nearly 2 weeks to have his funeral with post mortems and inquests but we gave him a good send off. We were stunned to see well over 100 people at the service! As well as local, people came from far and wide - Ireland, Newcastle, Harrogate, Torquay and London. We recorded songs for his funeral (I will endevour to put them up here!) and did a memory board for people to see when they came back to the house. We couldn't call it a Wake so we called it an 'after show party!' and it was one hell of a party.

Good night God bless Dad............... I love you and always will xxxxxxx
Hi and thanks for stopping by!

I've never done a blog before so I'm new to it all!!

I've read other peoples blogs and wondered in awe at some of the things I have read.......... Some astounding facts about what people are doing with their time but at the other end of the scale I have also read some absolute rubbish that I know not to be true! Whatever inspiration it is that these people find to write about, maybe I'm about to find out!!

I am already a week into my sponsored slim so I have some catching up to do - this site is to help me write down my thoughts and equally to give you an insight into my journey.

Please bear with me as I write memories, inspiration, feeling, hopes, dreams and everything else inbetween .....................................