Coming to terms with everything that happened last week wasn’t going to be easy, in fact I sat down and wondered how I could carry on. I always said that “him up there” must have given cancer to only strong people because weak ones would never cope with everything that is thrown at them but I reckon he is having a laugh when he doses out secondary cancer because he must think we are superhuman!
I am lucky that I have a great support from friends and family, medical team and work who have very quickly this week let me adapt my shifts to suit me so that I can have a rest in the afternoon – that makes such a difference. Best advice I was given from my doctor was just take one day at a time, my grief for Milo and for the situation I am in will come in waves, no one day will be the same. Embrace the good days and don’t beat myself up when I have a bad one.
Yesterday was such a lovely day, I laughed – after a week of so much crying at first I felt guilty but with the words EMBRACE ringing in my ears I did just that, there will be other days to cry.
So why did I laugh?
Well you would if you saw three ladies in wellies (well I had boots) carrying a tree (that was Charlotte) trudging over a field to dig a hole (again Charlotte) to plant said tree! You can see that neither Liesl or I were doing any of the physical stuff and it was lovely that even though I had never met Charlotte before yesterday she took time out of her day and transported the tree in her trailer.
So back to where it all began! My bucket list – PLANT A TREE – got a message from Liesl a friend who I worked with for years at Cottages.com to say leave it with her. Then another message to say the Woodland Trust who have a wood at Cleatop in Settle had given exceptional permission to plant a tree there and a list of trees which could be planted. I was drawn the oak – They are a majestic tree (bit like me!) wise (again bit like me!) and support more life than any other native tree species in the UK (well maybe I lack on this one) So now it was getting a sapling or tree and that’s where we got lucky.
Liesl spoke to Al at Mail Order Trees to ask him about prices for a tree and whether he would give us a tiny discount but they did one better and gave us a tree and not a poxy small tree but a big beautiful tree, this one was built to last not to be eaten by the dear that roamed the woods. In these times of COVID where things are hard for most companies great customer service says such a lot and this company went above and beyond.
A reckie was done by Liesl and her dog Ella to see where best to plant the tree and a video posting of this saw the tree named Cedric – hearing does go with age and when Liesl mentioned “said tree” I took it as Cedric and now he has a name.
The name Cedric is a boy’s name of Celtic origin meaning “bounty”. Cedric was invented by Sir Walter Scott for the noble character of the hero’s father in Ivanhoe, presumed to be an altered form of the Saxon name Cerdic
Cedric’s home is above the A65 in a quiet place near a babbling brook, he will stand strong for many years, long after you are I are here. To celebrate and to continue the laughter we headed for the Courtyard opposite – a small retail outlet, as they had let us kindly let us leave our vehicles there and went for tea – well I had Yorkshire tea, they had coffee and we all had scones, jam and clotted cream. We all agreed that this year had been hard for all of us and special moments like this had to be grabbed – with one old friend and now with one new friend.
I cannot thank Liesl enough, she has helped me a lot with my crazy charity fundraisers previously, getting up in the early hour of the morning in the freezing weather to do a couple of car boot sales – her gung ho attitude always got us more money and free tables to put our stuff on. She will be the first to admit that we have clashed sometimes at work but the test of a good friendship is that you can overcome minor things and be there for each other when needed. Bucket list 2 has now been ticked off!
SAD NOTE AT THE END
On the 17/10 a friend Michelle Richardson lost her brave fight with cancer. She leaves a devastated family who were also trying to come to the terms with the loss of her father weeks before again with cancer. I knew Michelle through running and later through our treatment journey. Michelle loved Christmas and wanted to celebrate it with her family – This year my lights on the tree will shine brighter and that star on the top will be dedicated to you. Sleep well my friend no longer in pain.