Thursday, May 25, 2017

Beetle attack!

Okay... I have had a bereavement chat with a lady down at Cudeca... they don't have meetings for English speakers down there and I do not have sufficient Spanish to join therefore!

So I just talked, and talked... and well talked!  Explained just about most of everything I am feeling, and although she said I am basically having normal thoughts and feelings, that maybe I should make an appointment with my doctor for medication!?!  Not a route I want to take.

So, its normal!!?? It's normal to feel I've lost my whole world, it's normal to feel this complete and utter devastation... This feeling of nothing, blackness, emptiness... No meaning to life... Is normal!

Hey, I'm normal, no-one calls ME normal!!

And I have decided, apart from this and that as it happens or  I just do my normal rambling, I am going to try to just post just stuff... try not to get myself or others feeling bad... 

Before I do begin to not upset further... I am so sorry to say with a sad and heavier heart... that Francos mom has passed away... the only small light I see is when Pietrina 'arrived'... there her husband, and two of her boys!  And she would have given them a right ear bashing as to why they were there ahead of her!  I wish Franco was here, that he could have been with his family at this time...

And now... Stuff, just stuff.... 
A friend came to stay for a few days!

Jewel Beetle
This big beetle above, totally freaked me out last week, our visitor camera in hand at all times, got a fantastic shot of him!

But to tell the tale as it was, we were sitting in Ronda, having a cold drink and I could feel something tickle my back, I moved a bit in case it was just my hair, then still feeling something there I knocked this thing off me with a click onto the ground! Small scream at this point, then relief it was off me and on the ground!  But he kept on trying to fly and knocking into chairs or parasols... and just couldn't take off!  I told my friend it was going to come back to me, that it was wanting to get back on me!! A few barmen had check it out, just so they knew it wasn't a roach really I guess!

Anyway, he did make it back to me! I knew it! He buzzed up to my head, I didn't know if he was in my hair or what! I flung off my sunglasses and felt something still on my temple, not my sunglasses! and putting my hand back to my face there he was on my face!!!! I just knocked him off me... he fell with another clicky noise onto the ground again!  At which point a couple of guys killed him!!! One tried with his foot, another with a chair leg, I couldn't look! He hadn't hurt me!  But apparently I had screamed really badly that second time, lots of waiters appearing out onto the street, thinking someone had been attacked maybe!!

Poor thing... oh and by the by his Latin name is Calcophora Mariana!

At a bar in town, Pil Pil... and stuffed peppers! A glass of wine!

The Pompidou centre in Málaga, cool white balloons!

By the old bridge in Ronda.

The great Teba fortress!  A bit disappointing, but only for me, my friend said as she had never been there before it was amazing! Of course because we had been there before, Franco Tony and I, it had been open on all floors including the roof where we ventured up and out, I took photographs of course! and the lower floors had holes in them, it was dangerous, it was risky, it was exciting!  Now there is a guide, well, someone taking money and telling a bit about the fortress...

There is glass in the what was empty windows!  Glass is okay, I mean it stops people falling out! But come on! At least clean the glass please!  All the windows could be opened and cleaned inside safely, just a small lock on the inside on each one, so would be quick and easy to do each day... not open every day, so we were lucky to go the day we did!  There is also a balcony, which would have at least enabled good dust free photos... but it was also locked!

There was a celler that had been cleaned up and had information on the walls, as did the next floor, where we entered, and the floor above, and one above that! Lots of pictures on the walls of medieval men and maps etc... Trouble was it was just commercialised to me now... But as I say, my friend loved it!

Tomorrow I am off to the states, to stay with my aunt in Queens, NY... Can't wait, and Franco was with me last time we went, three years almost exactly, the day I return, is the date that we arrived last time, also with Barry, and we scattered my moms ashes...

I'm all packed, ready to go!  I decided this evening to defrost and leave empty the freezer, maybe not a great move so late in the day, could have done yesterday, or the day before!!! Would have been better and not so rushed as I slipped about on the marble tile with my rubber flip-flops! Still the doorway stopped me from falling a couple of times, and I can do the splits now!

Last night the feria started here in town, friends asked me to pop down to see the festivities, although they came long after I had got home!  And as I sat there at Bar Cruz I remembered last opening evening, Franco and I sitting at a bar opposite with friends, eating and having a coffee... and Franco wasn't well... and on the Saturday, we met with friends again and walked about a bit, but Franco was very tired... and now I am sad and going to shut this lap top up...

I'll be posting photos and bits from NY next time amigos... thank you all for hanging on in here with me, sometimes I don't feel like I am going to make it on my own, but then I remember I'm not alone...

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Went to clinico this morning, second time this week, third time to do my yearly health cover forms, no-one knew what to do, again! Next year I'll wait till I see the woman I know can do them! And it's really only another nine or ten times maybe... still done now until next January.

Yesterday I went down to Fuengirola again, quiet when the shops are closed, mostly closed... but it was nice wandering around and I had a coffee in Luizs' bar, of course.

And tomorrow I'm going down to Calahonda to meet with our old neighbour again for a coffee, I'll pop into Aldi on the way home maybe! Such choice, such exciting prospect!

Today when I came home from town, a TV crew were outside our house, again, was only about a year ago when 'Living in the sun, winter sun' were in a couple of houses down from ours, and a couple of months at the most it was on TV a friend of mine messaged me to tell me, which was lucky or we'd have missed​ it! They were in the house for ages, the possible new owner said the second bedroom was too small, and 'they' suggested building up and making the rooftop into a terrace and with an extra bedroom!! Hey!! NO!! We only get the sun in the summer as it is! Block it out all year and I'll be real angry and blocking the idea!!

Movie, City of Angels, just sitting down to watch this, the angel says to another angel that he asked a little girl he accompanied through to the next... Life? Phase? anyway, he asked her her favourite thing? She said PJs... Mine will be touch... Touch of hands, of a hug, of the body you love in bed next to you... The touch of wind on your face, of cool rain on your skin... Of your pets fur as you pet and snuggle him or her...

I think maybe this isn't the best movie to be watching, I know, I hear you! But I've walked Pip twice, walked to clinico then town...

I've eaten, washed up, cleaned... Nothing is left, I'm not sleeping well now either, things niggling in my mind like... they do.

I've decided I'm either bad or worse now, so bad days are better than the worse ones.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Lost Road .

To be blatantly honest, I don't know what to write, only that I must write.

I must say something for my friends who are sharing my journey...

And this is ultimately also my feeling on waking this morning... Just replace the word 'write' for 'do' maybe.

I eat, I walk to town & meet with friends, I go for walks, I clean the house, and me!... I watch Netflix the rest of the day. Why? What for?

I just feel, something, or rather nothing but sad.

And our poor Pippa is still suffering from the dam rocket fire, throughout this week, Monday May day, then it's also been Dia de la Cruz, although not so much a day, the whole week, I thought Wednesdays explosion of fireworks next to our perimeter fence was the final! But yesterday the rockets started again, then the bands and the marching and more intermittent rocket fire. I shut us in the back bedroom and turned up the music; I think they may have come past our house, didn't get the light if they did.

I was not aware of any celebration in town, must have missed the flyer!

Pippa has only gone for two walks in last six days, we've left the house and she has turned to the left then to the right, then back to our door, and only by me picking her up has she even gone on the terrace, I am having to shut her out, which has been awful for both of us, but if I don't she doesn't pee etc! A dog 'going' once in 24hrs is not healthy.

This morning on the terrace, while Pippa stood cowering by the back door, I watched the swallows, one group were flying in a distinct pattern, between the street, an ally and someones' back terrace which was very narrow, they had been doing the same acrobatic route a dozen times, when one bird missed the narrow terrace, to avoid the wall and then turned to look for his group and rejoin... I waited, but the whole group had dispersed!

One bird had effected the whole group, and he hadn't been upfront, he was way way back, and seemingly minding his own business!

I drove to Fuengirola on Thursday, walked and had a coffee, and cried while I walked.

Today, this morning, I'll drive to La Trocha and go to the car boot sale there.  Franco and I didn't go every week, always the same stuff.

Tomorrow I have to go to local SS in Coín to take some paperwork in, then the doctors here in Alhaurín to change yet more paperwork.

Just seems my word of the day is 'why' why bother, what for? Although I don't feel ready for work, maybe once I am back and supporting someone else I will get some reasons back for my 'why' what for?'

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Who am I?

I am heavy hearted, sometimes my breathe catches in my throat as I fight the tears.

Away for five days, wonderful being with family, my granddaughter makes my soul sing, but within a heartbeat I am lost again without Franco... 

I must always be so ... with mundane bits and pieces and rubbish; at every turn is some non-sense I want to (need to), share with Franco.

Yet he was always interested in what crapola I had to say, albeit something of nothing, usually.

I felt the whole time I have been away from home that Franco is at home actually; and I am bereft not being able to contact him on touchdown at an airport, a messenger message or text, followed by the (always) phone call back when I'm on the coach or train, usually both...Franco filling me in on his journey back from Málaga airport, Pippa looking for me when he came in... Just the normal, just the mundane, just the love...

And at bed time, waking up time, all the... times...

The loss is real, it's physical, it's breaking me, heart body and soul...

How do people survive this?
I feel like I am me but not me anymore, the greater part has gone, changed, left this! what is the 'this' I now am? I don't know me anymore.

I've got a pain in my throat now as I fight back unshed tears, sitting here in departure lounge, with hundreds of people, many of whom don't know how lucky they are.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


I am sorry I have been unable to Blog, to gather my words...
I know we have many many people who are with us on this path, we have been, we are... very lucky, thank you all... but I need to tell you, its hard, its impossible for me to believe and writing is almost confirming something I do not want to be the truth.

My husband, my love, my life, my Franco... gave up his fight for life in this world on Saturday April 1st, I was with him for the ten days in hospital, thankfully for the last 36 hours in our own room, and therefore alone together with privacy, so although not home together, we were just us, and when Franco woke me up, and unfortunately I recognised our time together was coming to an end I held his hand, I talked, I kissed him, I talked of things we know between us, and Franco went on, without me...

I have made notes on my phone in moments when I could, so forgive randomness, (as usual I guess). I have added quotes by others marked with ***'s so this Blog is all over the place, as am I... I have also included some of the words I wrote and gave to the humanist speaker who spoke for us at Francos service on Wednesday April 5th.  Not the whole thing though or in order maybe even.  I used some of the beautiful words from comments and messages from Facebook.

From the Service:

Franco made the world a brighter and funnier place, for everyone around him.

Franco always had people smiling and laughing at work and out with family and friends...

... A great man
... So very missed
...a true gent, friend and all round great person
...very nice guy
...truly special, such a good man, dear friend
...well loved and will be greatly missed

Wife Marian, son Nicky, sister Maria and Gary, brother Tore and Susan, two step sons, Barry and Tony, his mother Pietrina, Granddaughter Cassie, Niece and Nephews, Natalie, Andrew, David and Nathan.

Franco loved life, always a great talker and always happy, positive.  Always ready and willing to help anyone.

Franco moved to Spain in the late 1990's, he met Marian and they married in Las Vegas in April 2004.

Living first down on the coast in Calahonda then moving into their home here in Alhaurín in 2005.

Franco enjoyed exploring his new country, the mountains, the lakes, the beaches.

He also enjoyed working on the house, painting and updating, building outdoor furniture and making a small garden, he loved his plants and loved going to the local garden centre to look around and have a coffee and bacon sandwich.

He became ill 14 months ago, but still continued to get out and about, visiting favourite places with Marian.

A strong character, Franco wouldn't give up and enjoyed making plans for them both, for the near and far future.

End of Service.

My sons came out as quickly as they could, and many of our close family.  The service was at our nearby chapel.  We went afterwards to our bar, Bar Cruz, we must have sat at every table and on each of those chairs over the past twelve years, eaten every meal and talked to all our friends there...

At the service, many of our friends came that could, amongst them - our neighbour from when we first knew each other down on the coast, to a new friend who had helped us recently, our neighbours here on our street... and the sun still shone, little knowing of the great loss we all share...

I am talking to Franco constantly now my sons have both gone, (I was calling them Franco), I have to keep him close, I can't live with the thought of him gone completely, and in the past few months Franco had said he believed now in an afterlife... He said he would stay with me, always.

He also said he would come back for me...

*** Never has love known such depth, as that felt through separation ***

Normality amongst the storm... Our car had its pre-ITV check on Thursday April 6th, and the ITV the following morning... Also on Friday morning, without the car and a plan of action ahead, Tony and I did what Franco wanted me to do immediately, he knew if I did not donate his clothes and shoes then, then I never would... he knows me well... Tony using head over heart on my behalf helped me... A few pieces I purposely have kept and another couple of things got missed (for me to keep), and I kept all of Francos T-shirts to cut and make into kitting yarn... once kitted into a throw I will keep those T-shirts forever.

I think I did a real good wool over people's eyes with thinking I am strong... More fool me!  Because people are telling me how strong I am being? Do they not see? They don't see me... its easier being stronger maybe when your talking to others... maybe, sometimes... sometimes not... maybe keeping busy, being out (sometimes), but inside, inside me and inside the house, or the car or walking the Pipster or or or... I am in pieces, broken... how have others survived this loss of their love? of their lifes plan, of their future path, their future road?

*** Words not said, thoughts un-voiced ***

Even though Franco and I always told each other our thoughts, and feelings, and wishes and dreams... and of our love for each other, we talked to each other non-stop lol... I am still left, as I knew I would be... with wishing I had said or done more... I know 100% Franco would say I did enough... but is enough really enough?

*** What we have done for ourselves dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal ***

Everything Franco has done, the energy surrounding these things... His energy lives on in it all, this keeps me feeling Franco is always here, all the stuff he did around our home, the chalk painting, the terrace furniture, the plants, us building the new bathroom cupboards and sink unit last year, building the bed, then having to shorten it!  Franco stuck in the wardrobe at the bottom of the stairs!!! His energy is all around me and Pip here.  And everywhere I go, Franco loved this country, this town, this countryside, I see him everywhere here, in my minds-eye, (and unfortunately in some of the people around me on occasion, in the distance.... but its not him.)

*** Thought is deeper than all speech;
Feeling deeper than all thought;
Souls to souls can never teach
What into themselves was taught ***

Loved filled every space between us... We always knew where the other was, near or far, and we loved each other across that distance...
(Franco had me tracked on Google maps... )

I also couldn't think of a title for this Blog, What title? End of the Road? Road closed until further notice? No, I've got it.... Detour... because one day we'll reach the end of the road together still, I know it.

But for now I can't go where Franco is, I can't reach him; I can only hope he can find me, and be with me...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Shared Road - A week in Málaga!

On what goes on here really, not much! It's just Eat Meds Sleep...Sounds like a boring bar.. 'EMS' come for the food and drugs, sleep it off on the premises!

It was Mother's Day in the UK last Sunday; I remember so few really, memories do that... I remember eating in an Italian place in Berkhamsted with my boys and one of their girls... and mom, and receiving a beautiful bracelet they had bought for me, it was either 2001 or 2002... Unfortunately I remember the one that took place between my mom passing and her cremation vividly. Franco and I spent the day with Tony and Kate, we went to Silverstone and Kate tore around that track, on foot! It was cold, the wind was bitter, and the stands were uncovered for the winter! and my heart was frozen...

Then this year.... my heart... Oh! Take my meds!! ✓ Lol... Yes mom, your parting gift, my broken heart, don't think these meds will keep it from shattering now into a billion pieces. And I will remember us being here in Málaga hospital...

...We can't ever cover up bad memories with good another time, we can only try to make sure we keep the good ones upper most in our minds, and keep making more? How? I know I will, which makes me sadder still, but I've always been a firm believer that we carry those we love and have lost with us at all times and they share what we see through our eyes... (am I stupid...? Don't answer me on that!).

And I am now constantly trying to tell myself... These are not the memories to cling to, the past fourteen months while Franco has been getting sicker and sicker... none of this time has been memory making time... Yes we've had some good days..  Sons wedding! Barry and Heidi... Little Cassie beautiful day.. although Francos absence in 99.9% of the photographs speaks volumes... Even our much wanted sleepover in Málaga, dogged by how Franco was feeling and being unable to even get to the nearby port, one of Francos favorites spots. But all the way through this whole time it's been a rush here or there, pain, doctors appointments, scans, more rushing and more illness, more pain... Every trip out, even to a local supermarket, all the way back to December before last... and before that, back in UK, Franco visited the doctor, first time in fourteen years... Other than a broken leg and stitch or two! Vitamin D definency and 'you need to see a physio'... er NO!!! Wrong!!! It was stomach and back pain... First signs...

Our wonderful Christmas lunch at the Kiosko, I don't want to remember that as much as our thousands of trips up to those lakes and the Kings Walk... When we were living our dream... and now, that's probably the last time we will have gone there... I would rather in retrospect not gone... But Franco wanted to, so that's how I will remember, and remember I will.

Franco did go down to the surgery yesterday, and came out again with the catheter in place still, it had needed adjustment, it was, and we were back in the room by lunchtime!

Our neighbour has gone and his kind and generous family with him! We have been left with the essentials, water, chocolate and cake! An invite to their shop in Arriate, a favorite village of ours but never stopped for meat before! Next time! I went a bit loco and Tweeted and Facebook'd and G+ their shop!! Seriously good genuine people... and can only repay them by sharing their information...

We are presently enjoying a peaceful time in an unshared room... A little too quiet, but won't push our luck! We're sure a whole bunch of people in observation are awaiting a bed for the night, so come one come all, new friends to make! More Spanish to practice!

A nice couple have arrived, he is being settled in now by his wife, sampling the first rate three course dinner and in-house facilities!  (This should not be taken in a sarcastic manner.)

I don't know what I would do without my family and friends, even complete strangers sometimes, going out of their way at this time in our lives... angels without wings I've said it before, and still today...

I also know I have some inbuilt safety thing, an innate self something or other... Even as sad as bad as depressed as bottom of the pit of life I feel right now when I went into the visitors toilet in front of half a dozen men seated outside I had the urge to come out and do a funny 'dance off stage' dance thing... I didn't!

But that spark that tiny flame that still burns in my very being still fueled my soul of life, of life of living... and I feel guilty... because of that, and even though all I can see is only darkness and dark days and a blank page a 'this road is closed' sign...

And it's not right, we have preset memories in-waiting in place of stuff we want to do, places on our list to visit, a whole package of up-to and after retirement to un-pack! I'm angry!

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Shared Road - Long dark night

Last night I have been reminded once more that we hurt those we love the most...

Sharing a room with only one other as we do here, we witnessed a son suffer his poorly father's wrath, a strong dialect but I could still fully understand the meaning and the swear words... Both of them getting more and more upset by the other, until neither were listening, just both trying to be heard... if you get my drift...

It's only 07:22 now as I write, shattered, and just realised it's more like 06:22 due to the time change, later here in Europe than back 'home' in the states... Europe catching up as usual, all a little bit too late!

It's a strange world, living here temporarily... You get used to the routine, the comings and goings... Some goings a bit too permanent and a shock reminder of how fragile our lives are... A man who had voiced his thoughts next door for a few nights, exited yesterday and left a noticeable quietness, in some way louder than before.

We had thunder and lightning last evening as darkness came, no rain that we could see and the nesting swallows carried on with their harvest of bugs to bring home, some of which are right by our window.

Franco had an early morning blood test, so we're hoping the catheter might be removed this morning, I'm up and ready, Franco went back to sleep but awoke a moment ago to say he thinks we're going home soon.