Oct 25

Does this thing still work?

Lets see….

Jan 01

2014

This is not a set of new years resolutions. This is my checklist. My plan, some of it is ongoing and may take longer than these 365 days allow.

There are a few items that are on my list which are not published below. These are personal to me but I’m keeping a note of them elsewhere so I know that they are on my list, so to speak.

I will look at this list frequently over the next 12 months and I will stay the course, I will also check back on December the 31st to see just how far I’ve progressed.

The most notable bit of advice I’m taking with this:

Always concentrate on how far you’ve come, rather than how far you have left to go.

****Harry****

Start a memory box for Harry with some of Mummy’s favourite t-shirts and belongings for him to keep and treasure forever.

Write a book entitled – ‘My Mummy’ – including photos, a list of her favourite films, her favourite things. Get it professionally bound and printed.

Help him excel at everything he wants to do. Push him to his full potential whilst supporting and caressing his needs – don’t push him too hard.

Show him he’s the most important thing in my life, every day.

Play with him whenever I can.

****Professional/Work****

Strive to be the best I can be at what I do. Do more. Push myself every day.

Become Cisco CCNA certified regardless.

Learn new skills every day.

Help people to achieve their potential and support them.

****Life****

Sort out the old house (I haven’t even started yet, I thought I would be finished by now).

Sell the old house.

Donate all the old baby stuff and nursery stuff to Martin House.

Find and buy a new house.

Be more caring, compassionate, understanding and patient with others.

Get a biiiig 3D TV or a projector

Lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

Take up running again.

Regular lunchtime gym visits – aiming for 3 per week.

Go back to Walt Disney World and do one new thing every day, be that a new ride, a new food or a new experience.

Raise as much money for Make a Wish and Martin House (another one of Sue’s favourite charities) as I can.

Save the world.

****Hobbies****

Pick up my camera, learn how to use it in manual, then use it in manual all the time.

Get a photo featured by Paul the weather man on the Yorkshire evening weather.

Take part in the Talk Photography photographer of the year competition.

Build a robot.

Write….something. I’m good with words, I need to write something, either for my own consumption or for the consumption of others. It will be wordy.

****Crazy sh*t****

Parachute jump for Make a Wish (weight loss dependant).

Run the Leeds 10k for Martin House (not so crazy, done it before I can do it again).

Maybe get that superman tattoo I’ve always wanted.

To quote some superhero films:

It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me. /Bruce Wayne

You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Whoever that man is, he’s going to change the world. /Jonathan Kent

Nov 08

It’s funny.

I guess somewhere inside my head and I guess my heart; I knew that the radio appearance could probably go one of two ways.

1) Thousands of people would hear my heartbreaking story, love the sound of what I was doing and donate their hard earned cash to Make a Wish and I’d be able to say we’d send 2-3 children with life threatening conditions to Walt Disney World.

2) Nothing.

I think there were maybe two or three donations that came in after the radio show appearance. Mainly because I didn’t get a chance to get the URL out on air. The BBC promised me that they would give the details out to anyone that called in and that they would retweet the URL and also put it on their facebook page.

Sadly, they were running a non-story about a Halloween costume having being removed from a Leeds costume shop. A nurses uniform which was blood stained with a knife wound. Slow news day I guess. I’d been listening to the show before I was picked up by the taxi and so was aware of the story and that was still ongoing when I got in with people calling in, etc. The story ran all day long.

It had sounded like such a big thing for the radio station me going in and talking to them that you’d think they might have been a little more sensitive about stories not to run when someone is going to speak to them about their wife who passed away three weeks prior, who was a nurse. Granted there was no correlation between Sue’s death and a stab wounded, blood stained nurses uniform but still – not great.

I don’t think it was even so much the content of the story that got to me the most. It’s more the fact that it did run all day long. People phoning in all day about it. It’s such a non-story I can’t even begin to go there. Maybe you have to go through something traumatic in life to realise just to realise how much time we all waste with things that are just completely and utterly stupid. Sometimes the world really pisses me off.

I knew that appearing on the radio would be difficult but I had no idea that I’d be asked about the events the day she died – running through that was horrible and I wasn’t prepared for it – away from immediate family nobody really has heard me walk through what happened that night. The main point of my message was to make sure that you told your loved ones that you loved them, hold them close, make sure they know because you never know what life will throw at you. But I also wanted to raise as much money as I could for Make a Wish.

I wasn’t going to go on the show – I was ready to tell them when they called back that we’d hit the target and that there was no point to going on anymore – I’d spare myself that trauma. But something made me go through with it. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It’s amazing how many times I’ve used that cliché now. Every day I come across something else I need to do that’s harder than something I did the day before. I just end up going with it and doing the best you can – what’s the alternative?

I came away from the interview feeling drained and upset but knew that I’d done what I could about getting the message out there to people. I hoped that the message would spread, people would start to donate and that the money would come rolling in to Make a Wish and it would be worth it.

That didn’t happen.

I have no doubt that a lot of people will have been told that they were loved that day. We might even see a baby boom in 9 months because of that – but it’s not tangible. I can’t see it and I can’t measure it.

In some ways, it felt like a waste of my time. A waste of my energy and a waste of courage. I just wish it had made a little more impact than it seemed to.

I don’t think this is the fault of anyone at the BBC, it’s just one of those things. I went in there with expectations of what might happen as a result and it didn’t happen. Not a lot we can do about it.

The radio interview is available here:

Radio Interview

The Just Giving Page is available here:

Just Giving

Thanks for reading. The above probably sounds more of a moan than it’s meant to be. Just getting another thing out of my head that’s been bothering me…

Where Facebook and the people I connect to through it have been more than I could have ever dreamed of, Twitter has just completely and utterly failed me. Anything I try to get out there with a retweet ends up falling flat at the first circle of friends who retweet. Never seems to gather any momentum, just dies out. Harnessing the power of social media and those who yield said power seems to be a lost cause. Again – something I thought I could use to do some good, ended up falling way short of my expectations and showed me just how bleak reality can be sometimes.

Oct 28

If you’ve found your way here from twitter as a result of my appearance on the radio or through a retweet – thank you for taking the time to visit.

If you would like to donate to Make a Wish – The JustGiving donations page can be found here:

https://www.justgiving.com/susancharlton

Otherwise please take some time to read through some of my posts from the last few weeks which may go some way to explaining what I’ve been going through.

The most important message I can give and ask you to spread isn’t about donating money – it’s about love and making sure that the ones close to you know that you love them.

There are no second chances. Take each day as it comes. Have no regrets and If there is something that you want to do, go out there and do it – today.

Many thanks,

Matt

Oct 26

Okay, have phoned Sue’s mum and dad and checked on Harry. He’s doing okay and they all sound like they are having fun. Cool.

It’s a really weird feeling. For the first time in 3 weeks I’m not responsible for a 2 year old. I don’t have to put him to bed. I don’t have to go and check on him when he wakes up crying. Not sure I like this idea but we’ll go with it and see where it takes me.

Decided on a quiet night on my own rather than getting some friends in, if I need to have a wave of grief wash over me and have a cry then that’s something that I can do on my own. Distraction just leads to prolonging the inevitable anyway.

I have boatloads of TV to watch. I need to get hold of episodes 2-5 of Agents of Shield. I have the whole of Breaking Bad to watch along with pretty much anything else that takes my fancy.

I need to rewatch Buffy and Angel – it’s something that Sue and I shared together and they are some of my all time favourite TV series. I’m going to save the rewatch until Harry is a little older and he can enjoy them with me. Although my Buffy and Angel boxsets will probably be a little Fawlty Towers to him (but I love Fawlty Towers) so he might not want to watch it. Buffy/Angel is meant to be certified 15 in places. We’ll see how that goes.

So many things to think about going forward, schools, parents evenings, exams. So many things that we should have been doing together and supporting each other with. So many things to think about.

Got a candle burning again. It’s the melons one (yay melons). Reminds me of Sue now. I might have to buy a few of them so I have a few years worth of use out of them.

Need to eat something, cba to cook. Cba to order pizza. Might have a bag of crisps (cue the comments of EAT SOME TEA!).

Funny day today. Not had harry for the last 5 hours. Going to be back in less than 24 hours probably, but it might be a long night, especially with that extra hour that I’d forgotten about.

It’s been over 2 years since I got to enjoy an extra hour in bed, it was more an extra hour of play. Which was probably more fun. Maybe it’ll be an extra hour of breaking bad tonight. We’ll see.

I should really start blogging again rather than writing stupidly long facebook posts. I guess there’s more of a captive audience here though. Never had so many people want to read things I’ve written. I should charge you all a pound per post (payable to make a wish of course).

Feeling more settled and content in my head, certainly more level headed and positive than yesterday. Yesterday was a deep dark place of depression. A darker place than I’ve ever been before.

Had some fun with the giraffe riddle this morning, have managed to turn at least 50 or 60 people into giraffes. I did the quiz last night so I only have one more day of being a giraffe. At least it’s a giraffe pic that Sue took

Looking through old photos is bringing me smiles. Smiles are good.

Living at my mum and dads house feels more natural again now. Our house feels like it isn’t mine anymore. It’s just full of my stuff. Need to start sorting that stuff out in the coming weeks. That’s going to be a tough job. Can’t help but think I need to do that before I can go back to work and get on with things again. Certainly the clothes and things. They all need sorting out sooner rather than later.

Hmm.

Reflective post.

I’m on BBC Radio Leeds on Monday morning at 08:40. They are sending a taxi to pick me up and will sort me out a ride home too. I’m okay inside the house. Have meltdowns after too long outside/in other places. They are interested in my overall message rather than just the donations to make a wish but will push the make a wish stuff too through twitter and Facebook – might even manage to get a couple more hundred pounds towards £8k. We’ll see.

Might bob into work after that and see how that feels being around more people. Just hope that there isn’t that massive awkward silence again when I walk through the door. That was well, awkward.

Taking each day as it comes. Hour by hour. I don’t know what else to do. Until Sue’s HR department get in touch I have no idea what is happening with regards to money, so don’t know what I can do about the car or about Harry or the future. I just don’t know.

Still so many uncertainties. But, I’m still here. Still breathing. Still alive. We’ll get through it, one way or another.

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