Well if the Queen can have an Annus Horribilis, I think 2006 has been mine.
It's New Year's Eve, and I am thinking back over the year.
I suppose the year got off to a bad start when Mark died in January. Another completely unexpected death of a lovely man of 48, fiance to my lovely friend Karen. I remember thinking at the time about how on earth do you cope with such a thing. What would I do if Nigel died? And here I am, a few short months later, in exactly the same position.
After the shock of Mark dying, there were weeks of hideous behaviour from Alex. Lying on the landing all night absolutely screaming her head off. In April we finally giot a diagnosis of glue ear, and were referred to the LGI. The waiting time was shocking, so I complained to my MP, Colin Challen. He soon had it sorted and we were seen at the beginning of June. Although we were seen then, Alex didn't actually have her grommets fitted until September. But the change was nothing short of miraculous. It really was as if I had left Alex at the hospital and come home with another child. She is still a little madam, but is generally so much calmer and obviously not in any pain now.
August, well that was a month I will never forget. I did first aid training years ago, but it was the first time I had had to use it properly. Nigel had told me that when you give someone heart compressions, you will break their ribs. He knew that from doing it for his own father in 1992. So when I did it for Nigel, that part didn't scare me. I did everything I could to keep him going until the paramedics arrived, but realistically, he was dead by the time they got there.
Adjusting to life without Nigel has been difficult. I have had so much support from so many people. From family, friends, colleagues, online friends. All over the world there are people who are looking out for me, and for that I really am grateful. Thank you so much for being there for me and the girls.
I feel very positive about 2007. I know there will be hard times, but I would like to think that there will be plenty of happy times too.
Do I feel angry that Nigel has gone? No, I don't. Feeling angry won't bring him back, and its not as if he chose to go. Do I feel bitter? No, and if I did, it would turn me into the sort of person I don't want to be.
Nigel's life was cut hideously short. But now it is time to look to the future. I will never, ever get over losing him. What I am trying to do is get on with life, make the most of what I have that is left behind. The girls and I have each other and our families, and we will make the most of whatever the world decides to throw at us.
So wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, remember this.
Life's a bitch. But if you let it get the better of you, you will be miserable and miss so many opportunities in life.
Monty Python has the best philosophy.
Always look on the bright side of life!