That's that, the first of everything is done. First birthdays without Nigel, first Christmas, Father's Day and our seventh Wedding Anniversary. Lots of other firsts too, which we had to adjust to as a family of three instead of four. We have overcome hurdles, dealt with sadness, and also experienced happy times.
The happiness was bittersweet, as always there was the thought that Nigel should have been sharing in everything. He was so looking forward to taking Sophie to school on her first day in reception. I was so proud of her that day, and I know that Nigel would have felt the same.
Another day which we had been waiting for was Alex's grommet operation. Alex was diagnosed with glue ear in April last year, and her behaviour was severely affected. She experienced 90% hearing loss, and was in considerable pain because of the pressure in both ears. The grommets made an instant difference, and I so wish Nigel could have seen that difference.
Christmas passed without too much drama, the girls enjoying their presents and spending time with family. Time seemed to rush past, life was so busy. I returned to work in late October, which was the right decision at the time. My class last year was very demanding, but I thoroughly enjoyed teaching them. The paperwork aspect of teaching is enough to grind even the most committed teacher down, but the actual act of teaching is something I love doing.
The first anniversary was not was painful as I had expected, the build up being far worse than the day itself. Remembering how that night had started with a happy meal at our favourite restaurant, and ending with my husband being carried away in a body bag. Something not even for your worst nightmare, but it happened.
The direction of my life has changed since then. Nigel's death is something I will never get over. People ask if I have got over it yet, but they are asking a ridiculous question. Nigel will always have a special place in my heart, even if I meet someone else. No-one can tell what the future holds for any of us, but Nigel will always be in my heart. Of course he also lives on in Sophie and Alex, smiling back at me through their eyes.
We talk about Nigel every single day, dropping him into the conversation as if he were still here. Sophie has an amazing memory for detail, and will often recall funny little things she did with Nigel. The girls do not remember him with sadness; their memories instead are of happy times, of a daddy who truly loved them both.
So I will end my post here. Thank you to all my dear friends, both in real life and online. Without your support and friendship I would have crumbled. I will continue with this blog, and I hope you will continue to visit.
Anna's girls are here to stay, and even though our lives have changed direction slightly since Nigel died, he will always be in our hearts. A gift I was given not long ago sums it up.
We love him because he loved us.