Sunday, April 16, 2017

Detour...

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...

Mentions:
... 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.


Friday, March 24, 2017

The Shared Road - every pain and every tear...

Second full day in hospital.
Early on, like forever ago it has always been 'we' when we say stuff, and that has never stopped, when talking to doctors or Cudeca or local clinico Franco always 'we take this or that' or 'we started getting this or that in such 'n such a month'... Not sure what they think with us saying 'we' here... They probably think it's a language thing... I'm sure our español is improving though, it has to, although some of these medical words were never high on our must learn list!

The op did go well, stent in place and catheter releasing the awful bile which has been poisoning Francos body.  I'm sure his skin is looking better, and the whites of his eyes more white than yellow...

Franco is enjoying the wonderful food, three course meals twice a day, plus breakfast and two snacks! I am living off scraps lol! My fault, the other day I did eat a good meal with Franco in the hospital canteen before we were admitted, and today I had takeaway from there to eat here in our room.... Paella! And very nice it was too for less than five euro!

I promise to have one good meal a day from the canteen.

It's Mother's day in the UK this Sunday, will be a strange one for me here in hospital!

I also moved the car today, it was round the corner out of sight, now I can see it in the car park!

Great view! Did I tell you? The Mediterranean stretched out beyond, and vistas of Alhaurín de la Torre, Churriana, Torremolinos and all the way around Málaga... All from our hospital window...

We wish we were home with our Guadalhorce valley view, just have to wait a few days more and we will be, with Pip and we can relax again and just be us.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Shared Road - Heart = Love, and so much more.

Franco back in hospital, we arrived yesterday, Wednesday for pre-op blood test, settle into a room and stent to be fitted today, hopefully we thought after last time, and it has been...

Franco has been so tired; he has had this awful bile fluid buildup in his whole body, more noticeable by the yellow color of his skin and swolleness of his feet, calves, left hand and stomach... He's exhausted, I'm exhausted, didn't know I could be so tired, physically for Franco and more mentally for me.

Franco is still eating little and often, which is great, well amazing actually.

I don't know where he is getting his mental strength from, he is being so strong, so positive still, talking about walking into town again, about eating better again, about being okay... I'm just lost and scared and dying inside.

I am so proud of Franco.

Franco came out of surgery and off to recovery, I saw him briefly, sleeping peacefully... I was told to wait for the Doctor to come and talk to me, he did...

... the stent has been fitted, with a drainage catheter which will remain in place for a few days, maybe until Tuesday or Wednesday and then we can go home... praying this will ease Francos pain and other related symptoms.

And now I am having food(!!!) and coffee, then I will go back to our room and wait for Francos return...

My coffee today here in a bar near the hospital; a heart for our love...






Sunday, March 19, 2017

The quiet road...

Sorry everyone, we are here... We were in hospital all day Wednesday and came home on Thursday... Franco was all set to have a stent inserted to help move the bile fluid out of his body, which is severely debilitating him... The anaesthetist came to see us, checked Franco over, then the doctor came to say the operation would not take place and we were to go home, and come back for the operation, two weeks later... was a bit of a blow... it is something that needs doing, and everyday is making Franco more tired, and the fluid build up worse and worse.

So we came home Thursday, family had arrived Wednesday and Thursday morning, we all got down to our favorite pizza restaurant in town, Franco using his scooter, for the past few days though Franco has been more tired, he has been awake more with our family staying, but therefore more tired... we always try to do more when we have visitors, sometimes their visits take a week or two to recover from... Especially if we're out and about every day, taking people to all our favorite places... then we need a holiday afterwards.... Of course, this wasn't the regular visit...  But Franco still tried to be more awake than asleep.

Yesterday we had an early wake up when the family left, and got a couple of hours of sleep until 7am when the alarm went off!  Meds have to be taken on time, and if we don't start at the right time its all knocked out of sync for the rest of the day, but we caught up with some naps, Franco more so... And Franco also had lots more to eat yesterday and a good breakfast already today... meds are his huge bugbear... Franco has never been a pill-taker... its always me who has had to take something or other, tables turned big time now, thankfully its only that he doesn't want to take them, and not that he finds it hard to swallow them!

We have some huge foam pieces on the terrace benches, [that Franco made], Franco had had a good sleep on one earlier in the week, so we brought one down, I covered it, and Franco had about three hours sleep on that yesterday afternoon, really comfortable, and we stood it up on the back of the sofa and Franco slept well last night, we went to sleep about 11pm and woke up with the alarm at 7am... Franco did wake me up for some food about 4am, but then we decided to wait until a bit later or the meds would be too out of sync...

Yesterday evening Franco said as we were watching TV and talking... "your my 1 to 1 carer, like your job in the UK... only we're not getting paid for it!"  lol.... true I guess... Although I did point out that I am caring for him out of love not money!  and that I don't think of it as work, and that I wouldn't have it any other way... except all of this NOT happening at all would be the best thing!

For a couple of nights we were back downstairs in the dining room and den, but yesterday Franco wanted to come back up to the living room where he wanted to be again... nearer the bathroom and halfway up to the terrace too of course, and today should be warm again so when the suns on the terrace maybe we'll get up there... Franco said the other day to me that he didn't think he would get up there again after he came down into the dining room... He will!

The doctors came again to visit with us and talk to us about what had happened in hospital and what happens next, they also organised a mattress for Franco, which the next day... Friday, I went up to the clinico here in town to collect, its an air mattress lots of small pockets filled constantly with air, but Franco didn't find it comfortable at all!  Which is why we got the foam down from the terrace!

We're sitting relaxed and comfortable now, up in the lounge, Pippa asleep on my left and Franco on my right, its only 9:30am, all meds done for morning, house clean and tidy...


Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The tired road...

We're all alone aren't we really? We can be in a room a place with friends family strangers, we're still alone when it's boils down to it. But feeling lonely is so much worse...

Lonely is something different.
Feeling closed off for some reason, about something maybe... in our heads and minds can be a lonely place, even in that crowded room.

I've never minded going somewhere on my own, travel, cars planes trains... I have talked countless times to people about the difference, "as long as you don't feel lonely here by yourself, that's what's important..." "If you feel alone, but happy with yourself, that's okay, that's liveable" "But if your lonely.... that's different...."

Franco and I can talk for hours, day and night, night and day... always have, when we're parted by miles we still talk and laugh and talk some more, text, messenger, webcam, always communicating...

At night, these past few nights apart I want to message Franco, and answer his the same  "goodnight, sleep tight!... Speak in the morning... I love you"... 

I noticed on my phone yesterday here in the car park, a link we have which shows us where each other are, it said Franco was in our house 7 hours ago... must have come from his phone I've been carrying around with me until the battery went flat.

.... tick tock

Still in our car reading... and time to time watching traffic and people pass by, lots of car horns caught my attention and I looked out onto a bit of wasteland people use for hospital overspill parking... And I thought I better get back to our car over in the main car park... Which is weird, as I am actually sitting in our car, just not where I was for so long yesterday...

NEWS UPDATE:
We got a room last evening!!
There I was in with Franco, and that had been a hold up, 8:20pm before we got to see each other, Franco had his dinner... And along came to lady we saw last November and off we went!! 

Fantastic, so good for us to be together at last... Good nights sleep, comfy chair... Hell, it could be a block of cement, I wouldn't care!


Monday, March 06, 2017

The Shared Road, hand in hand, a kiss, a breathe ....

Me and phone on meltdown, get this written before one of us packs it up...

Still waiting for a bed, a hospital bed, Franco is still in the observation room.

Cudeca doctor called me this morning to tell me she had called hospital and we would be speaking to a doctor with translator, she was right, we did.

They chatted to us, asked us questions, they tested Franco a bit... Date? Hell, even I don't know the date today! Day of the week? For me yes, but only because it was a long weekend here in hospital! Franco knew the year, and he was doctorate 100% positive I am his wife! Few other questions he answered a bit strangely, and after they left Franco told me 'they've' all been going to some day centre with cars and things and David Beckham was there, because he's here now, based in Málaga not Madrid...

Bit surreal and for a moment I thought they had actually been taking him somewhere... Then there was the windup option.. Well, we know Franco likes a good laugh and blags a lot Lol... But no, he was serious.  He thinks its been dark for a few days too...

Franco apologised for being so tired too... He told me he cries for me to be with him when I'm not there...

It will be so good to get him home...

Doctor said, back to this morning... That when they feel its okay, and there is a bed Franco will be in one... And when stabilised he can come home...

This has clashed, sort of... with a call I got not long ago, Cudeca doctor called again to find out how we got on... She said that the hospital have told her Franco is very very bad now... Which she took to mean he wouldn't be coming home, but maybe hospital want him to come home if that is what he wants, which Franco has always said it is, and I told him after a couple of nights in a bed in his own hospital room he can come home! And Franco was really happy...

And now I am waiting in the car until either 8pm or a call to say Franco is in a room.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Our Road...

Like Franco said, yesterday it got worse...

Franco was no way going to make the consultant appointment in the hospital, he couldn't have walked far, even in the wheelchair it would have been almost impossible.

Against his wishes I had to speak to our nurse, he sent a team out to us who decided, also against Francos wishes, that he should go to A&E, get checked out, not worry about the consultant appt.

The reason I was so worried was I recognised the signs of diabetes meltdown, the craving, the tiredness, the confusion the many other symptoms and I was so worried Franco would pass out, go into a coma, lose his sight... so many things...

It took nearly two hours to get Franco out of the house, prompting, arguing, and the general process... we dropped the Pipster off at her doggie hotel and went to the hospital, I parked at A&E and booked Franco in, we were called quite quickly and I went to park the car, found a nearby space, the only good thing about the day...

It started raining then too.

Back to Franco and he was sent to a doctor, then another doctor, then into an observation room, arguing all the way because he wanted to go home... then even worse they kicked me out of the room!  Only patients allowed, about twelve people in the room on chairs, on drips...

It was awful my heart was broken, more, he didn't even know why I left, where I was, would I be back?  I sat in A&E for over four hours... at 8pm we were all allowed in to see our loved ones... Franco was frantic, where had I been? why wasn't I with him? why did I leave him....?  Then that he wanted to go home... so I knew the saline and insulin still hadn't worked enough yet, he was still confused, still not fully understanding what was happening...

So they moved him to a bed, with him arguing more with them, especially on hearing I couldn't stay with him... the nurses told me to leave for 3 minutes. I went back and there was my Franco in bed, a cover up to his waist only, he was pulling it up, turned on his side and just so dam tired... he has been sleeping so much that being in an upright chair for so many hours he must have got completely exhausted, more so than ever.. I said I couldn't stay and he seemed resigned to that fact already and Franco just said goodnight, I love you...

And I left in tears, which haven't stopped.... I walked to the car in the pouring rain, crying drove home crying... spoke with family crying... back home it was good to be here, where Franco still is, his energy, but without him, without Pippa...

The dam clock in the living room has stopped, last night at 10:44pm... keep looking at it!!

And today is seven years since my mom passed away.  Who would, or could have, ever imagined being like this today, impossible.  Impossible. Impossible.

I just want to get back to the hospital, they said the room opens to visitors at one pm... I'll leave about 11:30 and get there around noon, and wait again in the waiting area... I so scared... I hope the insulin is kicking in... they said they would do some scans too, but here we are the dam weekend again, so I'm not sure if they will.  Will they give Franco a bed in the main hospital?  I'm taking some of this things, like I did yesterday, hoping they would give us a normal room, where I could have stayed...

I wish it wasn't Franco.

Friday, March 03, 2017

The Shared Road... sharing...


This morning as I rushed out with the Pipster and looked across our beautiful Guadalhorce valley I thought... to all intense and purposes this looks like just another day....

No different to any other, its different to me.

We had a bad night last night, and evening really.

Franco seems, no, Franco is, very disorientated, confused... words and actions... he is craving sweet sugary drinks and lots of them, and what goes in must come out, and he is even more tired than normal just now... we were awake a great deal of the night and up very early... These really are all signs of diabetes which can be a big factor in pancreatic cancer.

We have a nurse coming this morning, should have been going to see the consultant in the hospital, but no way.

Franco said yesterday "Its going to get worse before it gets better..."


Thursday, March 02, 2017


Francos daffodils on our balcon, he wanted daffs! So last year they were planted and here now in full bloom!

Franco is so tired, he has very little energy... We went out last Friday I think it was, to search down a motorbility scooter for him... It was raining and we had to keep sheltering under trees and shop awnings in Fuengirola! Franco in his wheelchair... We weren't happy!

We found a guy who sold second hand mobility scooters, left a deposit and he serviced it and called us Monday, so we went to collect it!  We drove down along the paseo, parked and walked back to the port... Well I walked and Franco made use of his new wheels! Glad he's got the speed turned down! It's nippy!

We had fish and chips along the port, very nice it was too.   Then headed home, via Also!

We have an appointment with Francos consultant tomorrow, Friday 3rd, at the hospital, not seen him since November.

Weather is improving, bit chilly over night still, but that smell of spring is in the air... The smell of promise...

My tolerance is on zero, I'm sorry, it is... And a guy down in Mercadona car park just now begging, got a verbal punch to his gut...


Friday, February 17, 2017

The road through Malaga, making memories...


View of Málaga Cathedral... Our small bijou apartment was only a few minutes not only from calle Lorios but also the Cathedral... a magnificent building, I actually have never been inside of!


I took my proper camera with us, feel like a tourist in Málaga... well I suppose if your not living there, or not working there... Not gone purely for shopping, a tourist is what it is!


A pretty dumpster nearby to where we were staying, a reclying one no less!


We left on Valentines Day, not in our plan, or booking even, but it was getting late in the day, or early in the evening? We had been out for a few hours earlier and were tired, I suggested we came home, we had to be home earlier than we had expected for a meeting with the nurse at our house on Wednesday and I was worrying about rushing about first thing in the morning and in the rush of both workers and travellers... (I must admit also, I was worried about our car, and a second night left parked in a car park just on the out-skirts of the city...) Anyways, after a couple of times of me suggesting going home, we did... we got back to our car, popped our bags in and had a meal where we were... then came home, we were tucked up cosy, fire roaring and watching a movie by ten pm... Very quiet without the Pipster of course!

After the visit with the nurse on the following day I went to get her... she was just the same as if we had been gone for a fortnight!  I also got gas and took them both home!

Franco and I had to do a re-visit to the local social security office in Coín yesterday, we had all the paperwork, originals, copies, done deal... Or so I thought, we arrived, parked okay, got a ticket, and within five minutes in we went, the head of department... did we have everything? No I didn't copy the document itself!  Needed two copies, NOTE to SELF for a years time!!! TAKE TWO copies of THE document!!!

We went into the town, parked, walked to a papeleria copied the document, twice, for each of us, I even got all the rest copied again, well you know... just in case!

Back to the S.S. offices, parked again, lucky twice!  Back in, got another ticket, and this time had to wait a while, all the people with appointments had priority, of course, only right... and a lady who was having trouble with the machine... in the end I went up and asked if I could help her and her husband, did they have an appointment booked? yes they said, was she inputting the correct number? yes she said, I looked.... Mmmmm no, she wasn't, poor woman was trying to insert her health care number!!! So after someone else also told her the same thing, she got her handbag (from the car), and tried again... NO booked appointment had been made and someone else helped them book appointments over the computer there!  Although of course, they could have just taken a ticket!!!

And in this time, I thought I better sort out our now totally messed up paperwork, and I had a panic!  I thought I had left both our passports and my new residencia card in the papeleria shop! Then I found them in our bag!! But it was too late, my head was banging, my neck was like a rock and I felt sick!!

I just panicked, big time... I said to Franco as I was sitting there throwing everything around "that's it, I can't do this, I can't do anything now, I can't cope..."

But I collected myself together, then the paperwork, Francos and mine, and when our number came up in we went and out we came five minutes later, job done, paperwork done, sorted for another year...

We then did a quick shop around Aldi and home...

There is something else, don't know if it will help writing it down, or just make everyone think I have totally lost the plot... but its not a new thing, its not just me, we all have coping things, habits we do when in a bad place... don't we, don't you? Maybe its smoking, running, sleeping, drinking too much alcohol, over eating or under eating, self harming even, in various forms, cutting or making oneself sick... I am sure there are many other ways of hurting ourselves, or doing something which is the only thing we can do to have some sort of control over our lives when we have nothing left we can control, when really big things in life have taken control and we are left failing around with nothing to hold onto anymore, and we have only one thing we can do to be in control... shall I leave it here!!

Okay okay! Well I suppose now I've scared the hell out of you, all I do is I cut my hair!! LOL... My hair has been getting real long over the last few years, maybe six or seven... Last time I got my hair cut was when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, for the second time... I got it cut quite short for me... Went down the hairdressers and chop chop chop! And those of you that know me, know I don't visit the hairdressers! I can count on one hand the amount of times I have been to the hairdressers! Well, okay maybe just into my second hand now and getting it colored when we lived in Wales!

So I really have the need to cut my hair, I just want to cut it all off! I cut it the other day already! Just a few inches, it just looks daft now!  But it was maybe getting a bit rough around the ends... anyway I have seen a hair cut I like, and I showed a friend the picture yesterday, I don't think she was impressed (LOL), and is going to ask the lady who does her hair... and I might be going with her when she goes next time, just for a consultation, if people haven't cut my type of hair then I am not going to be the guinea pig!  You can't cut my hair wet, its about six inches longer when its wet and I will end up with no hair if they try that malarkey!

Otherwise I will just pick at it, hack at it, a bit here and a bit there ... its what I do, I can cut my hair!
LOL my name is Marian, I cut my hair off!

Now... where's the gin?


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The bitter sweet red roses of San Valentine...

At every turn here in Málaga today, red is all around, blood red passion red red red... While our hearts bleed red tears of loss...

Franco turned to me on a bench as we sat soaking up some needed winter sun "... should buy yourself an eternity ring..." and there, as now, my tears run from my eyes and heart... You see Franco has been looking for an eternity ring for me on and off for past two or three years, just not seen 'the one...'

Our two days here in one of our favourite places is going fast, and slow...

Sun came out once we got here yesterday and stayed thankfully, it's been raining for a few days...

Forever thankful to a dear dear friend for this gift, it was so nice last evening wandering the streets, knowing we didn't have to travel back and could just be 'home' in minutes.  So many people pass through Málaga without a thought, transit only... Such a shame, it's beautiful here, we're staying in a 19th century building, it's just beautiful, it's not quiet, not peaceful... It's city status all night! When the restaurants below said good night to their last customers it was time to clean up! Bring in the outside furniture, tables chairs awnings, scraping and banging... Then, around 2am down came the bin men, wheeling the refuse dumpsters away and back again empty, followed by the street cleaners! Then it was the early bird workers going out, doors slamming and voices shouting! LOL...



I have taken several photographs of this bar front... Different quotes every time of course!

Remember I always used to put a quote at the end of my Blogs?

Here is one from, and for today...

"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes."
Sherlock Holmes




Sunday, February 12, 2017

This road, this hard road...

I start each Blog with a Thank you, to all of you on this journey with us, with me, with Franco...


The park yesterday morning, clouds low over our towns valleys...

Don't often walk down there... In the doggie walking area, it's a mine field of doggie poop! We have new signs up advising people that they're dogs must not walk or do their business on the playground areas... We also now have in the parks signs telling us that 'our pets, our responsibility' and a €300 fine for deposits not picked up! The major problem really though is that a percentage of the dog walkers never pick up, that usually their dogs are off the lead... Or without the owners at all!!  And those little darlings just can't read!!


I know I posted some shots taken when Franco and I visited Málaga for the Christmas Lights... Just wanted to put another shot here, probably the same, although I know one I did put on had someone with their head down and eyes firmly fixed on their mobile phone! What a waste... Look up! Look around! Look at your life, a memory of your mobile phone isn't worth a thing, eyes open in this world...


Above the lesser spotted claw! I see some unusual things on the walks with the Pipster, never a claw before!

This evening, tucked up warm and cosy with our wood burner doing the business! Second day I've lit it now, yesterday I got it cleaned out, prepped and lit, one small piece of paper with a small bit of firelighters inside, I lit that in my hand then dropped into the floor of the burner, added some pine cones and small twigs... a small log and left it a short while, went back to check it had 'taken', then added more wood, log by log... Did the same today! Did some washing and it dried in a couple of hours, in the past we would always have wet washing hanging around for days!

The day before yesterday, we could not light the burner at all!! We have smoke in the house! It was like a fog! All over the house! I went out midday and must have smelt like a bonfire! Stinky!!

Later on we decided I'd go up on the terrace and drop a stone down from the top, see if it came out into the burner... It didn't! So I can now add chimney sweep to my resume! I climbed back up the ladder, tried to tap off the little roof thingy, but couldn't, but the whole of the last bit of tube did move, so I wriggled that off and added piece by piece the poles, minus the brush (it needs trimming, too big for the diameter of our pipe!). Until I felt the obstruction and stabbed at 'it' until the pole moved freely! Whoop whoop! Then very carefully pulled the poles back up, removing them one by one until the last piece! Terrified of losing any of it down the chimney! No way to get them out again!!!

Still this girl did good!

Then Franco lit the fire and we were toasty!


This evening... Still warm and cosy, we were cwutched up, me massaging Francos back where it aches... We were watching a cookery programme, and as the chef added various herbs and spices... I remarked "I don't know what's happened, we haven't got any herbs left! No thyme, no sage, no rosemary, not even any origami!"

Franco immediately said, as I too realised my mistake "oregano!"

I laughed so hard for a moment, then leaning on Francos shoulder still I started crying... silently...


Sunday, February 05, 2017

Our forever road...

Thank you...

We have an elephant in the room..

Franco and I talking as we always are, we often talk about going to Sardinia again, we loved it there and often recall different aspects of our visit in 2005 I think, yes I'm sure...

We were just talking about Alghero, we were there for a few nights after leaving
Sassari, and a door was banging for ages... In the end I investigated and found an open room at the top, the room we'd been in when we first arrived... A window was open the door bang bang banging!!! I shut it! We were the only people in the whole place, with no reception or any other facilities we really were alone there!!

Anyways... Franco said next time we go we... and then maybe we both remembered we might not be going again... and knives turned in my heart, my stomach...

It's like someone, something... is blocking our view on our future, we have no clear view, we have every day now, 24 hours a day, we have the here and now, our forever now...

Bristol
A couple of photographs I took in Bristol last Saturday, the park on the right as I walked down towards the river and I noticed this plaque on a house there on the square...

First American Consulate

And the ceiling above where I sat waiting for my flight home from Bristol airport...

Bristol airport


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Thank you...

You couldn't believe what happened last night, its like the devil is on our tails... Franco finds a nice warm bath helps his pain, so he fills the bath and is in the bath, maybe half hour, three quarters... anyway, our living room is next to the bathroom and after some while I start to hear a 'drip drip' noise, I couldn't work out why? or where it could be coming from?  I didn't even check it out immediately thinking it was just in the bathroom somehow..

Then I did, I knew Franco was alright, I could him in there, suddenly panicked in case the water was coming out over the top of the bath and running onto the landing and dripping down the stairs... Checked the landing, no... checked down the stairs, no... walked further down the stairs and saw water pouring from the ceiling lights... I shouted to Franco and he quickly got out of the bath and opened the plug to drain it...

Saying to me not to put on the light as I in fact was doing without even thinking of it!


Luckily it didn't shock me or short out the electricity!

Water was coming from cracks which had appeared in the plaster on the ceiling, all over the place, mainly over the ceiling light here above, it was dripping off the fan blades, dripping from the lights themselves, luckily we had recently taken out the four lights surrounding the big one and they were so bright!!

Plaster fell from the ceiling onto the blades and onto the floor along with the water... the new day bed was soaked through in one place, the mattress the drawer beneath...

... and several places all around.

So I pushed the day bed out of the way as best I could, mostly on my own as I didn't want Franco doing it, I had to move the dining table first and the wet rug... What a nightmare!!



For a long time we just watched it pour then change to just constant drips wherever the water came from... Franco got a head full of plaster, which was blue on one side?  Looks like they painted the cement blue?? So got the blue smurf treatment all over the floor and heads!

In the end after about an hour and half I just went up stairs, got into bed and felt numb, empty and nothing... 

I took this photograph when I came down this morning, I then preceded to sweep, mop and move furniture back into place and now only the blue above and the cracks are still there... that and the fact we can't use the bathtub!! The only bathtub in the house! Two toilets, one tub!!

Why has it happened?  It can't be the tap that broke while I was away, a little of back splash water from the shower could be the only thing and the taps are not leaking at all, it wasn't that the pipe work got blocked because the tub just wouldn't have emptied at all, or the sink... so it must be that the exist pipe, or around the plug hole somewhere has become detached... Its not like we jump about in there!! Or dropped something in there even, nothing we can think of could have moved the dam thing to allow all the water from the full bathtub to empty through the TV room ceiling!!

The plumber came out this afternoon, he is coming back tomorrow, he has to remove the tile on the side to get to the exist pipes, we don't have a bath panel, just tile, so we will lose those and don't have any spares... of course!

And in due course when the cement has thoroughly dried we will get someone in the re-plaster that!

Its unbelievable isn't it!

But then at least I am here, home... and here is where I am going to stay now!  I cannot possibly ever leave Franco home alone again...



Friday, January 27, 2017

Francos words...

Thank you

My son goes back tomorrow morning after spending a week with me, we spent quality time together catching up on the past and what the future holds.

I haven't been out a lot because of the treatment I'm getting and now he is spending his last few hours cleaning and dusting and making me some food.

I certainly wouldn't have managed without him this week, will miss him. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Francos words...

Nice to have my son out for the week, just to help and have some company.

Normal chores are getting more difficult and Marian being home for a while is going to be great.

I'm not allowed to lift any weight, and can't seem to sleep more than a couple of hours a day. Driving has become a pain and had a puncture the other day so had to change the tyre on the side of the road which caused me a lot of pain in my back.

Feel so helpless, but I'm not going into a hospice to lay down all day.

I've always been independent it's just the cold that gets you.

It's not fair on Marian, don't know what I would do in her situation, just trying to stay fit and strong.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The path less travelled...

Thank you

I was just about to switch this off and try to sleep... it's the 25th today, yesterday would have been my moms 89th birthday... oh mom... I wish I could talk to her even more now than ever before since she passed...

Three sleeps including tonight, if I'm lucky enough to actually sleep I mean, two here and one en-route.  Last night I just couldn't get myself out of a pit of despair, I just don't want Franco to not be here, for him to stay and us to carry on doing our stuff... then my mind turns dark and nothing is there, I just see me turning to him and he's not there and I cannot bear it. Family and friends heard me say sad awful things on messenger, I'm sorry, if I don't say them I'll lose it... Yesterday I called a well known phone line, thought it might help, you know, someone separate from my emotions... Rubbish! It was mmmms and arrrhhhs! and silence when I stopped talking... I said I had to go, awful... I have more words of compassion and strength, and giving... but I don't feel my words now... I feel empty now, I just want Franco and home.

Being here makes me keep strong when I am busy, sharing the days activities with the customer, but it's  beyond hard hearing things my mom could have been saying to me, from someone else worrying about her daughter...

I wish it wasn't me feeling this, I wish it wasn't Franco leaving. I can't do it.



Monday, January 23, 2017

The Rocky Road...

Thank you.


It is hard, if not impossible to get my feelings my emotions spoken, out loud voicing them and I am I tears immediately, shaking, sick to my stomach.  This is no uncommon happening I realise... but this is us, it is different, everyone is different.

I feel like I am unravelling, I can see only a black wall, nothing ahead, Franco and I always do and go everywhere together, there has been no 'I' in our together... So I can see nothing ahead.

Thankfully I can see to the end of this placement, thankfully I will not be here for the upcoming funeral because quite honestly I don't think I would have been able to stay, I couldn't of. Period.
I was asked to stay on a further week to be there to support the lady, believe you me the support I would have needed afterwards would have outweighed hers by a million times...

Only three complete days now, (four really), but anything that sounds less is fine by me...

Ironically wanting time to speed now, is the very last thing I want when I get home...

I am so overwhelmed by peoples love and generosity, by everyone... I think I would have run from here as soon as I realised the situation in this placement, without constant emotional back up, messages, phone calls, emails...

Keep 'em coming...

I think... well I keep thinking of all the things we always do, the places we love to go, all the plans we make all of the time, just like everyone does of course. We might be in the car, or watching t.v. or walking hand in hand, as we do... and we are always saying we're going here and there, we always have always do... and we always go where we say we're going to... not especially out of the normal places, but our places, around where we live... and bigger stuff, back Vegas where we got married, my niece is getting married in a month, we would have gone to California for the wedding.  Visit with my aunt again in Queens was very high on our agenda...

We want to go to Portugal! Well, really its so close isn't it! And Morocco... We plan to stay in a cave house again, like that Christmas before...

And to Málaga each Christmas for the lights, to Fuengirola because we love it there together, to the Mijas pueblo we love, to the parks to walk our Pipster, to live in our home together until we grow old because Franco said on our second date that he wanted us to grow old together...


Thursday, January 19, 2017

You know when your on a downhill struggle into the abiss and the light has left you behind, another death of a close young family member was really the last straw..

I cannot contemplate leaving Franco again, I have done something, a fundraising thing, I had thought of it, well needs must and we need...

I am overwhelmed with the love and outpouring of support we are receiving...

I actually got out of this house yesterday for an hour and half when family visited.

Went for a short walk with neighbour and their dog.  Fresh air for the first time in two weeks, nearly.

Soon home, one week two days of desperation to be home with Franco. The time must fly... Then so shall I.


Friday, January 13, 2017

So just read this morning about stress causing heart disease... They can test if you have some whatsit

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/01/11/scientists-finally-discover-stress-causes-heart-attacks-strokes/

or other in your brain...

Okay, can't link on my properly...

After my mom passed away, I was left with MVP, and SVT and dangerously high BP...

I wonder... You hear don't you of couples dieing within days, weeks... Of each other, I wonder if this substance some people have is what causes this phenomenon, they say always, 'it was a broken heart...' I think maybe it's closer to the truth than anyone ever realised until now...


Phew well okay getting the hang of positioning these photos using the the smallest part of my finger! Lol

Bit of sleety snow yesterday afternoon, and overnight a few millimeters, when I took bin out this morning, photograph at end!!

Been here a week, I want to go, it's hard, did I tell you lady is mourning her husband... I keep just wanting to run run run away, run home, get home... Two weeks to go, I can't bear it, trying not to cry all the time in front of her is hard, I'm being as positive as always for her, for the people I support I can do, but for me... No.




Sunday, January 08, 2017

Sunday today, I arrived here, Herefordshire on Friday, flight was okay, train to Gloucester, then it should have been bus and cab, but it was raining and I got a cab from Gloucester! Cost a bit but will reclaim it when I leave here.

It's been foggy last two days, we're in a blanket of it here, no sign of surroundings.  Out in a small village, without shop or paths! Taxi driver hadn't even heard of it!

Ran out of milk yesterday, the smallest size carton ever, skimmed! Arh! I need those good fats in the full fat please!

I ended up asking a neighbour I had never met for some this morning, it's ridiculous that I have no access to milk, and nothing of my choice at all for a week, the shopping is only on Thursdays...

Not able to sleep, I know I haven't been sleeping properly anyway, but I am being woken up a great deal and then can't get back to sleep... no breaks either, I mean nowhere to go anyway, and sit up in a room with a window I can't see out of!! No.

Mmmmm well about three hours have passed since above paragraph!

Lunch done, porridge and milk arrived, thankfully!

This must for many reasons be the hardest placement I have had, mainly because I just shouldn't be here! And supporting someone else who has suffered losses is not helping at all... keeping it together is giving me a headache, a real one.

My need to flee is very real and very urgent, and I can see Franco in my minds eye at home, and that's where I should be and want to be, and trying to be positive with words for a customer talking about the future makes me come to only a dark black wall in my mind, one too high to see over and there is no way around it...
I've never seen this wall of nothingness before.  It's scary.


Thursday, January 05, 2017

Just having a practice at Blogging on my phone; I'm not going to take my laptop, it's not too heavy, but I just can't be bothered... I'll have my Kindle for (small) TV, this and that do internet, I was taking the camera, but also can't be bothered to take that either, it's this little phone that will do it all, and its counterpart I also always carry with me, one can never be too careful...

Neither of us sleep well, for obvious reasons, and last night I tried to knock myself out! Unintentionally of course, although I have read somewhere nothing happens unintentionally... Like when I broke my little toe!?! Oh what happened? I got back into bed and misjudged it, slammed my head into the wall, above my right ear on that but that sticks out, sort of level with the forehead... Well on me anyway, it's the same on the other side, not a lump :-) but it still hurts! I think along with the virtigo which is getting better every day, that something is telling me not to go anywhere... Well, sorry universe, I have to...

Now... Going to upload a photograph here!




It's worked! The photo bit usually does, it's trying to get the next paragraph to start on the left not central, I'd have to have finger tips the size of Barbie's to hit that bar easier! If I zoom in to get the choice more manageable, the box disappears somewhere unattainable! So it's miniature or forgot it!

For future reference, if I can't get it straight off I won't be bothering!

So, I'm packed, the bag is light, and if I haven't got it, I'll have to be without it for three weeks, just need meds today from chemist, for Franco and me!

We have dog food for a month, more water than the resivoir!

A Kings cake to finish! (Just kidding). Freezer is stocked..Tank of fuel for Franco to go hither and thither! We used one of the many new gas stations recently popped up, no shop, no staff and very cheap fuel, even takes cash, you put notes (only), or credit cards in, the amount of filling up, then it gives out the fuel, if there's insufficient space for what you've paid for it credits your card or with cash prints out some sort of credit note? Not sure how that works...

Friend is going to walk the Pipster every day for us, shout out to Franco.  Friends will pop in, call, and or see him about town and coast. All bases covered... Apart from me being where I want to be, here, at home.

See you from England amigos!
TTNF
Marian



Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Over the years, many it feels now, I have completed the journeys through Blooming Human and Gratitude, on-line groups, 40 days usually of emails filled with positivity and thoughts on life... They have helped me through many parts of my life since, but along with the Inspirational quotes I have, had, been posting daily from my email box to my Facebook page... these things seem rather fruitless, empty words... I am a positive person by nature, always finding the good out of the bad, always happy and laughing, always a smile... I find myself now just with nothing much on my face at all... a real bad screensaver face permanently etched there, here... People who I would normally see are having to call to me, or come across the street, or shout at me.. period!



Three mountain shots taken up at El Chorro

I usually see everything, things people wouldn't even normally see, as so many of my photographs prove to the point!

Today I spoke with a friend on the phone on my way into town, I was in the Plaza Legion, I must have looked strange from anyone watching me! pacing about, holding the rail, stepping from ledge to ledge like a big kid!  Talking, crying, talking... then she wouldn't leave me until I stopped crying so I recalled a moment from long ago, and we laughed and we hung up the line...

Next a stopover in friends shop in town, cup of tea and chat and some strength gathered along the way, and in the street stopped to talk to a friend, we normally see each dog walking, and I know, now she is reading this! LOL! Welcome!!

I do some of the people who read my Blog, but going by the mail I receive the majority I do not... You guys have been with me some time now... This one has been going ten years... no eleven now!!!  and I blogged before that on Blogspirit, but I think its gone now, which is sad, also a Blog I wrote on behalf of my step dad was on Blogspirit and I cannot gain access to that one either... I am guessing I started back in 2003 then...

Flowers by the Kiosko

Eucalyptus tree
We came out of the bar before lunch and my camera was free to live and possess what my eye came upon.. so the flowers and the eucalyptus, I love eucalyptus trees, the height of them, the bark, the smell... and the memories of them... lining the road near my uncles Charlies in Yonkers...

Roaring fire in Kiosko
 This was the fire crackling and spitting throughout our lunch... should have actually recorded it shouldn't I?  Would have been more effective maybe!

Wind turbines in the clouds
and the aforementioned wind turbines in the clouds....

This taken from my secret location!!  lol

Well, what have we been doing since last posting? was new years eve... and today is the 3rd!  I sadly still feel the memories strongly at this time seven years ago... and it was exactly seven years ago on Friday when I am travelling to Bristol airport that I flew to Luton from Malaga, to get to my mom urgently, I thought it was today, the 3rd, but just reading back to then, it was the 6th January 2010... I can't believe its seven years, I wish I could fly over there now, get to Watford hospital and find my mom still there, boy would she be annoyed with me!! lol... but just to talk to her, get comfort from her...  Seven years...

Anyways, yesterday Franco woke up with the need for [more] suckling pig!  So off to the coast we went and after many stores we found 'him' in Eroski! Eroski is closing did I mention that? Yes, I think so!  And today after getting home from town Franco had already got him roasting in the oven, he had named him!!! Really!! Enrique!! So we had to eat something with a name!! Arrrhh!!  He also, in the photo Franco put on Facebook bore a strong resemblance to Pippa when she is sleeping!!

Down town I needed to get a few last things to take with me to work on Friday, allowed ten 100ml bottles, which is fine, just enough for three weeks hopefully, because there are no shops anywhere near where I am going!!  I thought I would go into the perfumaria instead for the few things, what a mistake!! Apart from the cost being higher I forgot Christmas present buying is in full swing and all packages are wrapped here... so stood in the line for about twenty minutes!!

A positive note though, our gorgeous baby granddaughter is now two years old! Already! Impossible I know!  We spent time on Facebook cam which was lovely, no substitute I know, but a million times better than past generations had the benefit of... photographs below taken in late November when we were visiting, Cassie and Franco relaxing and chatting on the sofa...

Cassy at Christmas keeping warm :-) 

Todays weather has been beautiful, a bit misty over the Guadalhorce valley from out of the window just now, but the sun is shining and the flies are out!!! Whats with those flies?? Could it be the piglet!!

TTFN