Pink campion and bluebell.
Wild cherry blossom, dandelion, daisy and burnt orange roses from a bouquet gift from friends. A bunch of spring from our garden for Robin. I laid them on the red earth of his grave last week.
This morning after the cleaner leaves - leaving the rooms smelling of furniture polish and Flash - and while the man who is clambering on the plastic kitchen roof, banging lead flashing into the brick wall, takes a break, I sit in the old rocking chair in the bedroom alcove. The seat where our pussy cat used to sleep curled into a furry comma. The back of the chair where I used to hang Robin's jogging bottoms, his T-shirt and jumper after I undressed him so that he could rest in the afternoon, in the evening, at night.
My hands are too cold to hold a pen so I sit in this chair with the sun sliding through the bamboo blinds, my fingers curled round a cup of hot tea, and think about what to write in my last blog. At the end of 7 years tomorrow.
I feel sad about this ending - even though its time is right. Like my life with Robin, it gave me a structure. A scaffolding to hold around me in the darkest days. A place to fan the stuttering flames of any creativity I could muster. I don't know yet what to put in its place - if anything.
But I do know that because of the last 7 years I have carved grooves in my bones... writing channels which I will sometimes allow to dry up for a while....like now....but which will always nourish me when I return to them. Which I will - not sure in what format - drops of poems maybe....a line or two with a photo....something small or light or deep...to keep me alive.
However I have no doubt that the single most vital thing that has sustained me, enabled me to keep writing, to keep going, has been the incredible love, kindness, active support, encouragement and high praise of all of you who have read me. My niece who said, begin it, my father who said, you must carry on, this could help other people, my husband who read every word even when he couldn't understand them, my sisters and my brother who have never given up on me, all my big wide family, all my dear friends, old and new, and all of you who have read me and said wonderful things to me, even you who I've never met.
You have made more difference to me than you can ever guess. Thank you. Bless you. Thank you for blessing my life.