For Auld Lang Syne

I’ve always loved New Years Eve. A time to celebrate and look forward, put the past behind you and start afresh with a whole new year stretching out in front of you…new beginnings and all that! ….I like a good party too!

I’ve started today though with more reflections of the year than usual…

The first part of 2013 was good.  T and her lovely boyfriend came home after living in Cornwall for 6 and a half years, lived with us for a while and then moved into their own flat, not so far away. Work was going well for both Bob and I and we were looking forward to going on holiday, the first for years. The summer was looking promising weather wise and I was planning my 50th and Ollie’s 21st birthday party. It was looking like a year full of hope and promise.

Everything changed on the 21st of May and my world fell apart.

This year has quite definitely been the worst year of my life so far but, having survived a number of “firsts” including Birthdays and Christmas (which was better than anticipated) I’m hoping to survive this NYE’s celebrations too.

I’ve planned a small party. I figured I wanted to spend time with good friends and lots of food and alcohol rather than be on my own. I decided that this year it was going to be hard whatever I did and wherever I was so I may as well be at home with people who would understand how I was feeling…time will tell whether this was the right decision or not.

I thought I’d be glad to see the back of this year but, today has surprised me with its mixed emotions. As I say goodbye to 2013 it’s with a sense of relief because it was a shit year (for so many people) but it’s also with huge sadness, because for a short while anyway 2013 had Bob in it and 2014 won’t. The New Year brings with it greater distance from him and I’m finding this hard to bear. I can’t believe it’s been over 7 months already.

I’m also an eternal optimist though (in spite myself sometimes) and whilst I’ll never get over losing Bob and never stop missing him, I know that there is no option but to learn to live with it. I can’t change what’s happened and life has to go on.

Things are getting easier. I don’t cry myself to sleep every night any more and days go by without crying at all (not many but more than they did) I mostly look back on our time together and it makes me smile rather than send me into a deep hole of despair and sadness. And, whilst I’m still wondering who I am without him I’m starting not to dread the future so much and beginning to wonder what it has in store for me instead… I like to think he’d be proud of me for thinking like this again.

So, at midnight tonight, if I don’t have a major meltdown, I’ll raise a glass to Bob Barnes. I’ll be grateful and thankful that I had him in my life, for the amazing kids he gave me and our life together. I’ll try to stay cheerful and think of happier times. And…. I’ll sing Auld Lang Syne with more vim and verve than ever before.

That’s the plan anyway!

Happy New Year everyone



About Oxfordshire Family Support Network

Oxfordshire Family Support Network (OxFSN) is a not-for-profit organisation run by and for family carers of people with learning disabilities – both children and adults. Oxfordshire Family Support Network (OXFSN) was set up in 2007 by family carers who wanted to use their experience to help others in the same situation, based on our belief that family carers are experts by their lived experience.
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4 Responses to For Auld Lang Syne

  1. Caroline Hunter says:

    You always write so eloquently Gail. I’m sure Bob will be with you in spirit, and raising his own glass – hope this evening goes just as well as it can, under the circumstances, and wishing you and the family a very Happy New Year xx

  2. Magi says:

    I hope everything goes well for you tonight either through tears or through laughter. Mine will be at the hospital where I have been with my son since Christmas Day. Such is life. Here’s to 2014, sending much love xxxxxxxx

    • emptynestmum says:

      Thanks Magi, celebrations went well, tears and laughter as expected. I’m so sorry to hear about your son and hope he’s better soon. Sending a virtual hug and wishing you and yours health and happiness in 2014 xxx

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