17th June 1995. The day Susanne made me unbelievably happy.
The date also has some associations that are, shall we say, less good. I’ll get those out of the way first.
17th June 2010 – our fifteenth Anniversary. While to all intents and purposes we already knew, it’s the date we were formally told of the test results that confirmed Susanne had Cancer.
17th June 2015 – our twentieth anniversary, where things went about as far away from plan as they could get. Instead of celebrating, Susanne collapsed in front of her oncologist. She was admitted to hospital never to return home.
There. I’ve acknowledged them. They can now do one.
I’d still do it all again. I still feel priviledged to have known Susanne and that she chose to spend her life with me. That’s quite a big deal really – While all too short, I got all her life from when we met.
I have also met many new friends that are in the same club. My WAYers and Warriors. I’ll be eternally grateful for the support I have from them. They are an absolutely awesome bunch. I have shared my story with them, and I have listened to many of their stories.
From those stories I have learned a lot. While I’d go back in a heartbeat, I am grateful for what I have had. Many people don’t get what we shared.
I’ll not claim any marriage to be perfect, but we were good together. We understood each other. We got twenty years married – that’s something that is denied many. I have no concerns about the medical treatment Susanne got, nor the decisions made on treatment. While different decisions may have made a difference to the way things went, there’s no real grounds to think things may have gone better. We made the appropriate decisions together.
I’ll now say something that may sound a little odd.
I am proud to be a widower.
Why do I say that? Some of this is awkward to express in words
We stood up twenty one years ago and made promises. and we kept every single one of them. It’s just some of them got kept rather sooner than we would have liked.
But it’s not so much that we made and kept the promises. They can be said easily, but it’s not a duty. It’s what you do when you love someone, because you want to do it. Those promises were an expression of the way we felt. we delivered on that love. Susanne taught me what I can be capable of.
It’s actually pretty awesome to realise someone spent their life with you. No one can give more than that.
So, I am now in about as a good place as I can be.
I accept that my old life is over, and I have a new life to forge with the boys. That’s an adventure I look forwards to, admittedly with a degree of trepidation! We have a couple of adventures planned for this year, and I am sure there will be more.
I like seeing people post memories or pictures of Susanne or mention her to me. It doesn’t upset me as you may think. It lets me know she had an impact on your life too. That makes me happy.