Do you believe in fate? Do you believe in serendipitous events/encounters? That everything happens for a reason. I believe fate was the reason I met my husband. I'd been in a horrendous relationship and left my home town with my ex to go to work at Butlins. Whilst my ex was sacked for hospitalising me, I stayed. My husband came to Butlins a few months later. He was on his way home from work and walked past a job centre in London where he lived. It had a board outside advertising work on the South Coast, with accommodation provided. He told me he didn't know why he went inside as he had a really good job as a Carpenter and Joiner, but he was feeling very disillusioned with London and within 2 days he packed his belongings and moved to the sunny South Coast. We consequently met and he never moved back.
Had I not have been with the person I was with, however bad it was, I would never have met my husband. I would never have had my children. I've always struggled to find a reason as to how fate resulted in my husband being taken from us too soon. The disease that killed him (Mesothelioma) was a result of work he did with asbestos some 15 years before we met. It laid dormant until 2016. A couple of days before he passed away he said to me that he bet I regretted him turning up at Butlins as I was about to be made a widow at 41. I didn't and don't ever regret meeting him.
Since I was a child I have kept things that hold memories for me. Little trinkets and notes that I've bought or been given over the years that have sentimental value. I even have my school-leavers books signed by everyone from that year. To outsiders, it would be junk, to me incredibly precious. I have a box with cards, obituary notice, order of service and candle from my husband's funeral. The one and only letter he wrote me, our first valentines and Christmas cards. Other personal effects. Last year I took down most of the photos as it felt right to do so and they are safely in the box. I haven't been into the box other than adding the photos. That was until the day after I wrote my last post.
I was feeling very low. I sat at the PC when a large bang behind me made me jump out of my skin. I looked to see the box had fallen from where it always sits. I have no idea what caused it, but it landed with the lid open. I could see the pictures on the top were not damaged. I went to close the lid and put the box away but for some reason I had a sudden urge to go through it. Under the photos was a memory stick. I knew this held over 50 or so photos of my husband. I haven't looked at it since it was played at his funeral 4 years ago, afraid of how I would feel. I decided to play it.
I sat laughing as each image filled my TV screen. Smiling at the memories. I didn't cry once watching. I then carried on looking through the box and came across a disc. It was a recording of the coroner's court that I had to attend and give evidence at 2 months after he died. It was a blur at the time as I was still in shock. As he had passed away due to an industrial disease this was necessary but incredibly painful. I had to fight to stop an autopsy being performed as he had been through so much already. That may seem bizarre to some, but he had endured so many biopsies and procedures before he died I didn't want his body being cut any more. I won my fight and the coroner agreed biopsy results would be sufficient along with my evidence.
I have never listened to the recording and other than my dad, the coroner, the recorder and a journalist that was allowed to be present I actually have no memory of what was said. I decided to play that too. It was so difficult to listen to. I didn't sound like me. The pain in my voice came across so loudly. I did cry listening to it, but I am glad I did.
I put everything back in the box, but it got me thinking. Looking at the photos and memories were happy. The recording was hard to listen to but after doing so I felt calm and peaceful. I started to remember other conversations I'd had with my husband in the days before his death. Some were very amusing, others very deep. The last conversation we had he told me to go and live my life. Be happy. Find another love and that he had always loved me. He was unable to speak again after this due to sedation. At the time I really did not want to hear that, but I thought long and hard about that conversation.
I took a call a couple of hours later from a lady I have got to know over the past few months. She said she had a weird feeling and felt she needed to call me and was I OK. I told her what had happened with the box and what I had done. She said "that is serendipity". Serendipity is an unplanned fortunate discovery. We talked at length about it and how I believed fate bought my husband into my life, but I could not justify it taking him away. She went on to say that she believes people are brought to us for a reason. That every person we meet teaches us something whether that be a good, fun, sad, learning, loving or bad experience. She went on that my husband was a gift to me and that after 7 years of abuse I needed him and that he had done what he needed to by showing me how to love and be loved. Now whether you believe in that or not I felt for the first time since his death totally at peace with that. I do believe my husband was bought into my life by fate. I was lucky enough to have loved and been loved by him for 22 years.
My low mood I'd been having that day lifted after my call with her. I started to think of other people who have been in my life in the past 4 years and left an impact on it in some way. Every person I thought of I have learned from. Whether it be through inspiring me, educating me, introducing me to new experiences or opening my eyes to things I wanted to try but never had the courage too. Every person I thought of no matter if they are still in my life now or not I am grateful for what I have learnt and believe it was meant to be.
I slept really well that night. I woke the following morning feeling refreshed and determined. Determined to do what my husband had said. To live my life and be happy.
I have created a kind of bucket list. I've always had so many things in my head I want to do or experience but actually putting them into black and white, gives me something to aim for. I listed my career goals. I've always wanted to learn to play the drums. Places I want to travel to. New things I want to experience and much much more. I've already looked into drum lessons for when lockdown is over. Later that day my son told me of his plans to go travelling after college. A possibility of living abroad. He has a list too it would seem.
This announcement from him got me thinking again. I've toyed with the idea of selling up on and off for a couple of years now but always decided against it as it's my children's home. They have grown now. My daughter left home 18 months ago and is happy and settled with her partner. My son will carry out his plans as he is a focused and determined young man. So that leaves me no excuses. I have spoken to an estate agent and will be having a valuation carried out when allowed. There is nothing or no one currently in my life that warrants me needing to be in my house or even in the UK once my son goes in just over a year.
The days that followed I have been so busy with work, my group (that now has over 400 members and counting) and looking at my list and planning that I haven't had time to feel low or miserable. I'm sleeping well and have a new energy. Who knows what's ahead. I certainly don't but one thing I do know is I just want to be happy, have fun and live my life because life is short, life is precious and to be enjoyed. I want to make the most of mine not look back in twenty years full of regret.