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A fair few months ago I had a fabulous Saturday  – the man arrived to fix the turd grinder in the loft and although now nearly a grand worse off at least we can use the upstairs showerroom and toilet again. Amidst his suctioning I went to step class at the gym  – a longstanding feature of Saturday mornings when not injured. A lot of the loyalty hinges around meeting a group of friends beforehand and chatting, but that week with macerator man’s arrival I just sped straight to class.

I was recovering from injury and the physio had put me through my paces on the Thursday and I was still feeling it. And then the Killers’ “Human”  came on. It is one of my favourite tunes and I don’t know why but it always makes me think of Rosie. I associate it with her somehow as I did love to watch her dance (the song anthem is “Are we human or are we dancers?” ) and in my head I see her dancing to it, even though in real life I probably never did. I have no idea if she even liked the song –  it’s just my own linking of her to it.  And it makes me sad to think of her death and happy to think of her dancing at the same time. But mostly sad. And it makes me grateful to be alive and I try harder in the step class.

Came home and showered and then friends from way back arrive with two of their lovely teenage children. We reminisce, laugh and talk about parenting teens. We are quite a few years ahead of them in the parenting stakes, so they can learn from our mistakes – or at least take heart from them.

During lunch our daughter reminds us of when the two Dads would go out jogging on Monday nights. When her Dad got back she would ask how the run went, and he would regale her with ludicrous tales of how our friend would run in all different ways-  backwards, hopping, spinning, jumping. And she believed him of course . Because you believe everything your Dad says at that age.

The following day at school, her best friend Rosie would enquire how the run went – and our daughter would relay the information and they would spend the entire break recreating the high knees, the hops and skips that had allegedly taken place. It was a lovely memory of that era and of Rosie and Georgina during that innocent childhood time when so much of life is taken up by playing games, making up stories and acting them out.

I relate this story simply to say how we do remember those who are no longer with us; this particular tale is about Rosie, but posting it today is in part prompted by it being the day before the anniversary of when Anna was stillborn 27 years ago to close friends.

Lots of random things can spark a memory, or sometimes for no apparent reason at all they will pop in to my head. Tinned mandarin oranges always make me think of my Mum’s Mum. As does lavender, purple clothes, large oval sunglasses and paying more for better quality. Sugared almonds are my Mum as are potato cakes, avocados, Dean Martin and gin and tonic. Father is linked to bowties and when I cry at opera it is partly for him I am crying. His mother is recalled every time I pass the hall table that was once hers. A lad I went out with for a couple of weeks comes to mind with tractors, as does another lad in the year below. No 7 lipstick makes me think of Rosie’s Grandma (why?? I think I may have given her one once).. The list goes on.

I have blogged about the death of certain patients having a huge impact on me, but all deaths leave a mark. It is the living memories they provoke even years after their deaths that are testament to their impact as a human being. Hopefully to remind me that it could all go to shit tomorrow; no money or lifestyle choice can guarantee to prevent tragedy.

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