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Monday April 7th



Arsenal V Chelsea - who'll win?  

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There is only one way to begin this blog and that is to thank all of you who have contacted me over the last week with your kind words of support. I didn't know it was possible to have so many friends that I have never met.


This past week has been a long one, as indeed have been the last couple of months. I suppose with every storm that passes, there is at least one less to blow. Anyway the purpose of restarting the blog again is so I don't dwell. I know we have to move on and yes, we can always look back. However, we cannot linger or remain. I have often heard folk use the word closure. Sometimes a funeral is regarded as closure. However closure is not something I want to consider. I don't want to close anything. Love, memories and hope continue after funerals. It's just the physical presence that has moved on or gone.

Back in January I went to my Father and told him that my cancer was terminal and that they didn't think there was a great deal of hope. I said "It looks like I am going before you Dad". "No" he replied. "I don't think so!" Well it seems he was right yet again. When someone very close to you dies, it does appear to stir up anger within you. The trouble is you don't know who you are angry with. You are just angry that it has happened to you and sometimes some poor sod that just happens to be in the wrong place or, say the wrong thing, cops for it.


A couple of hours after hearing the news of Dad's death last Tuesday I went in to Nobles Hospital just to say farewell to Father. As I passed through the main entrance to the hospital, I heard a couple of people laughing loudly in the corridor. The laughter really annoyed me. How could folk be laughing at this time? Why would they be laughing in a place full of sick or dying people? How could folk be laughing, just a few yards from where my Father lay dead? Of course, I am now a regular visitor to the hospital and probably only a few days ago I was probably walking along the same passageways laughing myself. Oh just how your prospective in life can so easily change.

Today the kids are all going back to school after the Easter holiday. Forty odd years ago on this day I would have been making my way across the Irish Sea with Dad on the Manx Maid, Snaefell or whatever, to Liverpool and back to school. Dad would have to rush back after dropping me at school, to catch the 3-30 sailing back to Douglas so that he could take up his night shift at the gasworks.


I remember an incident in the early 60's, when Dad took me back to school. We always had to stop off at the shops in Liverpool city centre to buy some kind of toy or other as a sweetener for me going back to school. On this occasion it was a record and it was number one record the time called 'Walking back to happiness'. Dad bought the record and gave it to me. When we got off the bus outside the school gates I gave the record back to Father. I was not going to see home again now for three months and the convents gates did not seem like happiness. I told him, "You take this record home with you Dad as it is you that is walking back to happiness". I have reflected on that incident this last week. If it were at all possible I would hand the record back to him again now in the profound hope that, this time he really has just walked into happiness. However, just as those bloody great convent doors closed between us all those years ago, so it is that even bigger sturdier doors appear to have closed this time. Back then it was for three months. This time, only the boss knows.


Until next time then, this is Tom on the banks of the Silverburn.

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