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The Last Chapter



36 years ago I drove up Onchan Head very early in the morning. It was summer and there was a most fantastic sunrise that caused me to stop my car and take in the breathtaking scene. What made this memory stand out so much after all those years is the fact that I'd spent the whole night ferrying people to Nobles and supporting distraught wives, husbands and parents who where waiting or who had received news of their loved ones missing or injured in the Summerland Disaster. I was a young 21 year old Salvation Army Officer. I was worn out that morning and traumatised myself by the events that happened and the pain of having to tell a mother she had lost both her husband and son and many more besides. Then there was that beauty that for one instant caused my spirit to lift as I marveled at the view as Summerland smoldered. Today I awoke to an equally awesome sunrise. I couldn't see the sun, but against a dark blue sky, beautiful pink clouds where everywhere in the sky. In the white frosty field across the river, I could see the rabbits running about. The birds flying across the skies with their nest building twigs, shone pink in the reflection of the rising sun. I had spent a good part of the night awake watching Tom and going through the events of the day before which were traumatic for both of us and all those that know and love Tom. Then just for a short time I was able to marvel at that scene. It melted away as the clouds blotted out the sun, but for a short time my spirits lifted.

Now we have to enter the last chapter of our marriage as I nurse Tom through the most traumatic and difficult part of his whole life. Yesterday chemotherapy was withheld as his blood tests showed that the cancer had now gone to Toms liver and was very aggressive. Yes, my heart is heavy and aching and Tom is facing it with the courage and fortitude he has faced every trauma in his life, although this is by far the worst. I now have to put tears aside as there will be time for those later and do the best I can for Tom, along with the nurses that will come and help me. Tom feels it is unlikely he will complete his 2nd book but there is enough material already and with the help of friends, I will finish the book.

I haven't the time, nor the concentration to answer individual emails but I am thinking of all who write and I will keep you updated via this blog.


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Beautiful and moving, Barbara. We are all here with you and Tom in our hearts and spirits, we've ridden the crests of the waves and sank to the depths, but as you know, the Spirit will always rise again and is never lost. God bless you with strength, wisdom, understanding, serenity, hope, faith and love as you both travel on this journey. I would ask the same for all of your family. Always, Bruce and Cheryl

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