The intention of writing this post is not to make you sad but my hope is to remind you that life can change very quickly.
It is important to not become complacent of this fact and make the most of every opportunity you are given and love and forgive the people around you.
This is a very different post from my normal ones, I will share some things with you that you may not want to think about. So if you don't want to stick around for it I understand. I won't judge you, you can go away and come back when there will be a happy post that will follow this.
September marks a very sad time for our family. It is the month in which we lost our dad to brain cancer. As this is a space that I share my life with you all, it would seem wrong to skate over this part of my life and not share it with you.
This year as a family we decided to do something different on the 16th of September, to remember my dad. Our plan was to go and visit the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red exhibition at the Tower of London.
As a foodie family unsurprisingly our morning started at the Breakfast Club at London Bridge.
For drinks we opted for two smoothies. Slow Boy - apple, carrot, orange & ginger (£4.20).
Virgin Apple Mojito - pressed apple, mint and lime (£4.30). The Mojito is so wonderfully refreshing and a definite favourite.
My dad used to enjoy a lovely cooked breakfast when he got the opportunity. So my choice was easy, I opt for the "The All American" breakfast - Pancakes, eggs, sausage, home-style fried potatoes, streaky bacon and maple syrup (£10.50).
After breakfast we wandered along the Thames enjoying the fresh air and walking off our rather large breakfast. Tower Bridge is an iconic monument of London that I will never get fed up of seeing.
The bridge is the guardian over the water, raising and lowering to allow ships in and out of the city.
The architecture is so very beautiful.
I remember the months in which my dad became unwell like they were yesterday, it was June not long after I had celebrated a milestone Birthday. The year became memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Having been previously fit and healthy (having the constitution of a cast iron ox), illness came suddenly to my dad and within three months of diagnosis he sadly went from a fit independent adult, to one that couldn't walk, feed himself or care for himself any more. I cannot describe those months, they were dark and horrendous, time went very slowly and watching the person that you love die in front of your eyes is truly awful. It changes you in a way I am not sure you recover from.
Within three months of diagnosis my dad sadly lost his battle to brain cancer (Central Nervous System Lymphoma) on September 16th 2010.
They were the very worst days of my life and yet I would live them all again, as it would mean I would have time with my dad again. Time. We spend vast amounts of time wishing it away but when someone puts limitations on it you wish you could have it forever. One second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a fortnight, a month, a year. Oh what I wouldn't give.
I am not standing in judgement here I too used to get caught up in the moment, worrying about things that really in a couple of hours, weeks or even a year wouldn't matter. I still do, it is very easy to do and forget about what life is really all about.
The exhibition was the perfect place for quiet reflection and remembering my dad. The exhibition is amazingly poignant.
"It's difficult to understand the sum of a persons life... Some people would tell you it's measured by the ones left behind, some believe it can be measured in faith, some say by love, other folks say life has no meaning at all... Me, I believe you measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you..." - The Bucket List (2007 Rob Reiner).
As my father's daughter I certainly measure myself by my dad, who was a wonderful unassuming man who if I can ever be half the person he was I will have done very well.