It is now 11 weeks since Mick died, and I have been on many adventures. Mick's death has inspired a lot of our friends to grab life by the horns and ride it!
Have you ever heard of a "bucket list"? It is a list of things to do before you die. In the spirit of adventure and celebration a group of our freinds has created the "Fookateers" and we have a "fooket list": a list of things to do because we are ALIVE. We have done the skinny dipping (or chunky dunking in my case); days out at the sea side for bacon butties and a swim; a weekend as "marooned" pirates in the wilds of Derbyshire, far away from the sea; 140 mile bike rides; putting our handmade cards on sale; changing our career path; working hard to master a new skil or refine an old one..... in short we are taking the legacy of adventure, freedom and fun, and just getting out there and doing it.
As a personal journey I am doing ok. I have learned so much about freindship, about love, about my own capabilities and abilities. I am off on my adventures: still doing my reenacting, still camping, playing the ukulele and banjolele..... I am managing to live.
Life will never be the same again, but now this is the "new normal". I am back to work, planning for my future, and counting my blessings everyday. I had an amazing time, truely amazing with Mick, and I was blessed with just short of five and a half years of something many people never experience, even once in their entire life.
I have celebrated this love with a new tattoo, my 26th.
I already had the anchor, its latin inscription reads "Post tot naufragia portum": after so many ships a safe harbour. I had this done a few years ago as it reflected our close relationship and the calm waters of our love. Mick had the ship, so I had it added as he will always be with me, steering me to safe waters on my adventures. The colour is the standard he carried into battle, and which Jack and James have both proudly carried in honour of their father. The wedding rings are interlocked, and the 14 stars are the stars from our wedding rings. It brings to mind the line "All I need is a tall ship, and a star to sail her by". I will be fine, time for more adventures, with Mick's love steering me.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
John Masefield 1913