Friday, 25 May 2012



Today is the 1 year anniversary of the passing of my beloved Grandpa, Harry. It feels surreal that it has already been a year as I can remember the whole day like it was yesterday.

I can say, honestly, the 26th May 2011 was the worst day of my life so far. You just can’t begin to prepare yourself for something so traumatic and emotional even if you might know it is coming.
My grandpa wasn’t very well, he almost died in Florida back in November 2004 and from then he really struggled with his health. He was so strong though and for 7 years battled through and was still grandpa, still told us stories, still said ‘thing-me’ after almost every second word, still sang us songs from when he was in the war... he was always fun to be with.

In 2010 he did start getting much worse and he was finding it harder and harder to walk and do things on his own. I think, in a way, it was good that this happened as we made sure to see him so much more in those last few months – it should never be a case of you see your family more when you realise you might lose them but unfortunately that does happen and I can only say that I am so glad we had that chance to spend time with him before he passed away.

The last few times we saw him were really brilliant. I saw him about a month before with my sister and he sang us songs from when he was in Italy and told us stories I hadn’t heard before. He remembered so much and I always found that amazing that he was remembering songs and words in other languages that he hadn’t spoken since he was in his teens!
The last time I saw him was about 2 weeks before and me and Dan spent the weekend with him and grandma. He talked so much the first day we were there that by the evening he was losing his voice, he said it was the most he had spoken in ages :o) Dan had the really clever idea of secretly filming him while he was telling stories and I still have them now. I even got him telling the story of when he first met grandma! Probably one of the best things we did, filming him, and at Christmas I gave everyone of his children (my uncles and aunties) a copy of the videos so whenever they really missed him and just wanted to see him or hear his voice they could.

I think one of my biggest frustrations when my grandpa died was thinking that no one understood how hard it really was.
He was one of the best men I have ever known. A hero, a strong but really kind man who was a constant source of comfort and joy in my life.

We grew up spending every Christmas with our grandparents, every November we went to Florida with them. When my mum and dad went away we spent time with them in Gloucester. Grandma & Grandpa’s house was a second home and I always felt excited to be visiting. You get to know the smell, it is so familiar and every time you entered their house or hug one of them you just got that smell. I have two of my Grandpas shirts and I still can smell the smell of the house on them. The feeling a smell can give you is incredible, it just brings back all these feelings and memories.

On the morning my Grandpa passed I was driving into work and I remember looking at my phone and thinking ‘if my dad calls me now my grandpa has died’ – 45 minutes later I got the call from my dad. I was in the office and as soon as he told me I could not control myself. I was inconsolable and heartbroken, for me, from my dad, for my family and for my grandma.
The positives though were that Grandpa died in bed, asleep next to my grandma. Probably the way most people would hope that a love one would pass away. As a family we have all got closer and Grandpa has made us really realise that you have to make the effort to see your family, they are the people who will always be there and it is so important to not forget that.

So this blog is for my family. Today is going to be hard for every one of us, Grandpa was the head of the family. We Peake’s are a strong group, we have each other, we have love and we have our memories. Nothing will ever take away what we all, individually, felt about our Grandpa/dad. We all have our own stories to tell about him and we will never stop telling them.

I love my family, together we got through that day and every day after without him. Without you, without that support, it would have felt like a loss without any gain but at least I can say that we are closer now than we ever were before. I love you all and I am thinking of you today.

I think the reason my Grandpa’s death was so hard is because I loved him so much, the more you love the harder it will be to say goodbye. But I will never stop loving people so much because that is what makes life great. If you didn’t let yourself feel that much love for someone then what do you have? The world is a really horrible place sometimes and knowing that you have a family that you love more than anything else is the only reason to keep going. It may be harder to say goodbye when they leave you but the memories are so much stronger.

Grandpa – you remain in my heart and thoughts every day. I love you.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Not so positive

When I first started this blog one of my posts was about positivity and that I was trying to be more positive. I feel like I was keeping it up, not as strictly as originally but still good.
This year was going awesomely, had such a good year so the positivity challenge wasn’t so hard. To top it off, in march I got myself back into a great gym routine which made me feel great and saw me going to the gym at least 5 times a week. Happy days. I even got in the Gold list of people that had been to the gym most in the month in March, I have only been as high as silver before so that made me happy! 22 times in a month GO ME!

Any way this blog isn’t a nice positive ‘my life is awesome’ post, which I am sure some of you are glad of! This is about when my positivity got tested.

To end March off me and some of my favourite people in the world all went away to celebrate our friends 30th birthday in a big old country house. There were 24 of us and it was great, the house was amazing, company was as well. Just good times all round. Then after midnight DISATER struck! (This is not a shreddies ad but I couldn’t resist)
I was going up some stairs, which ordinarily doesn’t prove to be a challenge, and I managed to kick one step and bend my big toe under. Again this doesn’t seem like much but because of my stupid foot op in September my toes have not been able to bend as far as a normal person so it was forced into an unnatural position. Needless to say it hurt.

Anyway I was calm and just asked for someone to find my sister, the professional sports therapist – complete trust and faith was put into her abilities to heal me. However my little sister was a little too worse for wear to really be trusted with this task but rather then say that she continued, as professionally as she could, to PULL my toe in case it was dislocated. Now I am not going to really be able to convey to you the utter pain this caused but I will give it a go, it FUCKING HURT! Now I don’t like to swear in writing – feels more real that way – but man alive was it painful. Seriously was probably one of the worst pains I have EVER experience which probably makes me quite lucky in a way but I honestly think my appendicitis was easier to cope with and that lasted me 14 hours! But yet the story is not over, after the pulling happened I fell into uncontrollable tears and was being soothed by about 6 people when my sister said she needed to do it one more time.... once hurt, twice and I was done. I don’t think I could even deal with the pain of the second time so I have blocked it from my brain but the tears got worse and I had to be carried to bed while my foot got more and more swollen.
The next day I couldn’t walk on it and I spent the rest of the weekend hopping about! Still had an awesome time just on one leg. However by Sunday, when the swelling hadn’t gone down and the bruising got worse, my sister said that I might need to go to the hospital as it could be broken. Dan and I spent 2 hours in A&E on Sunday night to find out that it was indeed broken, right where the pin in my toe is. Sad times.

Monday I couldn’t go to work as couldn’t drive with it and when I woke up Tuesday I had a sore throat, it got progressively worse and I felt rubbish by Tuesday evening. All Tuesday night I was up hot and cold and Wednesday I came into work feeling like death. They sent me home at 11. I called the Dr’s as my throat was so bad and got an appointment for Thursday, the same day I also had to go to hospital to get my foot checked at the fracture clinic.

Slept awful on Wednesday night and woke up feeling terrible by Thursday morning. Got to the Dr’s (why am I always about 20 minutes early and the Dr’s are always at least 10 minutes late?!) and the guy took one look at my throat and said I had ‘Acute Tonsillitis’. I have never had that before in my life and honestly wouldn’t wish it on anyone as is just horrid. Anyway I was prescribed antibiotics and sent on my way. Then I had to get to the fracture clinic for my 11am appointment, got there about 10 minutes early and was seen at 13.15 – I KID YOU NOT! I was so ill and in so much pain that by the time I was seen I could barely lift my head L Anyway turned out my toe would heal ok but I had to wear my special operation shoes, which are just disgusting, for 3 weeks and then go back for a check up to see how it healed 5 weeks later.

It has been 5 weeks.... I am seeing them tomorrow and unfortunately my boots were lost so I have had to have it heel whilst using my foot almost as normal so not sure it will have heeled properly L will know tomorrow in any case.

I have had a few other knocks in the past month, which I won’t go into, and it has really got me down. I went through a great few months and then BANG my health was hit, then the next thing and the next thing....
Annoyingly as well the broken toe meant I haven’t been able to exercise properly for these last 5 weeks which is just bumming me out because I was being so good and got so motivated and now I have had to stop for a month... feels like it has seriously affect my fitness, my motivation and my happiness!

I am having a hard time keeping positive at the moment (not sure you can tell that), I am trying it is just hard when things keep happening to test me. I thought I was done with the foot thing, back to normal. Now to be back in that position again, but without any warning, is hard. I know I am almost over with it now and it was just a broken toe but it just feels like the start of a load of negative and I am so worried how everything will turn out.

I just have to keep thinking of what is good I guess – got to drag myself into my ‘beginning of the year mind’ set!

At the moment though, for a short time I’m sure, things just suck a bit.