Eight Years Without My Best FriendSunday, October 11, 2015
Today is Sunday and I don't usually post on a Sunday but it's not just any Sunday, today it is 8 years since I lost my best friend Donna and I can't let today go past without writing this post.
I met Donna through a friend of mine who lived next door to her, she brought Donna to a lunch time get together with our group of friends and we hit it off immediately, she has a son the same age as my eldest daughter Cole and Lissy is only 2.5 years older than her daughter Hannah, we became really close friends and spent time together during the school holidays as Donna worked in a school so got all the holidays off, her and her husband started to come out in the evenings with the same group of friends we were with when we met to functions and local organised parties at Halloween and Christmas amongst other things, we got on so well and her husband Darrell was lovely too although I didn't see much of him other than at the functions as he worked during the day and was often at work when we met up or visited each others houses.
We loved spending time together, our girls all got on well and we had some great times together. In 2005 Donna started to have some minor health problems and when things didn't improve and her GP not being the best she had some private tests in December 2005, on the 15th December 2005, which was incidentally Darrell's 40th birthday Donna found out she had cancer, I'm not going to go into details, some things need to remain private but it was a devastating time for her and Darrell and for me too.
After the initial shock Donna had a great mindset, she was going to get through it, she was strong and much stronger than I imagine I would have been, a few months later and after a horrendous and incredibly strong course of chemotherapy Donna was able to have surgery to remove her cancer, it was to be a huge operation but it meant hope. I had tonsillitis the day of Donna's surgery and had text her to say good luck but I was gutted I wasn't going to be able to visit but would make it up to her in visits once I was better, I promised to "bug the shite out of her loads and take millions of grapes" once I was better and wouldn't pass on any germs to her. Unfortunately the surgery didn't go ahead, Donna's cancer had spread, this meant things were going to be different, very very different.
Donna lived for just 22 months from diagnosis, some of those 22 months were heartbreaking but I do have some lovely memories of that time too. I feel robbed, I only knew Donna for a few short years and 22 months of those years she was poorly but I know had she not ever got cancer we'd have been friends forever, we told each other everything, trusted each other with our darkest secrets we both know things about the other that only we know, I feel robbed that I didn't know her longer but I suppose what time we did have together was precious. Donna remained incredibly sarcastic and witty throughout her illness and made me laugh so much, that is one thing we always did, laugh, I have so many funny stories of stupid things we did together, but the other thing we did most other than laugh when we were together was cry, Donna knew she wasn't going to see her children grow up and it absolutely devastated her, she used to sit and rhyme off all the things she was going to miss, it broke my heart, one day when she was talking about it and saying "but I won't be there for XYZ, what will happen, who will be there?" I said "I will" and I promised her I would always be there for both the children no matter what, and that they could come to me with any problem and I would be there for prom dress shopping and wedding dress shopping for Hannah and suits for Rhys if he wanted me to. Time ticked on and we carried on with our shopping trips and play dates with the girls, I got to know Darrel more in those 22 months too, Rhys was a teenage boy so I wasn't as close to him, he had his friends and I suppose it's not really cool to hang out with your mums friend when you're 15/16 is it?But Hannah became a lot closer to me and our girls spending more and more time with us we loved having her with us and she loved being with us too.
In early September 2007 Donna was admitted to a local hospice, I used to visit most week days during the day saving evenings and weekends for Darrell and the children to see her, we used to sit on her bed watching daytime TV shows about doing up houses and we'd talk about what we'd do if it were our house, we'd moan about the people on This Morning and choose who we'd have as guests if we were the presenters, we'd sit reading the Next directory and pick out what we'd have if we won the lottery off each page and pick outfits for each other some hideous ones too just for fun, we also listened to the music channels or radio and sang along, at the time there was a Sugarbabes song out called "About You Now" we used to sing and "bed dance" to it and if it came on when I was doing her hair she'd take the brush and use it as a microphone and mime into it, silly things but things that now are the most precious things in the world to me, I can't call a fascinator (you know the things you wear to weddings instead of a hat) a fascinator it's a fascination and always will be because one day before Donna was admitted to the hospice she rang me and said "do you fancy coming shopping? I need to get a fascination for that wedding" bless her.
Donna died on 11th October 2007, she was just 38 years old she had turned 38 in the September, Hannah was 8, she'd turned 8 the day after her mummy turned 38 and Rhys was 16, I will never ever forget that phone call, I knew when the phone rang what was coming and just said "is this it?" I was numb, my friend had gone, my crazy, funny, beautiful, loving, caring, glamorous, sarcastic, mad as a hatter friend, never again would we sing to the Sugarbabes or dance to "The Key The Secret" which was her favourite "bopping tune" what would I do without her?
And you know what the answer to that question is? I don't know and I still don't know, it's been 8 years that's 70,182 hours, 4,207, 600 minutes without her, in some ways it seems like no time at all but in others it seems forever, it is such a long time since I've spoken to her, I'd give anything to speak to her just for a minute. One thing I am grateful for is my relationship with Hannah, we are incredibly close, she is my other daughter, she calls me mamma and I love her so so much, she is like our other child, she calls Lissy big sis and Cole bigger sis they adore her too she is part of our family and always will be, I have always remained great friends with Darrell too over the years, we didn't really become close until the last few months of Donna's life but we have remained close and I think the world of him, Rhys is now 24 and is doing fine, he isn't in regular contact but he knows where I am and how much I care about him, boys are different I suppose.
Next year it will be Hannah's prom and I can't wait to go shopping with her, Cole will do her hair and makeup and we will all be there to see her leave home in her limo or whatever transport they have and arrive at the prom and she'll look amazing, she's stunningly beautiful like her mum and I know her mum will be with her as she is every day and I know she'll be so proud of her, again as she is every day. I will always be there for Hannah no matter what and am in regular contact with her, she texts me or comes to see me if she's upset or got a problem, and she just comes to spend time with us, I get texts saying "Hi mamma can I come on XYZ day, I've not had cuddles for ages" I love those texts ♥︎ I've done all the "talks" there is to do and she knows I'm always here and I'm so so pleased she does come to me and talk to me, I wouldn't have it any other way and will always be there for her no matter what just as I promised Donna I would, I just hope I'm doing a good job.
I don't really know where to go with this post, but I wanted to write it and if it's possible to read blogs in heaven Donna will be so thrilled to be the main focus of one of my posts, although I might be in trouble for choosing the photograph I did, Donna never let anyone see her without make up, she jogged with it on and did aerobics with it on, she was every so glamorous and she will not be amused at all bless her but I love it, it was taken on holiday and what you can't see is the other side of the photograph where she is holding Hannah's hand and Hannah has the same huge grin on her face too, they were going down a water slide. I love it it's a beautiful photograph and I love Donna's smile she looks so happy, she might be make up free but she's beautiful.
I could go on forever telling you things about Donna and how amazing she was, what fantastic things she did before she died and memories I have with her, funny things we did, sad things we did but I won't go on anymore, 8 years is a long time, I miss her so much.
Donna if you can read blogs in heaven, I love you and miss you so much, this ones for you darling....
Thank you for reading, much love as always