Many people have mentioned to me that this year will now be a year of firsts. The first time I do something without Dad, the first time we have birthdays etc without Dad. I have experienced a year of firsts before, in 2006 when my sister passed away suddenly. It felt very different to how I feel now and of course back then, I had Mom and Dad to help me through it, we were there for each other. This is different because Mom is happy in her own world and can’t support me and Dad is supporting me from his new home. Yes it is all very different.
I had mixed feelings when my country music friends were messaging me about going to see John McNicholl when he played Birmingham three weeks ago. I wasn’t sure I was up to it. I know Dad would have been the first one to say “Go, go out and enjoy yourself”. It was the emotional side of things that was affecting me. Seeing that group of friends for the first time, crying, hugging, singing, dancing. Was it all going to be too much too soon?
Once again my amazing man was there to help me by coming over to visit that evening and sit with Mom. If I decided to just go to the dance I knew Mom was safe and sound. I decided to go. John had telephoned me about Dad and messaged me and I wanted to support him plus I felt it was better to get this particular first out-of-the-way.
I felt incredibly alone and vulnerable getting ready to go. I felt physically sick leaving the house and I felt weak, barely able to walk when I arrived at the venue. I never felt so alone as I did when I walked into the club. John was already on stage, people were dancing and I felt lost. One of my friends appeared at my side, gave me a huge cuddle, a glass of wine and took me over to the table where everyone was. One by one we hugged, had a tear and held hands. The sense of support was wonderful. A family friend who has known my parents forever was there to support me too. When I cried he took me out waltzing on the dance floor and he tried so hard to make me laugh. John as always was so supportive and lovely although I didn’t get to speak to him for long. As usual I had arranged my taxi far too early.
One of the main things I missed was Dad worrying about me. Whenever I went out alone to meet my friends at a dance he always worried about me travelling alone. I missed that conversation so much.
Was I glad I went out? Hmmm I’m still unsure how to answer that one. It was lovely to see me friends, to see John and the lads and there was such a big turnout for a Sunday night I was very pleased for John. I didn’t get my usual sense of excitement, I wasn’t my usual diva on the dance floor but how could I be, it was my first night out.
Well it’s not a proper night out without a Snapchat filter!
A little blurred but a lovely reminder of the support I received from a great friend of my parents.
John and the lads rocking St Anne’s with a Neil Diamond Medley.