The more observant among you will notice that I haven't been around much lately. Apologies to those who waited patiently for replies to notes and thanks also for your kind words.
About three months ago my father-in-law got sick, very sick. He couldn't hold down a meal and he got sicker and sicker. The doctor diagnosed severe vertigo and said it would pass. Week after painstaking week my mother-in-law tried desperately to feed him different things in the hopes that something would stay down but it didn't. The doctor just kept saying to wait. It got so bad that he ended up in hospital and the doctors there had no idea what it was but they knew it wasn't vertigo. They did, however manage to stabilize his stomach and he began to eat again. Just before Christmas they did a scan and found an "anomaly" at the base of his skull but said it was probably nothing as it wasn't very big. So they let him him go home for Christmas and asked for him to come back as an outpatient in the New Year to get this "anomaly" looked at.
Sadly over the coming weeks he got sick again and he was rushed back into hospital. A further scan confirmed that he had a brain tumor which had grown substantially since the previous scan. The placement and the rapid growth meant that it was inoperable. He was told that he had two months to get his affairs in order. He barely lasted one month. He passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside in a hospice.
Needless to say my husband has found the last few weeks very difficult to deal with. Coming up to Valentine's Day I didn't have a clue what to get him. My mother-in-law took it upon herself to start clearing out her house and she gave me a load of her art books. Most of which were about collages. It gave me the idea to make a scrap book for my husband, something with a different picture on each page. I wanted him to cheer up again and I thought if he could see all of his favourite things he might smile.
There were 41 pages in the book I bought and I knew I wouldn't fill them all before Friday but I managed to do 26! One page had screen shots from his favourite PS3 game, Blur. One had a collage of screen shots from "Black Hawk Down" - his favourite movie, other pages had pictures of Autumn leaves, his own photography of nature, animals that he loves, cinema seats and tickets (he loves the cinema), various movies - Terminator, Alien, Matrix etc. He almost cried when he looked through it. He realised that I had been thinking of him, even though he hadn't been home much because he's been helping his mother. He had no idea that I knew him so well and that I had paid so much attention to his favourite things.
What started out as a simple present has ended up as a new appreciation for our relationship.
Out of something awful some good has come. I just hope that you all have had a lovely Valentine's Day.