I once travelled happily alone. Then the most beautiful thing happened and suddenly I was half of two; two became one. But before I could start to document our life together, his life was tragically gone. My darling Ems is now in the bright lights of Heaven and I remain. This is the story of my journey from here. Gratefully a journey that One whose ways are above all of ours takes with me. One day I'll reach those bright lights for myself but until I do, join me on my journey, keeping memories close.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Fancy dress

There are times when you wonder how you managed to get yourself involved in things. This is one of those times. As part of our Red Nose Day fundraising at work I have succumbed / agreed / enthusiastically volunteered to dress up on Friday 18th March in something red and silly all day! Comic Relief is a fantastic cause, doing great work with needy people across the UK and Africa. If you would like to sponsor me and donate to the cause, every donation small or large can make a difference at http://my.rednoseday.com/redruthie

It doesn't seem that long ago that I struggled to get dressed in the mornings, making every effort to avoid wearing anything that would make people notice me, resistant to wear anything that Ems hadn't seen me in, or in fact to wear an outfit that didn't have at least one item of his clothing in it. I am grateful for the baby steps that have found me here.

The confidence is not all there. There are still occasions when I wear his coat for the comfort of knowing it is his and not solely because it fits me well. To dress in fancy dress is a major achievement for me, which though will likely be masked behind the loudness of the costume, will all the same, be something I am very aware of.

I remember silly, carefree days like the one in the photo above. Days when clothes were just clothes and we weren't worrying about fancy dress drawing any attention to us because we were so confident and free with one another. I remember Ems, the creative soul, bursting with ideas, and up for pretty much anything, and the confidence he gave me to the be the same. You remember the red jeans story right?!

Well while I'm currently nervous (understatement) about my first speaking engagement since Ems died taking place this Saturday (no fancy dress involved), I'm currently taking a pause from all things serious to remember the silliness often injected into our lives together and thought I'd share it with you. The photo above and the photos below follow various fancy dress occasions that we were involved in from various eras and seasons. I hope they bring a smile to your face too.

Don't forget, if you'd like to put a smile on someone else's face, donate to Comic Relief by sponsoring me for my first solo fancy dress attempt in years at http://my.rednoseday.com/redruthie
And as for the speaking engagement, I was never going to wake up one morning and feel 'ready' to speak again. So, like many things (more than anyone knows), this is a step of faith. If I wait till I feel perfect, the day will never come.
The reality is, we can't wait for the 'after' photos like you get in 'Weightwatchers' programmes before we step out. If we wait for the perfection waiting at the other end of our journey, we'll be too late. Was I feeling good when I set up this blog? Far from it! Is the message stronger from in the midst of the struggle? 
Hope is ours to share whatever our current status. If we have any light in our darkness, we have a duty to shine it.

I penned these words to a dear friend of Ems last night and they have sat with me ever since
'there is no less God in this path than in the path that brought alongside me that beautiful man to share 'life' with. I was no more deserving of that beauty than I am deserving of this pain. I am no less qualified to serve in the valley than I was on the mountain top. Brokenness is not a disqualification in the Kingdom of clay pots.'
Fancy dress for charity, speaking from brokenness to brokenness, 'little big things'.
Where will the next step of the journey lead?