It's been a struggle to keep adding to my list of favourite things. Our eldest cat, Freddie, died just over 24 hours after my last blog and, as anyone will know when they've had loving animals in their life, my heart was heavy with tears.
It seems to be the mornings that hurt the most, when he and I would have been alone together in the office. After his morning meal he would come to me for a fuss before he curled up beside my chair and had a 'cat-nap'. He was with me for 15 years and it's not going to be a speedy adjustment to his passing.
It is because of the hurt I've felt that I have continued, although slowly, with my list of 'Favourite Things'. It has been important for me to remember that such heartbreak comes 'within' life and not to 'devour' it. And so, after every little crying session, I've forced myself to think of additions to my list so as to bring the balance of life back. When I need to be sad, I'm sad, but when the tears are over, it's time to get back on life's train.
When I said, in my last blog, that doing a list of 'Favourite Things' was therapeutic , I had no idea how valuable a therapy it would turn out to be, and continue to be.
Of course, I'm not going to keep blogging lists, I'd bore everyone to tears, but these additions to those mentioned before, I publish as a dedication to a beautiful soul who oozed wisdom and had much to do with the making of the person I am today.
In memory of Freddie Andrew Webster, 25/04/1998 to 05/11/2013.
1. Warm towel when I get out the shower
2. Nat King Cole
3. Squidward (from Spongebob Squarepants)
4. Led Zeppelin IV (Four Symbols LP)
5. White Linen air freshner
6. Fireworks (organised displays only)
7. Revels (I may not eat chocolate often, but these will always hit the spot)
8. The film 'Deep Impact' (because it could happen, and how humanity can still be self-sacrificing for the sake of others.)
9. Watching the degu make their bed after a cage clean
10. The hymn 'Dear Lord and Father'
11. My partner holding my hand
12. The old 'Tom and Jerry' cartoons
13. Hindu chants (Asian, Near and Middle Eastern music in general)
14. Platform shoes (considering my height)
15. Buddha (skinny one for meditation and fat one for a smile)
16. Ralph McTell's 'Streets of London' (very poignant)
17. Terry Wogan
18. A certain line from 'Mrs Brown's Boys' (I'm not telling which one)
19. Puppies with big clumsy paws
21. Lord of the Rings
22. The sound of an Infants School playground
23. The end credits to 'X Factor' (because it's finished)
24. Central Heating
25. Arm and Hammer toothpaste
26. Watching the sunset from Lindisfarne
27. 2p machines in Blackpool (yes I do watch 'Tipping Point')
28. Potato and Leek Soup
29. Tomato Soup
30. Ralph Catts' laugh (he's a fellow student at UCM)
31. Yellow highlighter pens
32. Stationary in genera
33. Desiderata (usually credited to Max Ehrmann)
34. Walt Disney's 'Mary Poppins'
35. Esther Rantzen (for Childline)
36. Greg Lake's 'I believe in Father Christmas'
37. I'm a Celebrity ... get me out of here (but not when their eating creepy crawlies)
39. Twiglets (it's that 'Marmite' taste)
40. The song 'Fly me to the moon' (especially sung by Frank Sinatra)
41. Our degu fighting over 'who's got the biggest walnut'
42. Any 'Queen' song (but not too keen on Radio ga ga)
43. U2's 'The Joshua Tree' LP
45. Tigger (from 'Winnie the Pooh')
46. The Tao Te Ching
47. Gary Barlow (excellent songwriter but does a lot of good work too)
49. Miss Dior (perfume)
50. The urge to sway when singing the hymn 'One more step along the world I go'
51. My partner Pat doing impersonations in embarrassing places
52. Having my feet massaged/tickled/stroked
53. My favourite tree at Luther King House Theological College
54. Phil Waldron (fellow student - excellent sense of humour but also gentle and kind)
55. Wholemeal bread
56. Singing 'loudly' in the car
57. Walt Disney's 'Jungle Book'
58. 'Compare the Market' adverts (Meerkats)
60. General Assembly Meetings - lots of Unitarian faces, lots of Unitarian friends
61. Philip Schofield
62. Any book written by Graham Hancock
63. My partner's fascination with 'baby' programmes (CBeebies)
64. Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' all three volumes
It is important in life to remember that our hurts are our joys and our joys are our hurts. Both are important in order to be sure that we have lived our lives with love.