About a month ago I went to the Robin Hood pub with Toni, my carer. This was the local pub that I used to go to with my husband Des. When I got there one of the staff Loretta said to me that she has a new cooker and she named it Desmond! She named the cooker after Des! She said the oven plays Christmas carols. So the next time I go there the oven will play Christmas carols for us in memory of Desmond!
Every year we went out with Toni to the Robin Hood for a Christmas Dinner and Desmond would wear his Santa suit. He always used to carry Rudolf on his back and put sweets in him. When we went to Robin Hood the kids always used to come up to Desmond and call out ‘Father Christmas!’ and he would always give them sweets – he’d say go into Rudolf and find the sweets.
Desmond also used to go to a Christmas party at Church Gardens and give all the staff a present. He used to go to Christmas parties with all his friends and he really enjoyed it.
Every year we would get the Robin Hood staff a Christmas present. After Christmas dinner we called all the staff together. Me and Desmond used to stand by the bar and one by one give them their presents and we would say, ‘Can you open it while we are here?’ and they would say, ‘Thank you very much. It was very kind of you’.
We got them things like a bottle of wine or a box of chocolate biscuits. All the bar staff, Desmond and I would sing Christmas carols in the bar. Our friends used to take photos of us. The staff also gave us presents – a Christmas cake and mince pies.
On Christmas Eve Desmond went to midnight mass. He did this every Christmas Eve. Then he came home at about 1am. He said to me ‘Am I going to be alright?’ and I said ‘Yes, but I will probably be in bed when you come home from church’. And then he came back and we slept all night Christmas Eve together.
In the morning we surprised one another with presents early - about 6 o’clock in the morning. He liked his presents from me and I liked all the ones he gave me. We got up and we opened other Christmas presents from our friends and we had a Christmas drink together. Then we both made Christmas dinner together – Des didn’t like turkey so we had beef, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, sprouts, and gravy.
After lunch we spent the whole day together and we celebrated Christmas together. We had Christmas evening together - watching the Christmas films on telly. Desmond was dressed up in his Santa suit on Christmas day. Then I went to bed and he came to bed a bit later on.
We woke up on Boxing day and said good morning to one another. After that we got up and opened some of the Christmas presents we had saved. We had the day together and cooked dinner and spent the day together – we had a few more drinks. We spent the time in our flat watching TV.
On New Year’s Eve we spent the day together and around midnight we had a drink and celebrated the old year going and the new year coming in. We said cheers to each other and let’s have a good life together. I said to him ‘Let’s hope we are married for a long time. Let’s be together for always!’ and we both said 'Happy New Year' to one another.
Then we went to bed and on New Year’s day we phoned our friends to wish them 'Happy New Year!' We had dinner and drinks together and had one another’s company together.
This is for other people. Your wife, your husband, your daughter or your son, make sure you have a good time together at Christmas. Make sure you celebrate together and see the New Year in together. If someone in your family passes away think of the good memories and think back that you had a good time at Christmas and at New Year. Look back and think of the good memories. Make sure you think of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Think of your wife, your husband, your daughter your son at all these times.
This is my first year without Desmond and I will look back at all the good memories. If you feel sad that you have lost someone look back to when you had good times with them. I know it will be sad for you because it’s sad for me the first year without Desmond but always think they are in your heart and in your spirit and talk to them.
They will always be here in your heart and always here in spirit for you. I know how you feel because I feel the same. I know it will be sad but always look back at the photos.
Best wishes to you all at Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day. Take care of yourselves and keep healthy.
Dictated by Theresa 8.11.2020.