Knowing that life is likely to be shorter than might otherwise have been the case focusses the mind on the importance of loved ones, family and friends; how precious time is and how to make the most of every day, even if it is simply enjoying doing very little, other than relaxing and passing time doing something that gives you pleasure.
It is also a great incentive for new experiences and doing those things you never quite get round to in the normal course of events. When I look back over the last three years, I'm amazed at all the things we have done; a treasure chest of memories to look back on in future....
There have been the very special milestones - big birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and New Years celebrations, births (and sadly, some deaths). We've had some wonderful lunches, teatimes, evening meals, days out and weekends away with our children, the wider family and friends. We've traveled together in the UK and abroad, enjoying some very special destinations and experiences that have fueled our imaginations and inspired our photography.
Throughout this period, Steve has produced, exhibited and sold some amazing artwork and been made an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. He's taken control of a Chipmunk airplane and looped the loop; skimmed the waves aboard a RIB; shot clay pigeons for the first time; floated over Oxfordshire in a hot air balloon. We've been to a cricket test match at Lords, Derby day at Epsom; an internal rugby match in Rome; a play at the RSC, Stratford; all manner of exhibitions, festivals, theatricals, dance and musical events, as well as rediscovering places like the Ashmolean Museum here in Oxford and National Trust properties within striking distance of home.
We have met up with old friends, made new friends and been inspired by others who face mesothelioma with strength, determination, good humour and the belief that one day a cure will be found.
We really have been very, very fortunate, in spite of Steve's illness. Our thanks to everyone who has helped make the last three years so special. I really don't think we could have done it without your love, support, encouragement, and good wishes. Thank you, thank you, thank you!