A puppy

All Linda wanted from life was peace, quiet, less pain and a puppy.  She got none of those.  At least in the hospice she got regular visits from the Therapets provided by the Canine Concern Scotland Trust.  I’ve just written to them as below.

“Please find enclosed a donation from my late wife, Linda Hamilton, who passed away at St. Columba’s Hospice on the 8th August this year.

She had always wanted a dog of her own but due to a botched operation she had been infirm for a number of years.  I actually took my redundancy late last year so I could be at home with her and so we could finally get a dog of our own.  Four weeks later we found out Linda had cancer.

When she was admitted to the hospice the visits of the therapets were an absolute treat for her, even though, because the cancer had spread to the brain, she still wept when she remembered she would never have a dog of her own.

Please pass on my best wishes to the owners who brought Brodie, Flash, Yassie and Harry to see her before she died.”

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St Columba’s Hospice Tribute Fund for Linda Hamilton

http://linda.hamilton.muchloved.com/

 

PS: Lass, I didn’t know you could weep so hard it makes you sick and give you a nosebleed at the same time.  Who knew.

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Thanks mean nothing

It’s true, thanks mean nothing.  I just want you back.  And if that can’t happen I just want to be with you.  But you made me promise…

Down below you’ll see the thank you letter from St. Columba’s Hospice for the donation Linda made after she passed.  It highlights one of her best attributes which was also one of her biggest flaws.  She never put herself first.  Even the chaplain in the hospice seems to have picked up on that.

There was always someone else who needed her more.  Be it her Uncle Davie, her ex best friend Margaret, her stepdad or her evil mother.  Regardless of how she was feeling, how infirm or how sick she was, there was always someone who needed her more. Even when she was dying she knew it.  She actually apologised to me for always having put other people before me.

I told her not to be daft.  After all, she saved my life.  That’s not hyperbole.  I’d be long gone by now if it hadn’t been for Linda.  I had no life before her and there’s no life after her.  I just wish I could have given her the life she deserved.

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columbaletter

 

St Columba’s Hospice Tribute Fund for Linda Hamilton

http://linda.hamilton.muchloved.com/

Friends Life

Motto – “everything we do is full of Good Thinking for you”
My reply to a recent letter from their Claims Management Team is below.
I refer to your letter of 1st September to my dead wife, Linda Hamilton.
You wrote to advise her of a BACS payment to her account reflecting the fact that she had died and was not eligible for a full months payment.
You knew that she had died as I informed you of this fact yet you have still written to her in the present tense and have made a payment to her bank account which has been closed, due to the fact that she is dead.
This payment will have been returned to you and may I suggest that you tidy up your admin processes for dealing with a death as I don’t want to receive any more letters to my dead wife from people I’ve informed about her death.
Stuart Hamilton
Widower of Linda Hamilton
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Battle of Britain Day

It was Battle of Britain Day yesterday but I was too busy being maudlin and depressed to mention it.  But that would be to do my Dad a disfavour.

Alexander Walker Hamilton

Born 23 AUG 1922 • Breich, West Lothian, Scotland
Died 24 DEC 1980 • City Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland

He was actually too young to have been in the Battle of Britain but he was called up to the Royal Air Force shortly after and spent six years fighting Hitler so you lot could swan about drinking artisan coffee and moaning about how hard your lives are.

Here he is in his Royal Air Force finery.

Thanks Dad.  Linda would have liked you.

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I Live For The Weekend

Well, I used to live for the weekend.  After the NHS crippled Linda 7 years back I started working one day a week from home.  As time passed by she became more infirm and I reduced my hours.  So I stopped working on a Monday.

Which meant when I came home from work on a Friday I had three uninterrupted Linda days.  They were my favourite.   So when the chance came up to take my redundancy and start working at home, for myself, I leapt at the chance.

See, Linda’s “good” days didn’t always coincide with me being at home.  Sometimes she was in too much pain to go out at the weekends.  But being able to juggle my work to fit in with her was going to be a delight.  A month after I signed the papers we found out she had cancer.  So there was no more delight.

Her whole life she said there was always a fly in the ointment.  Something always spoilt even the chance of there being full on joy in her life.  And she was such a good Lindy.  She deserved so much better.  Hopefully, I’ll see her soon.  Maybe next time.

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St Columba’s Hospice Tribute Fund for Linda Hamilton

http://linda.hamilton.muchloved.com/

Don’t make no promises

I don’t think I ever broke a promise to Linda in over 25 years of marriage.  Which means the death bed promises she extracted from me are, unfortunately, binding.

So no headers off the Dean Bridge and no bottles of whisky are in my immediate future.  Which is a right bastard as they were Plan A and Plan 2 post Linda.  One of the other things she wanted was for all her money to go to the hospice.  She was very precise about how it was to be divided up so that everyone, staff and volunteers, would know how much she appreciated what they did for her.  Even if no-one could do a damn thing to ease her torment in the last couple of weeks.

So it’s done.  I closed her account, rounded it up, and sent the cheque below off with her breakdown.  Hopefully it will help some others who’re in a similar position.  Many thanks to everyone who has given something to her Tribute Fund.  It’s really good of you.

columbacheque

 

Diary of a working man*

Or Me! Me! Me!

Obviously I’ve been writing about Linda recently but I thought I’d set in context just how central she was to my world.

See, even Mrs H called me peculiar.  It’s a polite way of saying strange.  Or as she would have it, no quite right.  And I can’t argue with that as it’s been true all my life.  Now I didn’t have an abusive childhood they way she did.  But it was an odd one.

I was an unwanted child.  My parents weren’t horrible but they had no interest in being a mother or father.  Now I get that and I don’t hold it against them.  I’ve never had the inclination myself.  My Mum had also been told she couldn’t have children so when I arrived when she was 36 and my Dad was 43 it really didn’t suit them.

It didn’t help that unlike Mrs H I was born melancholy.  There are a few photos of me when I was under 5 and I’m not smiling in any of them.  My Mum didn’t hang about though.  She packed me off to the nursery full-time when I was 18 months old and even paid the extra so they’d keep me till teatime.  She told me later that all her wages went to pay the fees which shows how keen she was to be around me.

Then when I was four I started primary school and I was packed off to live with my Great Aunt Euphemia and Great Uncle George, my Dads aunt and uncle.  I say packed off but they lived in number 17 and we lived in number 11 which meant it was actually the stair next door.  I stayed there Monday – Wednesday, then  I spent Thursday with old Mrs McLuskey, Friday I was home, Saturday with my evil Granny and Sunday back home again.  A whole 2 days a week with my actual parents.  The rest of the time was with family members who regarded me as an imposition at best.  But they certainly didn’t like me.

Now when I were a boy your friends were the laddies who lived in your stair.  So that was Alan and Jammy from the first and ground floor in number 11.  That’s who you played Japs and Commandos and Cowboys and Indians with in the back green.  They were also in your class at school so you spent your time with them there as well.

It’s only when you get to secondary school that you choose your friends as your early life gets broken up.  I remember turning 11 at the end of first year and suddenly realising that I was the only one with no friends.  They just didn’t like me.  I didn’t know why and in the seventies asking that kind of question would have got you a good kicking.  So I decided that if they didn’t like me I would give them a good reason for it.  Which explains my remaining years at school.

Fast forward 15 years and I still have no friends.  It’s probably part of the reason I moved around a lot and changed jobs regularly.  It didn’t give people a chance to dislike me fully.  So you will realise my surprise when this beautiful, funny and lively girl liked me.  I only found later that she was no quite right as well but she took to me, befriended me, loved me and married me.

At the time Mrs H did have friends and they tolerated me for her sake but it was noticeable that they all abandoned her in time.  I was born strange, life made Linda that way.  So for over 25 years she was my wife and my best (and only) friend.  She was the reason I got up every day.  I sobered up, knuckled down and tried to give her the best life possible.  And look how that ended up.  You can’t factor in the NHS first crippling and then killing her.

And that’s why I’m such a mess.  She is the only person in my entire life who found any value in me.  I was worthless before her and I’m worthless now.  All I can hope for is that it won’t be too long before we’re back together.  Minus the cheap lager.

lindaandme

*one for the Blackfoot fans out there