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Updated: Oct 16, 2022

If only we knew then what we know now....

That's a throwaway phrase we use all the time, but would we really want to know what was coming? That's what I'm thinking about today.

Hands up, who uses the Timehop App? I have always enjoyed seeing where we were and what we were doing this time X years ago. September has always been my fave Timehop month as it's always holiday photos. This year September is hard.

This photograph was taken 3 years ago today. This was the last holiday that the 4 of us took, not just the last one together, but the last one full stop. The Covid 19 pandemic put pay to any plans we had for even a short break in 2020 or 2021 one way or another. None of us could have predicted that!

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing but foresight is better, especially when it comes to saving life, or some pain! — William Blake

Once covid hit, none of us felt safe to go abroad with dad's heart condition until things with covid had calmed down. In September 2021 we all booked leave and planned to go away to Cornwall. As we were about to go all 4 of us one by one got covid so the plans had to be cancelled. Our next leave was November, but we all agreed dad was too ill for us to go anywhere remote even in this country as he was waiting for his valve surgery - we wanted to stay close to where his surgical centre was in case he needed to go in sooner. We didn't worry though as we talked about the holidays we'd have when his surgery was done. Dad said he "didn't care what the insurance cost, it was gonna be a big holiday, even if it was the last one he could afford." Little did we know that this would never happen. In March this year we he had fully recovered from his surgery, was more well than he had been in years and the planning began. This month we were planning a UK holiday with a cruise in the pipeline for next year. We never thought for one minute that we would be where we are now, up to our neck deep in grief and struggling to look more than a day ahead.

The four of us have ever really been risk takers. We always take the sensible option and play safe. Being a doctor made this even worse as I always think of what might happen and how it would play out! So knowing what I know now, knowing that cruise in 2019 would have been our last as a foursome, would I have done things any differently? I dare say I would have, but the end result would have been the same - dad would still be gone and no amount of extra holidays could make that any less painful.

So what's my advice after all this thinking about what might have been? It's the same as it has always been - live life to the full, enjoy every minute and make memories. Memories can be anything, they don't have to be big expensive gestures! The memories you hang on to and go back to won't be the big things, it will be those little things that seemed so insignificant at the time!

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