Tag Archives: Alter Bridge

Karate And Me – Part 7 – 1989 A Year To Grow Up

KARATE AND ME

PART 7 – 1989 A YEAR TO GROW UP

So 1988 finished on a high after recovery from an injury, then 1989 should have been plain sailing, continued growth, I guess it was but for wholly different reasons.

An injury that happens due to an accident or an incident, like my ruptured ankle is one thing, but an injury that can’t be seen or can’t be explained is another thing.  As the new year moved on, I was still training five times a week, Sunday was the busiest by far, it was a three and half hour slog every week, firstly teaching beginners for one hour, then two hours training in the general class and then an additional half an hour for just the brown and black belts, it was a hard day.

In early 89, I found that I would wake in the early hours of Monday morning, suddenly wake in pain, my shins just below my knees would be screaming in pain, when this happened there was no getting back to sleep, there was no position I could find to ease the pain, nothing I could do, I would just lie in bed crying with the pain, for weeks I kept it to myself, but then eventually I told my Mum and she arranged an appointment with a Doctor.

As the weeks went by I began to get aches and pains in my knees too, during training and after, it never really went away, but that pain on Sunday nights/Monday mornings was the worst.

Up until I was 15 I was under 5ft in height, suddenly in the first few months of 89 I had grown to pretty much my current height of 5ft 4½ inches, when I saw the Doctor he explained that I had Osgood-Schlatter Disease, it sounds severe, but essentially is severe growing pains.  He explained that the growth plates within my lower legs were not growing at the same rate and the pressure of my training was causing the pain, even the pain that would wake me in the middle of the night.  There wasn’t much that he could do, other than prescribe painkillers, it would eventually go, in other words I would grow out of it too, but it could be sometime, he advised that when the pain became severe to take time off training.

Over the coming months I would skip training for weeks at a time when it became bad, I tried to train through it, but it wasn’t always possible.

In terms of competition,  I still competed, but for the fighting my growth changed the category I was in.  At that time competition was catorised by height with under 5 feet and over 5 feet, all my success had come at under 5 feet, everyone was pretty much my height, we were all well matched, now it wasn’t so.  My first competition in the new height group was the Nationals, although I didn’t change the way I fought, I still waited and counter attacked, it made it harder, the distance changed because most of my opponents were now inches taller and so this changed my timing, that first competition I got through to the quarter finals, but lost to the eventual champion, he must have been almost six foot, his reach was way beyond mine and he just picked me off at random, it was a learning experience to say the least and from there I had to re-assess my style of fighting.

Over the summer I took more time off training, the pain wasn’t going away and at times it got worse, especially those Sunday nights, I came to dread going to sleep on Sunday night and not because it was school the next day, because I knew it was going to be painful.

Then one evening during the early summer Alan asked if he could speak with my Dad and me after a class, he took us aside and then dropped the bombshell.  He had decided that he was going to emigrate to Australia, only it would be this coming October, but he needed to organise the people who he wanted to continue running the club.  My Dad had been helping take the money at the club for some time, he helped Alan out where he could, which allowed Alan to concentrate on just teaching, so Alan asked if Dad could keep doing this, but it was his choice of instructors that was the big bombshell.  I was only fifteen and my club mate Darren was only seventeen, but Alan had decided we were the two people he wanted to continue the teaching at the club, Darren being older would be Senior Instructor and I would be Assistant Instructor, Darren’s Mum would become Secretary and handle the admin and my Dad would collect the money and help Julia organise things.

I don’t think it was so much as a request from Alan, I’m not sure he really offered me a choice, but I didn’t refuse and neither did my Dad, he had already approached Darren and Julia by this point and they had agreed, so did we, so it was all set.  After the next club grading at the end of September Alan would step down and leave the country just a few weeks later.  He had arranged for a couple of other junior students to run the Lincoln club with the help of their parents, but at the last minute those plans changed and a couple of other seniors who ran other clubs in the Lincoln area took over that club.

I don’t think at that time I really realised what that would mean in terms of my life, I was fifteen, it was just karate, although a big part of my life, I didn’t see it having such a big influence on the direction that my life would follow from that point.  From this point on, my life would begin to revolve around the club, my life choices were formed around what was best for the club and it’s students, although I didn’t have much of a plan for my life at that point, they would all have to revolve around the club I was now tied to.

My main apprehension at that point was how I would be received by other members of the club, mainly by our adult section.  I was senior than most of them in terms of grade and experience, but I was a junior in terms of age, our adult section ranged from ages 18 through to people in their 50s and 60s, if I was to be taken seriously by them and other club instructors, I had a lot of growing up to do.

But in those early months, my fears were all for nothing, the seniors seemed to understand the pressure both myself and Darren found ourselves in and helped us as much as they could, they stood by us and the transition went smoothly.  If anything is was our peers, the other guys that were of a similar age and grades, they were the ones that fell away, some left to go to college or university, others I guess found it difficult to adjust to us teaching, they simply left overtime, but the seniors, they stayed with us and encouraged us, I will never forget that, the respect they showed us both.

As the year came to a close there were once more a number of competitions, the first of which was just a week or so before Alan left at the Regionals, as a club we had our best competition yet, we returned with numerous trophies.  For me I had a break through, this time in kata, for the first time I made the individual final for kata at a Regional level, I finished fourth, but it was a break through, especially as my effectiveness in the fighting was now challenged by my lack of height.

As November came around my, knees were still causing trouble, when I returned to the Newark Open, I made the finals of the kata and the kumite, but in the last round of the kumite I clashed knees with my opponent, my knees were already aching, but due to the pain and bruising, I decided to withdraw, I regret it now, I should have just gone for it, but at the time I sat out and watched the others compete in the finals, thinking that I could have beaten them.

A week later I went back to the Ipswich Open, once more in the morning I made the kata final and then in the afternoon competed in the kumite.  I made it through to the quarter finals and then faced the tallest guy in the competition.  I remember the early exchanges, I waited and he attacked, again he out reached me and I wasn’t quiet as quick as I was due to the lack of training over the last few months, so it was hard, I just couldn’t match him.  Then he came in with a punch to the face, I tried to get underneath it, to block and counter as he came in, but he hit me full in the face, I just remember everything happening in slow motion as I slowly fell to the ground.

When I came around I was flat on my back and it seemed there was blood everywhere, the referees rushed over to me and then the first aiders came over, my mouth felt numb and I put my tongue to the left side of my mouth and realised I had a large hole in my top lip, it was torn wide open.

The first aiders helped me back to their station, while the referees disqualified my opponent.  I had made it through to the finals, but first there was the small problem of the hole in my lip.  The first aiders said they couldn’t do anything for me and it would have to be stitched at the hospital.  One of the local volunteers agreed to drive myself and my Mum to the hospital.  I was helped up to go to his car, I took a few steps across the hall and once again everything went into slow motion and I found myself once again slowly slipping to the floor, I had collapsed again, by this point it was obvious I was going to take no further part in the competition.

I was taken to hospital and eventually had six stitches in my lip.  I made it back to the venue just in time to collect my two trophies, still in my blood soaked suit.  For the second time in two weeks I made the finals, but couldn’t compete in the final, I regretted the decision not to compete in the finals the previous week even more.

I couldn’t eat properly for a number of days, it felt like half my mouth was closed due to the swelling, my parents kept me off school for a few days, by the time I went back to school it looked a mess, the dried blood had scabbed around the stitches and it was still swollen, it didn’t look good at all.  They told us at the hospital that the stitches would dissolve after a week or so, almost three weeks later I still had four stitches still in there, the other two I had managed to get out with my tongue and my teeth, eventually a parent of one of my students, who used to be a nurse, cut them out for me.  I still have the scar on my lip, in time I would add to it, I’ve only had two sets of stitches in my life and the second set would be in the very same place as the first!

So 1989 came and went, the nineties approached and the growing up was to continue.  When you take responsibility for something, especially at the age that I did, I guess you have no choice but to grow up quickly, what I originally found daunting I would begin to grow into, I would begin to grow as a person and a student myself.

BRAND NEW START by ALTER BRIDGE
Against the sky
Streams of light
Call out to me and you

We leave as one
We’ve just begun
To find the solace we’re due
This is the life we must choose

We will make a brand new start
From the pieces torn apart
The break of day is before us

Cast your sorrows to the wind
Let the highway take us in
As we escape the disorder

This desert road
That we call home
This is our destiny
We’ll chase the setting sun
As we outrun
A life of agony
God how we ache to be free

We will make a brand new start
From the pieces torn apart
The break of day is before us

We will make a brand new start
From the pieces torn apart
The break of day is before us

We’ll make our way
We’ll make our way
We’ll make our way
We’ll make our way

Karate And Me – Part 6 – Stagnation To The Winning Week

KARATE AND ME

PART 6 – STAGNATION TO THE WINNING WEEK

It’s fair to say that my karate progress has gone along at differing rates, so many times it has just moved along at a rate so slow, it’s hard to see any progress, then there have been big jumps in progress, it seems that’s the way it has always been, no steady progress, just very slow or very rapid, kind of all or nothing, I guess that sums up my character.

Following that period of success, starting with the runners up position at the regionals, passing my second dan and then third place at the nationals, everything slowed down once again.  In a way, there wasn’t that much to aim at for a while.

In terms of gradings, that was it until I was twenty one.  In our organisation, both then and now, the age limit for taking third dan was twenty one, some associations have a limit on first dan for juniors, but here in the U.K. there is rarely a limit on first and second dan, but third dan has that age limit, so for me at that period of time, grading became a distant thought.  I have to say that I fully agree with that, even though I did wait eight years to grade again, I don’t regret it and I believe it’s the right thing to do, even though I had a lot of knowledge at that point, at that age you don’t really have the maturity.  I was angered a few years back, when I saw that a senior instructor who split from that organisation and started his own, he changed that rule to eighteen, to promote his star student, in truth I thought it was a bit of a joke, because I knew the student in question and I had reservations about him, not so much his ability, but the general attitude he displayed to fellow students and competitors, as I say, I don’t believe he had the maturity to go with such a grade.

So the rest of 1987 went by without any major incident, I entered the regionals again that year, but in the fighting I was soundly beaten in the early rounds, the only success came as part of a team kata squad, Alan put me with two other lads, Darren and Ian, both were older, bigger and better than I was, but he decided we were the best team the club could put together at that time.  In team kata, as a three you perform the same kata in formation and synchronised, the three make a triangle, with on person in front and then two behind.  Generally you try to keep the two together at the back a similar size, so naturally I was the leader at the front, something that I have generally done all my career, even later on as part of the England team.  So I was the leader, I gave all the commands and set the tempo for the kata, essentially if I was off the team was off, there was no hiding when you’re in front.  It was our first outing as a team and we made the final four, I think we practiced really hard on our first kata to get through to the final, but not so much on a different kata should we get there, but we achieved the first priority, reach the final, but sadly we finished fourth out of four, but still received a trophy.

After that there wasn’t any further success for over a year, training was good, I was still training five times a week, still teaching with the beginners class, our black belt group was growing all the time and the club was growing, everything was good, so it’s hard to put a finger on why I didn’t continue with the successes I had had, but I guess these things happen from time to time.  In fairness, I have always said that the best lessons are learnt through failure, it makes you go back, to access and analyse things, a chance to work on things that aren’t quite right, so maybe it was a good thing.

In the summer of 1988 I had a major set back.  I had joined a local football club with a number of friends from school and over the summer we were preparing for the new season.  At a training session one Wednesday night I suffered an injury that put me in a plaster for a month.  I was running with the ball and my friend ran across me, taking my back leg with him, it was completely by accident, just one of those comings together, but my studs kept my foot stuck in the ground and I was spun around whilst my ankle ligaments twisted, as I fell to the ground my foot stayed flat in the ground and it torn my ankle apart as I fell, my ligaments were shredded.

I was taken to hospital, where they x-rayed the ankle, but they sent me home strapped up until some of the swelling had gone down and two days later I was put in plaster, it had severely torn my ligaments, I was now facing a month in plaster and then further time out until I could train again.

My Dad wasn’t happy, neither was Alan, my Dad said that after all that karate training I had no injuries and I do a few weeks of football and end up with ruptured ankle.  Alan wasn’t happy as he wanted myself, Darren and Ian to continue working together for that years regionals, which were coming up at the beginning of October, it was cutting it fine as I wouldn’t be out of plaster until the end of September, but he didn’t want to change the team at this stage.

I spent a month in plaster and then went back to have the plaster removed, if you have ever had limb put in plaster, you’ll know there is that moment of shock when the plaster is removed and a skinny looking thing with pale, flaking skin is there in front of you.  Where had it gone, my leg was tiny now from the calf down, in fact it still is, my right leg still looks skinny compared to the left, even after almost thirty years.

They told me to keep my weight of it for a week or so and to use crutches to get around.  I had use crutches for the first few days it was in plaster, but as they had given me a shoe to wear for the plaster, I had just walked around with that without using the crutches, I hated them.  So after walking home using the crutches, as soon as I got home, I put them aside and refused to use them ever again.  That was a Friday morning, I went to watch training that evening, but being sat there, with my foot out of plaster, I found it irritating not being able to do anything, so Sunday afternoon I defied Doctor’s orders and went back training.  I tried to take it easy, but soon got caught up in trying as hard as everyone else, some things were hard, I couldn’t turn on that foot as easily as I used to be able to, but after a few weeks, it was business as usual and our team was back practicing for the regionals.

We performed well, but I guess our lack of practice costs us, we failed to make the final, it was close, but we missed out.  I didn’t fight that year because of the ankle injury, only kata and team kata, but missed out on medals in both, maybe next year.

At the end of 1988 there were two open competitions that would be on back to back weekends, one at Newark on the last Sunday of November and then one in Ipswich on the Saturday after, which was made more interesting as we moved house the day before.  At the Newark Open I was entered in kata and kumite, I made it through to both finals that day, I finished third in the kata and then faced an old club mate in the final of the kumite.

Malcolm was a good fighter, I can’t remember the exact reason why, but he wasn’t training with us at that time, he was training with another local club, although we were all still good friends.  This competition was run on the unusual rules and they made us wear body armour and head protection, neither of us were used to this, but we made the most of it.  In the final I took the lead, fighting my usual way, just waiting for the opponent to come in, then counter attacking, I was leading when Malcolm made a series of punches to the head, the referee firstly warned him and then the second time disqualified him, as he announced it we both stood there wondering what was going on, I wasn’t particularly bothered by the punches, it was the head gear that was making it awkward, but the referees decision was final, I was awarded the fight, I was leading anyway, but still I didn’t want to win that way.

So the next weekend we went to Ipswich, I was in kata and kumite once again, but also in the team kata with Darren and Ian, as the eliminations went on I made the kata final and the team kata final, in the afternoon we had the kumite.  After fighting the previous week on the defensive, I decided to change my style in the first fight, I was against a lad I had beaten the weekend before, I decided to attack, pretty soon I lost the first point and almost lost the second, which would have seen me eliminated, Alan was refereeing and he gave me a look as if to say “what the heck are you doing!”  So I returned to my old style, I took the second point and then the decider to win the fight, so for the rest of the day I kept those same tactics, wait for them to come, I made the final once again and for the second weekend, it was me verses Malcolm, his chance for revenge from the weekend before.

I finished third once again in the kata, in the team kata we finished second and then it was the final of the kumite.  It was I guess a bit of a grudge match, this time no silly rules, no body armour and no head gear which caused more problems than it was worth, we were fighting the way we knew best, no gimics.

I kept the same tactics, wait and counter attack, Malcom was an aggressive fighter and liked to attack, so it was down to who was quickest, I took the first point by counter attacking and then the second doing the same, I was champion again for the second weekend running and any controversy or doubt about the result the week before was settled, we were still friends and remain so to this day.

It was a good return for seven very busy days, five trophies, two firsts, a second and two thirds, it was a good way to end a difficult year, but the bar was set for the year to come.

RISE TODAY by ALTER BRIDGE
The wind is blowing cold
Have we lost our way tonight?
Have we lost our hope to sorrow?

Feels like we’re all alone
Running further from what’s right
And there are no more heroes to follow

So what are we becoming?
Where did we go wrong?

Yeah, oh yeah
I want to rise today
And change this world

Yeah, oh yeah
Oh, won’t you rise today
And change this world?

The sun is beating down
Are we ever gonna change
Can we stop the blood from running?

Our time is running out
Hope we find a better way
Before we find we’re left with nothing

For every life that’s taken
So much love is wasted

Yeah, oh yeah
I want to rise today
And change this world

Yeah, oh yeah
So won’t you rise today
And change

This world
Only love can set it right
This world
If only peace would never die

Seems to me that we’ve got each other wrong
Was the enemy just your brother all along?

Yeah, oh yeah
I want to rise today
And change this world

Yeah, oh yeah
Oh won’t you rise today
And change this world?

Yeah, oh yeah
I want to rise today
And change this world

Yeah, oh yeah
I want to rise today
And change this world

From Pen To Paper

It’s seems like an age since I sat down to write anything of substance, these last three weeks have been so busy.  Over the last three weeks I’ve put in almost 40 hours of CAD work on top of my daily job and teaching karate.  Needless to say it’s not left an awful lot of time for writing, I had so many ideas a few weeks ago, now I can hardly remember what they were, maybe I will come back to them one day.

I have still managed a couple of poems in that time, a couple of which I really connected with, firstly Never?

NEVER?

Is this you or I?

If I never fly
I will never come crashing down

If I never try
I will never fail

If I never love
I will never feel the pain

But consider this…

To never run
Is to never win the race

To never try

Is to never succeed

To never practice 
Is to never perfect

To never fail 

Is to never learn

To never fall
Is to never recover

To never let go

Is to never be free

To never hope
Is to never believe

To never love

Is to never live

I’m not sure quite how I was feeling when I wrote this, I’m not even sure whether I wrote it for myself or to just help others, but I believe every word of it.

And then secondly Release The Fear….

RELEASE THE FEAR

There are things buried
Deep within our stories
With a need for release
No one says it will be easy
To share our deepest
Is to face a fear
To fight a fear

Release the fear
And let it fly
Release it into the light
Where even the darkest shadows
Cannot hide
In the light it finds the truth
And there it becomes no more

The thing about Release The Fear, is the way I actually wrote it.  It wasn’t something that had been floating around my mind for a few days or a couple of lines that suddenly began speaking to me, that I then formed a poem around, these are usually the way in which I write my poems, but this one was completely different and probably received the most comments I’ve had for a poem in while.

It came about on Wednesday evening, as usual Wednesday is our Connect Group evening and I got to talk about my biggest fear when everything in my life collapsed a couple of years ago, the fear of how I would be perceived when people heard what I had become.  I feared being labelled, rather than being helped, I feared being shunned, rather than accepted, alas all those fears were for nothing, as I was more than accepted, my scars and sin, none of that mattered at all, only building the new me.  So I shared all those fears with my group, painful to recall though they can be, sometimes you just have to release them.

So when I came home, I prepared my Verse of the Day post and then sat down to write my journal, just as I normally would.  I wrote about the evening and my feelings, then in the last paragraph at the bottom of the page, I wrote what would become the poem Release The Fear.  Why I wrote this in the way I that I did, I honestly do not know.  I looked at it immediately after I had finished my entry and thought instantly I had to make this into a poem, but I was so tired I left it.  So Thursday evening I typed it out, I changed the words from my to our and there it was, almost verbatim that I had written the night before.

I’ve never written anything that was so fluent, where it wrote itself without any conscious input from myself, it just flowed from the pen to the paper like never before.

I’ve got another busy week ahead, so I’m not sure whether I’ll get chance to write much this week, but we’ll see.

I KNOW IT HURTS by ALTER BRIDGE
And you say this ain’t living
You say you can’t go on
They only take as you’re given
And now your hope is all but gone

Though you lost your way (now is not forever)
But I know your pain

We all fall sometimes you’re not the first
But I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts

In the end you’ll find what you deserve
Still I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts
Ohhhh…

And the tide’s only rising
The storm is on it’s way… yeah
But you can’t keep on fighting
So battleworn and so afraid

Though it’s sad and wrong
I hope you will remember
That you must carry on

We all fall sometimes you’re not the first
But I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts

In the end you’ll find what you deserve
Still I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts

There’s still tomorrow
Hold on
Hold on
There’s still tomorrow
Just wait
Just wait
There’s still tomorrow
Hold on
Hold on

We all fall sometimes you’re not the first
But I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts
In the end you’ll find what you deserve
Still I know it hurts
Yeah I know it hurts

The Night I Stopped Believing

As I wrote earlier this week I have been reading the autobiography “The Reason” by Lacey Sturm, the former lead singer of the Christian band Flyleaf.  It resonates with me so much, as there are a few similarities within our stories.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe my life has been much easier than Lacey’s, far less dramatic, but I can identify with many of the dark episodes in her life, which obviously bring me full cycle and back to thinking about those episodes in my life.

There are a couple of these issues I have discussed previously one this blog and will probably write about once more in the coming weeks.  But one issue I am sure I have not written about in detail, I may have touched on this in previous posts, but never gone into any detail about my feelings of that time in my history.

I know I have only spoken with a handful of people about this moment in my life, I know I spoke with Gareth about this the night he came to visit.  That night we discussed my drinking problem and how I had found myself in such a hole.  Gareth talked about the power of God and asked if he could pray for me, which I agreed too, he prayed whilst I just sat there crying.  I did a lot of crying that night, if God collects our tears and keeps them in a jar, then my jar must have overflowed and created an ocean that night.

I often site on here that the first time I prayed was a two nights after that meeting with Gareth, on a night when despite all the stress and the strain of my life at that point, I got through the night without a drink, without the urge for a drink, without pacing the house, without scratching at my arms, without continually rubbing my hands together and without breaking down, that night I prayed and I tell myself that it was the first time I had ever prayed.

But that’s not exactly true, because I had prayed once before, but I bury the memory, I try to keep in a box, hidden, why?  Because I guess I am ashamed of that memory now.

My granddad was from Poland, after suffering at the hands of the Nazi’s and then the Russians, his two older brothers were thrown into a Russian truck and never seen again, his sister then arranged for his escape to here in the UK.  We understand he was only 15 at the time, but when he got here he lied about his age so he could join the army to fight.  He never spoke much about his time during the war, although my Dad says he would cry uncontrollably when there was anything on the TV that showed the holocaust.

My Granddad lived about twenty miles away from where we live, at the time my parents didn’t drive and although my Granddad did, he didn’t own a car.  Therefore myself and my sister only saw him a few times a year, my parents would put us on the bus to Blidworth and my Nanna would meet us at the bus stop, we would spend the day with them and then they would put us back on the bus and send us home.

My Granddad was a real character, I remember he would always be in the end chair in their long living room, sat in front of the TV, with his dog Sam sat next to him.  That’s my main memory of my Granddad, because that was where I would find him everytime I went to visit.

Then one night when I was eight years old, my Dad got a phone call and I could sense that something wasn’t right.  A few frantic phone calls later, my Dad’s friend came to pick him up and my Mum came into my room to explain the situation.

My Granddad had suffered a heart attack during the day, he wasn’t well at all and wasn’t expected to make it through the night.  My Dad’s friend had taken him over to Mansfield to see him.

That night I remember through the tears, praying to God to save me Granddad, I didn’t want him to die.  My family weren’t religious, but still at that time we still learnt about God and Jesus in school, about the miracles they had carried out, so I prayed, between the tears I poured my heart out to God, to keep my Granddad alive, to make him well.

The next morning we got the news that I really didn’t want to hear, that my Granddad hadn’t made it through the night, the news that he had died hit me hard.  I remembered the prayers that I had made all through the night and decided that either I had done it wrong or there was no God.

Unfortunately my heart fell on the side of there was no God.  At eight years old your at that age where you begin to learn that all these things that your parents made you believe where real, really weren’t, there was no Santa, no tooth fairy, no bogeyman and no Easter bunny, so at that age coming with all these revelations that these things that were unseen weren’t real, then if God didn’t answer my prayer and couldn’t keep my Granddad alive, then He couldn’t be real either.  So for the next 30 years I carried that notion that God didn’t exist.

I know in Lacey’s book she has similar doubts at the death of her three year old cousin, who was murdered by his father, she simply stopped believing, reading this made me explore why I stopped too and as I suspected this was the night, back in February 1982.

When I spoke with Gareth that life changing Monday night, I said that this was one of the reasons why I stopped believing, that this prayer that went unanswered crushed any faith that I may have had.  I thought then that if there was a God, then I must have prayed wrongly, Gareth assured me there was no right or wrong way to pray.  That’s why when a woke the morning after I prayed for strength a few evenings later from that meeting, I knew that I had got it right this time and there was a God, who was there for me.

Last year I had to go through the deaths of my two Nanna’s, firstly on my Mum’s side and then just two months later my Dad’s Mother.  It was painful, but these were the first close death’s that I had experienced since my Granddad dying all those years before, back then I never went to the funeral, my parents didn’t want us to go through that, so these were the first two and only two funerals that I have been too.

I came to the conclusion that it was just their time, just like back then it was just my Granddad’s time.  His wartime experience in Poland left him with a number of ailments that troubled him throughout the rest of his life and he never stopped working down the mine at Blidworth, it was just his time to go.

It took an instant to stop believing, it then took a life changing moment to start believing.  I know that only that pain of realisation that my life was a mess and I had lost the one I loved,  brought me to my knees and a place where after looking down into the dirt for so long, that the only place left was to look up and find the light.

I buried the memories of that night over thirty two years ago, a painful memory and one that I have to say I am now ashamed of, but I feel the time is right to explore that memory, bring it out into the open and finally lay it to rest.

IN LOVING MEMORY by ALTER BRIDGE
Thanks for all you’ve done
I’ve missed you for so long
I can’t believe you’re gone
You still live in me
I feel you in the wind
You guide me constantly

I’ve never knew what it was to be alone, no
Cause you were always there for me
You were always there waiting
And ill come home and I miss your face so
Smiling down on me
I close my eyes to see

And I know, you’re a part of me
And it’s your song that sets me free
I sing it while I feel I can’t hold on
I sing tonight cause it comforts me

I carry the things that remind me of you
In loving memory of
The one that was so true
Your were as kind as you could be
And even though you’re gone
You still mean the world to me

I’ve never knew what it was to be alone, no
Cause you were always there for me
You were always there waiting
But now I come home and it’s not the same, no
It feels empty and alone
I can’t believe you’re gone

And I know, you’re a part of me
And it’s your song that sets me free
I sing it while I feel I can’t hold on
I sing tonight cause it comforts me

I’m glad he set you free from sorrow
I’ll still love you more tomorrow
And you will be here with me still

And what you did you did with feeling
And You always found the meaning
And you always will
And you always will
And you always will

Ooo’s

And I know, you’re a part of me
And it’s your song that sets me free
I sing it while I feel I can’t hold on
I sing tonight cause it comforts me

Verse of the Day – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

For the young family that I’ve known for so many years, who tragically lost their Mother this morning, I know He is with you this evening.

I am sure your prayers will be appreciated at this time.

IN LOVING MEMORY by ALTER BRIDGE
Thanks for all you’ve done
I’ve missed you for so long
I can’t believe you’re gone
You still live in me
I feel you in the wind
You guide me constantly

I’ve never knew what it was to be alone, no
Cause you were always there for me
You were always there waiting
And ill come home and I miss your face so
Smiling down on me
I close my eyes to see

And I know, you’re a part of me
And it’s your song that sets me free
I sing it while I feel I can’t hold on
I sing tonight cause it comforts me

I carry the things that remind me of you
In loving memory of
The one that was so true
Your were as kind as you could be
And even though you’re gone
You still mean the world to me

I’ve never knew what it was to be alone, no
Cause you were always there for me
You were always there waiting
But now I come home and it’s not the same, no
It feels empty and alone
I can’t believe you’re gone

And I know, you’re a part of me
And it’s your song that sets me free
I sing it while I feel I can’t hold on
I sing tonight cause it comforts me

I’m glad He set you free from sorrow
I’ll still love you more tomorrow
And you will be here with me still

And what you did you did with feeling
And You always found the meaning
And you always will
And you always will
And you always will

And I know, you’re a part of me
And it’s your song that sets me free
I sing it while I feel I can’t hold on
I sing tonight cause it comforts me