Dreamy huge skies, crashing waves, long golden sand beach, great company and plenty of time on our hands.......winter was going so well. Then one Thursday evening at the beginning of March, our world was turned upside down with 2 simple phone calls.
The first was my (Katie) mum. Six weeks previously, I had been to hospital for a biopsy on a new mole that had appeared on thigh last spring. My mum rang to say that the hospital had rang her, wouldn't tell her anymore than to say I had to fly back from Sicily immediately to see the consultant. There was no messing about with what that meant; the biopsy result was not good news. So, pretty gobsmacked by this, I downed a glass of wine whilst waiting for Tim to return from the shower block.
Armed with a bottle of beer for my hubbie, I told him what had happened and we both sat there feeling pretty stunned - how bad was this? We didn't know.
Ten minutes later, one of our closest friends rang from Montenegro. This was also very unusual. Tim took the call outside and returned 10 minutes later, looking green. It had been Michelle, to tell us that her partner, our dear dear friend David, was dead. He was 48.
How to deal with that? Well, it certainly put the first phone call into perspective. Jesus. How could life suddenly turn to shit, in an instant?
Well, because it does. It pretty much always does. The rollercoaster that is our lives.
It is now 8 months later and I'm sat in Michelle's house in Montenegro, attempting to look after her dog, while she is back in the UK sorting out yet more fallout from this catastrophe. And we are here, trying to help her get on with her life, without her life partner. It is tragic on so many levels and I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to lose the person I was planning to spend the rest of my life with.
I miss David being here, I miss talking to him, mucking about with him, I miss telling him off and I miss having a laugh with him. How many times I have wished we could turn back the clock, start afresh and things turn out differently - a childlike longing for the impossible.
He should be here.
So another brutal reminder that we are soon to be nothing but memories made my own brush with cancer possibly even more of a eye-opener. Yes, it was cancer, malignant melanoma and they cut it all out, delaying our departure from Sicily but thankfully that was that and life for me goes on.
You never know what is around the corner and we are lucky enough to be able to live out our daily lives in a pretty fantastic way which ten years ago, I'd never have dreamed possible. For David, he was at the turning point of a new life in Montenegro, which he now will never enjoy.
And our lives here are all the poorer for that.
RIP you lovely man. You will always, always be missed.