Hearing my daughters, Mia, three, and Vaila, two, squeal with delight as their father, Michael, 40, chases them around our garden, my heart soars. This was the life I always wanted – a home filled with love and laughter. But, though I adore Michael and my girls, there will always be part of my heart that belongs to my late husband, David.
David and I were childhood sweethearts. Wemet at the Orkney County Show during August 2003 – he was 16 and I was 17 – and if his cheeky smile and dreamy brown eyes weren’t enough to win me over, he also came from a similar farming background to me. When he joined my sixth form that September, we spent every moment together, and I truly believed we’d grow old hand in hand.
We spent a few years forging our own career paths, me working in hospitality, and David on his family farm, stealing moments when we could, but the time we spent apart only strengthened our love and dedication. Then, on Friday 13 June 2008, we married at St Magnus Cathedral. While our choice in date gave some people pause, we simply didn’t care. We weren’t superstitious and only wanted to start our future together.
Naturally, we discussed having a family. David and I both wanted kids, but as I was only 22 figured we had plenty of time. Only, before we had any exciting news to share, David fell ill.
It started with night sweats that November, but then he lost his appetite and his weight plummeted. Initially, doctors suspected a virus, but David continued to get worse, until he went to Balfour Hospital A&E with agonising stomach pains. By the time I got away from the care home where I worked, David was being transferred to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, so we knew it was serious.
I felt sick with worry as doctors in Aberdeen carried out dozens of blood tests, scans and an ECG, until David was admitted to the Haematology ward.
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