Today I reached the age of 60 and its been interesting looking back at some things in my life.
My father died 50 years ago in 1961 when I was 9 and in those days there was not the back ups in place that there is now and my Mother had to go out to work to support us and at times it was tough for her to work, run a home and look after my brother and myself but she managed it. Even so I have to say I had a happy childhood, we were always warm and well fed even though at times I know my mother struggled to make ends meet. Sadly she died in 1997 but if she can read this I just want to say one thing, THANK YOU.
School life was pretty normal and like any self respecting school boy I got up to the usual japes. One I will briefly mention is that part of the school cross country run was part of the route used by the local council refuse lorries going to the tip and many is the time that they went up the road with a group of school boys hanging on the back! Anyone who knows me now will probably find it strange that I always enjoyed cross country running, it would probably kill me now!
In September 1968 I joined what was than the South Eastern Division of the Southern Region of British Rail. At the time I did not realise it but joining the railway was like gaining a second family. Over the years I have worked my way up from working at station level to my present job of Internal Auditor. On my way I have made lots of lifelong friends. In fact the rail industry has always supported each other and looked after there own. Staff are keen supporters of charity and support our own old peoples home, Dr Barnados, several local hospices and a charity called The Railway Children which supports underprivileged children. I feel very honoured to have worked for such an organisation for over 40 years and the support I have had with my health problems has been fantastic.
In June 1990 my daughter was born and added a new element to my life, she has progressed through the education system and is now in her second year at Hull Medical School = one proud Dad!
In December 1998 my life was brought to a sudden halt when I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma something which I have been fighting ever since. In May 2009 I was told that I only had months to live which caused me much distress. I read an article in a newspaper the other day which said that the life expectancy of people diagnosed with Non Hodgkins was 520 weeks, thats 10 years in old money. However 12 years on I am still here but I must admit to having some very black moments at times and believe you 3 in the morning is a very lonely time and many is the time I have wondered if I am on borrowed time. I would like to say a special thank you a very special friend whose love and support has and still does mean an awful lot to me.
As to the future - well I do not think I will be around for another 60 years but I have no intention of giving up the fight, and one chapter and book will be closed and another one will start.