angel wings coming out of a love heart shape

Just Because I Smile Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Miss You

Today I smiled a whole lot more than I have done over the last few weeks. Losing someone can tear you to pieces or it can help you to become stronger. There’s nothing anyone can say that really makes it better but it does help to know that there are people around you that care. When you start to smile more, it doesn’t mean that you miss them any less.

The person you lost wants you to be happy

They want you to continue to cherish all of the amazing things there are to life; even though there’s evil. Looking over you, they want to see you making more memories; even though they’re no longer there to make them with.

Listen to sad songs from time to time but don’t dig yourself too far into a hole where all you have are sad lyrics and darkness. Be grateful for all of the good times you’ll forever hold close to your heart. Remember the upbeat person that they were and add their spirit to your life.

There are going to be times that aren’t as easy as others. Finding ways to smile more can help. Don’t neglect the possibility of laughter and warmth from your loved ones.

Uncle Dom, whenever I smile, remember it doesn’t mean I don’t miss you. The acceptance of losing you has hit me hard. Knowing you would want us all to be strong as difficult as it can be, is what I hope for.

I’ll smile when I think about your vocabulary of words; those rock ‘n’ roll dance moves, the classic Irish accent; the time you gave to listen; your strength when suffering; most of all, your love for us all. You’re not here in person for me to tell you all of this so I hope that by using some of your magic, the message will get to you.

The next challenge

Race for Life is getting closer. I’m going to do my best to hold it together. At the end though, it’s likely I’ll cry wishing you were here. It’s time to accept that there’s nothing we can do about that. We have to do everything in our power to live your life on. A piece of you will always remain a part of us.

https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/team/tasha-and-danny

rows of church candles

There’s No Set Time to Grieve for the Ones You Love

Many times I’ve spoken about losing loved ones but here I am again, sharing the feelings of losing another family member. Uncle Dom, another soul taken to heaven too soon.

I remember when I was younger and my grandad received one card in particular when my granny passed away. Some of the words read, “…time will heal.” It’s true. But remember that ‘time’ is different for everyone. There’s no measurement of time that determines how long you should grieve for.

I underestimated the amount tears I’d cry. With experience of losing close family members before you think it won’t be as hard. But it is and that’s the honest truth. That’s because each individual person leaves a mark on your heart in their own special way. Uncle Dom left plenty with me – his voice of compliments on repeat; a pint to raise cheers with family and friends; and making memories with everyone.

There’s one thing I can’t promise and that’s not to cry. It’s very hard when you’re remembered by so many people near and far. Even when I think I’m okay, it only takes something small to trigger emotions. Either that or I see flashbacks – a rush of childhood memories; to growing up; to now. This can’t be where the journey ends?

You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
– Winnie the Pooh

Uncle Dom was so brave. He never complained when he got ill, he might have had some mood swings here and there but nothing other than what you’d expect to be going through was he was.

During his life he referred to things as being ‘magic’ and the fact he kept his spirits as high as possible for those around him during the hardest times was, in my eyes, magical.

It’s kinda hard not to dampen the mood. It was always granny and grandad or auntie Linda and uncle Dom. No doubt it’ll take me a while to get used to it. Even though I said I’m bound to cry at times, I’ll do my best to be as strong as I can. Auntie Linda needs you to shine bright in the sky to show her that you’re looking over her each day.

You don’t have to have it all together every single day. Life can be so hard and it’s okay not be okay. Don’t forget to surround yourself with the ones that love you.

Life can change within a very short amount of time and every moment matters. That’s why I’m fundraising for Cancer Research UK because every little bit helps towards research saving a life. At first, I was inspired to take part after seeing uncle Dom’s strength to fight but now it’s in memory of him. Donations can be made by visiting theGiving Page.

Thank you for all the kind donations so far.

Irish flag

The Bravest Irishman I’ll Ever Know

Sitting here with my headphones on trying to figure out a way to put all of the words together. Facing the fact that as you get older, you lose more people in your life, can be difficult. Not just friends who drift away but family members who you were close to. I don’t believe that there’s ever a right time or that we can make ourselves ready, even if we know it’s coming.

When I take part in Race for Life next month it’s going to be a very emotional day. This isn’t only because of the huge crowds supporting Cancer Research UK. The run in Manchester takes place on the same day as my auntie and uncle’s ruby wedding anniversary. I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to help others who aren’t aware of neuroendocrine tumours.

My uncle might have been stubborn at times but his heart was always in the right place. Throughout all of my life, he was always there and he always cared. He welcomed anyone and everyone into his life. And we all know when getting a taxi home from his and auntie Linda’s, uncle Dom would always go out to the taxi driver to make sure you got you home safe.

Growing up as a child, uncle Dom always made me tea and toast for breakfast. And I mean, he would pile loads on a plate to make sure you were full. Whenever I was sent home with a bad migraine from work he was there to let me into his house to either give me a blanket to lie on the couch with or send me up to bed with a glass of water. When we were little and I stayed over with my friends, he used to come into the room at night with a torch on his face and pretend to be a ghost.

I remember sitting there with you in the living room watching Fifteen to One after school. Every time I see a cowboy or Christmas film I’ll think of you.

There’s no one quite like you. Your love for Man United, Rex and Tyson, Poker on your laptop, Irish music, a can of beer, and love for your family was like no other.

Uncle Dom you’re no longer in pain. The world is going to be such a different place without the crazy ‘Irish Salfordian’ in town. Here’s to you and all of the good times you brought into our lives. Miss and love you always.


If Cancer Research UK is close to your heart please support me as I run in memory of uncle Dom and to help others facing cancer. Donations can be made via our Cancer Research UK Giving Page. 

ribbon rolled out

Neuroendocrine Tumours and Race for Life with Cancer Research UK

Sadly, news has hit that my uncle has neuroendocrine tumours. Although it’s a short time to train, the news gives me more than enough motivation to start fundraising for Cancer Research UK. Anyone who knows me, understands how much raising money for charity means to me, especially when it comes to family. It’s been a couple of years since my last charity run but me and Danny will be taking part in Race for Life next month in Manchester.

Did you know that neuroendocrine tumours are rare?

According to Cancer Research UK, over 4,000 people in the UK each year are diagnosed with Neuroendocrine cancer also known as ‘Neuroendocrine tumours’ (NETs). Neuroendocrine cells are in the majority of organs in our body including the stomach, lungs and pancreas.

I want more people to know about this type cancer because of how rare it is. My uncle knew something wasn’t right when he was struggling to empty his bowels for weeks. Other symptoms have included, loss of appetite, sickness, weight loss and change of skin colour (grey).

His GP diagnosed uncle Dom with diverticulosis due to age. It wasn’t until he went into hospital that there was something more. It took a little while but the doctors and consultants carried out several tests including a biopsy, bloods and PET scan.

Motivation to take part in Race for Life

I want to raise as much as possible to help promote more awareness and more research towards fighting cancer. It’s something we hear about so often these days but there’s still no easy way of breaking the news to someone.

My uncle isn’t the first person in my family to face cancer so there’s even more reason to make taking part in this year’s Race for Life. I hope that by raising awareness, I will encourage others to participate. Don’t let the word ‘race’ put you off. Honestly, you can go at whatever pace works for you. Remember the real reason why you’re taking part.

All donations can be made on Tasha and Danny’s Race for Life. Thank you so much for everyone’s donations so far. It means the world to us and my family.

I’m ready to do this. And I hope that at least one of you out there will be too.

The Winter Tag

I haven’t took part in Blogmas so here’s my Christmassy themed blog post! The one and only Lynette from Life With Lynette tagged me in ‘The Winter Tag’ where bloggers choose 8 bloggers to answer some Christmas related questions. Well, I can’t say no to participating in this can I? Lynette always tags me blog related things. She really is so lovely.

Here we go…

What is your favourite holiday tradition?

Sometimes I wonder if I have a Christmas tradition… then I think surely we all have at least one? Christmas for me has always been about spending the day with family, seeing everyone have a good time with a smile on their face. A tradition that mum seems to keep going is getting me to wrap all of the Christmas she’s bought. Just the other day she mentioned that she’s going to pay for my taxi fare once I move out next year. We’ll see about that one mum!

I’m so excited for me and Danny to make traditions of our own home.

What is your favourite winter scent?

Hmmmm… many people seem to love different winter scented candles such as ginger or cinnamon. I don’t even have any candles around the house at mum and dad’s. I’m not too sure why. Does the smell of mum’s Christmas dinner as it’s cooking count as a good enough answer to this question? I hope so because it’s at the top of the list for me. You can probably tell that I love my food.

What is your favourite winter go-to fashioned trend?

As a little girl I think mum used to put me in cute little dresses. As I got older I think I stuck to jeans and a nice knitted winter top or jumper. Over the past few years I’ve gone for a dress, or skirt with a long sleeved top, tights and boots. This year’s skirt and top are both from New Look.

What is your all-time favourite holiday movie?

I have 2 favourite Christmas films. The first one is The Snowman (original version from 1982). It’s just under 30 minutes long but it always reminds me of my childhood. I watched it every year with my grandad, so whenever I see something snowman related, it makes me feel so happy.

My other all-time favourite is Miracle on 34th Street, again the original from 1947). Me and mum have seen different versions of the film but the original has always been our favourite. Whenever we notice that it’s on TV, we’re like “Ahhh look what’s on. It’s nearly Christmas!”

What’s your favourite all-time holiday tune?

Easy – Fairytale of New York by The Pogues. It isn’t even the jolliest of songs but it’s definitely the kind where it gets you in the mood to sing along. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday is another really good Christmas song to get you into the festive spirit. Everyone should be happy on Christmas Day, as well as every other day of the year. This songs gives you extra bit of Christmas spirit. My favourite Christmas song when I was little was Jingle Bells.

Do you prefer to travel or stay at home during the holidays?

I’ve always stayed at home during Christmas or eaten out at a restaurant not too far away from where we live. I hope one day I’ll be able to experience Christmas or the New Year somewhere other than home. I’ve always stayed with family but like I mentioned above, I can’t wait to make new Christmas memories with Danny.

Next year will be mine and Danny’s first Christmas in our home together. But maybe in the future, we’ll be able to go to New York because I’ve always wanted to go back and remember how magical it is in winter. Another place could be San Fransisco as that’s one of Danny’s dream places to go.

What’s your favourite winter activity?

Activity? In the winter? I don’t like the cold so erm… getting home to have a nice hot chocolate? I do love being all cosy when it’s chilly and windy outside. A bit like today really. But at the same time I like being all snug whenever me and Danny travel anywhere in the winter.

If you read about our latest trip to Amsterdam you’ll have seen that I was all wrapped up. I’m always cold as it is so many layers were needed. Having a walking radiator (Danny) with me always helps!

Do you love or hate the snow?

If you would’ve asked me this question when I was a little girl, I would’ve said love. There was something so exciting about waking up and seeing that the ground was covered in pure white snow. I’d play outside with my friends with no fear of the cold whatsoever.

But you’re asking me now so I’d have to say hate. Well hate might be a bit too strong of a word. I’m just not a fan of the slush, sleet, ice etc. And it’s me after all, I go flying in the wind. So you can imagine what I’m like when the snow turns to ice. This is why I was so surprised I managed to ice skate pretty well in Amsterdam since I hadn’t from the age of 8 years old!

What is one item on your wish list this year?

There’s nothing on my Christmas list this year. Anyone that knows me will know that I always love snuggly things like pyjamas though. I honestly am just so looking forward to moving in with Danny next year so most people are getting us little bits to help us out. Bring on 2019, it’s going to be amazing!

What is your favourite holiday treat?

Well, all the food. Seriously, all of it. But I do a bit (or a lot of) shortbread. Yesterday, mum came into the living room and said, “Look what I bought today.” It was a huge box of shortbread. I was in my element. Oh and every year there just has to be multiple tubs of chocolates. What’s Christmas without all of the chocolate?!

I choose the following bloggers for The Winter Tag:

Samantha at Believe In A Miracle
Megan at Megan Elizabeth Lifestyle
Rachel at Little World of Rachel
Nadia at Miel and Mint
Carly at Carly Bloggs
Shannon at Shanylou
Niamh at Grab A Cuppa
Gemma at But Gemma Darling

I understand that a lot of you will be busy at the moment so don’t worry if you don’t take part. I hope you all have the best Christmas and New Year!

To My Big Sister Who I Never Got to Meet

9th December is my sister’s birthday and anniversary. A day which my mum and dad never forget no matter how many years go by. A couple of years ago I finally asked mum the questions that were always on my mind about losing her baby girl. This year marks 26 years. And mum never puts the Christmas tree up until after 9th December.

Each year I wonder what it would’ve been like to have a big sister. You hear many siblings saying how they clash with their sisters or they can be annoying. But surely there are so many positives. Here are the things that I think about…

The girly chat and following a path of guidance

Friendships, periods, makeup, boys, general girl stuff, you know? And even coursework and exams. When it comes to guidance I’ve taken my own path and done things quite independently. As close as I am to my mum, I couldn’t always talk about all of the girly things. A lot of the time I kept a lot to myself unless I told a friend. I always felt behind when it came to boys, knowing how to apply makeup and being the girl you think you’re supposed to be. But then I hope that my sister would’ve told me to be the person I want to be and that is being myself.

Someone who’s there on stressful days when no one understands

I often imagine coming home and being able to run to the girl who would’ve been my big sister to scream, cry, or just rant away. Instead I scream into my pillow just like Lilo does with her sister in Lilo and Stitch. So perhaps, that how it would’ve been on some days anyway if we got in each other’s way?

The go to person for fashion advice

I know loads of girls complain when their sisters wear or borrow their clothes, some they never see themselves in ever again. But isn’t that part of being sisters? I also think that my big sister would’ve been amazing with advice on what to wear. I don’t know why but I just think she would’ve got me to be fashionable a lot sooner. It would’ve been funny to see the styles that we both went through influenced by our parents and then by our own decisions.

None of these thoughts can change anything but I remind myself…

I’ve got a best friend in my life who’s like a sister when it comes to someone who will sit in a car for at least an hour catching up and sharing everything that’s going on before you’ve even got out of the car to go into the shop for god knows what. Food, clothes, Disney stuff? We don’t always know but we do it anyway.

Last but never least, you have a man who has talked to you about things you didn’t even imagine anyone on earth would. Those weird random traits of yours. The public embarrassments when you’re fooling around. Oh and don’t forget you’ve spoke to him about your periods, toilet habits, and trying to perfect a certain kind of hair style or outfit.

What does he tell me every time? He tells me that, “It’s going to be okay.” This isn’t because he doesn’t care and just says it. It’s actually because he cares more than anyone in the world and he’s right when he says everything will be okay. It always will be because he’s always there for me.

He will completely understand after reading this post what I’m talking about. The amount of times I’ve told him I’ve always wanted to be the daughter that my mum and dad deserve, I can’t even tell you.

Nicola, it seems that we couldn’t both be here together. Mum and dad will never forget you. And even though we never met, I’ll always think about you. Happy 26th birthday. You are their brightest star in the sky. I’ll always imagine what it would’ve been like to have you as my big sister. I think we would’ve been the best of friends.