“Every day is so difficult and hurts so much but if that is the cross I have to bear for being so much in love, then so be it, I have no regrets” is the poignant tribute a Docking man pays to his cherished wife in his latest book.
A whirlwind romance was sparked at a Dumfries dance and lasted 56 years for Gavin and Frances English, until cancer struck in 2013.
Mr English has become a dedicated supporter of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital after being inspired to start fundraising by one of his wife’s final wishes. He has now hit the £25,000 mark in three years.
He shared their love story in his first book, The Last Waltz, and has now penned a sequel to give hope to others who are coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.
Mr English said: “The latest book takes up the story after Frances’ death and how I have managed in the last three years.
“Writing the book brought back a lot of memories such as Frances holding my hand as she fell asleep. I know that was because she didn’t want to lose me.
“There is a lot of stuff in there but I hope that it will help other people in a similar situation.”
Within the book, Mr English shares how Frances continues to play an important role in his life and that he continues to put out the cards they exchanged on special days.
He states in the book: “I wear Frances’ wedding ring on a chain around my neck along with a St Christopher which she gave me when I went to Saudi Arabia in 1980. When I put it on in the morning it always gets three little kisses and again when I take it off, it was our little secret code for ‘I love you’.”
Mr English also discusses how speaking to a counsellor gave him a sense of peace along with the importance of his charity work.
Mr English undertakes eight-hour shifts at nine supermarkets in the West Norfolk, Fakenham and Fenland area along with around eight-hour stints at car boot stints to raise money for the hospital’s Macmillan Care and Treatment Centre.
He has recently handed another £3,000 cheque to the hospital, which brings his total to £25,000.
Mr English said: “People have been very generous. Now-a- days so many people have associations with cancer.”
Fundraising Executive Laurence Morlaàs has praised Mr English for his dedication to the hospital.
She said: “I would thank Gavin for his continued and most generous support of the hospital. To raise £25,000 in just three years single-handedly is an incredible achievement after losing his wife.
“This hospital is aiming for excellence in all areas of patient care and that would not be possible without the support of people like Gavin.
“I would also like to thank Gavin for sharing his story and I hope that it makes a difference to those who are reading the book.”
Gavin English is pictured with Nursing Auxillary Lisa Newman and Fundraising Executive Laurence Morlaàs (seated) and Hospital’s Macmillan Information and Support Manager Vicky Mitchell