If you have Hope, you have everything

97

After a lovely albeit belated Valentine’s night in Surrey, and then 50th birthday celebrations in Southend, the beginning of the week was very difficult… As social media is always one step ahead, I realise that some of you already know that my ex husband Tommy Keenan aka Stephen Rhodes, passed away on Monday.

He had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease some years back and fought this cruel and crippling disease with dignity.   Tommy and I were married for 17 years and had five children between us, Jack our son being the youngest. We shared many good times together and as a family, and although our lives went in different directions, those are the times I will remember…

It has been very hard for the children, and the family as a whole, but thankfully now he is at peace.

I’ve been with the children these last few days which has been a comfort, but have unfortunately succumbed to this horrid sinusitis and head cold that’s been doing the rounds, so I’m hoping I haven’t given it to them. Because I’m feeling rough, I’m afraid I’ll have to keep this blog short, but I did want to thank you so much for taking part in the competition I set last time.

Although EVERYONE chose the correct answer – Babes in Arms – sadly there could only be one winner. Many congratulations to ANN SIDGWICK whose name was picked out on air by our model Amanda last Tuesday night. Ann, I hope you’ve received your watch by now, and I wish you well to wear it. I’m planning to run another competition again soon, so watch this space.

Not only did you take the time to write your answers but thanks so much to Jo, Jill, Karen and many others who wrote to update me on all that’s been happening, which made me realise that for a number of you, like us, life hasn’t been easy of late. It always saddens me to read of your loss, or battle with various diseases, but something that invariably shines through is your determination to make the best of things. You never give up hope. It can be something or nothing very much that inspires us and pushes us on, and I’m hoping that what I’m about to tell you will do just that…

Some of you may remember I was lucky enough to be one of the models at the annual Breast Cancer Care Fashion show just a year after my own diagnosis. It really was an experience unlike any other. Uplifting, emotional, exciting but exhausting, energising and above all empowering.

I spent 48 hours in the company of the 22 other models who were all living with a diagnosis of breast cancer, and I found it quite humbling. But it was the feeling of love and support at the event itself which was quite overwhelming. Not just from the team involved with dressing us and doing our hair/wigs and makeup, but from the families and friends who had come to cheer us on that afternoon and evening. It is something I will never forget, and as you can see from the photographs something that gave me my confidence back at a time when I wasn’t coping so well.

The charity Breast Cancer Care are now looking for 32 men and women, who have had a breast cancer diagnosis to take part in this year’s show. They’ve asked if you can help.

It will take place on the 28th September at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel, and in their words is “an event like no other, that celebrates the strength and courage of both men and women who have all had a breast cancer diagnosis”. Applications have now opened, and they would love YOU to apply or spread the word. So if you or anyone you know would like to apply to be a model, enter here, before 5 March 2017.

It would be wonderful if one of you here or someone you knew was successful, so please promote this for me and the charity, and I’ll keep everything crossed 🙂

I’m hoping I’ll be back with you on Saturday evening with Laura Geller and then two hours of Charlie Bears which will be a treat! On Sunday I’m particularly pleased to have an hour with one of our newer jewellery brands Lonna and Lilly.

It’s a range of contemporary fashion jewellery and accessories, but what makes it unique is that Lonna, the designer, based the collection on her relationship with her mother Lilly. Each piece is inscribed with a small subtle message, such as ‘with love,’ or ‘love you to the moon and back’.

I wore a stunning abalone shell necklace last week from the collection for my Cozee Homes hour, and many of you tweeted me for the item number! (308934) We’ll have that piece and many more, plus scarves and a few bags too, so if you can join me at 7pm that would be grand.

My friend Roz has arrived to take over from Colin who’s been doing a brilliant job of looking after me, and as I’m in need of another Lemsip, I’ll sign off, hoping very much that you are in fine fettle and have escaped the lurgy!

I look forward to hearing from you, and please do pass on the BCC Fashion Show info, it really is an amazing occasion.

With my love,
Ali xx

97 Comments

  1. Denise Pilcher February 23, 2017 at 5:30 pm -  Reply

    Dearest Ali- so sorry to hear of your sad loss. Sometimes life throws us so much to deal with its a wonder any of us make it through! But we do mostly and it is because of the fact that there is always Hope in our hearts. I hope that you and your children lean on each other and give each other strength and love to carry you all through this dark time. I am sending you all much love and I hope [you see we use this amazing word all the time] you carry all the wonderful memories with you all which no one can ever take away.Take care of yourself -til next time, much love Denise x

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:18 pm -  Reply

      Dear Denise, thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts at this time. The children are being very strong, and spending as much time together as possible which is helping. I just wish I could be there for them a little more, but am still trying to shake this wretched lurgy and I don’t want them to catch it. I hope that all is well in your world, and thank you for bringing comfort to mine, love Ali xx

  2. Ali carr February 23, 2017 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    So sorry 2 hear your sad news. Thinking of u all. Hope your feeling better very soon. Can’t wait 2 c u bk on qvc x

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:19 pm -  Reply

      Dear Ali, I will pass your kind words on, and thank you for them. Hopefully I will be back with you soon, love Ali xx

  3. Chris Page February 23, 2017 at 6:42 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali

    I read the news yesterday, and immediately thought of you and your brood. You may remember I met Tommy when I did a week’s work experience at BBC Three Counties several years ago – and inadvertently nicked his workspace! I’m not one to anthropomorphise diseases, but MND is particularly cruel in its effects. As you say, at least he is no longer under its grip. Please extend my condolences to your children at this sad time.

    Love,

    Chris x

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:21 pm -  Reply

      Gosh Chris, that’s quite a few years back now, but I do remember you warming his chair inadvertently!!! You are correct when you say MND is particularly cruel… I am just glad that he made the very best of his time with the children and so they have many good memories to carry with them. Thank you for thinking of us. Love Ali xx

  4. Christine February 23, 2017 at 6:45 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali so sorry to hear about your X husband I remember him very well hope he’s at peace now.
    I think I am going to take cold. I am bothered lung problems, I take a cough just can’t breath with it. Hope doesn’t come to anything.
    God Bless Ali.

    P. S Let you now my husband got all clear. X

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:22 pm -  Reply

      Christine, I am so relieved to know that your husband got the all clear, that must be such a relief to you both! I hope that you won’t succumb to this rotten bug as so many of us have, and that you will be able to celebrate the good news. Thank you for your kind words… I hope he is at peace too. Love Ali x

  5. Joanna Downey February 23, 2017 at 7:05 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, I am so sorry to read your news. MND is, as you wrote, a cruel and crippling disease, it’s my horror and I can only imagine how difficult life has been for Tommy and those who loved him. I send my condolences to your family, especially Jack. I too have had the head cold/sinus virus, as the half term holiday started so did the lurgy. All my holiday plans were domestic: spring cleaning, a wardrobe declutter and a garden tidy up. I also planned to make mozzarella having seen the food technology support staff produce their spheres last week. I gave into the bug until Monday and then decided a few hours in the garden would help my head… I lost track of the time and did feel better after all my efforts and the garden looks almost ready for spring. I’ve done everything else I wanted to do even if it has taken me all week. In my previous reply I confused you by mentioning Doris – the Midlands weather people told us to expect her a few weeks ago but because she didn’t arrive the Met Office obviously decided to keep her name for the next storm and she’s been roaring around here all day; the bird table did a somersault and headed towards the conservatory, a trampoline rolled down our hill and next door lost their back fence. I decided to watch CSI then make the mozzarella, I trust that with practise I’ll improve. Finally, your reference to hope is so pertinent; it’s my mantra and got my mum and me through her illness, it’s supported my sister with all she’s faced as a devastated wife and my friend at school is getting strength from it as she faces treatment next week. Gosh I’ve gone on a bit so I hope I don’t wear you out with all my ramblings. Love from Jo x

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:29 pm -  Reply

      Dear Jo, firstly thank you for responding to Karen last week – I hope you saw her message on last week’s blog? It means such a lot to everyone to have that kind of support – you are a sweetheart. I am so sorry that you too fell foul of this horrid lurgy. You just have to give in to it! I was in bed for days, and couldn’t do anything. I’m glad that you clearly are feeling better now, and I’m sure the fresh air did you good. Our bird table stood up to Doris, as did my fig tree, but the olive and bay trees went for a burton. I think they all need bigger pots and more ballast. Next job on the list… ! Your words about Tommy are kind. It has been difficult for the entire family from the moment he was diagnosed, and particularly Jack who still lives at home. They have all agreed though that as well as the devastation and sadness there is definitely a sense of relief for everyone… and there is Hope…. as you say, a very valuable mantra that will help them all through it… and me, trying to support them from a distance. I am sending my love to you, your sister, and your dear friend who faces treatment next week. I wish her strength to get through it. You never ramble Jo, and we all benefit from your comments and kindness. Take care, Love Ali xx

  6. Vivien Gore February 23, 2017 at 7:28 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali. Deepest sympathy on your sad loss. I’m thinking of you now keep your chin up and l do hope you feel better soon. All my to you and your family. Love Vivien Gore xxx

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:30 pm -  Reply

      My dear Viv, I know that you, more than most, understand this kind of sadness, and I thank you for your generosity of spirit in writing to me. Love to you and yours too. Thank you , Ali xx

  7. Yvonne February 23, 2017 at 7:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison. So sorry for your loss. Remember the happy times. Hope you get over your sinusitis and cold and feel much better soon. Great photos. Take care x

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:32 pm -  Reply

      The happy times are definitely the ones I will hang onto, and relive with the children whenever they want to talk about things… We were both lucky to move on and be happy with other people… that’s a blessing too. Thanks for your kind wishes – I am so looking forward to feeling better. Love Ali xx

  8. Claire February 23, 2017 at 7:51 pm -  Reply

    Sending massive love to u & your family at this heartbreaking time. Take care xx

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:32 pm -  Reply

      Thank you so much Claire. Love Ali xx

  9. Elaine sallis February 23, 2017 at 8:09 pm -  Reply

    Ali please pass on my condolences to the children. I hope you are feeling better soon. Elaine x

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:33 pm -  Reply

      Elaine, I will definitely do that, and thank you…. Love Ali xx

  10. Linda Finch,, February 23, 2017 at 8:17 pm -  Reply

    Oh Ali , I felt so sad this morning when watching this morning and Phillip Schoffield announced on air about Stephen they played a short clip of both of you presenting the programme (way back in the day ) it was lovely I so remembered it ,even though you’ve not been together for so long he was still a part of your life and it’s still a very sad time for you all . I too like you are suffering with the dredded lurgie, l couldn’t say which bone aches the most and the sinusitis which I do suffer with every winter ,but like you keep taking the tablets and hot drinks .so glad you had a great break away, I too had a suprise prezzie for valentines day (which we don’t normally buy prezzies)my hubby sent to Qvc for a pair of B&W scull earings, I can tell you I was really shocked because he has never and I meen never done anything like that before, I think after 40 years married he’s final getting the message I like suprises ,will be watching you this weekend, especially Charlie Bears as I have a few already ,well my friend keep your pecked up ,come back fighting fit ,will see you on the Q ,lots of love to you both as always Linda F xxx💞

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:36 pm -  Reply

      Dear Linda, it seems like a lifetime ago, but we had many good years, and certainly, This Morning changed the career path for us both, and we had some wonderful times together on the show. Thank you for your kind words, and I have to say I was delighted to know that your husband pushed the boat out this Valentines Day and bought you a pair of earrings! Never too late I say, and here’s hoping you’ll be spoilt from now on with similar surprises 🙂 I’m sorry I won’t be back with you this weekend, but this lurgy has taken a strong hold, and I’m still fighting it. Hopefully Tuesday for Diamonique. Love Ali xx

  11. Phyllis February 23, 2017 at 9:19 pm -  Reply

    So very sorry Ali to read of the sad loss your family have sustained but they are so blessed to have you to turn to.
    Also, really hope you are “on the mend” (there are so many bugs on the go at the moment – this mad weather) and look forward to seeing you back on our screens very soon.
    Take care and warmest wishes, Phyllis

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

      Phyllis, bless you for your kind words. I am just so glad I was able to be there for them… as a mother should be. I’m still struggling with this bug, which I agree with you, probably has something to do with the weather – it’s all over the place! I will keep everything crossed you manage to avoid it. Take care and thank you for taking the time to write, love Ali xx

  12. Mrs Judith Dunster February 23, 2017 at 10:41 pm -  Reply

    Take care x

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:38 pm -  Reply

      Judith thank you. You too, love Ali x

  13. Samantha Allen February 23, 2017 at 11:40 pm -  Reply

    So very sad to hear of your loss – I used to watch This Morning when you were both presenters – I started watching it when I was on maternity leave and as I did not return to work after my first baby was born I was glued to my chair for those two hours in the morning – I thoroughly enjoyed every minute as being a new Mum it gave me so much, for example “Being a first time Mum and all the emotions we go through, like how to spot PND” – to having a few hours to myself”.

    Sending lots of love to Stephen, you and your family at this time and may you find comfort in knowing that Stephen is now at peace – God Bless xx

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart to you all – Samantha XXXX

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:40 pm -  Reply

      Samantha thanks so much for bringing back some lovely memories for me. This Morning is a great show, and one I always felt extraordinarily privileged to present. Dianne Nelmes the creator of the format always felt it was a winning formula, and 27 years down the line, she’s proved she was right so many times. I’m sure they’d be thrilled to know how much it helped you when you were a new mum, and I personally loved every minute I was a part of it. Take care, and thank you for writing to me, love Ali xx

  14. Loraine Plumb February 24, 2017 at 7:16 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison so sorry about your news and hope you feel better soon it’s been a horrible winter for terms Les my husband had food poisoning and was really rough and of course allot us have had the folds baby Willa has been put on a inhaler temperarily she can’t shake this cough but they are of to Antigua in two weeks so better weather and at least we are heading in the right direction with spring coming you take care with love Loraine xx

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:42 pm -  Reply

      Dear Loraine, so sorry to hear that Les has been poorly with food poisoning! That’s awful. Thank heavens you’re not going away for another couple of weeks so that he will be fully recovered. Sorry to hear about baby Willa, but I’m sure the inhaler will do its work and she will rid of this cough. So many bugs and health issues around at this time – I’m still not shot of my lurgy, but hope to be back with you on Tuesday. Thanks so much for your kind words…. Love Ali xx

  15. martin forbes February 24, 2017 at 9:05 am -  Reply

    i did write on the last blog saying iwas sad to hear about your late ex husband psassing away irmrner when you an dhim did this morning for richard and judy iam enjoyimng my 1st lazy weesk of my holiday hope your sare children and granddaughter arewll apart from loing their dad

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:44 pm -  Reply

      Dear Martin, I checked back on the previous blog, and have now replied to you there, but I wanted to thank you again for taking the time out to send condolences. It was a good few years back that Tommy and I presented This Morning, but they were definitely good times. I will pass on your kind words to the children. Love Ali x

  16. Jill February 24, 2017 at 9:26 am -  Reply

    Good Morning Ali so very sorry for your loss. I’m glad you were able to be there for the children they will have found that such a comfort. What a dreadful disease. I hope that through your children and grandchildren you will feel stronger as time passes. Best wishes and love. Jill XX

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:46 pm -  Reply

      Dear Jill, thank you very much for your kindness. It was a relief to me that I was with the children, as I’d had my blood tests that morning and so was planning to spend the rest of the day with them… as I did. They are being very brave. Love and best wishes to you too, Ali xx

  17. Tricia Coulsonwood February 24, 2017 at 10:39 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali, I was sad to hear that Stephen had passed away..
    Please accept my condolences following Stephens death and I wish love and comfort may surround you and your shared children and everyone who cared about him..
    I was speaking only last week with my youngest daughter about how we would feel if my former husband passed away. We haven’t been in contact for twenty years..The thing is all the memories one shared are still easily recalled.
    Its a sad time for you, immediately I could see you both on good morning and I always enjoyed seeing you both as a pair of presenters.
    I hope you feel better soon Ali and feel in a better place than today. You are probably not helped at the moment whilst suffering from sinusitis .Love, Tricia . X

    • Alison Keenan February 25, 2017 at 1:50 pm -  Reply

      Dear Tricia, you are very kind, and I will make sure your condolences are passed on. There are so many of us who marry more than once, and if there are children involved it sometimes makes the moving on harder… As you say, strange how memories you didn’t know you still had are there again; a different time, a different life, but part of you all the same… I was so glad to be there for the children, but have had to stay away from them this last few days as I’ve felt so rough and didn’t want to pass it on. Hopefully on the mend now. I hope you ‘re having a good weekend and thank you for writing to me at this time, love Ali xx

  18. Elizabeth February 24, 2017 at 12:59 pm -  Reply

    Alison I am very sorry to hear hear of your loss. At the age of 48 I was diagnosed early January with BC & started my treatment last Thursday. Sending you hugs xx

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:24 pm -  Reply

      My dear Elizabeth, I am so sorry to hear the news of your diagnosis, but relieved to know that you are forging ahead with the treatment, as this is the beginning of you getting better. Thank you for taking the time out to send me good wishes, when your own life is upside down… Please keep in touch, and let me know how you are coping. Love Ali xx

  19. Margaret Upton February 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali,
    Very sorry to hear of your loss, ex husband or not it is family and always very sad especially for his children and times gone by which will live on in your memories.
    Hope the awful bug soon goes, nothing else to do but get under the covers and feel a bit sorry for yourself and sleep as much as you can.
    The one positive is that you have people who love you to rally round.
    Love,
    Maggie
    xxxxx

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

      Dear Maggie, Thank you for your kind words and understanding… it has been difficult, but the children are coping and I’m trying to spend as much time with as possible – health allowing. I am feeling much better now though, and glad to say I will be back tonight at 8pm with my Diamonique show. I do hope all is well with you, love Ali xx

  20. Gwen February 24, 2017 at 2:52 pm -  Reply

    Hello dear Ali,

    So very sorry to hear of the loss that you and your children have suffered, I also lost someone very close to me earlier in the year and I am finding it very difficult to cope, but your lovely words about having hope brought some comfort to me.

    We have to look forward don’t we? As there are gradual signs of Spring arriving in the garden and some slightly lighter evenings maybe things will start to look a little brighter soon, I really hope so.

    I hope you will soon be feeling better healthwise and will soon be back to brighten our screens.

    Lots of love to you and yours.

    Gwen.X

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:28 pm -  Reply

      Hello there Gwen, thank you for your empathy, and kind words. I am so sorry to know that you are struggling with your loss, but glad that sharing my thoughts with you have helped even if if only in a small way. Have you considered bereavement counselling? The Good Grief trust founded by Linda Majistris a guest at QVC are incredibly supportive and you should be able to find them online.. I hope that by looking forwards and taking time each day to bring those memories to life, you will find the sadness eases for you. A day at a time… That is the best way. I am feeling much better now luckily, and thank you again for writing to me, love Ali xx

  21. Ann Sidgwick February 24, 2017 at 3:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, Condolences to you and your family on your sad loss. Treasure the memories, they are precious and will remain in your hearts forever xx
    Re the Competition: Thank you for the congratulations, I was over the moon to win! I received the watch on the Saturday, which happened to be my Birthday. I’m sure Kylie posted it out super quick to make sure I received it “on the day” which was a lovely touch. I absolutely love wearing it, it’s beautiful and I already have had complimentary comments from my friends :).
    I hope by the time you read this you are on the mend. Sinusitis is miserable :(. xx

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:29 pm -  Reply

      Ann how lovely to hear from you! Delighted that the watch got to you so quickly and in time for your birthday – Kylie is super efficient 🙂 Thank you for your kind words re Tommy and the children and for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  22. Judith Lennon February 24, 2017 at 4:36 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali
    So very sorry to hear your news. My thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.
    Hold on to your memories and each other and be aware that your friends care. I hope you are feeling better now and know Roz will spoil you and get you back to good health. It was good to look back at the Breast cancer photos and realise just how far you have come. You looked fab and still do! We have been lucky and missed the worst of the last storm although it bounced down all day with rain and sleet. Some were not so lucky. Take care Ali and speak soon. Lots of love and hugs. Judith xx

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:31 pm -  Reply

      Hi there Judith, lovely to hear from you and thank you for your sweet words of support. Yes, Roz did a grand job and Chris came to stay the following night too, so all four of us were together which was a treat. It is strange for me to look back at those photos – almost like looking at someone else, but you’re right, it shows just how quickly time moves on. I hope you continue to avoid the sleet and snow – jolly cold here! Love and hugs to you too, Ali xx

  23. Merche February 24, 2017 at 4:51 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali, thinking of you all at this sad time, it is an awful desease which robs so many people. I hope you feel better soon and look forward to seeing you on QVC! Love Merche x

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:32 pm -  Reply

      Merche, thank you for getting in touch and for your thoughtful and kind words. I will be back with you tonight at 8pm with Diamonique – it feels as though I’ve been away forever! Love Ali xx

  24. theresa February 24, 2017 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    So sorry to hear about the passing of your childrens father and I send them my condolences as I know how hard it can be when you loose a parent, hope you feel better soon and look forward to seeing you on QVC soon take care x

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:32 pm -  Reply

      Theresa, thank you. Sam is the same age as I was when I lost my own dad… so difficult for them all. I’m sorry for your loss too. Love Ali xx

  25. stefanie February 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm -  Reply

    sorry to hear about your bereavement.I used to watch you and Stephen on this morning you were a good team.Life has thrown a lot of challeges to your family but keep the faith and you will all get through.My thoughts are with you all.love Stefanie

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:34 pm -  Reply

      Stefanie, thank you. We were a good team, and This Morning gave us both our break into TV. They were good times. I’ve managed to see quite a bit of the children over this last 10 days or so, and luckily I am now feeling a lot better so can do the driving to them. Your kind words are much appreciated. Love ali xx

  26. Veronica Linehan February 24, 2017 at 6:34 pm -  Reply

    Ali, sorry to hear of your loss and hope you feel better soon. Love Ronnie xx

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:34 pm -  Reply

      Ronnie, bless you… Love Ali xx

  27. Irene February 24, 2017 at 6:38 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison
    I was so sorry to hear about the death of Stephen and I send you my condolences at this very sad time for you and your children.
    I remember him well as I used to watch you both on this morning and you look just the same As you know I am a retired nurse and know having this condition is a very cruel disease to cope with . We all get dealt sad times and over the last seventeen years with the death of my then 15 year old son and a few months ago when I lost my lovely partner to lung cancer so his death is a very big loss . As you said in your blog you have to have hope and I so agree with that .Life has to go on but loss is very painful, my son would have been 33 next Wednesday and I will always wonder what he would have been like now but I am so lucky and blessed to have my daughter who has requested a day off work so that she can spend the day with me as I find anniversaries and birthdays especially difficult. .It must be a great comfort for your children to have such a wonderful mother to comfort and support them at this difficult time even although you are not feeling well at the moment with sinusitis and I hope you feel better soon. Take care . Love and hugs Irene xx

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:39 pm -  Reply

      My dear Irene, I remember writing to you before, and I am just so sorry that you have had to cope with so much over these last 17 years… We talk of looking forwards but I appreciate that too can be very difficult… so many ‘what ifs?’… I am sure you miss your partner very much, and no doubt he was a huge comfort to you in coping with the loss of your son. Your daughter sounds like mine… Strong, kind and caring, and I am so glad that you have her there to care for you and take the time out to be with you when the memories make you sad. Thank you for your kind words… sometimes it is difficult to parent from a distance, but they know I’m always there for them, even if physically I can’t be. Please keep in touch and let me know how you are getting on, with love, Ali xx

  28. Christine snell February 24, 2017 at 7:14 pm -  Reply

    Hello Ali so sorry to hear your sad news I too lost a parent when I was 15 and it was so difficult but I took comfort knowing that he was no longer suffering grief unfortunately is the
    Price we pay for love and we have to part so we can meet again! Much love to your children and I hope you feel better soon xxxxxx

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:40 pm -  Reply

      My dear Christine, how sad for you… and how brave of you at such a young age to recognise and take comfort from the fact that although you lost your parent, their suffering was over. I believe we keep those we love with us always, in our hearts souls and minds. Love to you, and I hope that life is easier for you now. Ali xx

  29. Elizabeth Keenan February 24, 2017 at 8:55 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali so sorry to hear about Stephen, I remember watching you both when you were presenting This Morning all those years ago, at least he is at peace now. Take care Ali and hope you feel better with your rotten cold. Much love to you and your children at this sad time.
    Love Elizabeth X

    • Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:42 pm -  Reply

      Dear Elizabeth, Thank you for your kind words and shared memories. It seems as though many folk do remember those four years, and seeing Stephen and I on This Morning. They were good years. I will pass your condolences onto the children and thank you for them, love Ali xx

  30. Denise February 24, 2017 at 9:02 pm -  Reply

    Dear Alison, I am so sorry to hear this sad news and send you my deepest condolences. I hadn’t heard previously about it. Like others have said I remember and loved to watch you both on This Morning as I was at home with my son at the time.
    Sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling well while having to deal with the bereavement but pleased you are being looked after. I hope you will be on the mend soon.
    I have had a busy time recently and sorry that I haven’t been able to keep up with previous blogs. Firstly I’ve had family birthday celebrations for my son and daughter in law which were quite hectic. We had family visiting for those and as I live in the City of Culture 2017 we have been taking them around and showing off our wonderful city. I’ve also been helping out with looking after baby who is coming on a treat. Mum had a few issues with her scar healing so between the family we’ve seen her through.
    I had a really exciting experience a couple of weeks ago when I went to see the Strictly tour in Leeds. I went with a friend and we stayed overnight. We’d booked to go for lunch at Gino Da Campo’s restaurant which was wonderful I’d recommend it. Well who should we bump into in there but only Kevin and Giovanni!! We were so excited and as they were leaving asked if we could get photos with them and they duly obliged. To say it made our day is an understatement! The show was amazing but the best bit was to see Danny and Oti’s Samba. Fab u lous as Craig would say.
    Well Alison sending all my love to you and your family. You are in my thoughts.
    Love Denise xx

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:05 pm -  Reply

      Dear Denise, It sounds as though you’ve certainly had your hands full with all those family birthdays, but how lovely to be able to show them around Hull especially as you live there! Very exciting – and lovely to have the chance to look after the baby too 🙂 I’m sure being together helped your mum no end, and I’m very glad to know that she’s healing better now. I am unashamedly envious of you seeing the Strictly tour, and even more so of you meeting Kevin and Giovanni! Two of my favourites from the show, but even more incredible to have seen Danny and Oti’s Samba!! Fab U Lous indeed! I’m sure it’s a night out you and your friend will never forget 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words : I will pass them on to the children. Take care and thanks for keeping in touch, love Ali xx

  31. Heidi February 25, 2017 at 1:33 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I’m so sorry to read your sad news. Please accept my condolences and pass them on to your family too.
    Hoping you’re feeling better 😊
    Love,
    Heidi xx

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:06 pm -  Reply

      Dear Heidi, thank you for writing to me and the family. I will pass your kind condolences on to them. I am feeling much better finally, and will be back at the Q on Friday. I hope all is well with you, love Ali xx

  32. Sue Huskisson February 25, 2017 at 1:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali.. I was so sorry to hear about Stephen. I remember you presenting together as if it were yesterday! Take comfort from the fact that he is now free of pain from such a dreadful disease. Please accept my condolences to you and your children.
    I’m so pleased you liked our Charlie’s birthday photo. It was actually his mum and dad with him ( alas I’m 63 years older than him but I’m flattered you thought it was me!)
    I’ve so far been lucky to escape the dreaded lurgy although I’ve had a cough for a few years off and on. Chest X -rays have come back clear so I guess I just have to put up with it!
    Hope you soon feel better Ali and will tune in to hopefully see you on air tonight! Bye for now Sue xx

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:10 pm -  Reply

      Dear Sue, it’s funny but that is exactly how I’ve felt over this last week.. Time is a strange thing, and those memories are just as clear now as they were all those years ago. Thank you for your kind words. So glad that you’ve managed to escape the lurgy and that your chest X rays were clear too. That said I very much hope your cough will clear. I am feelng much better thank you altho still a bit achey although we think that may be my meds, so taking a rest from them for a month. I’ll be back with you on Friday! Love Ali xx

  33. Denise February 25, 2017 at 3:59 pm -  Reply

    Ali im so sorry to hear the sad news of your ex husband,my thoughts are with you all at this sad time.i know how you feel with sinusitus i ahd it for 6 weeks, i do hope you feel better soon my friend,love to you all Denise xxx

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:11 pm -  Reply

      Oh Gosh Denise you poor thing. Six weeks! That’s awful – I’m feeling much better now, and will be back with you on Friday. Thank you so much for your kind words.. everyone has been so kind it means a great deal. Love Ali xxx

  34. Kim February 25, 2017 at 5:20 pm -  Reply

    Ali I am so very, very sorry to read of your loss. Sadly, we lost my sister-in-law (I have spoken about her to you before, and how your courage and positivity have helped so much) so know only too well the feeling of loss and devastation you are feeling. As you said, Stephen is now at peace, as is my sister-in-law, which is the one thing I have been clinging to. Stay strong, and please pass my love and condo lenses on to your beautiful
    Family. With my love, Kim xx

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:17 pm -  Reply

      My dear Kim, I am sending you my love and thanks for being so kind and taking the time out to think of me when you are struggling and hurting… So terribly sorry to hear about your sister in law, but as you say hold onto the fact that she is now at peace… and hopefully in time that means you can be too. The feeling of loss is difficult, but I know having lost my father many years ago, that eventually you do accept it and learn to work around it. Try to hold onto the fact that those you love are always with you … even if you can’t actually see or hold them. Take care, and please to keep in touch, love Ali xx

  35. Janet Jones February 25, 2017 at 5:28 pm -  Reply

    My Dear Ali so sorry for the loss of Stephen condolences to you and your children. As you say he is at peace now. Glad to hear you have your children around you to support each other.
    Take care love Janet xxx

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:18 pm -  Reply

      Dear Janet how nice to hear from you, and thank you for your kind words. I will pass them onto the children. I do hope all is well with you, the family and little Alfie. Take care Love Ali xx

  36. Linda M Binns February 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm -  Reply

    Dear beautiful Ali, I always read your blog and those of a couple more presenters but seldom feel the need, or have the time, to respond. However, I am compelled to say how very sad I am to have just read of Stephen’s passing. I always looked forward to the regular presenters of This Morning being off and you and Stephen presenting. You were both brilliant, and the smartest and best looking couple on tv. I had a serious back injury 12 years ago and barely left the house for two years. My sister recommended watching QVC to cheer me up which I thought was an appalling idea. I had a career….why would I want to watch a Shopping Channel. But I did, and boy, she was right. Those cheery friendly presenters almost became like family! Hard to believe. Plus, it gave me back a little control. I could shop from my armchair. I discovered Decleor and Elemis which I use to this day. I learned how to make scrapbooks which helped hugely when my mum passed away. All her and dad’s fabulous life stories in one book. I suppose what I am trying to say is that folks like you
    have had a huge impact on folks like me, so I feel it rather timely to not only pass on condolences to you and your family, but to say a massive thankyou for playing your part in aiding my recovery over the years. It’sa joy to read your blogs Ali. I have followed you silently through the sometimes dark long days of your illness and drawn inspiration from your courage. I send a huge blanket sized Northern hug to you, and my very best wishes for the future. Linda. xxx

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:26 pm -  Reply

      Dear Linda, thank you so much for taking the time out to write to me, although I am saddened to learn of your back injury and its subsequent effect on your life. That said, you have made me smile to know that my colleagues and I have made a difference, and that you, like so many of us, have benefitted from being part of the QVC family. The scrapbooks sounds beautiful – I always meant to make one and loved presenting the shows, and I’m so pleased that you have your memories all in one place so that you can enjoy them whenever you choose. Thank you for your kind words following Stephen’s passing. We had some wonderful years working on This Morning and I will never forget them. I am glad that you have stayed with me, and enjoy the blogs, and once I thank you for sharing your life with me, and for your huge blanket sized Northern hug – it is truly appreciated. Keep in touch, and stay well, with love, Ali xx

  37. marilyn jones February 25, 2017 at 10:19 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali,
    When we turn back the pages in the book of our life that is our journey contained within,
    we can rediscover and appreciate the past chapters and reflect with pleasure and warmth towards those we may have loved and lost and thank god for their contribution
    to our life story and the sequels to follow , in your children and grandchildren.
    Your blog has helped me enormously as I am on the cusp of loosing my beloved father.
    Peace within you and your family Ali
    Marilyn x

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:29 pm -  Reply

      Your words have moved me to tears Marilyn, and I thank you so much for your insight and kindness.. I hope that you will be able to draw strength from those around you who love you during this desperately sad time, and believe what you have told me… and that is that you can rediscover and appreciate the past whenever we choose. Because memories and all that you’ve shared with your father are memories for you to keep forever. Stay strong, and please keep in touch, with my love, Ali xx

  38. Christine Auchterlonie February 25, 2017 at 10:59 pm -  Reply

    I was sad to hear of your loss and send my sincere condolences to you and the family …. I too have sadness in my life my husband Derek passed away on February 18th after a short stay in hospital it had been a difficult time in our lives as Derek was a much loved dad to Simon and Fiona and devoted Grandpa to Jessica and Katy our lives will never be the same ….. We together as a family are trying to make sense of it all and not coming up with any answers just now! Fiona and Simon are a great support and helping me in the only way they know how… They are around to help me in the difficult times ahead.I hope you are feeling a little better and won’t be too long before you are back to normal … I hope we can keep in touch…. With love Chris x

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:33 pm -  Reply

      My dear Chris, I am so desperately sorry to hear your news…. I understand your sadness, sense of loss, and the devastating ripple effect that is always caused when you lose someone you love. So many of you within the family who are struggling to make sense of it, and to be completely honest, sometimes we never do. I am so glad that you have Simon and Fiona close by and I hope that together you will get through the difficult days. Jessica and Katy will bring you comfort, and remember that you are all linked forever to your husband, and he will always be with you and them. That way the family remains intact, and the circle of life continues.. I am sending you my love and a big hug. Hold tight to your memories and each other, Ali xxxx

  39. Susan February 26, 2017 at 12:14 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, I just want to add my condolences to your blog friends list. Your family have been through so much and I know you will all come through it. It’s just so hard when it’s such a close loss and really young too. I hope the children can take time off work to process it. So difficult so young. Lots of love x

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:34 pm -  Reply

      Dear Susan, thank you for taking the time to write to me, and for your kind and sensitive words. It has been difficult, but we’re spending as much time together as we can. The children are being very positive and I am very proud of them. Do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  40. Marie McGee February 26, 2017 at 1:03 am -  Reply

    So sorry for your and your familys loss Ali. I lost my Mam last May and i miss her every day, loss is so hard on everyone xx take care x

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:35 pm -  Reply

      Bless you Marie, and I’m sending you my love. So sorry that you’ve lost your Mam.. such a precious relationship and as you say a desperately hard loss to bear. Take care, and please do keep in touch, love Ali xx

  41. Sue Radford February 26, 2017 at 1:20 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali,

    So sorry to hear the sad news about your ex-husband. I really feel for your children, what an awful time for them. Thank goodness they have you Ali. I hope you’re getting over that dreadful sinusitis bug. Take care and stay strong.

    Love Sue Radford xx

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:37 pm -  Reply

      Dear Sue, lovely as always to hear from you, and thank you for your kind words. The children are doing really well, and staying strong. Mercifully I am feeling a great deal better so I’ve been able to see them this last few days. I’ll be back at work on Friday, so hopefully will see you then. Take care, Love Ali xx

  42. Linda Marshall February 26, 2017 at 6:34 am -  Reply

    Dear Ali, so sorry to hear of your loss.
    Here’s a little hug for you
    To make you smile when you feel blue
    To make you happy if you’re sad
    To let you know life ain’t so bad.

    Now iv’e given a hug to you
    Somehow i feel better too
    Hugs are better when you share
    So pass one on and show you care.
    love Linda xx

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:37 pm -  Reply

      Dear Linda you have made me smile, thank you. Sending you a hug and many thanks for your lovely poem. Love Ali xx

  43. July Rice February 26, 2017 at 4:11 pm -  Reply

    Love and peace to you.

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

      And to you July, love Ali xx

  44. Jean Daly February 27, 2017 at 9:29 am -  Reply

    Hello Ali, So sorry to hear of your loss & please pass on my condolences to the children.
    Hope you will be feeling better soon.

    Best wishes,
    Jean xx

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:38 pm -  Reply

      Dear Jean, I will of course pass your kind wishes on. Luckily I’m feeling much better now, and I hope you are well too. Love Ali xxx

  45. angela white February 27, 2017 at 3:37 pm -  Reply

    dearest ali, so sorry to hear of your loss I hope you and the children are coping ok. its so awful when you lose someone isn’t it? I hope you are recovering from the dreaded lurgy and on the way to feeling your normal self. my sister and I are still trying to come to terms with losing our brother we are still trying to sort things as he had many hobbies! guitars,archery, shooting and cars! we just feel so overwhelmed when we walk into the house. well take care ali and get well soon sending lots of love and hugs your way,angela

  46. Linda February 27, 2017 at 7:46 pm -  Reply

    Dear Ali, I am so sorry to hear you and your family’s very sad news. I hope that in time you will find peace knowing that Steven is out of pain. Ali I hope you well be feeling better very very soon. Love Linda xxxxxxxxxxxx

  47. Helen Heywood February 27, 2017 at 8:35 pm -  Reply

    So sorry to hear your news, best wishes to you and your family x

  48. Alison Keenan February 28, 2017 at 2:46 pm -  Reply

    I just wanted to thank you all so much for these incredibly kind and heartfelt comments. They have meant a great deal to me and the children, and made me realise how very lucky I am to have so many folk as part of Ali’s Army. It means the world to me to know this kind of support is there not just for me, but for all of us. And talking of which Karen Jenkins, you wrote to me on the previous blog, and I would very much like to get in touch with you re your diagnosis, so I wonder if you could call Customer Services on 0800 514131? Very many thanks, and love to all. See you tonight at 8pm for Diamonique!

  49. Karen Jenkins March 1, 2017 at 12:11 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali, just reading your blog and would firstly like to give my sincere condolences on the loss of Tommy, yet again life has dealt a very cruel blow that has a rippling effect on many people. I would love to keep in touch Ali and will certainly give customer services a call tomorrow. I too have had the dreaded lurgy and my chemo meds are due again tomorrow !! Will have to wait for the hospital to ring as not sure if they will give me the go ahead or not. I have unfortunately had to miss quite a few cycles over the winter because of cold, chest infections etc so hope I won’t have to miss this one again.
    It is amazing how people we have never met before can be so supportive and caring and I also feel so grateful to them for just being there, thank you all. Anyway Ali, I look forward to hearing from you, speak soon. Karen. x

    • Alison Keenan March 1, 2017 at 11:41 pm -  Reply

      Dear Karen, thank you for your kind and supportive words. I’m terribly sorry to know that you have also fallen foul of this horrid bug, particularly because it’s delaying your treatment. I very much hope that you will improve suficciently so you don’t have to miss another one. Unfortunately because your immune system is compromised it does make you more susceptible… Fingers crossed you’ll get better very soon. So glad that you’ll be able to call Customer Services, although I think I may have found your e mail, if you care to check! This blog never ceases to amaze me with so many loving and kind folk. It’s wonderful that you like I can benefit from being a part of it. Take good care, love Ali xx

  50. Karen Jenkins March 1, 2017 at 10:21 am -  Reply

    Sorry Ali, me again !
    I just called customer services as you requested but they didn’t know what they could do to help. They had none of your details they could pass on and didn’t know how else to help. They suggested I write back to you on your blog so I thought I had better let you know that I have tried, sorry Ali. Maybe you would know what to do as I would love to be in touch with you somehow, bye for now, Karen x

  51. Teresa L March 1, 2017 at 11:11 am -  Reply

    Hi Ali condolences to your lovely family on their sad list and the beginning of last week.
    So glad you has a good time in Southend last week. I used to go there a lot when I was little as my Grandparents lived near by. The highlight of my year was going to see the lights and walking along the pier.
    We have been in a bit of an upheaval at home the last couple of weeks as we are having a new conservatory. All coming together now but will be glad when it is all finished Feds up with dirt and dust around the place duster and carpet cleaner out all the time. Still will look fabulous in the end.
    We also had some great news from USA this week our great nephew’s senior project has been chosen to to go forward to the county show. He has built a guitar with lots of extras so as you can imagine we are super excited and proud. Fingers crossed that he goes on to win.
    Hope you are now feeling better and that all the nasty bugs have now gone let’s hope the sun shines soon so that we can all get out without freezing.
    Take care dear Ali love Teresa xx

  52. Fiona Brackenridge March 4, 2017 at 1:02 pm -  Reply

    I was saddened to hear about your family’s loss. I was visiting a very close friend who was diagnosed with MND almost two years ago and is now in the final stages of the illness. It is such a cruel disease which takes so much from the person but he has borne it with dignity, determination and humour. His family are also dealing with it with courage. My heart goes out to all who have to face this terrible illness but as you say hope is sometimes all we have and the memories of the person who was oart of our lives.
    God bless

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