December 28th 2011
I park up and realize I am next to your parents, they are obviously with you.
In fact I am soaking wet, I, and three other mummies who have been extraordinary in their kindness and help for me these past few months, all went to the swimming pool, with slides and baby pools and everything, in St Jean de Luz, we had a picnic lunch, then went swimming, I left the pool and the four kids in their capable hands after an hour and a half to go and see you. Then I was to go back and join them.
I walk into the room and do my usual ‘hiya baby, how’s it going?’, you break down, as you have done every day for the last three days on hearing my voice. I apologise to your mum, and take her place next to you, whereupon I hold your head and mine pressed close, holding your right hand, and telling you how I know, I know how imprisoned you feel, I know this is your worst nightmare, I know it’s an unknown world, everyone talking in French, pushing you, pulling you about, trying you in different positions, turning you, returning you, lifting you in harnesses to place you in chairs, back in bed. You just want to do this all for yourself, but are incapable.
I try and reassure you everyday that, yes, this is you at the moment, yes, this is just down right f*ck*ng hard, no words can soothe, no wand to magic it away, you have to go through it. I try and make you concentrate on not just the here and now, but of our future together, rolling around in the garden with the kids, light sabre battles with the kids, being you, you, again, one day. Try and see what I see, hat the kids see, our future, together, once again, as a complete family.
Your parents leave as they have been there a while. You lay still for a while as I talk to you about the day, the kids swimming, I tell you Lola was doing roly-polys under water and doing 5 strokes under water too. You raise your eyebrows, then start to cry again. I know how you yearn to see them, how your heart and soul must ache to see their little faces, be a part of what they are doing. I tell you I am looking after them, I really am, they miss you, and want to see you, but now’s not the time. I promise you I am looking after them well, and they are happy (enough). But you are heartbroken.
In fact tonight before I put Monty to bed, he came to me in tears, doubled over, crying out his pain, ‘I just miss daddy so, so much, he wasn’t here for my birthday or for Christmas, when can I see my dad again?’ I cuddle him into me, stroking his head, and I rethink. I hadn’t wanted them to see you like this, as for the other three, I believe this will be traumatizing for them. I explain everything, but what a child listens to and accepts, does not mean they fully comprehend the emotions that would indubitable go with it were they to see you as you are. But Monty has already seen you, and in ICU, so here, he would see the difference, I suggest to him he has a think about whether he wants to come in, and I will reflect on this too, but if he really wants to, he is mature enough to deal with it, it did him good to see you last time, as sad as it was for him.
Today, I wanted to write down the things I have seen you achieve in the last 6 days since being in Neuro-re-education, each moth I will re-read it, and we will see how far you are moving. Every day, I tell you, is another day closer to being well, every day, another day won.
Today as you sit in the chair harnessed in, you move your right arm up to your face in an uncoordinated manner to scratch your nose, you roughly achieve it with the back of your hand. You can squeeze with your right hand (I gave you and arm wrestle, and it was a draw! but at least it put a smile back on your face for a while), I ask you to squeeze with your left hand, it takes a few seconds, and you very, very lightly move your hand. This was ‘paralysed’ a week ago. You move both legs incredibly well, lifting them up onto a chair I place opposite you and back down again, I tell you to practice getting your dancing rhythm back to the music, or I will always deny being with you on the dance floor! You open your eyes, and blink them. You slightly nod and shake your head for yes and no, not very visibly, but you can notice it. Yesterday when asked by me if you understood the nurses talking to you in French, you extend your right hand and move it from side-to-side in a ‘kind of’ gesture.
Yesterday, when you were in tears, and my face is pressed against yours, you move your right hand up to touch my face. I swoon, this affectionate gesture from you was huge, it came form you, the man I love, the man I miss, my man. You have some movement in your left arm too.
These are all remarkable, and the rest is all to come. Remember, you barely smiled a month ago...
The nurses talk to me about replacing the bone in your head, this will not be done for six months, you will have to wear a protective helmet until. I tell them how this Christmas was going to be our first ever family Christmas together, I said, well, at least it will be the only one not like that, next year…They look at me pursed lipped, sorrow in their eyes, and tell me that I have to be aware we are not talking months, never to lose hope, but it will be a very, very long road.
This is what we have both been in agony trying to deal with since your move. Although we were so excited that you are there, the long haul I think has hit us both. It’s taken its toll. But I promise you my baby I will lift you, I will be there no matter what, everyday, without fail, I will comfort you and be there for you, and I am never quitting, neither will you.
I am in agony for you, what you must be going through, the nurses say you cry a lot when I am not there too. It rips my heart in two.
But you will see honey, little by little, step by step, and you will reach your goal one day…
I pray you sleep peacefully tonight, and I will see you tomorrow.
I love you form the depths of the earth and the heights of the sky, together, baby, we will do this…