January 24th 2012.
Dear Alex, your 33rd birthday…
Before, our life was full to the brim, noise, outings, innings, kids, chickens, ducks, cats and a gay dog. ‘Never a moment's peace’ and we were left wondering, finally, in our times alone in the evenings, in between putting various kids back into bed, what wicked, wicked things we’d done in our previous lives?!
Now, it’s all different, the only animals left are the cats and the dog, all vaccinated up and ready for our departure, leaving our ‘dream’ of growing all our own, being as green as we could, and giving our kids something they would always have-another language, spoken with the local accent, experiencing another way of living, another culture.
You spent your days working, coming in to train and study to be a personal trainer, in order to help other’s fulfil their potential, health wise and fitness wise. I was about to start teaching English too part time. Then all of a sudden, you come back after your first rugby training in over ten years, unwell, as I have never seen you, suffering, and two days later are diagnosed with a blood clot in the brain.
The initial prognoses, after your first brain operation if you made it at all, which was extremely doubtful, (I was told to ‘be prepared you may never see him again’), was then to expect you in a coma for how long, they could not tell me, then things took an unexpected turn for the worse, a second blood clot developed, and you went in for your second brain surgery not 30 hours later.
This time, I was told you may not even survive the operation itself. Then I had to wait two weeks for you to be ‘out of the woods’ not knowing if each time I saw you would be my last.
After this, baby, you are in a coma for two and a half months, but your fight, your subconcious drive, your love, soul, your connection with us, brought you out of the coma they had told me was at Glasgow level 3, you may never have woken up. You, sweetheart, defied all this...
Today, we prepare for an imminant return to England, believeing you will make far better progress. Before I figured I didn’t do ‘not much’ on a daily basis, but now, with the move, packing, finding schools, organising animals, kids, daily chores, school, homework, visits to see you, cooking, cleaning, oh yes, my floors are still mopped every night! Tip runs, Brocante runs, paper work, letters cancelling things, potential new tenants visiting this house for when I depart, emails, Dr appointments, oh, I won’t carry on, my point is, in relation to what I did before, I was metaphorically sat on my pie ass eating all the pies in comparison.
If I have not been looking for my sunglasses for two weeks, and eventually finding them in the fridge, or my keys in the bin, cancelling my passport and getting a new one, only to find it in the drawer four days later, commenting to a friend that the dude waving his arm up and down all day on the side of the motor way with a flag must be a) reeeaalllly p*ss*d at his job, and b) his arm must surely just effing be killing him, for her to turn round and tell me slowly and deliberately that ‘Tamsyn, it’s a manikin sweetie’, waking up to find at least two kids in my bed who just 'snuck in', then I know I am having a good day.
The thing is baby; I am doing it all to hold our family as tightly together as we did as a unit before your accident. You inspire me, and continue to. You have been determined to fight, determined from the word go, and your smile (which is about all the communication I get these days, a few odd laughs too) is worth everything I do, and I’d do it five times over to see you smile. That which the Dr’s diagnosed in the beginning, that you would be in your bed for the rest of your life, only able to communicate with blinking, it’s not true to say I couldn’t care less, but you are still HERE, and still you, and that’s what counts. People ask me how I can always be smiling, despite, and it’s because I still have you, you are here, and still our kids' daddy. I am so very aware it may not have been this way....*(having just read this, I obviously have frequent moments of being in the pits of despair, but I guess, that goes without saying...)
The kids summed this up fantastically after seeing you the other day, they asked me why we couldn’t just bring you home and make you better at home? To them, your ‘state’ does not disturb them, does not change their feelings about you, or the feelings they know you have for them, you are just their dad.
With all you are battling, all you are fighting, and in it all being clinically blind, not able to speak and your movements limited, you amaze me. Sometimes it gets too much, you try desperately, contorting your mouth and trying to make a noise, trying to tell me something, and you can’t, and this makes you cry. But baby, I always know what you would be saying to me, we have no need for words at the moment, I understand you.
Shortly, we will back in England, I know what the move to France meant to you, to us, for our kids, but the kids see it as a new adventure-we all need to see things more through our children’s eyes, the world would be a much less complicated place.
You will get there one day my baby, I know you, so I know you will. I am prepared for however long this takes, I know we are talking years, but when we promised each other, in front of God, our parents, that we would love each other ‘in richness and in poorness, through sickness and health, till death do us part’ I know we meant it from the depths of our souls. You have me for the rest of your life, we have each other for the rest of our lives, and even if, this is you, you stay as you are (which I do not believe) I will always be your devoted wife.
You are, and have always been, and continue to be my hero, my inspiration, my muse, my idol, my comfort, strength, and soul mate.
Here’s to a better 34th Birthday, the rest of our lives together, and our next journey, England again, together, it could have been so different…
I love you around the universe and back my angel,
Be mine forever,