Saturday, 16 June 2012

Der Alex, we are staying put for a few months- heaves of relief...

8th June 2012

Dear Alex,

‘Mummy? Can I smell you?’ were Esmie’s last words to me tonight…hot water bottles prepared, dou-dous tumble dried, yes, I finally have a plumbed in washing machine, and three days later am still not caught up!

Peels of hysterical laughter have followed us all afternoon and evening, as the kids are in high spirits, and the jokes have prevailed, from ‘knock knock? Who’s there? And then any answer that goes on for a long explanatory time trail on for ages, hilarious in their length rather than the punch line.

They have enjoyed the Jubilee celebrations, although are tired out from coming in, bar a day or two to see you in the evenings.

We had your meeting yesterday, and I went with dread. There was no need, as the Therapists were full of praise and have given your new discharge date for the 3rd October, which will mark short of one day the anniversary of your head injury to the day. A poignant date, and the last day I spoke normally to you. We were hot and sunned up on an afternoon down on the playing fields, practicing your rugby kicks, wowing the kids (and me and the dog) with your kicking power and speed and strength (in fact the photo on the top of my blog is the kids ‘oooing’ at your kick, ball flying above their heads as I snap shots…no one knew what the next day would bring…

The therapists have seen much improvement, and think they can work you even harder over the forthcoming months. So the good news leaves me beaming all day, not quite taking it in. the implications are huge. Manifest. It means I can breathe for a few months, staying put in the same house (unless an adapted one is found in the meantime), the kids stay in the same school, we have a few months of stability in front of us, not the unknowing, dread of knowing I will move to wherever is deemed best for you after your time in the OCE.

The grief that piles high everyday is a difficult one to tackle. Sometimes I battle against the inner scream when people, convinced that the fact I have parked in the wrong place, or not been in touch have negative things to say, I battle against the urge to scream out in pain and anger ‘have you any idea what it takes for me to get out of bed on a morning??!’

But then, everyone has things to deal with, no one ever knows what is going on for the next person. Even the people put out by my errors, who knows why it effects them so much? Who knows if for them, they have horrific tragedies ongoing in their lives?

This journey for me is one of hard learning, patience, endurance and stifling bitterness at times.

Our family motto is ‘not out of anger, but out of love’. I try to inhale and exhale this, when the kids fight, teach them to take a step back from the emotions that overwhelm, take over, and say this. Trying to advocate forgiveness, understanding, rather than intolerance and anger.

When we judge, even in our response to people, we have no idea where the other person comes from, what their life has been, and I had just that bit more patience to breathe before reacting, understanding I do not understand, then I think the patience and compassion I could teach my kids through example would be a lesson more powerfully learned. Ingrained, rather than preached and not practiced.

Your speech is inconsistent, more times than not incoherent. But at times a word is formed, it is comprehensible and well formed. The speech therapist continues to work on the swallowing with you, strengthening those core muscles, re-educating the damage done to the signals between your brain and the muscles in the mouth, throat.

It is so incredible this new date given. I feel relaxed, not on tenter hooks for the first time in over 8 months.

Many improvements, slow, but critical have been seen on an even week-by-week basis by you. Even home visits, where you will be able to come home for an hour or so every so often will be put in place as a goal for you too.

I am still walking around, empty without you, nothing to fill the void, the memories of you I cannot, still, face. I can only cling on to hope and hope and hope, healing with much time, without thinking how long this journey will be.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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