Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Dear Alex, time apart approaches...






July 25th 2012

Dear Alex,

Eight-year-old mud-stained capable boy hands delve deep into his Lego box. Creations made, an imagination I wish I could entrap and lose myself in too.

This evening I make another ‘getting back to normal’ step. I stagger kids’ bedtimes. This I have not often done since I have been without you. But tonight I have resolved something, thus tonight I shall achieve! Laying out her duvet on the floor, Esmie swims as I read to her, little legs, chubby bare arms diving into the unknown depths of swimming pool duvets. Mitzi chooses to read for her bedtime time with mummy. Spelling out sounds and learning, a new door opening, a universe of sounds becoming words, sentences, making sense. Hot and lounging all over me, I encourage the ‘ssss’ ‘th’ ‘at’ noises, and watch her little self, accomplishing new things. Lola throws herself into a French word search, we discover words hidden and what Madame rouge bought for her tea. Monty is lying, waiting playing on the sofa. Tummy squashed into the sofa, legs kicking in the air, his Lego creations have sound effects that only he can make! I try hard with my Lego creations, ‘Mum, that is good, but I think I’ll just use it in battle and well, it might be destroyed by a baddy ship, OK?’ He always looks at it encouraging me, but destroying it in battle, and creating something a trillion times better!

Bedtime passes, I strain to remember times with you, wanting to remember, to describe times with the kids, only I pause and swallow hard trying to get through the memories as I tell them…

Our holiday approaches. We are going to visit France, back to stay with friends where we used to live. Where we grew our own vegetables, where ducks quacked around the garden, floating in the pond or the paddling pool! Chickens, Blanchette, Brigite, Margot, Molly, Meg, and Marjorie attacked us at eating outdoor times. Where our garden was big, the rented House small, but snug and busy with life. The garage, bits of roof missing, bats flying wildly at dusk. Sundown and outside time, just you, just me, watching the sunset in each other’s arms. Enjoying the still, the life, how it seems like a life time ago…

As Wednesday draws near, it seems to be approaching fast, faster than I can say ‘hang on a minute, I need to prepare emotionally for this’. The thought of leaving here, going back, passing our old house where we, as a family, grew, prods at my shut out memories, taunts my ability to control the sadness. Absence from my routine and comforts, seeing you. How will I do it? How will I cope?

A friend said to me a while back now, as I debated going, that I was now responsible for building the kids’ memories. Not just around visiting you in the hospital, but of other, happy memories, of family fun, holidays. It destroys me daily that we can’t just go for a family dog walk, sit all together on the sofa watching a film…you’re here, still here, we still have the chance to make family memories, of a different kind one day. This day, in contrast, does not approach fast enough…

Thoughts of not seeing you thrust their sorrow to the surface of my ‘yes, it is lovely weather we are having, isn’t it?’ front…

At least I get this whole week to spend with you on my own, as the kids are at a play scheme all week, and various friends have stepped in to collect Esmie, who finishes at 1, to look after her till I collect the others later on in the afternoon.

Tonight, it’s still Wednesday, there’s still a week. May I give our kids a good holiday, one to remember, and may you be alright, as I am far away, missing you, craving you…


Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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