August 27th 2012
Rainy days, trips on wet roads to the hospital, cooped up in the centre. Regardless of this, plans are being made, your future move to another Centre is being applied for, and time ticks on…
Esmie’s birthday today, and we play musical statues in the big family room (at least there’s room to move in there!) you smile and seem utterly contented that we are all there, enjoying the kids squeals, the tantrums as they forget to stand like a statue and are ‘out’. You laugh, we take Oliver for a walk, only the rain prevents us going far and we wander round the hospital grounds, you holding onto his lead. A loving, happy family unit, the dog, you, me, the four kids on scooters, celebrating our littlest’s birthday…she sits on your knee to blow out her candles and I have a giant sparkler that I set off (we do all stand well back for all those health and safety experts reading!) and it is meant to be an indoor birthday cake one too). Your eyes light up and follow the noise, and you laugh as you hear the ‘ooooos’ of the kids, and ‘oh s***!’ from me as it goes off sooner than I expect it to!
You revel in the family time, and are fine when we leave.
Esmie has a friend round for tea and more cake is eaten. You got to lick the butter icing and loved it!
Talking to a friend today who came round this morning to see Esmie and give her her birthday present, I realised from writing to you last night that recently I have had to challenge my thoughts and behaviour more than ever. I feel snarls and see happy dads in the parks with their kids, for some reason it seems no mums are around this particular day. In this situation, I guess in any situation of grief or adjustment, you have two decisions as to how you can deal with it. It has to be accepted, I think I am realising that nearly a year on, I have to accept that this is how it is, maybe not forever, but a very long time, there’s no choice in that. But the choice is in how I accept it.
Either I accept it screaming and snarling and angrily, resentfully looking on at everyone else thinking how time goes on, people’s lives move on, but we are still here and why us?? The sorrow of the kids, Monty before bed crying for ages scared and not wanting to grow up because what if something like what happened to you happens to him? Because why can’t God come down and sit on his bed and take away his worry and tell him it’ll be alright? I could easily be propelled into this acceptance method.
The second is accepting it and seeing it as an opportunity, I already see the effect our story has on others, who assume I’m a single mum, who think I have it all because I have four lovely kids, then hear the reality. I can accept it by handing it over to the Most High, saying, I don’t understand why, God, but I trust, and everything has a purpose. Refocusing the bad things, the loneliness, the vulnerability into self-challenge, looking at what I have been given to do and my abilities and how I am doing it, as hard as it is. I can accept it by refocusing the ‘this is so hard, doing everything on my own’ by thanking the Most High for the fact I have myself alive and well, and breathing and able to look after the kids on my own, to see you and be there for you everyday. What a blessing!
This stage is the ‘how do I accept this?’ stage I think. And I know how I want to. And it’s not the former.
From day one I set out to do this, and do it to the utmost of my abilities, and that means being gracious, thanking God for others that don’t have this situation, not feeling resentlful that ‘how come they get to be OK?’
It’s not an easy one. I am working hard, as I say to challenge my thoughts, my feelings, and digging heels in to thank and give praise to Jah for all I have…my myriad blessings, which I could name over and over and over. And so why do I need to feel hurt or aggrieved that we don’t get to live as others may do? We have a life, we are still here, and we are damn well going to make this the biggest opportunity of our lives, because, I am sure you will agree, we never, ever, want to go through anything like this again!
So I am hooking on and buckling on my armour, challenging those thoughts, counting and naming all those blessings, then it doesn’t matter what other people live, because what we are living is God given and blessed and bearing other fruit, fruit that would never have grown had we not been though this.
I know you’re behind me on this, I talk to you often enough about it!
And I’ll keep on battling to do this the right way, God’s way, and I hope I can…
So here’s my battle cry, my armour of trust and naming blessings, and onto gratitude-consciousness, not aggrieved- consciousness.
I love you my man,