4th October 2012
Three hundred and sixty five days ago you came in from rugby training, at exactly this time, 10 pm, neither of us knowing what was wrong, neither of us knowing how life would at that point in time change irreparably.
Three hundred and sixty five days ago, I nursed you through the night, neither of us slept, tossing and turning, uncontrollable head pain, vomiting…
Three hundred and sixty six days ago was the last time I slept in your arms, in the same bed as you, in the same house, as a family under one roof.
And for three hundred and sixty five days I have yearned for you, known the pain of longing for something you cannot have. Known the powerlessness of struggling against a system, trying to be heard, trying to get you the right therapy for you to be given the best chance to recover as far as possible.
Three hundred and sixty five days of fighting, of loving like I never have, of rising up and challenging my tendencies to want to hide under a stone (or rock in a corner!) and channel that into the energy to find my voice, fight for you, mother our kids in a way that will guide them, teach them how to cope in life, to be heard and not shrink back and hide when things get tough. To rise up and accept the challenge of life, no matter what it is, and drag yourself through by the skin of the teeth at times, get it wrong, often, but forever trusting and being grateful, acknowledging our blessings and the wonder of ALL that we have, no matter how big or small. Having faith in the Most High, drawing on Him for strength, believing in the power of prayer, energy, love.
For three hundred and sixty five days I have written everyday to you (sorry!).
And where am I today? Well, I have found a confidence in myself I never had. A knowledge that all I can do is try, keep trying and don’t quit, ever! I have gasped, I have cried, I have sobbed, called out. I have begged God, I have been numb at times, I have been OK at others. I have snapped but always bounced back, buoyed by the love of those surrounding, whether they be strangers, neighbours or far away. .
I feel more settled these days, less strewn everywhere. The routine of school, the quality time with the kids. Watching them learn to read, discovering the world. And being the utmost that I can be to them. They see my weaknesses, my faults, they see me cry. But I hope they have seen me endure, persist and challenge myself, never letting myself ‘baisse les bras’ as they say in French, literally translated as ‘putting your arms down’ which I like, it means not giving up, but the thought of having my arms up and not letting them fall to my side, I like.
I have been swept along by overwhelming support, the caring of others and the energy of other people. This has lifted at times when I have needed it.
I find, now, today, reflecting on a year of you not being here, that I want to be useful somehow. I am the first to say to the kids ‘serve others, then yourself’. I feel I am looking out for you, them, us as a family and fighting to get all that you need. But what about the people who don’t have the energy to fight? Who don’t have the support? What about the people who are fobbed off by the system, who get lost in automated messages, who have no one to support them?
People’s support and strength they have offered me has been inspiring.
So, where am I today? Waiting. Walking. Accepting. Often, still, lonelier than I could ever have imagined, scared without you, lost. But I have learned the joy of counting and naming my blessings, everyday. I have learned to appreciate all things, and when I feel the despair, the pain, I turn my attention to thanking the Most High for something that is good too.
For three hundred and sixty five days I have watched you, willed you on, determinedly refusing to lose the hope that I will always follow.
I have seen miracles; you are still here! And progress beyond anything anyone ever predicted.
I am overwhelmed with how much the love between us spurs you on, and me.
I am the luckiest girl in the world, Alex Wood, that you picked me!
We’re never giving up, we’ll be back in the same bed one day…and when we are, nothing will ever, ever have felt so incredible…
That day will come, my angel.