Saturday, 17 March 2012

Dear Alex, You know what, I think it’s been the funniest week ever….

You know what, I think it’s been the funniest week ever….

March 18th 2012

Dear Alex,

Last week, was a week to write off, bury and never turn it over again!

You see, as soon as you had your accident, it was all down to me, to do it all, and my fiercely protective mothering instincts flooded me and I had to step up. My priority keeping the kids as stable and happy as possible, and giving you all the time and energy that entails. Although life does not stop, there’s moves back to England, realising half our clothes, toys have not returned, and the kids have to make do well, Mitzi and Esmie, sleeping on a mattress on the floor, top and tailing for weeks until I finally wangle some bunk beds.

Suddenly being dependent on other’s kindness to clothe us, feed us and provide. And the humility that involves, when all I want to do really, is stand on my own two feet and provide for our kids, nurture them and you. But I am dependent, and although I hate this and it frustrates me, I can do nothing but accept it.

This week, on my birthday I had a meeting with a housing officer who informs me the impossibility of my situation and then I am sent on my merry way to deal with it.

Then the Wednesday night I start having excruciating cramps in my stomach, it being abnormal, just before I collapse, I manage to get the Dr’s number tapped into the phone, and Monty rings him. Then he rings Grandma and Grandpa, who track down my sister and her husband John, who come flying to the rescue, and stay with me till extremely late in hospital, and who get my parents over. By this time I had been screaming in agony for and hour, and unable to move. Lola strokes my hair and holds my hand telling me I’ll be OK. Monty decides to take Mitzi and Esmie upstairs to read them a story and calm them down, then gets them to bed. Various family members turn up, and the Dr quickly realises he is not sure what is going on and hits me with pethidine, and calls the ambulance. I am whisked away to hospital. Hours later, the agony calms, it was like labour pains, I can assure you. They find not a lot, and diagnose kidney stones. I manage to get home late evening the next day. To Monty who was had quite literally made himself sick with worry, he was in a terrible state, hot, exhausted and told me how terrified he had been, that I would be ‘like dad’. I had been lying in hospital worrying about this, as for the kids, a parent going to hospital has connotations, severe ones, and Monty had thought the worst. Thankfully, I was back, I was fine, and explained to him even though we get poorly sometimes, hospitals are there to make us better and send us home again, and it was not the same as daddy. He cried himself to sleep, me stroking his head and shhhhhing him, telling him I am always here, so’s dad, but daddy needs a long time to get better.

I was blown away by the calm strength our kids showed, looking after me and ringing all the right people and not panicking and freaking out. The maturity they showed was phenomenal, and we are very lucky baby to have them, and yet again, a moment to be insanely proud of them all.

Then, still unwell, I go to pick up the kids from school, realising the teachers had thought when the kids had said ‘mummy is in hospital’ that I was visiting you! And Lola had been told off for not handing in her homework. Bless her little sensitive heart, things couldn’t be more all over the place at the moment!

I then pick Esmie up and I see the beautiful pots of flowers they have spent all day decorating and making pretty flowers to go inside, presents for mother's day, which will be different this year. The nursery worker picks up the pots, going, nope, not that one, nope, nope, nope not that one either, then she looks at me and goes ‘oh yes, I’ve just remembered, I didn’t get round to doing one with Esmie, sorry about that…’ and so we leave empty handed. I had to laugh, bit of hysteria I am sure kicks in, but how the hell can that have happened too?????!!!! Absolutely hilarious. As if??!!

Oh, and Mel, your cousin who comes in once a week to physio you and is just generally just amazing with all that is going on, a fantastic support for me, and says in her ‘delicate’ way- she’ll laugh at that, she knows her manner! (I love you Mellie!!) and to put it bluntly, minutes after she tells me the scare on Wednesday night shocked the family and a lot of people had been thinking, and I basically found myself writing my will just in case….Well, it’s probably obligatory all things considered, and very practical. But this last week has been a, well, a comedy of errors resulting in me being in better spirits than ever as ultimately who would actually believe all this??? I do feel like I am making it up, if only I were. But that was my birthday week. Welcome to 34-year-hood me…!

Anyway, on the bright side, oooo and there always is (?!) the kids and I were able to take you out for your first taste of fresh air in 5 and a half months, we wheeled you to the coffee shop opposite in the hospital which of course was shut. But we found machines, which would have been fab, but the drink dude who pour them out before you can take it was obviously p*ssed and just couldn’t be bothered to get the drink in the cup, scalding me twice, with a sip of hot chocolate left in each cup, so we combined it and had a sip each….

So, yes, baby, our life is pretty hilarious at the moment, I would write a black comedy about it if I could. Because really, laughter is the best medicine, it stops you rocking in corners, and you do just have to laugh.

Oh, and then, as we bring Oliver in the car with us to see you, we got Oliver out to see you for the first time in 5 and a half months, and I forewarn the kids I will cry at the emotional reconciliation. We get him out, and leaps out, missing you and sniffs off all over the place. You and I laughed out loud. Stupid dog! He actually bloody missed you! Finally we get him back over, and Oliver (who for years now I have had to lift into the car, as he doesn’t ‘do’ jumping) jumps up, to try and get on your lap, licking you, wagging his tail like it’ll fall off, whimpering, and it was the reconciliation I had expected…magical. He came through in the end.

So baby, what can I say? We have a very funny, although intensely depressing life going on at the moment!

Let’s keep it together, press on, despite…we’ll get there, won’t we???

Babes, I love you, and regardless of everything happening, I do love our life, because I still have you, and the kids, and that’s all I ultimately want out of our life.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Dear Alex, ‘Allée, courage’

March 13th 2012

My beautiful blue-eyed man.....

Dear Alex,

I came into see you tonight, and you were asleep. I cannot stir you, there’s no birthday smile for me, so I give up, I lie down next to you, tucking my head under your chin, placing your right arm around me, and my leg over yours…As I watch your face, you cannot tell anything has changed, you look peaceful, normal, real. It makes me expect you to yawn, wake up, smile at me and say ‘right, what are we up to for the day, angel?’ pinching my bum cheekily and me demanding a cup of tea before I do anything, you saying, ‘of course sweetheart!’…

If I could have one birthday wish, it would be to have one day with you, a normal day with you, playing with the kids, a walk, a cup of tea made by you, or one of your special coffees. Even you, just there to back me up as we trailed around together battling the bullshit of the hurdles I alone try to surmount at the moment. Just you, Alex, you and me with the kids. It’s all I would wish for.

But no one can wave a magic wand, no one can just zap it away. I cave in tonight and I cry into your T-shirt as you sleep.

I have to move very soon, I have been told you will not be in the O. C. E  for as long as I expected. The implications being that I have to look for a rental property, I am only able to have 3 bedrooms, and it has to be specially adapted for you. Now this does not even exist, and I have a time limit too. The Housing Officer tells me a) to treat it as a full time job trying to find that property (?!) and b) that I have to be open to moving farther afield, thus uprooting the kids again, changing schools and so on. I’ve just got them settled too…

This news on my birthday, plus sleepless nights with Mitzi’s oozing ears, well, and the ‘you circumstance’ and just the whole picture at the moment just literally overwhelms me, and I just need you so much. I know if you were there, you would be right there next to me, pushing me, telling me how amazing* you thought I was (*according to you only! As you used to everyday we were together) telling me I COULD do it.

This whole situation has made me soul search deeper and further and more intensely, than ever before. I wake up this morning at 5.30 with Esmie and Mitzi, and realise:

- There are people willing to give up weekends to come and visit us, evenings to babysit, half days to work with you; the kindness and selfless actions of others humbles me. they're kind enough to send messages, spend time thinking about us, praying or, like today, kind gestures- I received gifts from 'strangers'  (fellow blogging mummies, blown away), people organising things for the kids to give me, a card 'from' Alex. Taking stock of this, I, as a mother, am duty bound to our kids, who deserve to have a role model they can be proud of and a role model who is humble and grateful. Not someone to aspire to who doesn’t understand these values or practice them.

- ‘Allée , courage’ (be brave)

My French friends tell me this frequently. And this is it, having courage, not just courage to face up to this situation, and the battles that definitely do sometimes get the better of me, when I see no way out, no solutions, a hopeless and insurmountable task. It’s also having courage to rise out of this, look (dig deep) and realise when you think you’ve got nothing, you’re at rock bottom, you ALWAYS have something to be grateful for, to give thanks for. When everything’s at it’s worst, the courage to look for the good is not easy, but essential.

And I think of you and your fight you have ahead of you, and realise my fight too, and this is a fight, a battle, and in battle you have to be strong, have courage, surpass yourself to do your best and in doing so, surmount the hurdles with grace and humility by practicing gratitude…

Come on babes, you and me together- you have the hardest fight of your life where you are, and I have not the equivalent, but the hardest fight I have ever had to fight in my life too. Our love will surely get us through all this…because my God, one thing I do know is I am so in love with you.

Armour on, ‘allee courage’ and looking up baby, that’s me coming in to see you tomorrow…

Me xxxxxxxxxxxx