Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Dear Alex, my anecdote....

A very little Esmie-Rose...

25th June 2012

Dear Alex,

A long day, not finishing till 8.30 with the kids when we get in from Monty’s cricket and hose down outside, the mud!

Esmie sliced her finger with a knife cutting oranges I had brought down and not seen she had been hacking away at when I was preoccupied. Another mummy there was telling me it was Dad day on Thursday, when dad’s are coming in to school to play, with Monty's year, a cricket match with the kids at school, all dad’s were invited- we hadn’t received the letter…

It would never have come at the right time. But then everything, every event, every meal, every outing, dog walk, getting ready for school, there’s always stark reminders that you’re not there. A letter inviting you to school or not, even cooking eggs has me in floods!

But it, just again, was one of those moments I feel sad. For me, for you, for Monty. Because you cannot be there.

Music, all the dads at cricket practice, bringing their sons, lovers strolling hands in each others back pockets down the street, or sitting out enjoying togetherness in the fresh air, or going along just in the supermarket. I cannot hide from it all. I want to, but I cannot hide from life…and it does carry on. It sweeps us all along. The broom of life. Too fast, a pace we find ourselves reflecting each year on a birthday, Christmas, thinking ‘where did that go? I must make plans to enjoy the moment more!' But can we, when we feel ever swept, and brushing with life in a very  general and unfulfilled way?

We find ourselves watching at times and realising weeks, months, years have just fled from our grasp.

Funny, we all tell ourselves to ‘get a grip’’ at times. Is this where the expression comes from? As we feel constantly swept along by life’s huge brush strokes, inevitable and too swift.

What is the ‘getting a grip’ all about?

I can’t tell you, I do not know, all I know is how I practice life since this happened to you. And things have slowed. I am an observer at times, not just spinning along out of control. Giving thanks. My book I write in, my internal thanks, at every dark and difficult moment, I turn, I breathe, holding onto my lifeline, giving thanks to The Most High. It makes me appreciate the moment. Take in what I do have, drink it in, not letting it always pass so fast I miss it.

I write, and I write the things I have been given in the day. A phone call, a coffee, time to see you, a house to sleep in, the four kids. And what it does for me is makes me realise what I do have. It makes me dig my heels in, thanking the Most High for those things I frequently miss when I feel so caught up in the speed of life.

A song, bird song, a new bird species that flies high. A spider taking off on it’s thread of web and flying higher than I can perceive it with my eyes. A lady bird.

How silly it sounds, but when I look, I find, and when at the times I feel my eyes are covered, my eyes are so blackened by the night that I feel so oppressively at times, it lights, illuminates the beauty of the things we have.

Now, our four biggest blessings are all finally tucked up in bed, relatively clean. It’s 9pm, and I have switched on the computer to write to you.

This morning I lost it, I got caught in the flurry of a hasty school morning run. Things lost, shoes not found, and when, already 5 minutes late, I was still looking for shoes for Mitzi (school shoes lie drenched from puddle splashing yesterday, in the boot of the car) I broke, I barked. I felt anger, frustration that there was just me to do all this. Just me. I go to school, tear stained eyes, head down, and cuddle the kids mummy love and sorry good-bye till 3pm.

Later on, I refocus, as I have promised myself to do this week. It is only me, but at least there is still me! And this is, at the moment, all these four gifts or ours have got.

Reigning time in, giving thanks, my life line. It’s a strain to remember to give thanks at all times, but I truly believe this refocusing is my most powerful tool. Cracking through the concrete of disruption, grief, darkness…

Although at times it feels like grabbing at thin air-there’s always something…

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 25 June 2012

Dear Alex, tomorrow I'll be there with you again...

Alex 2 summers ago with his best mate from up north Karl Frampton

24th June 2012

Dear Alex,

Sun descending, hesitating to fall beneath the trees, warmth on my skin. Spider webs decorating the old wooden frame in the garden glisten silver, accommodating with joy the sun’s glow.

Love, I have been surrounded by this last week. A week I felt the noose of ‘how much longer can I drag myself along this path?’ straining ever tighter. Tidal waves of anxiety, grief washing through me with a force I thought may throw me down. Feet straining to stay grounded, not being washed away by the fury of these feelings.

So many people have passed by, just dropped by in the moments I have wanted the world to silently sweep me away. The times I have felt I can tread water no longer, a safety net of love from others has drawn me out, given me fish pie for dinner! Offered me a chat and a cuppa. And I haven’t scared people off, broken them! Even though these times I feel I may drive others away, who would want to listen to me? What joy or what light-hearted company can I offer? My fear of draining others, but all have just been there, cried tears with me, put an arm around me.

I have been so overwhelmed by the support. Just a phone call out of the blue, a message on the answering machine or a visit. I am sure these friends have no idea what the support has meant this last week…

Monty has been ‘not himself’. Usually smiling, easy, ready to listen. He has shouted, stormed, been angry. So Saturday, when we were all together I had to override all I felt, close the door on it again, be alright for them. The priority. The responsibility of only me. They represent how I am, a barometer of my emotions and how I am dealing with this. This I have to take on board. Simple things, the Saturday morning not rushing off to see you in hospital, but having rounds and rounds of marmite toast and milk, cups of tea, playing with lego, drawing, garden time. An unrushed visit later on in the afternoon did all good. And Scooby Doo watching, cuddled by each and everyone of them in the evening before they go to bed calmed and reinforced by normality, love, and that mummy was OK, despite having had a hard week.

A calmer brigade today, although I know I have to keep a close eye on how things are going…

From the very start I knew it was down to me, you had gone, they needed me as their stability, to love and nurture and protect, despite.

Refocusing this weekend has been a challenge, but now they are tucked up, each one, a hot water bottle (no, boiler still has not been replaced!) dirty, as we had no time for a shower! But teeth cleaned, last milk drinks, prayers and kisses encircled before they sleep-dreaming.

I hope to have a night with out nightmares tonight. I hope to have a week refocused, centred on progress, positivity and planning fundraising events for you…

All my love my man,

Sleep well tonight,

Tomorrow I’ll be there with you again…

Me xxxxxx

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Dear Alex, there is a time to look back, and a time to refocus...

23rd June 2012

Baby Esmie, outside her first house in France......

Dear Alex,

A leaflet dropped through the door today, I glance at the title

‘ there is a time to look back and a time to refocus'

After this week, it feels like this message is for me. I am trying hard to put back on my refocusing gear, ready for this next week…sometimes words come out of nowhere, and yes, sometimes they are coincidences and aimed very much at your life. This leaflet was simply that. A word for the week.

To say you were on form today is an understatement! As soon as those kids of ours leaped on you in bed, you were trying to talk, some things clear, some things, really not! We are allowed to make you double cream consistency drinks when you want them, and your meals have progressed from just yoghurt to pureed whatever is going! Although when I ask you what you had had at lunch you say ‘don’t remember’ I say ‘well, was it rank or alright?’ you reply ‘it’s always tasty!’ so this speech was audible and coherent enough to understand the principle that you are enjoying your new freedom in eating portions of pureed meals three times a day…

The kids and I made you an angel delight drink-your favourite! They mix and shake and Mitzi helps you drink it. You keep saying ‘more!’ and puckering your lips reaching them out for tastes of strawberry angel delight, you drain the whole cup, and find it hilarious that I say I have to finish up the rest in the shaker cup, reaching out for it, but me refusing to let you have it ‘it’s all mine now’ I joke…

Your laugh has changed, it sounds more like your old laugh, Lola commented on this.

Even Monty let you cuddle him for ages today, your head buried into him, planting kisses on his cheek. Although I struggle to watch these moments…

We have to accept this for what it is. Not pushing for the unattainable, but pushing for more little progress, forcing those steps, which we will be able to look behind and see that we have been stepping forward…

This is all I will write tonight, just stopping at the positives. There’s time to reflect, and time to just focus on the positive, and tonight is one of those letters. Progress, food, laughs.

Good night my angel,

I will see you tomorrow, thank you for the laughter today.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxx