Saturday, 1 September 2012

Dear Alex, this week....

Dog walk round the Centre....

September 1st 2012

Dear Alex,

Dark night sky resounds overhead as I travel back from seeing you tonight. The moon, yellow, large, hides behind dark and lighter shades of grey cloud. Their linear patterns covering the glow of the moon. Behind the clouds, there’s light, there’s depth illuminating the moon’s yellow light, vibrant, peaceful and strong.

As I pull up at home, the moon is there, in all it’s splendour, round, yellow, light and brilliant. Finally seeing the earth it looks down upon, shrouded no more and unveiled and wonderful…

This has been a dark week. An unresponsive one from your part, leaving me wondering where my Alex is. A few words you have spoken, tears you have shed, the kids have been in regularly and have enjoyed playing game around you, and we celebrated Esmie’s 4th birthday with you on Monday.

Your progress seems not as it used to be, they spoke of your posture being better, in 6 weeks of therapy, this was all the positive they had for us.

It’s clear that your short term memory is so affected, not remembering one day to the next what year we’re in, your orientation is a battle, as you cannot retain the information. You wake night, you get scared in the day, suddenly shouting, as you have no idea where you are or why you are there, and you realise now you have no sight…you cannot see me and you want to, I made this out tonight as you spoke a fair bit to me alone, just you and me tonight.

We both wonder how we’re doing this, how it came to this? How could we go another day without each other? The time you feel safe is the time I am there with you. The time I feel OK is when I am there with you…

And all these brick walls that have built up this week, for 48 hours I just lost it, in grief, in the impossibility of it all, the responsibility, my hands tied.

The next place you will go is Milton Keynes-such a distance from me, and not at all ideal for you or for the kids to visit…how can this have happened? The place in Aylebury you were supposed to be going has no beds, and won’t have for a very long while.

I know if you were at home, based in our house (which is not possible, it’s totally unadapted) but pie in the sky, we had the right house, you could be based at home and go daily to your therapies, at least I would feel you would be safe, although you’d still wake often not knowing what’s going on, at least the kids voices, the home environment, me to be there to talk to, you’d feel safe, not somewhere where you can’t communicate what the problem is…left to try and work out the nightmare, as good as the nurses are there, they do try and orientate you, but they’re not family, and I feel so strongly you’d benefit from the home environment being your base-but it’s not possible-we don’t have the right house…

So the week, amongst many other things that come up, has brought me to my knees.

I wake up today, knowing I have to be alright and strong for the kids, and I put Stevie Wonder on at breakfast time as we dance around getting the cereal and bowls out…’When you feel your life's too hard, you gotta have a with talk God’…Stevie’s words. And so I took Stevie’s advice. I told the Most High that this is too much for a human being to deal with, how can i? it’s impossible…and I have been scared, no, terrified this week for our future, for you not getting the right care you so desperately need, and I tell Him all this, and try and find the quiet in the whirlwind. The quiet being the smiles on my kids faces as I take them for a bike ride, the joy that I am able to do this for them. The dog joining us, loving just being with his family. The quiet I try and find in the many joyful moments in the day-a cuddle from the kids, a ‘can I help you set the table, mum?’…and from the people who have not left my side this week helping me deal and arranging things for me-the car gets temporarily fixed by a lovely, kind mechanic who just did it as a favour…how does that come about???!

I look at the positives asides the bleak darkness that seems to be hovering over our future at the moment, and I ask the Most High for his strength, that I trust, that he makes a path where no path yet exists…

Alex, your cuddles, your smiles tonight, the time we spent together listening to music, laughing, me chatting to you, your occasional responses…was bliss.

There’s my joy, right there, that despite all this, one thing unchanged is our love we still have for each other, stronger than ever-if that was even possible…

Thank you for smiling as I left, saying ‘I love you’ I will treasure this tonight as I lie in our bed with out you, again…

I love you Alex, so bloody much, we’ll find a way, somehow, I have no idea how, but I trust something will come up…

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Dear Alex, my prayer....

30th August 2012

Dear Alex,

After a very challenging, extremely tough day, I sat down to write to you, and wrote this instead…

My prayer….

My prayer to you, Most High, is this…

That in the depths I plunge, as this journey I never expected, rises and plummets,
That I always turn to you.

That Alex, you make him whole and well, that you breathe your love, comfort and healing into his inner-being and his soul.

May you equip him and fasten his armour for this battle whilst he’s weak.

That those who have been brought to me, you maintain and bless,

The proof that you provide, has me awestruck.

The people who don’t know what they do in however large or small, that they may know the role they play in supporting us is never less than inspiring and humbling.

That those who are there for me, who give their energy, their time, their love, they receive this ten-fold.

As the walls rise and I can see no way out,
As the grief restricts and I close in,

That you help me open my fearful eyes and widen my vision to the things I have.

For those involved who share in this grief, that you lift them up and comfort them in their sorrow.

For our children, so young, so small, that this builds them and does not damage,
That this creates compassionate, loving souls with truth and honesty,
That they are not sad and lonely and do not grow.

May I show them the strength I find in you, that to trust is hard, but that you do surmount the impossibilities.

May I not give in and shrink into the ‘why us?’  Seeking to blame, the resentment, the oppression this breathes…I seek to breathe only love.

May your strength guide me and may I remain faithful to you and true…

And that we grow, Lord, we blossom in you, through you, that others may see who you are…


AS I said earlier Alex, tomorrow is a new day, writing this one off, and buckling up for a better day tomorrow!

Me xxxxxx

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Dear Alex, reigning in the storm...

birthday minnie jumper and cake with dad at the centre...

birthday lollipops...

birthday baby....

August 29th 2012

Dear Alex,

And then it hits, like rolling thunder, beating rain down on my back, stomach muscles pull, throat tears, heaves of shoulders, little and vulnerable, tears well and flood and fall, I am on my knees unstacking the dishwasher…

It does hit me like this at times, and not a single day in 11 months has gone by without crying. But sometimes the ‘grief tears’ as I refer to them strike, and it’s uncontrollable, and it’s lonely, and its sorrow like I’ve never felt…

For the person you were, for how you used to be, for the man you were to me, for your arms around me, your voice, your laughter, your funny quips, your laugh, your beaming smile…and how can I go another day without it? Without you like that? But I have to, I have to do everyday without this, and sometimes the missing you gets too much and I feel afraid, lonely, how can little me run this house, the kids, this life without you by my side? The car has problems, the drain blocks, the washing machine leaks, the rain pours, the job interviews you have to attend letters land on the floor and I think, ‘do they not read your medical notes??!' And then the documents I am obliged to send in have not been received, so things are cut off till I can re-obtain the documents I spent ages trying to get hold of, and even longer getting round to posting…

Yes, honey, it does get too much at times, the fear of dealing with life and all that entails with no you at my side, that’s big, especially with four little voices who need things, want things, attention, mainly, and I fly around trying to keep up with the washing, the chores, the paperwork, planning your future care, meetings for you, fundraising and things looking impossible-the care I ideally want, for you, unless we win the lottery, our hands are tied, and I feel so utterly hopeless, I know what you need, what you’d benefit from and I just wish I could wave a magic wand to open up those opportunities for you, as I want you to make the best possible recovery and I’ve worked it all out! But I can’t do any of it…So the fundraising is at the forefront of my mind, and I spend almost all day and most of the night thinking about it, organising things and event managing is no small feat on top of the rest of it all!

I just know that when the whirlwind of ‘it’s all impossible, how am I going to do this?’ hits, I need to calm this inner storm, harness my frightened thoughts, be strong and trust. I’m re-reading that and thinking, ‘yep, just like that Tamsyn, harness and trust…’ I know what willpower and strength that will take, and I never know if I have it in me…

…And then I look over to my sleeping baby boy, still, at nearly 9, cuddling his teddy and in my bed, his turn tonight, and I know I will find the strength…it’s for our beautiful child-souls, all four of them I do this, I have that responsibility and I am a mummy and mummies have to take a lot on board and fight. That lioness protective instinct is strong, and I can rely on it, just as I have for 11 months now…

To have you back, just for a few minutes as you once were, how I long for that…Something I’ll never have…

Hope, trust and patience. Calm in the storm, finding strength when everything around me looks towering and to be at the point of crashing round my ears…I ask the Most High for comfort and shelter…

Alex, even if this is it, I promise ill be strong, I’ll keep it all together for the family unit. We will always be that, even if very differently from before…

A very devoted me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Dear Alex, the battle cry!

August 27th 2012

Dear Alex,

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,


Me xxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 27 August 2012

Dear Esmie Rose, HAPPY FOURTH BIRTHDAY angel...x

Dear Esmie Rose

Four, my little baby, FOUR today! I was rushed to hospital with flu like symptoms, terrified and feeling so ill. They did some tests and told me I had Streptocoque –B, that it induces early labour, and yes, I was in labour with full on flu!! So the start of your birth was intense. But I had you with no pain relief what so ever, and that I was, and always have been super proud of!!

Now little Ezza, my little tiny one, who starts school in september, but is just too tiny for any of this. I am writing to you so that one day you can read these letters I write to you, the other kids, to dad, and fill in the many blanks you must have, being so young.

Just weeks after you turned 3, dad had his accident, and our lives went from living in a beautiful part of the world, friends, speaking another language, a different culture, to suddenly leaving it all and readjusting to a life in England, where you have never been in fact, you were born in France and we hadn’t been back to England since you were born.

And now four, and daddy still isn’t home as you ask me several times a day.

I feel this past year has been tough, so tough on you and I have at times been overwhelmed with guilt that I have not been able to be with you in the way I could have been, had the circumstances been different. Coming in after we’ve dropped the big 3 off at school to see dad in the Centre, concentrating on dad, his therapies, and trying to involve you, when as you’re so young, this kind of environment isn’t geared up for little people. But I couldn’t have done it differently…my hands have been so tied.

And now you start school, and once school starts, that’s when the years seem to fly by even more. Will I always feel I haven’t done all I could, should have done for you?

You are so little for your age, and the bigger three like to baby you. But you are so mature and confident and determined as a person, this is so clear already.

Quite happy doing your own thing, loving puzzles, writing your name, painting and making beds to sleep on anywhere and everywhere. Your imagination is enthralling, and I love watching you, seeing how you play, and how independent you are. You have always known your own mind, and have a wicked sense of humour, you love to make people laugh.

You fling yourself at people to cuddle them, delighted to see anyone who walks through the door. You’re so affectionate, and still get carried around everywhere!

You are demanding of a lot of affection, and I love that you want that, I give it on tap, your cuddles are squishing yourself into me and kissing me and telling me you love mummy and daddy…

You have the cheekiest grin, scrunch your face up, stick your tongue out. You love experimenting with your hair, hair bands, and the not so welcome self-haircuts you give yourself, now there’s been a few issues there girl! But luckily we’re 5 months free now, and the tufts have finally grown out nicely from the last attempt to cut out your plaits…

You have fantastic strops! They’re generally funny and very short lived, I am sorry I find them so amusing, you are obviously REALLY trying to tell me something important!

My sadness for you sweetheart, is that you have no memories of daddy as he was with you before. We all do, but as you were so young when it happened, and such a lot has happened since, you have no memories of him before. You sit happily on daddy’s knee, you tell him silly things as you love to make him laugh, it’s usually, ‘daddy, poo poo..’ and then you guffaw as you see dad laugh.

This is a very different life, but the only life you really know. I want to protect you and make sure I am dealing with this situation the best I can so you guys do not need to worry unnecessarily.

I hope I am doing alright, I would do absolutely anything for you kids, and if I could turn back the clock…but dad is where he is, and we all have to keep praying and hoping he continues to make progress.

Just because he has changed, doesn’t take his feelings of love away from you, they have been untouched-they are no different, it’s just his body and speech that can’t express them as he would like to. I hope you know how much he loves you as a dad, you as his daughter. How proud and honoured we are to have you as our number four child.

Esmie, you’re growing up fast, don’t grow up too quickly, keep hold of the fundamental person you are, funny, affectionate, full of love, determined, independent and knowing your own mind. These qualities will stand you in good stead as you grow in this world.

I love you round the moon and back again, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you, half me-half dad, child of ours…what an honour and a blessing to be your parents.

Thank you Esmie Rose for all you have already given us, you are an angel of pure delight…

Love mummy xxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 26 August 2012

A few pictures from the week...

Esmie gets a hair cut and curls! With my extremely lovely gorgeous friend Laura...

The girls having good night kisses, note Monty is no where to be seen!

Lola gets kisses from her Dad...

The 'Crazy gang' as they named themselves, what were we doing Sophie ( letting them ALL take scooters to town??? no wonder you sent me back to get the car to cage some of them on the way home!