Friday, 30 November 2012

Dear Alex, A Race Against Time...

Mitzi and chocolate cake mix make acquaintance...

November 30th 2012

Dear Alex,

Breath mist, frost White grass, crisp under foot. Five mouths breathe out bursts of steam. The walk to school fresh, hats gloves layering up the porridge full stomachs of four finally ready for the school run kids. The dog leaps around barking his presence, lead and 'oh alright then dog, come on...'

I can handle the cold when it's bright and when the moon dipping down, sets way for the sun climbing ever higher in the sky. Shadows of wildlife darting, chasing through bare trees where life and green and colour used to sit. Silhouette trees reaching down frost captured ground. It's a beautiful drive this morning to see you.

It's a constant battle at the moment to not keep staring into the bad things going on, and losing my appreciation for the incredible good things. A car, well how incredible? I would never have made the journey in the other car. Yet the length of the drive, the toll that is taking, the fact it means I can't bring you home anymore is overtaking the fact that someone provided me with the means to come and
visit you. And I feel such guilt.

They are reassessing you, the people I have finally tracked down who supply the equipment and facilitate you coming home. I thought I was getting the equipment and it was just a matter of time. But no, now they are reassessing and why? Because the nursing home does everything for you, you are hoisted and do not transfer using the stand that you did so well in at the O.C.E, so they feel you have regressed physically. Without the adequate speech therapy input, your speech is almost incomprehensible at present. So they are reassessing you. Now to see if you actually can do the visits... I just am in shock, I think, that so much can be like this... And I keep thinking to myself there must be some lesson I am supposed to be learning in all this... Patience? I've been patient! Self control? I've had that until now, but this might just make me flip. I just cannot see why everything, everything surrounding you is such an immense battle... There is something NOT right about that...

And now it's the weekend and I can't do anything, surprisingly enough the people who are coming out to assess you (who
I have to arrange this with, and goodness only knows when they can make an appointment
) were not in the office today either! So I couldn't speak to them either...

Come on God, throw me a lifeline...! Just a little something ...please?

I do feel like it's a race against time, I do feel the pressure of that, because you will not progress, in fact are regressing, and I can't allow that...I need to fight for you to come back to me.

And honestly, I don't have any solutions and I feel trapped.

I shall write a list of the good things tonight, I'll focus on that for a while rather than feeling so overwhelmed by the negativity...

I wish you were here or able enough to encourage me or help me or just to make me a cup of tea...

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Dear Alex, Running on Marbles...

A nearly 2-year-old Monty

November 29th 2012

Dear Alex,

Slow cooker, left over veg, chickpeas, stock and an on switch…dinner done, I can now leap into the car and spend the almost hour (if not longer depending on traffic) getting to you.

It’s another crying myself to sleep phase, body churning round a need for you as you once were, something I know I never will have.

Monty is also struggling too at them moment. He’s awake a lot in the night. 

I am trying to reel myself back in. I have spent a fortnight making calls and trying to organise hydrotherapy and over night stays, it’s Friday tomorrow and I am still not much closer to a solution. I have had that 'running on marbles' feeling all week, as it speeds along and I still have no answers… my ear aches from spending hours everyday on the phone trying to organise it, speaking to so many individuals, and getting nowhere. And then the small things, that happen, just feel phenomenally overpowering. I just feel bulldozed at the moment!

Fourteen months of letters sit in files on the computer, some published, others between you and me. Fourteen months. I was watching back over the videos I used to make of the kids for you when you were in a coma. Goodness the kids have grown. They were so much smaller, so much younger. They were so young when this happened.

I went into school to chat to each of their classes, as you are coming home on Monday (although this is so impossible at the moment, with the hour it takes me to get to you, by the time I have succeeded in getting you into the car, then back home, then got you back in the car, driven you back then driven home…I am looking at 5 hours (and that’s not even you having time at home)). I am determined to do it, but I am just so distressed it takes so long, that you are so far away. But Monday I am doing it, the kids can come in the car to drop you back. I spoke to their classes about your accident, about how you are now. I did it because you are coming to pick them up from school on Monday. It’s good to ask questions, it’s good to be curious, of course they will be, and I didn’t want the kids to feel overwhelmed by others asking them questions, or isolated because you are so different from their dads. I also wanted our kids to feel supported and see that talking about things is good, positive.

I’m trying not to run ahead and get frustrated that nothing’s happening as I want or need it to. These lessons are hard! All I can do though I suppose is what I am doing, trying. I panic that I’m not doing enough for you, fast enough, that seconds count and I have to have it all sorted for you immediately. I worry that the longer it goes on, the trying to get overnight stays and hydrotherapy amongst other things, extra speech therapy (your speech has regressed so much, there's speech therapy for a few minutes once a week here, so I have to find out a way of getting you more), that time counts, is so vital, I worry you will deteriorate. In writing this I have just seen the word ‘worry’ too many times. It’s eating away my energy.

I can see from this letter I need to breathe. Tell myself a few extra days, a week or so will not kill anyone…perhaps rather than thinking I need things arranged and happening yesterday, putting a longer time scale on it, which in turn may lower my expectations on myself and time scales…less worry?!

Well, on that note, Monty is coming in with me tomorrow, he needs time with me, time just the three of us…

See you in the morning,

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Dear Alex, A beautiful 5 minutes (video)

This was a few weeks go now and it was just a lovely moment between Mitzi (off school with poorly ear) and her daddy...I'm sure you'll agree...

Monday, 26 November 2012

Dear Alex, Blue Moon..

Alex and a snuggled baby Esmie in the front carrier...

November 26th 2012

Dear Alex,

I went at it all guns blazing this morning. Wet Monday morning, kids dropped off, a l’attack! I had had enough of last week. With the sickness bug hitting me hard, a tooth out which became very infected and which made me sick too, I was at a low ebb and hardly able to drive to see you, let alone do anything else. But there’s no days off in my household!

I spend the whole morning making phone calls, and waiting for people to call me back, I had either spoken to the wrong person, the nearly right person, or the whole wrong department- you know how it works! But after thirteen phone calls, and eventually speaking to the right people, the equipment is about to be ordered for your over night stays…making it imminent!!

I felt strong and proud as I race in to see you (a friend is to pick up the kids tonight after school). A real accomplishment! And it has got me somewhere, some good news to finally tell you, and the path laid for the next step.

It takes over an hour to get home tonight, traffic slow, rain and dark and grey the route. But I glance left, a slip in the nearly black night sky of yellow, of light. White yellow clouds rise and tower. Just a slit, like an eye opening. Several messages from people urging me to hold out for a house here, not to accept the place miles away have given me that little bit of strength, of guidance. In a situation where I am left to decide most everything alone, the advice is welcomed. It is a risk, I am told a place like I am looking for comes up ‘once in a blue moon…’

So guess what? I am praying for a blue moon! (Not a smurf pulling a moony)..

First up, let’s get you home for overnight stays my angel…

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Dear Alex, A Hidden Treasure...

Alex at Tarnos, France...

November 25th 2012

Dear Alex,

In your presence, I am me, I am yours. In your presence I am one again, whole again. It’s you, and only you who has ever made me, me. Sometimes realising how different things are now makes me rock, reel in shock, it hits me still so hard. But the swings of the gong are less frequent.

Four heads, tired out, read out, laughed out, run about and eaten out, sleep. Some snore a little dreaming of the day they’ve had. Tucked up and knowing their safety. It must be great being a child, knowing you’re safe every night, having someone to tuck you in, read to you, sing to you (or may be not?!) and turn out the after prayers light.

I don’t know how I managed it, but I put a play list of music on. It ran through randomly all the soundtracks on the computer. Your voice comes on, chatting with the kids, laughing in the car, recording a silly anecdote on the phone it must have been. A little sound treasure. Like a jewel, sparkling and buried, unearthed and longed for. I hear your voice- I had forgotten how it sounded before. I heard you…I shall treasure that little 45 second voice jewel…

Sunday, the day I do not come in. I have to bear through missing you, not being with you. But it does the kids good, and I suppose not having to be somewhere for just one day a week must do me some good. The funny thing is, I’m not sure it does. People say it wouldn’t matter if I didn’t go in so much, I should think about having a day off, but to be honest, I am not doing it to be a martyr, there’s just such a need to be with you, that it’s harder to think of not being there…

This week, who knows what it will bring?

I will be there with you tomorrow, after the school drop off and hour commute…it’s long, but at least I get to listen to French radio. A little silver lining on a dark long commute to see you cloud…

I love you Alex Wood,

Your wife, me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx