Saturday, 22 December 2012

Dear Alex, Too good to be true...

December 23 rd 2012

Dear Alex,

Shaking in disbelief and anger, wiping clumsily tears streaming from my face, I struggle to see the road in the dark, through tears and rain. I've just found out you may not be able to come back for Christmas after all. And after the months of trying to make it happen, and it was so close, 4 sleeps away close, and I could smell it, feel it, we nearly had it! And then the nursing home inform me they cannot provide a carer after all. At 5 pm on Saturday. Logistics meaning I can't contact anyone till Christmas eve... I have to find out if I have to have a registered carer, or if a person capable but not an actual carer can actually do it.

I don't tell you, I can't break your heart, mine's broken enough for the both of us...

So instead of focussing on something to look forward to (without meaning to sound too sorry for myself,) for the first time in a while...I now am flung viciously back into fight mode, racking my brain mode, uncertain and devastated.

I try and tell my pounding heart to calm, my mind not to race away with the negative possibilities, the tears of the kids when they find out daddy can't sleep over, 'sending' you back to the nursing home on Christmas night, I try. It all races, my eyes sting...

And I realise, these knock backs, these finally something's going in the right direction, then crash! Fallen. Broken. Wrung. My reaction tonight shows me I can't take much more.

I just need you home.

I just am staggering on, and I was so excited about Christmas, everyone's seen me with a silly grin on my face all week...I was fully revelling in the good happening at Christmas, the fact I'd have my whole family under one roof...

I have to wait till Christmas eve to find out now.

Thanks to everyone who's offered advice and tried to help, I was so lifted by people's reactions and efforts to help...thank you...

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thought for the Day #3

With Christmas approaching, 2012 nearly over, here is my Thought for the Day this week...

Friday, 21 December 2012

Dear Alex, My Christmas present.

January 2012.

December 21st 2012

Dear Alex,

Simple things are the most saturating and nourishing of the soul... I love watching our kids sleep, and as we all sleep in the same room, I sometimes sit in bed watching them, their chests slowly heaving up and down breathing, eyes flicker from time to time, dreaming of a big day had and the fact it's 4 sleeps till Christmas! Sighs and flips and arms that stretch and mouths that press together then relax.

I get you sleeping here in 4 sleeps! That's my Christmas present! And the silly thing is, for the first time
In years, I feel that tingle of excitement like a child, and a smile inside as I know what's coming...

You weren't with us last Christmas, in fact we were all still in france, you were still in a deep coma and I could only visit you for an hour in the ICU... I made it through the day, it was strange, on my own with the kids. Your mum and dad were there but did the other shift to see you. I remember finally getting the kids in bed. I'd been strong most of the day, I'd videod the kids opening their presents for you to listen to. I made it through Christmas day, not knowing if you would...With the kids finally in bed, I walked out of the house, sat in the cold Winter air and cried till I was sick.

So this Christmas is pure joy, sheer delight and wealth, you at home, at home! And for a night! I'm sure I'll lose it to stress and a houseful and a carer and over excited kids and trying to cook Christmas lunch before Boxing day and wishing it was like it always used to be... BUT, I am so blessed and so lucky to have what I have now.

What an amazing Christmas it will be!

The Christmas I never thought I'd see, a Christmas with my whole family sleeping together under one roof for the first time in 15 months! Praise the Most High!

Me xxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Dear Alex, Turn around and Face Tomorrow...

Look what's arrived!!! Hospital bed for Alex!!! Surrounded by kids' drawings and photos, brilliant!

18th December 2012

Dear Alex,

Turn around and face tomorrow…

There’s people gone, there’s children dead. There’s misery there’s sorrow there’s brokenness and a broken world and hearts torn apart.

We hear something devastating, it changes us for a while, a few days, weeks stretching to months sometimes, and we feel more grateful for what we have. Appreciate the little things…

Then life bowls on, our own grizzling tired kids over excited and bickering, late on the school runs, dinner burned and milk spilt, bills piling in and arguments with our partners. Work is hard, we’re not paid enough for all we do…where’s the justice we cry, our hearts blackened by striving, eyes fogged with life’s drudgery and we quickly have lost that eureka moment. That moment when we felt the loss, felt sorrow and compassion and looked at our lives through grateful eyes…

The end of this year has brought me so much sad news. Not just the deaths of those innocent kids gunned down in a Primary school. I’ve heard of acquaintances dying, young, two fathers, a mother.

I went to bed just bawling again last night. Flashbacks of the you that you were. I lay awake and realised several things. If we look at things from a grateful platform, we look at the beauty in our lives:

If you’d given me the choice, Alex to die on the operating theatre, or deal with everything that I have to be dealing with (and it is relentless and feels futile often) actually, I’d have bitten your arm off to have the life I have now and for you to still be here and I would have said that id have done it all, a thousand times over.

And no, I don’t want a hospital bed in my dining room, meaning there’s no space downstairs, and no I don’t want a stranger in my house whom I have to feed and be around all Christmas day and night, because you need (15 months down the line) still, 24/7 care. Yes, I’d change all this in a split second to have you back as you were. BUT, place myself on that grateful platform, change that perspective, and WOW! That I get to have you home at Christmas, that we get to sleep under the same roof for the first time in 15 months. So there’s someone we don’t know in the house, I’d like to know where their family is, maybe it’s a godsend for them they get to be around a family at Christmas?

I just can’t stop thinking this morning that I am so, so lucky you are still here. And it’s given me that perspective back, that energy I was lacking in with grief-swollen eyes.

Because as I observed the other day, if I spend my whole life thinking ‘things will be better when…’ then I will never enjoy life as it is, for what it is its rich tapestry of sorrow and happiness, tears and saturating joy.

For me, 2013 is going to be a year where I work harder than ever at being happy in the present. Living in the moment because the next might not come! Every time I feel my feet slipping off that platform as life’s rubbish pulls me down, I will fight tooth and nail to rest on my grateful step…

I challenge you all to do the same! Don’t let the sad events change you for a while, let them change you forever.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Dear Alex, Regrets.

17th December 2012

Dear Alex,

Nearly fifteen months since I sprinted down the beach, waded into the sea, disregarding the cold, the fact I was fully clothed. I fell down, your wedding ring in my hand, squeezing it tight in my palm fingers curled tight, refusing to let go. Waves push and throb in retreat, I wail, shoulders heaving, begging the Most High on my knees for your life... Just don't, please don't do this to the kids... I kept on for what felt like hours.

I didn't know what else to do, I was waiting for you whilst you were in the operating theatre, having been told there's no way you would make this second operation...

And look at you now, I well up with tears of pride as I watch you drink, with some encouragement, a cup of tea by yourself...

You still have no capacity to form short term memory, still don't seem to have the insight the drive or motivation to help yourself, unaware you were once so very, very different.

But yet your love for me feels equally as strong, not at all changed or different.

And it's strange all this. I walk around doing what I am supposed to be doing, or think I'm supposed to be doing! And I wonder sometimes how I feel about it all? I suppose I spend so much time having to get on with it, having to do things that some of me still doesn't 'get' it.

I've learned that I have to try and not think about you all the time, I need to have a few minutes out of the day not thinking about you or what I need to be doing for you or how I am going to do it...

Mitzi's gymnastics show this afternoon meant I had some mental time out. Until my eyes well and I realise you'll never see the kids' faces again, let alone witness what they can do. And all the couples there and you're in a nursing home, and how much I miss you, and how can it be that I'll never get you back... then I try and pull myself back into the here and now, because if I never appreciate what is going on in front of my eyes, feel the pride in seeing Mitzi do her gymnastics, really see things and feel them and enjoy them, then I'll be spending my whole life living through sad eyes focussing on the regrets and grief of life...And I'll miss life...

See you in the morning my angel,

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx