Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Monday, 30 December 2013

Dear Alex, Hope guarded for a togetherness.

Dear Alex,

Another year ends, a new one begins. I don't want to reflect on the hard times, losing my faithful friend, the sadness and trials, I want to advance in a way I haven't yet, I want to reflect on the wonderful moments, of dog walks on the beach and new friends and keeping contact with friends I made as I first moved back to England shortly after you had the accident.

How the children have grown, and their traits I witness developing, their strength of character, their love, how they work together as a unit. How adaptable they are and open and loving and confident.

We began the year not knowing when we would ever get you home. No prospect of this and sank for several months, fighting with the Government to try and rehouse us, fought to keep you going, not regressing. No prospect either of rehab for you or your needs being met. Leaving you each day to go home to raise the kids alone, knowing you were alone crying in a Nursing home in your room.

You did regress, disturbingly so. And the day I received a call telling me you had had a suspected stroke. After hours in A and E it turns out you had had a 'stroke' a similar thing, lost all feeling and movement on the Left hand side of your body, although it was due to the distress you were under in the Nursing home.

I look back, I remember.

Then hope springs, a move back to the sea and a new life, new beginnings for all of us, back together a s a family and a home for us all in Devon. We had light at the end of the tunnel.

We moved in September and although our goal of living all together was dashed, we got through that, the children, so proud I am of them, adapted again to a new way of life and visiting their dad in a Care home for the foreseeable future.

You have a place in an intensive rehab centre, you will progress further there when you go. You have regained almost that you lost physically in the first Nursing home, I cry the other day when I saw you transfer, no belt to lift you with, you have strength enough on your own to pull yourself up, stand tall for ages and lower yourself, controlled and steady into your chair. Your speech is sometimes incredible. You have settled into the new Care home and I have accepted for the time being this is how it has to be. Hope guarded for a togetherness, a reuniting someday in the future.

I look forward now.

I put one foot in front of the other.

A new year almost begins and renewal, strength, hope, perseverance are my words for 2014.

I pray for this.

I draw near to the Most High and seek refuge and strength to hope.

I look forward with a determination in my mind, a hope in my heart.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 27 December 2013

Dear Alex, Christmas moments...

 Esmie, monster slippers, mint green cow onesie...rocking it!

The Wood family together on Christmas day...

 And our Christmas present from my wonderful friend, Betsie, who will be joining us on January 2nd.

Mitzi LOVES sprouts, Lola loved the Nut roast, Monty loved it all, Esmie well, she gobbled for hours!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Dear Alex, All I want for Christmas.

Dear Alex,

A Christmas wish a Christmas prayer, answered. Entertaining and exited kids, noise, presents, mess, chaos, and more people that have been in our house since we moved here made me anxious for you, how you may be. I want normality around you, dread that too much noise may make you flip.

And yet, and yet...This Christmas I got my prayer answered. You were sleepy but on great form. With old friends you have not seen for a while, with new friends, neighbours you barely know, and dozens of kids, you did it! Remained with it, and I have been overwhelmed by you.

I had the best Christmas present from you I could have hoped for.

Months I have not seen you sustain such a good mood and for this length of time.

Why cannot it by like this at all times?

Then I would achieve my life goal- to have you home.

Sadly tomorrow it will be over as you go back to the Care Home.

After entertaining so many people I am exhausted, I have cooked solidly for 3 days, spent wonderful time with the family and close friends, and your parents joined us too today, and even Esmie being sick al day didn't put a dampener on the mood.

Who knows when you will be home?

But for now, just for today, I got my Christmas wish...

I sit in bed with aching legs and warmed heart.

I will just focus on how this Christmas went for now, to strengthen me a bit, ignite some of that hope for the future...

I love you my angel,

Thank you for a Christmas present I never knew I would get, the best one I have ever received.

me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Dear Alex, From wherever we can be taught.

Taking  a glass by himself..a difficult, almost impossible task for Alex these days...

Dear Alex,

Hopes raised, lists written, all prepared and just a few minute last things to be got from the shops... a neighbour's kids to entertain and 12 adults and almost as many kids to be had on Christmas day; and I think how far I have come...from seemingly blessed times of you and me and the kids and that being 'enough'...

The idea of sharing our house, any house with anyone but us, was nigh on unthinkable before... But now, now, my baby, we have kids who accept anyone, so accustom to people, strangers walking in and out, people they have never met being a 'normal' part of our lives...So natural it is to them that it is part, a presence of their daily small lives... and I realise the richness in this. Of their open minded, accepting upbringing. No matter who walks through our door... So our door remains open to those who want to walk through...and whoever else, it phases us not. whoever that may be being in our house, and how I love this.

It is not the kid's, but my concept of 'closed doors' and 'private' living, that now brings on now a whole new concept of living...

In looking at my feelings and my emotional 'Why can't it just be a 'normal' Christmas'' ..I then watch our four wonderful, beautiful, accepting souls and it brings me to my knees...

Had it not been for them, their way of acceptance, I am sure I would not have invited the almost dozens I have for Christmas Day.

I dwell on what Christmas is all about, the way in which the baby, that new born, Jesus, years ago, who brought in so many strangers. I think of today, how, in such a different set up, our kids have opened me up to being as accepting, as jubilant about strangers joining us on Christmas day.

I have to set about Christmas and the New Year in a way in which will help me on our new journey.

It is, after all, our journey, and to exclude their energy, those precious beings, their will, their ways, their guiding me, is to ignore vital lessons of life.

So this Christmas for us, with you, the various carers, the people we have known for but days, weeks or months, I look to my kids for guidance, and welcome all they can teach me...

Life is a journey of learning and guidance, from wherever we can be taught...

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Dear Alex, A Mother's Responsibility.

Dear Alex,

Time never stops, never stands still, allowing you to inhale timeless air for a while, to reboot, and advance.

Normal life continues and as I place the bins out tonight in the darkness of late evening, I turn to the direction of the sea, waves roar and I look up, astounded by the clear night, breath wisps in front of me and I turn 360 degrees to witness a sky filled with bright stars...

I need to, I know, get back on track.

So I set off slowly.

Naming blessings, counting up the moments of precious joy and raw delight only my kids bring...I chat with several of the others at the Care Home when we visit you today. It was a calm afternoon with you, the first in longer than I can remember...Esmie making us laugh, Lola chatting about everything and cuddling you...

It can only start by changing my inner thoughts. A progression of gratitude for my many blessings, walking through the ache and sorrow.

My friend was with us, Oliver and me, on the last beach walk before the vets came, she captured a photo of me leaning down kissing Oliver's head, she had it blown up for me and it is on the wall next to the door where he used to lie. He will always be in my heart and a piece of me will always be missing. I haven't felt the same since he went. I haven't' felt the same since you went.

Breathing gratitude, lightening your gaze by the practice of this. It is not a miracle cure, but it insists you concentrate on the joys, as tiny as they can be, in this life, thus expanding your horizon.

I cannot say I feel less sad, cannot pretend I do not miss Oliver as much, cannot pretend not seeing you as often is not affecting me, but I just have to do what I can towards travelling in the right direction, as a mummy, watched closely by four souls, I have the responsibility of this.

See you Tuesday my angel...Thank you for today,

me xxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Dear Alex, Sleep.

Dear Alex,

And so I sleep, I sleep the hours I cannot weep...I sleep all of Thursday, not wanting to face the world without..


Without the energy and presence and comfort and peace and protection and loyalty.

I sleep the day.

Surprised at the hour when I wake.
Heart still in stomach, it is time to collect the kids, enjoy a school play, dry my eyes, put on a brave face.

I slept in the house, so cold and empty.

Two beds where their owner's are not. Two beds, Alex and Oliver's are empty.

Oliver's forever more, and I do not know when Alex, you shall be in yours.

Both cats sit at the front door, looking out all day...They have done since Oliver passed. Quite out of character, but speaks volumes of what soul he had.

I try and focus on some other things, but Christmas will be without Oliver, with you and a carer and how strangely I look upon 'celebrating' this Christmas.

It feels like a blur, a bleary day that I need to summon upon all my strength, muster up heartfelt smiles, real laughs, which I feel, for the first time, I have truly, truly lost.

I do not feel like me.

Scars and sadness and loneliness and loss, how do you plaster over that?

Only I must. For the kids.

I must, for you.

Only I feel it, really feel it now-all the past happiness, all our family times before stare at me, taunt me, I want to join them, but never will again. This is the first time I have realised this new life, embraced all the change and uncertainty. First time I fully grieve it, and Oh Alex, how much it hurts.

God give me strength, hang up my pain for a while, fill me with the need I long for, for comfort and a helping hand in being brave, because this heart aches, this body is weary and my eyes sting, windows of my forlorn soul.

me xxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Dear Alex, End of an era

Dear Alex,

When you had your accident, I could not mourn fully, it never felt right, I could dip in and out, like a pendulum bearing one way and another, from grief stricken to guarding endless hope and clinging on to how things would be different in the future...Now over two years on I know that things will never be that different. I now mourn our life of old, the man you were and the person you were to me.

Oliver passing on marks the end of that era. His old energy, the energy of our past has left this new life we now strive to carve out.

He came with us here to our house called Agape, and spurred me on, a faithful companion to the end.

This is the end of an era.

And, no, I am not alright.

No, I am not my normal smiley, seeking gratitude, making jokes, confident person.

I am torn.

I am lost, so hopelessly lost without either of you beside me.

Never, ever have felt so alone.

And it is spiralling down on me like arrows have been launched from afar, spitting down on me from above, I have no shelter, I cower.

I sit next to Oliver's bed in the evenings, struggling up the stairs at 3am, staving off panic attacks because I am so scared with out his energy, his protective presence here amongst my babies.

He barked at any noise, making me secure that he was protecting us all. He slept beside me on the floor by my bed, letting me know he was guarding us.

Now no one but me guards us.

Now no one but me protects this house.

NowI am vulnerable, alone and shattered and scared and I do not know where to go with this grief at the moment.

And sorry I am not in the Christmas cheer, but for now, I feel heaviness and don't know where to turn.

me xxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 16 December 2013

Dear Alex, Pocket memories...

Dear Alex,

Many tears have found their way to our eyes, from our hearts and spilled. I console regular sad kids, missing Oliver, our beloved dog and friend.

If you feel I am being over the top, then feel that way, because the pain I feel is real, and my best friend is gone, and the life you, Alex, and I had before was integral with Oliver, walks, he carried everything before kids, every movement in the house, every time I went to sleep, he was there, every morning I awoke, he would not come downstairs until I did, every time I got in the car to see you, faithful friend was there, waiting to comfort me and accompany me, and a part of me is missing.

The house feels empty, void of a huge energy.

I was not looking forward to telling you.

Yet, in his parting, Oliver showed me a piece of you that was still there, a piece of you I thought was lost, if only for a few minutes, till you had forgotten, and I had to remind you, and then didn't want to put you through it again, so changed the subject, realising I would have to deal with this alone.

I tell you the news, your eyes well, you shed some tears, but clearly reach for me, as I am sobbing,

'How come you're cuddling me?' I ask this question, hoping to hear what I long for...

And I do...

"Because I am here for you, always, whenever...
And because it wasn't one of the kids and at least I still have you.."

This would have been the response I would have expected from you before the accident. Emotional, yet practical and so accepting in death, as you knew things came to an end at the time they were meant to, and knew that beyond death, there was something so much more, beyond any of our imaginations in this life...

I had you for a few precious moments, as you stroke me and I cry into your chest.

The first time I have been able to do this, and I let go, and you remained strong for me.

Then I have to wipe my eyes as you ask me something completely irrelevant and I realise you have already forgotten...

I am not myself, I am not the same at the moment, and I am sorry I cannot pretend.

But I won't excuse it, I have been through an experience already that broke, and daily breaks my heart. I didn't deal with it the right way, I blocked every image of you from my memory, every detail, every word, your voice, your looks, your little ways, our family times, and now I struggle to reach any. Memory almost devoid of moments of you from before, and it makes me panic, as I now need them. Pocket memories, that you keep always with you, pull out from time-to-time. Comfortable and reminiscent, beautiful ones, treasured. I have learnt from this I think. I need to face it all, face it all now, fully immerse myself to honour who Oliver was to me, then there will be a time I will need to remember the smiles he gave me, the loyalty, the friendship, and I will smile and not cry.

But for now Alex, I cry.

The kids cry, they have all slept in my room since he passed on.

I cling on to the fact I felt his soul, his energy pass through me, that he showed me in passing we would always be connected.

Monty I now hear crying groaning 'Oh, Oliver' upstairs- I must go...

me xxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Dear Alex, A sadness.

Dear Alex,

So he has gone, my companion in your absence and best friend.

If you are not 'animal people' you cannot 'get this'.

There is a sadness in me that will never leave.

Oliver, as long as he was by my side-in whatever capacity that was, he was the happiest dog around, so proud to be with me, so loyal, so faithful.

When I was young, although I have never talked about this here, I was messed up, an eating disorder that sent me to a rehab centre, a loneliness, a worthlessness that in getting him healed me in many ways. from the day I got Oliver, to present day, he has been by my side, like my arms, my legs, something I couldn't do without, someone who was a presence, a begin that loved me despite… a presence that gave me 'agape'- selfless love.

I have to tell you Alex, about Oliver parting, because, as a person now, I cannot hide a thing. I cannot lie, pretend, I am just who I am. I don't ever want to hurt, but if I feel something, I will tell the truth, because life is short and I feel it in my bones, and it makes me me, it makes me who I am, I am truthful, honest and will tell you how it is. It may not be a good thing, it may not be the right thing, but it is why and who I am now…

Oliver leaving this world is an experience I will never forget.

We get in from the last school run, all of us, all together, and I know… I know I have to call the vets. But I collapse in agonising tears. I can't breathe.

I pray, ask for some kind of strength to get through this, I wail.

I pull myself together, but sob down the phone, the vet can barely understand me. They confirm they will be with me after lunch.

I take Oliver for his last beach walk ever with my friend and her dog. I don't feel strong enough to go alone. Because I feel your absence Alex, lack your comfort, your words, your cuddles. And this situation has made me see how not having you here in the capacity I need you, I cannot depend on you, and my God how I need that right now.

It was a beautiful walk, I lift him back up into the car, we return, and now we have to wait. An agonising two hours. I lie next to Oliver, stroking him behind his ears, his favourite thing. Thanking him for who he had been to me and what he had done for us, and how much we all loved him. ANd I didn't bother to stop the tears.

As I still can't three days on.

He lay in my arms, cuddled his head into me as he went to sleep forever. I felt him go. An intense heat rose through me, almost burning, but comforting and strengthening, then I went cold. His energy passed through me as he went. Wanting to let me know we would always be connected.

I have to tell you tomorrow Alex.

I cannot hide it.

It's been a week of sorrow and heartache and I am broken.

me xxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Dear Alex, Old faithful … Time has run out.

Dear Alex,

I do not know if you will ever remember this, ever understand this, ever 'get' this… I am on my own in this. But time has run out.

I sleep on the sofa, well, I have Oliver on the one side, one of the cats on the other, I am still in my clothes, after the nativity performances, from Mitzi and Esmie tonight, and getting in late, 9pm was when I got them roughly to sleep in my room. Two on the floor, two in my bed, I have realised, so painfully, heart dragging that this is my last night with our old faithful.

He pants beside me. He has let me know he cannot do this anymore and tomorrow (well, as I type it is today) I will call the vets and ask them to come out and make him sleep for eternity.

And you are not here, cannot be here.

So I type.

I type.

I cry and I type, the Christmas tree lights flash.

They flash on and off, on and off, like it should all be just like this. As simple as that. As accepting as that.

On, off, whatever comes, whatever goes, we should be in this and absorb it and know this and know this life lasts for a mere breath in the 'bigger picture' although it is our lifetime whilst we are here and in human body.

So the vet is coming at 1.30pm.

Tick tock, heart pounding.

Lonely and waiting.

Lonely and waiting with no you, Alex, to put your strong arms around me and make it that bit better.

Oliver who has been there for 2 months before I met you, right to our fullstop. Our place where we will be forever. He has been with me, come full circle, single, messed up me, to complete finding you, then having our family, now in Devon, living the life we must.

I have to protect you from another thing Alex, you cannot protect me anymore, and this stings particularly today.

Oliver, my best friend, how I will miss you old boy…

See you again one day xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Dear Alex, My one true love...

Dear Alex,

My man, my true love, my one true love, my lost love…

Decisions I have to make this week, and I feel the torrents of anguish striking. I barely smile through heart pains, tight chest, I know, I think what I have to decide.

I am restless. Feet pace, nerves twitch, mind races, to and fro. I cannot sit. Cannot rest physically.

10am you are picked up today to return to the Care home.

I feel guilt and self-dislike for the relief that washes over me as I make a coffee, stroke the dog and pause for a moment.

It will be a very busy week. Mind please slow. please rest, take a moment…

It races.

I put pen to paper, I have to write, it becomes so much clearer for me in ink and paper.

I met with the PCT nurse.

We talk at length.

The research I have done this weekend, the Psychological, Neurological and Scientific papers I have read online certainly have certainly helped clarify my thoughts, allay some guilt.

Your behaviour is so common after brain injury, although this does not make it better, as there is no paper that tells me 'it's ok though, it subsides' But it gives so may examples of things settling when the brain injured patient is given a strict routine, so they can be kept psychologically 'safe' and less vulnerable. Coming home, the noise, the disruption are all things you do not need now in your life. I feel I have to make a decision as to the best way forward. I feel it is hindering your progress, that you ned to stay safe, stay secure, stay in one environment, for some time, till you have moved on, hopefully and can come home, one day, for good.

I will never lose that goal or that hope.

I know something has to change.

No one, not you, not me, not the kids, benefit from you coming home and they have all been sleeping in my room and having nightmares for the nights you are there and most of the week, till I can coax them back into their beds for a few nights, when the cycle starts again…

Please God, give me wisdom, help me know, really know how to help you, Alex. What to do…

me xxxxxxxxxxx

Dear Alex, My beautiful x

I love you…

….despite it all.

me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Dear Alex, The lost dog.

The beach at dusk, Sunday blessings...

Dear Alex,

A day of reflection, deep reflection. I let myself. I don't question why I need to seek, I just seek and let my mind wander.

The afternoon sees a dog walk on the beach close to dusk. Light sets off the setting sun and shadows, bleak surroundings, but in the dunes the luscious hardy grasses and deep valleys carved by the harsh weather this beach is subject to. Toppling sand dunes, grassy edges, jumping grounds for the kids. The sea stretches as far as the eye can see, I feel like I need to learn something today. I pray to the most High and wait answers.

The dog gets lost.

In the dunes this is dangerous as he could have gone miles, I have four kids and a friend's boy with me who has severe autism, I cannot abandon them to search. I call, we all call…no sign. Fifteen minutes we search and I panic. Lola goes ahead, "I've found him!" She cries.

Awash with relief I hear his barks. He is standing far off, not moving, just looking and barking, when he hears us and sees us, he never leaves my side till we get back to the car, looking up and me and adoring me and so happy we found him.

I think long and hard about this, about that story, the significance for me.

If we were l on leads all the time, we would never be free to explore life. God does not have us on leads, we are free to explore and discover, make decisions, right or wrong, learn, be taught, follow or lead. I think of how lost I have felt recently. Wandering.

And it comes to me, maybe I should stand still?

I will be found.

Oliver stood still, and we came to him, his rescuer came to him.

Maybe I need to just stop. Wait. Hope, not moving, changing, just be still in the beauty of all that is around me for a while.

I cannot change the situation I am in now, but I can feel the beauty and blessings of provision, friends, family, I can wait, cry out, and I will be rescued.

It made sense to me today.

I captured a rare smile, a rare sweet moment of you and me on camera.

I am lost because you are not there anymore, not even in the sense you have been may times since the accident.

I need to find the right solution for you, maybe the to-ing and fro-ing again is unsettling you too much as it did once before. Maybe this is not the answer for the moment? Maybe, you need to stay put.

Maybe Oliver getting lost brought several answers to me today. As he stayed put and was rescued, maybe both you and I need to stay put. You need to stay still at the Rehab/Care place.

I will pray and reflect on this this week…

me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Dear Alex, A and E.

My baby Esmie…5 years ago nearly..

Dear Alex,

I come through the automatic doors. Overnight bag in tow.

Noone, nothing, it is all quiet, no hustle, no bustle, no person, no anyone around. Swing doors, after a long walk, which feels like forever down a narrow corridor, finally I see someone in uniform, I ask directions…  Our very good good friend has spent the most part of the evening here with you, the once I had the kids settled and my friend babysat, has brought me back in to A and E to see you.

I had thought you may just fall asleep and I would have no need to go up there, to be honest it was all over a lettuce leaf you inhaled! I had kept in close touch and once they calmed you, your oesophagus relaxed and it slipped down. But they ring, they cannot settle you, nor understand what you are saying. 

I am here now. I follow the noise-I hear you from what feels like miles away down corridor after corrider, they are relieved, so relieved I am here, and see you smile and speak sense.

I am 'pulling' an all nighter... it is 4 am as I type. You lie in the Hospital bed beside me, mumbling, shouting intermittently, but you are OK now...It was a piece of Chinese leaf the culprit...you panicked, inhaled it and A and E all night is the result...

I try and get you to sleep a while.

But at 6 am, after nothing could calm you, the had to give you something rely strong to send you to sleep. It is important you do. I doze for 1/2 an hour on a plastic seat. My ribs have ached all day.

YOu come home and have a rather unsettled day. YOu lie downstairs angry and shouting, and why is it I never get 'you' at the mount, or the other side of you? The smiling one, the one who still likes to have a laugh, be cheeky…

I have no answers.

I start re-introducing my internal mantra, which I feel, though sorrow and resentment I have let slip of late. I thank the Most High for the house, for the fact that there is a double waiting for us to both lie side-by-side in one day, I hope… The smiles the kids give me. The football matches Monty played today. The friends we have already built up here, who surround and comfort and strive with us and support. Gratitude, once you open the lid, cascades…

I need to keep doing this.

Remember to do this.


I have let it slip.

me xxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Dear Alex, Nothing seems fair...

Dear Alex,

Endless ocean, bottomless sea...higher then a swooping eagle, more piercing than its claws procuring its prey, sharper than arrows launched from point blank range...this is what being without you feels like.

There just is no escape, not ever.

You plaster over it, smile real smiles at times, laugh, live a productive, proactive life.

Yes there are joys, blessings, real times...But are they really real anymore, when such a void sucks the good times in like a vacuum, you can never be fulfilled again. The good times will never outweigh the pain.

And yet it's further on, it's over two years...but having lost you and not having much of you these days makes me realise the you I will never have.

Christmas is coming, the kids only care about presents, I am busy sorting out carers and transport and the days you can come... How fair is that? When everyone seems to have their family there and take that as a given.

When Daddy is there and Mummy and Daddy, they combine efforts to pack stockings, cook, tidy, play, wrap gifts, plan, enjoy, drink...

And I will be doing all this alone.

With a few days of you home, which I look at not with excitement and anticipation, I wonder how you will be, will it ruin Christmas for the kids, for me?

Nothing feels fair at the moment.

I don't want a thing for Christmas, not one thing wrapped, I want you, you to walk back to me, in through that door, the old you...no more of this.

I want you.

me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Dear Alex, A moment of treasures.

Dear Alex,

I found a moment's treasure, a moment's bliss, when I stumbled, today, upon this.

Your advice to me, written by you!

In order to understand this poem, Alex used to work at a safari park when I first met him, hence the reference to animals...


Surrounded by so many animals,
With the weather of tomorrow,
My thoughts and feelings become primal,
And love and zen quash the sorrow.
Life can change without warning
Depending on what the Most high has in store.
But it seems I am learning,
And listening to life's natural call.
I give thanks and praise to the Most High,
For giving me my love, and 
I pray she will always be mine
By talking to who's above.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Dear Alex, Three Winters.

Dear Alex,

Time passes; this will be our 2nd Christmas in England since we moved back, the third Winter we have known since your accident. 

It was another weekend of a troubled you, a fraught exhausted me, I have Labyrinthitis, an ear infection which affects your balance and makes you feel rotten. I have barely been able to move today without my head spinning, feeling sick and like I am going to fall over, clumsy and uncoordinated, it really is not fun!

I have set up several meeting this week to do with your care, as there are a few things I need to make sure are being carried out. One of the main ones is reducing with a view to weening you off all your current medication. The Professor Neurologist has finally agreed to write up a plan to do this, and I hope with less medicine in your body effecting you in so many ways, this will stabilise you and help you further.

Many of the side effects of what you take are : irritability, aggression, nausea, drowsiness, confusion and agitation. Imagine-everything you have! Although also, the side effects of brain injury can also be these. I do, however, believe strongly that you being off all the medication, as it is flooding such a delicate environment, this will serve to help you no end.

I wonder if I clutch at straws?

I wonder then, if it matters, even if I am?

It buys me a while longer to keep hoping for the next thing that may bring improvement.

I will see you on Wednesday, providing I can drive, as turning my head is not an option at the moment with this ear infection.

Sleep peacefully, healingly, dream of the future and progress and family life- al these I pray for when I switch out my light.

me xxxxxxxx

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Dear Alex, Wife.

Dear Alex,

To be a wife. That is my role, that is what I am to be and will be, despite what I get back from you. It hurts like hell not being in a relationship where it is two-sided, equal, wherein companionship is sought and found and we are together.

But what can I do?


I cannot change this.

So I have to simply, just be your wife, a wife. Wife.

And when I think of anything else, of life in a partnership, life in a two way relationship, life where two people are equal, where the roles are equal, I come unstuck...

The 'you' I see depends, it varies all the time, hourly, daily, and  I think of it like opening a fridge door. When the one you open contains rotten food, you reel from the smell, you don't want to and can't do anything with what is within, but it is there nonetheless. Sometimes I open that fridge and find fresh food, food I could make a banquet with, give me time, and my thoughts fill with recipe plans and future delicious meals.

You cannot help feel what you fell when something stares you in the face.

So I have to focus. Not on you and what kind of husband, friend or partner you can be to me, but on me, and what vows I undertook.

Solely me.

And what you are to me is irrelevant.

I have to focus.

I have to be your wife, regardless of what you are to me.

And I vow, and have vowed before God that I will be that for you,


Just because,


I am your wife,

Because whatever this life throws at us, I am me, I am wife, I am yours.

me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 29 November 2013

Dear Alex, Learning new Tricks!

Dear Alex,

Things have got off to a very good start...This little video shows something you could not do 2 weeks ago...

Fingers crossed for the weekend...


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Dear Alex, Hopeless.

Dear Alex,

Hopeless my last few visits, hopeless your time at home. I anger you only, through short periods of calm. You lash out and I have to leave as my tolerance levels have reached zero, and I wonder what I did to deserve this? Why can't you see what you are doing and how much this hurts me? Why can't you grab hold of yourself, see reason, see ME, see regret and love me...as I do you.

I wonder why this has happened to us, where we are going? What our future holds...

I can barely see on the journey home, crying out to God for you to return to the man, the husband, the friend you used to be.

I can't shake off the loss and the loneliness I feel.

It sits like someone laughing cruelly on my back throwing doubts and what the future holds, to be forever without you to care for me? To live my life devoted to a man who cannot really love me?

What is this life?

How much longer can I 'do' this?

I wish you were here, I wish you were there for me when I arrived home today, falling through the door, to my knees, nowhere for the weeping, the sorrow, the destitution the loneliness to go.

It leaks through fruitless tears, through futile sobs and hands clenching.

I need you back Alex.

It's never going to happen is it?

me xxxxxxxxxxx

Dear God....What is this life?

Dear God,

What is this life you have given me?
I write here, my desperate plea,
To honour our commitment as a loving couple,
To render us free of living in this trouble.

To wake Alex up,
No more pain or worn out souls,
No more pain, so wounded are we.

Let him rise with the larks,
Seeing and understanding,
Let me rise to a husband, loving and caring

How long must we live under the spell
Of the misery sent in this life?
The brokenness, Lord, is rife

This struggle, endlessly striven,
To accept, to understand,
What, to us has been given

For we can't go on,
Four children fatherless,
A weeping wife, husbandless,
A terrified man, who lives, lifeless.

Send us something,
Some healing for our empty souls,

Let us, I plead, not live this life
Of unknown,
Till we are old.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Dear Alex, A letter to myself, from a ten-year-old me.

Dear Alex,

My tuesday morning appointment to see my Psychologist was straight after the school drop off. Morning yawns, mist rolls, relishing the surroundings, I take it all in on the short drive to see her. I go over the dreams that I so vividly dream the night after and the night before visits, I have asked for an early appointment, afraid that if it is later on in the day I will chicken out! I never realised how brave it was confronting and saying out loud the things you live with, the thoughts you pretend not to have and suppress. The 'unthinkables' become not so scary, not so forbidden in acknowledging them, feeling them for a while and walking away, leaving them there till next time. It is a helpful, productive and safe way of looking back over the past two years, and indeed over my entire life.

She asked me if I had ever written to myself? That as I write to you Alex, and the kids sometimes, that I write letters a lot in my head that never get written or sent, it seemed like it was something natural for me to do.

I think back, I haven't, apart from the letter I wrote myself when I was 10-years-old, to open on my 20th birthday...I start to cry uncontrollable tears as I go over what I wrote, how I longed to run back and grab that little 10-year-old me and cuddle her, and tell her it was OK, I would grow up big and strong and I would deal with life, and not to be afraid...I do not recall all the letter, in one of our moves it was lost, but I remember writing 'have you got 4 kids and are you a primary school teacher?' My ambition by the time I was 20 was clearly this! Then at the bottom of the letter I had attached dried lavender as a present, which I use every day on my pillow to lull me to sleep these days, and I had written,

'Big 20-year-old Tamsyn, whatever you do in life, just keep persevering..

Love 10-year-old me.'

Remembering this has made me so sad. The significance and somewhat prophetic nature of my letter.

I feel like I want to run back to then, guide myself through all this holding my own hand in the absence of you not being able to do it Alex.

But I don't feel like I can, because I think I feel too vulnerable, although in many ways I have over the past two years... I guess maybe it feels unfair then? Like I shouldn't have to?? I need someone to just care for me, look after me through all this...and I face of future of never having you being able to fulfil that role...

I have a lot to work through!

She has set me the task of trying to write to myself...Can I?

Where do I start?

me xxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 25 November 2013

Dear Alex, Night time gifts.

Dear Alex,

I passed a fairly wakeful night, an abscess in my tooth has flared up, strong antibiotics I hope will clear that up, it has meant a temperature, headache and feeling so unwell. I was looked after by my wonderful neighbour and friend who made me hearty lentil soup and collected the kids from school, so I lay on the sofa and slept away some of the pain.

I have all kids sleeping in their own rooms, till Esmie wakes at 11 and gets in with me-her night pattern. She scrunches up next to me, stokes my face and kisses me with a big sleepy grin on  her face 'I love you mummy, hope the bed bugs bite...' She has this saying slightly wrong, but her adorable gift she gives me before I go to sleep is priceless.

Things are settling at the place you are in during the week, and when you rang this evening you were in high spirits, you spoke so clearly down the phone, I almost couldn't believe it was you on the other end! I remark how incredible your speech is, and you reply 'yes, I know, it's wicked isn't it?!' You seem to be continuing amazing progress there, your standing and movement is so impressive, and there is such hope for physical development for you, especially as you will be going to the Intensive Rehab Centre and they will work you harder than ever before!

We had an extremely exciting call today too, which may not amount to anything, but I can hope and dream... It was from the Alan Titchmarsh Garden show, where they do the DIY garden thing! A friend has nominated us and if we hear by Christmas it may be us...if not it won't be...So I wait with baited breath. I have long had ideas of getting raised vegetable beds for you to tend to, grow vegetables and prepare them, cook them and serve them up to the kids, thus giving you a sense of providing for us, of fulfilment in feeling things grow, of connecting with creation, of the kids seeing you achieve something...

Keep going as you are honey, I am one proud wife, and you are not finished progressing yet...

me xxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Dear Alex, Frightened.

Dear Alex,

Half moon golden, low in the night sky bobs and peeps out from behind clouds. Autumn sweeps through nature, rendering earth dormant.

Third Autumn I have witnessed since your accident. When cosy nights, curtains drawn, candles flickering are now just nights I long for you. When bundling all our kids out of the door for after school clubs, sports, trips out, food shops, school runs...is such a different task these days, just me and them.

My feelings are not unlike the season we are in.

I am a mummy, a dedicated mummy who does the house, the kids, the animals, the arranging all I must for you, and my visits to you.

Them Friday comes and you are home. I still feel vulnerable, never sure quite how I will find you, whether you will sleep or cry out. I feel ashamed of not being excited about you returning, I feel nervous, inadequate.

I detach myself when I am not with you-like a wholly separate life, because I cannot carry the burden of needing you as heavily as I feel it when the curtains are drawn and the kids are in bed. So I have to be 'OK' for the kids and to get on with life in general.

And this feels strange and the detachment feels frightening.

Although how can I cope any other way? And I HAVE to cope.

Frightened of the dark, since my whole life, only you made it better. I still am, more so now, and the dark which descends so early reminds me for long hours of this fear.

I feel frightened, alone without you as you were.

me xxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Dear Alex, Triggers.

Dear Alex,

Gales have blown, still bow, a trip to Asda later mentally scheduled to gather up some more Winter warmers, as the ice cold winds cut through your whole being. Refreshed and red cheeked, I shut the door on the wind outside and unleash Oliver from his lead. Fetching him a treat I flick on the gas under the kettle on the stove. I can go nowhere without having had my morning coffee, and today I am excited, so looking forward to seeing you.

I think about how much you not being here during the week has changed things.

Home at the weekends, I get to pamper you, spoil you with love and affection, the kids are happy to have you home and crawl all over you. During the week I am able on the Tuesday and Thursday to turn my mind to getting on with the things I need to, various appointments I have with OTs, or arranging things for you. Catching up with plans for you, how you are getting on and writing up from the weekend what I have observed of potential triggers to your behaviour, and this has reached several conclusive triggers- coupled with their documenting at the Care home too, we can see a clear pattern when it comes to hunger, tiredness, noise. At least this can act as a preventative, although there are times when there is no trigger at all, it is encouraging to see there are those times with clear triggers, and they can be prevented.

It all feels like, at the moment, with where you are, the picture of you as you are now, is being built up with the right support and input around you to move forward. It feels good, positive. And today you are in a wonderful mood and the biggest surprise to me yet, I do not tell you ONCE, not even once to keep your head up! Physically you seem to be progressing almost on a daily basis, with your feet on the plates on your wheel chair, you can push your self up and your body prostrate, leaning your head and shoulders on the back of your chair, you could almost stand from this position...I am so overwhelmed seeing this competence and your mastering physically your body once more, I have such high hopes that you will walk again.

And the best news yet-you have been accepted onto the waiting list for the Centre in Exeter, the Intensive rehab!

I am daring to hope, daring to believe in the impossibles...

That the Most High will carry you, guide you in the dark times, open your eyes...

From your extremely overwhelmed wife,

me xxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Dear Alex, 'No, I'm telling you...'

Dear Alex,

An arrow launched into my heart, it bleeds as our conversation, which with variable content, has been the same most of the weekend.

I jotted it all down later, I wanted to keep clear accounts of how aware you have been this weekend. This couples with amazing effort physically on your part, Although we still continue to use the belt which straps around you, under your bum and then with handles on the side to pull you up, it is no longer needed. You pull yourself up with ease. You stand tall, for several minutes. Your posture over the weekend has been amazing, I have hardly heard myself remind you to keep your head up.

As you talk to me, ask to speak to me in private about 'things', I explain sitting on your lap, my cheek pressed against yours, your tears wetting my face and neck, I remain strong for you, although the palpitations in my heart and my tears once you and the kids are in bed, tell the whole story.

'Why? Why me? I have never done anything to anyone, I was never a bad person, why has this happened to me?'

'Why am I like this? Why don't my legs work? What's wrong with them? How did I get like this?'

Please listen to me because I can't always think like this, properly, like this'

'Imagine being me, like this...why have I been punished? What have I done?'

'I'm still the same inside, I am still all yours...'

And as you try and make sense of this, of why and how and when and when you will be better, you stop for a second and say 'I will not always be like this' And I ask you if you are asking me whether you will always be this way? To which you reply with such clear speech, 'No, I'm telling you'

I grab you, tell you how wonderful hearing you say this is, tell you this is the first time you have showed such insight and clarity of both speech and though, the first time you have shown motivation in wanting to get better, stronger.

And my baby, this is SO wonderful. I haven't ever heard you speak this way, I have never seen motivation on your part in understanding and wanting to get better-this is what I have been waiting for all along.

You can master that drive, you can grasp hold with all of you and all of me, and all who support you and will you on and pray for you, you can grasp it and use it-to drive you towards progressing further.

I explain I have no answers, that my heart bleeds for you being in this position, but that, although our bodies are very different now, our souls always have been and always will be as one, connected and the same. Our physical bodies are different, but what counts is unmoved. Unaltered, unchanged, and the bond is stronger than ever after being through together what we have been in this life...

I sip Blackcurrent  and pear tea, I pour out my thoughts here, I 'deal' with it, but my body aches for you to reach acceptance, that, if I could, I would take all of this from you...

Pray God that He sees you and hears your cries of heartbreaking distress, that He hears and responds and comforts and aids the healing, my beautiful man.

Forever yours,

me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Thought for the day #17

There is a picture in our house, I have had for quite some time.

I tried to read the writing on it the other day,

I couldn't, it is too faint, but the author and the title stand fairly clear...So I looked it up, and the wooden picture reads this:

The Serenity Prayer
PathGod grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

--Reinhold Niebuhr
In loving memory of
Fr Bertram Griffin -- 1932-2000
Requiescat in Pace
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will direct your paths.
Proverbs 3, 5-6

To think I have not stopped to see this before...

Friday, 15 November 2013

Dear Alex, My James Bond.

What a blissful end to the week- my man home for the weekend, dressed up as James Bond, Lola added the Pudsey bear ear hairband!! He comes in going, 'I am Bond, James Bond...' Shooting the kids!!!!

Best night ever, speech as clear as anything, fast asleep now!


Thursday, 14 November 2013

Dear Alex, Time to talk.

Dear Alex,

The socks are all paired, the washing done, dried and put away, every laundry basket empty, every drawer with pressed clothes sit, till kids get their paws on it when they wake! The floors are hoovered, mopped, the windows cleaned, pictures up on the walls, the kids and I baked apple crumble with apples from a neighbour's garden left on our doorstep this evening, read books, enjoyed each others' company, chatting away through the late afternoon, till the sun went down and baths and stories and bed ensued. The house is polished and my mind is also going through a Spring clean.

Time has slowed, I have had two days a week during school hours to slow. I feel I am recuperating after a long battle. Although the battle still pervades. My body aches, muscles feel like I have run a marathon, or several. My head hurts and I am in bed by 10pm, hardly able to wake to the kids in the night, barely able to prize open my eyes when the alarm goes of at 6.30am.

After over two years I am finally at the point where, with time slowing somewhat as the kids are in school and you are at the Centre most days, I cannot help but focus on me a bit. My thoughts have turned to many issues, things that have affected me for years and the situation with you.

Where you are, the Psychologist asked to meet up with me, she wants to get a picture of the whole family, not just you.

I have aways refused and not wanted to talk with anyone professional, I have not felt ready. Frightened to the core that if I talked, it would become reality. That reality, not just going through on survival instinct and automatic pilot, that it would break me. Scared of having time, that my thoughts would unblock, overwhelm me and I would finally buckle.

It is, I realised, time to try and heal. From inside and out.

Time to talk.

Time to cry tears in a safe place, talk about the time I have had, not the time you have had, or the kids, although that is indubitably linked, but time to be me, no holes barred. Bare, real, and it not mattering.

From all I have endured, been through, I know now i will cope, I won't just fall. I know the true strength of my character now. The tests I have staggered though, but still come through, and I know, for me, talking is a healer.

I got something so wonderful out of it, which bruised me, but has made me that little bit stronger in all I am doing, as I talk about how it feels like I have been married to two different people, how I ache for the kids that you cannot be a daddy to them, nurture them and counsel them in the way I always saw you doing before. As I talk about how I feel I have the old you kept in a locket, treasured away inside, she says that the relationship we had, that we have, the connection we carried and still do, but differently, in that locket, I have you inside me. All I learned from you and how intrinsically I knew you; your essence is in me. That I carry the way I knew you would have parented them and act on who you would have been this day too.

Your essence is in me, thus prevailing through me.

How uplifting it was, I hadn't seen it this way before, that I am, in just being who you married, and our souls connecting in the way they did, parenting these kids of ours in the way you would have done too.

I feel less alone.

I feel you more real-ly.

The disconnection and the absence your accident left, is less of that now.

me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Dear Alex, The key?

Dear Alex,

Squinting, hand over eyes as sun streams through sky and windscreen alike. The barely used roads on my drive to see you are an expanse of rays of sunlight casting their beauty and magnificence onto valleys and hills. Silver beams caressing the misty risings of nature's finery and elegance. I am full of excitement this morning...

I received a call yesterday telling me there had been a cancellation at the Intensive Rehab Centre in Exeter. My wonderful friend and neighbour steps up to kid collecting duties, enabling me to focus on the assessment.

The enchanting scenery I have witnessed on my drive in, adds to the mood, the unknown, the unseen, the you that is, as yet, uncovered from such a lack of input.

Will this be the solution?

Well I know it is, you need the chance to be given to you. The crucial right input.

Today during the assessment it was as though I had to plead our case as to why I felt they should give you the chance. Did you have potential? If not, they will not take you on. After the nearly 3 hour assessment, they all meet and confer, from the people they have assessed today, they make a decision as to who will most benefit...There were 5 others.

My heart was in my mouth as we left, I almost ran back in, pleaded on my knees to give you a chance. But I held your hand tight, cuddled my head into yours and prayed. I had done all I could. They wouldn't take you on the basis of a sobbing woman at their feet at any rate...

My heart rests in my mouth. I almost taste it... So full of desperation for that 'yes, we will take him'...We will find out in written correspondence in the next day or so.

So today could have been a day unblocking a path that had been so firmly closed to us before, when you last had rehab, your Glasgow Score was at 9. This is how they grade a coma, 3 being the most profound, 15 being as awake/aware as you or I. 9 was a fairly low score therefore.

You need this chance, we, as a family, need this chance.

If I can put a message out tonight, it is to please pray they take Alex on, send opening up the pathway energies, do whatever you can, as this could be THE thing for Alex.

The key.

And it is not in my hands...

me xxxxxx

Monday, 11 November 2013

Dear Alex, I don't know...

Dear Alex,

Some days I want to run out into streets, wherever, everywhere, scream at the top of my voice 'Help me, I miss Alex, I miss him SO much and I am hurting...' I want everyone to know how much I miss you, and for a few seconds feel what this is like...That dark, furious depth of 'that' ache I have to live with. Have to do the food shop, put in fuel in the car, do the school run, lose my beloved dog, have to justify myself, bring up our four kids, make porridge, read bedtime stories, do the washing, with it chaffing at my heart.

I don't.

I never have.

I never would.

Because it would never do any good.

It would change nothing.

In life's full-time schedule of life, I do it, a constant ache bleeding inside me.

I know you are there, I feel you at times, I feel like, like it is almost as though you aren't here in this world anymore, that you have departed...Although at the same time, you are fighting to come back, or to leave fully...It is difficult to express.

Even more difficult to live with.

This has been over two years of at times dealing very well with things finding joy, always in the smallest, the tiniest of things. In everything. Reawakening a child-like appreciation for the simple joys and blessings. Being so much in the kids' company, it can't help but rub off.

At times I wade, wade through life, trawl through emotions, grief. Swallow rivers, gulfs of tears and overwhelming sadness. Because despite how well you deal with a situation, despite the joys and blessings you find and discover and count, the reason remains and will always remain-I lost you.

That cannot and will not ever change.

A Christening to go to, again, to face an event with my right arm missing. How vulnerable, how lost I feel without you, and no one can see it, it is not a visible thing, it's not my right arm missing, no one can see my pain and fragility without you.

And sometimes I feel like I should just be getting on with it, forget the pain, there are worse things in life after all, only then I see you and know if you were watching on now, as the old you, how broken by the situation you would be, and my compassion for you soars and wants to tear down the heavens and find God and beg Him to let you see again, beg him to give you back the chance to be a daddy. To look at our four little beings, innocent and wonderful and caring and affectionate and resilient and unquestionably incredible, and say to Him, 'Look at them, don't they deserve to get their daddy back again??'

But I can't.

So life continues on a path of unknown and sorrow and getting on with it and appreciating our blessings.

me xxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Dear Alex, Landmarks without you...

Dear Alex,

Our boy is ten, this is a parental landmark, I feel different. I feel like a very grown up mummy having a ten-year-old!

But my day has subsided into tears. My boy, our boy, and you weren't here to celebrate it with us.

My day was engulfed with sadness, bitterness, that I held well. Monty has had a wonderful party, darlek cupcakes and his best presents EVER, he says!

HE sleeps on the floor in my room, holding his teddy in his arms. surrounded by Dr Wo lego. The lego, which he has received every year for years-being obsessed with it- that he used to sit with you at the table and construct.

He now does it alone.

No dad to be with him and do father and son things.

And I feel so sad.

So sad for him, this landmark double figures age, and you were away from us.

Friends come over with their kids and share the parenting, I see to our kids alone. No dad to play with them, give in and give them more cake, help clear up at the end of having 12 kids in the house.

These times are when I miss you most Alex. When the kids must miss you most. Because the crammed  room, even with 12 kids and 6 adults, feels empty to me without you.

Tonight, I just wanted to say on all our behalves:

It's not fair.

Tonight I want the kids to have a daddy.

Tonight, I want to have a husband.

Tonight I am in bed alone, and ache, silently ache, for you.

Husband to me, father of our kids.

I am so sorry this has happened to you.

So sorry this has happened to our amazing kids.

me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Dear Alex, Monty's Birthday....

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Dear Monty Buster....

Dear Monty Buster,

My heart, my life, my soul, essence of my spirit...

Ten years ago today, you were born. My dream, to be a mummy, realised. With you came every hope, aspiration, longing and a sense of deep peace. Your dad and I were complete.

You, growing up, were the life and soul. I remember how in baby groups, you would be the baby singing, cooing, ahhing and babbling to anyone and everyone who would listen. As a toddler, I have a vivid memory of a huge group of mummies and toddlers singing songs, the hokey cokey was sung and you ran in and out of everyone, going up to each mummy and child singing at the top of your voice and doing the actions to 'oh the okey hockey cokey...' You were hilarious, and have always been full of life and fun.

Now-a-days you are a strong boy, growing so fast it feels like a blur. I grasp and treasure every moment, even the ones when you are having a 'moment'...!

You sleep next to me in bed, or often on the floor in a make shift bed as you feel that security and comfort from being with me.

You cuddle me unashamedly, kiss me and tell me how much you love me before you go into school. After school, you throw your bag down next to me, fling your arms around my neck, tell me 'Hi mum, how was your day?' Then barely waiting for an answer sprint off to play with your friends in the little park outside the school of Mitzi and Esmie.

Such a clever boy, maths is your 'thing'. You love it, and are very conscientious when it comes to homework. Motivated and committed as a person.

You are funny and make me laugh so much. We have banter and you are such good fun to be around.

My heart breaks for you every day that dad can not see you grow up, that he doesn't know you as a father should know his son. How proud he would be if he knew you as he would have done had he not had the accident.

You're much better with your dad now. You are affectionate and even play with him at times. You no longer ignore him, although this has taken nearly two years. I think you still expect him to magically get better, I suppose we all do, such is our feeling of loss.

Monty, I am so proud of you, at times my heart could burst. How caring you are and how you look out for the younger kids, making them laugh, trying to make them feel better if they are sad. It doesn't matter who, whether they are a toddler you saw fall down in the park-you are the first one over to help- or whether you know them well. Such is your deep caring ability and compassion for anyone hurting.

Grow like this, never lose that. It is a generous character trait, a vital one, and a strength to you.

Your smile and laughter light up my life...

I live for you kids...

I hope you always turn to me when you need someone, I will always be there, it may not always be the advice you want to hear, but it will always be the advice to guide you in the right way, on the right spiritual path, just as your dad would do if he could.

I am so sorry he can not.

I love you so much Monty Buster,

Happy Birthday for tomorrow, my ten-year-old boy!


Mum xxxxxxxxxxx