Thursday, 7 February 2013

Dear Alex, The email.

7th February 2013

Dear Alex,

Four kids fed, cupboard 8 weetabix and 2 giant bowls of porridge oats lighter. Teeth cleaned, beds made, washing machine turns. Coats and fruit snacks, water bottles and bags, door opened and we all brace the fresh crisp morning air. Their chatter busy and I carry Esmie on my back, Mitzi skips, Lola scooters and Monty tells me his plans for our time when the girls are in bed, I listen and smile and watch and I love this school run I am blessed to be able to do. To begin the day, almost every day with our kids, to be able to see them, listen to them, to walk alongside them is my morning joy.

I spend the first hour in Esmie's class and it was P. E, parachute games with 30 4 and 5-year-olds. It's a lovely distraction and I love the time I'm able to spend helping out at the school, love being part of normal day-to-day life for them. The fact Monty asks me to come in and do reading with his class, his smile his look of pride that his mummy is there! It'll all change very quickly, I have to make the most of it while I can!

I sit after the day, all of them finally asleep in my room. Three in the bunks, only one in my bed. I open my emails., there's one from the council. It's a cross between a heads up and an underlying message. The government are making huge cuts it seems, it starts in the Summer, they'll be reducing my weekly benefits by over a third. Unless I get Alex home, or choose this house an hour away from here, then they won't be affected. Leaving me and I quote 'living in hardship'...

It's not a personal ultimatum, it's the way the Government are obviously penalising those who need the money. Leaving many, not just me 'living in hardship'. What's going to become of our society as people ( including me) will barely be able to feed their kids left on the amount they propose to leave us with?

It makes me feel scared, vulnerable. Trapped! Yes so I go out and work full time, and basically give up on you baby, I'd never be able to see you because I'd spend all the hours I wasn't working looking after our kids, and how would I get them to and from school? There's no option house wise except the one an hour away.

I'm fast approaching the Summer deadline, with no options and a dead end with 'hardship' ahead! It's like I'm sitting on a spiralling train that is not going to stop, I'm about to witness our lives crash, I can do nothing to prevent it.

I'm livid for the people this will affect. Livid that this will start sweeping areas as the Government impose these cuts.

And the consequences terrify me for us and our kids.

Time to not be scared and fight.

Me xxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 4 February 2013

Winter Wonderland Ball! Almost here...

The story of Making Waves for Alex, and why they are holding a Winter Wonderland Ball.

 Tamsyn's story:

“…So we lived in France, growing our own veg, chickens and ducks laid us eggs! Four kids to boot, it was a wonderful life. Then one day, Alex (aged 32) kissed me on the lips, squeezed my bum cheekily, winked and told me he’d see me after rugby training. He was gone.

Quite literally, and devastatingly never to be the same again. It was the 4th October 2011.

A knock to the head in a scrum. From that knock to the head a rush to A&E; scans on the brain, clots, a massive brain bleed. Two life saving operations and 15 weeks in a coma. The kids, almost losing their father, and certainly losing the father they once knew and loved.”

Alex is battling hard to defy doctors’ initial devastating prognoses of, amongst other things, irreversible paralysis and blindness, never talking, walking or eating normally again, and he is making very encouraging progress.

He is now able to eat a pureed diet, speech is significantly reduced, but he is relearning all these skills that each and every one of us takes for granted. Physiotherapy has seen him regaining muscle and core strength, enough to sit up unaided for minutes at a time!

Making Waves for Alex ( is raising money via a WINTER WONDERLAND BALL amongst other initiatives for the ongoing care of Tamsyn’s husband, the NHS cannot cover all of the care he desperately needs to make sure his recovery is as complete as possible. ALL donations are gratefully accepted so please head over. It may be too late to go to the ball, but any donation however little will help. It has to start with something! It is being held on the 9th February.

There are some incredible prizes up for grabs at auction, Sophie and Tamsyn will keep you posted, watch this space for your chance to bid on the amazing prizes!

Keep up with Alex’s progress on the website, and please DONATE! If you can, a little goes a long way...

Thank you!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Dear Alex, and then what?

3rd February 2013

Dear Alex,

Dark orange burning penetrates blue, palest blue dusky sky, clouds slim, trails of airplanes passed leave white lines like arrows launched skyward. We are on our way home from seeing you.

You were sat in your chair, first time in a week. But you barely smiled, we got but two words from you. I play Pictionary with the kids, desperate for some kind of reaction/ interaction from you. There's none.

I put it down to the confusing week you have just had and your body and brain now taking far longer than someone who's never suffered a brain injury, to recover. I try not to let terrified feelings overtake, as I see this a 6 months regression. Surely that can't be? You must just be so so worn out.

Only those doubts creep in. Enough to make a hard week seem impossible, floundering on my own. I reach to my ear to play with the earring you got me years ago, as I always do, I find an empty space where it used to be, I've lost it, it's fallen out, I will never find it, it is too tiny.

It's not about the item I have lost, it's the implications, it's what it really means. You chose it when you could see. You chose it when you could decide things for yourself, make a decision. It all spirals, screaming in my head, a million negative thoughts about things we will never do again, no family walks, no camping holidays, you lighting the fire, me getting the kids to sleep. No beach days, and it just seems to go on and on and round and round severing any joy or happiness or any positivity from my mind.

It's also a year exactly tomorrow I moved everyone back in a week from France, leaving our dream behind in a blur of torn pieces, heading to an unknown new life. And exactly 16 months since you had the accident.

The kids start screaming over something and I slam the kitchen door. I sink to the floor. I sob so hard my chest, my sides they ache.

So today I had to make it alright, show the kids even though life fully broke me yesterday, I got up again today. I spent extra time watching them, thanking God I was blessed with another day to mother them. My smile is not huge, nor heartfelt, neither does it stay when people aren't looking.

I feel somewhat defeated if I am honest. No solution to the house, and still no way of doing anything about it.

And the question 'if I give up, well what then?' throbs in my mind.

But I won't because I don't even have that luxury!!

I need to do some hardcore giving thanks, try and take the gratitude medicine when all seems lost and futile.

Me xxxxxxx