Friday, 27 September 2013

Dear Mitzi, 7 today!

Dear Mitzi,

Well, my big girl, 7 today! And it is the first birthday any of you have had with your dad being home too, he missed your 5th and your 6th...

This time, dad helped me make your cake, and you loved it you said, it was the best cake EVER!

My baby, your cheeks are round and eyes bright and shining when you smile, your rose bud huge lips and dark hair- quite unlike your siblings, you make my heart melt when you pout them and reach out your arms for a cuddle.

You, Mitzi moo, are a dynamo! A ball of energy! And my goodness you know how to climb! You shimmy up anything and everything as often as you can, as soon as anything appears vaguely climbable, or not, to my are up there before I can blink.

Do you know, your first word was a phrase 'geddown, geddown' you used to go around saying, because you heard, 'Mitzi, get down' more often than anything else spoken to you!

You are delightful, cheeky, fidgety, talkative, loud, you shout, you make your presence known. You know your own mind, although you can be very unsure and shy, and the deeply sensitive side which means you are unable to express yourself in words, and so you cry, a lot! But it is part of you. You are either in fits of laughter, or crying! But you are such good fun, there is no doubt about that.

Tonight you jump up into my arms- you often do this, cling on to me, and cuddle me tight, 'I love you mummy, thank you SO much for the best birthday and the best cake ever!' and you give me a sweet, 'Can you eat it? It is my thank you present to you, but it has gelatine in!'

My heart will always be broken for the fact that dad cannot be a dad in the sense he used to be for you...It is such a hard time at the moment, and the fact you smile through it, chat to the numerous carers who live with us, change over, you just chat openly to them, accepting and generous of heart and spirit.

How you have already made friends, settled in, and love living here is such a gift. You have made this move so much easier for me, as I struggle to deal with all that goes on...

I have no idea where you have this talent for climbing and all things physical- it certainly does not come from me, it must be your dad! But I am in awe of you natural talent, and would love you to use it to it's full, as you were born like it!

In three words...hmmmm, how can i describe you in three words? Sensitive, energetic, fun. I will never be bored with you around to raise...You love easily, and and very caring and generous, and both I, and your dad, are so very, very proud of you.

I have to say I am sorry, for what has happened, for the times I do not deal with it so well, for the times I shout when I shouldn't. Because I just love you endlessly and wholly. How blessed I am to have you.

Mitzi, you are a star, and I love you so much...

Happy Birthday my gorgeous angel.

Thank you for adding love, fun and dynamism to my life!

mummy xxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Dear ALex, But for now...

Dear Alex,

Past few days have seen a slight change, more settling, maybe even a pattern to your 'times' of crying, becoming anxious and apparently lost to this world. When the kids and we have our tea together, through till you go to bed around 8pm, then you do not settle till around 11pm. you wake again, always, at 4am, mostly till I give up, unable to sleep with my heart racing, wondering if you will be aggressive, shout, wake all the kids (although they seem to sleep through it mostly now, thankfully.

I now have learned that I cannot reason with you and in my mind I have you as 'the Alex lost in brain injury and damage'

there are other times, the last few days, where you sob, big gut filled sobs, crying out that it is 'sh*t living like this' that you 'wish I could life would be so much easier if I could see...I want to see...' And then the, 'life is b*ll**ks, who wants to live like this, I am so angry at living like this...'

It shows amazing comprehension and insight, and I reassure you saying the following four sentences over to you, cuddling your head, kissing your tear stained cheek,

'I love you, I believe in you, this is not forever, you WILL get through all of this, becoming stronger'

Urging you to remember this, as your short term memory means you forget and counsel or positive mantras you could harness to help you...

I have felt slightly more settled, with a deep lingering sadness I am able to conceal for the most part.

I am throwing myself into writing up ideas, plans, activities the carers can do with you. Searching for aids which may help you.

Baking three cakes for Mitzi's birthday tomorrow, the house, but the animals are quiet, you have been tired, sleepy today, and I enjoy rolling out the icing, planning her party, being a mummy, baking late in the evening with my dog and the cats for company, a house asleep...It is amazing what a few 'normal' times can do for you, and I am learning I must, at times, block out any thought of sorrow, of you, of the dread I feel at going to bed, not knowing when and how you will wake...Which is why, for now, I sleep each night upstairs with the kids, I need this space. The room is quiet, it gives me peace of mind to sleep, rather than lying next to you, as I so desperately crave, waking every few minutes over any sound, terrified you will wake and the day will begin again.

I am trying to exercise hope, that this IS not forever, and day we will sleep in the same bed... happily...

But for now...

I sleep alone.

me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Dear Alex, Ivy, my rockery.

Dear Alex,

I think, gauging by tonight, you are not all that well. Just a cough, nothing serious, but maybe that is why you slept for several hours today, and were quiet the rest of the day.

Whatever the reason, I managed to get out into the garden. It is overridden with ivy and many brambles. I don my gardening gloves, and pull endlessly at roots. An hour-and-a-half I pull out ivy roots, small and large. I stand back, wipe brow, look, I have barely made a mark. It feels like a good metaphor for life, I think. As I pull at the roots and strings of ivy, I allow negative, angry thoughts to rise, and tug at the roots, tearing them out of the ground. A sense of relief. Only to discover there are more, smaller roots pushing up their heads. I have to pluck at those, painstakingly.

It felt like performing very tangibly what I feel I am going through. Whilst I am tugging at the big roots, getting satisfaction from the resolving of big things- House, School, happy kids, I then look under this to see the tiny masses of chores and things I have to achieve to make sure the big things don't come crashing down, or regrowing. It's like plucking at the small negative things which niggle, hurt and irritate. Whether it be something someone has said, something someone hasn't done, or a bill, a parking ticket, a couple holding hands, a dad with his child on his shoulders, all these small things which keep me constantly occupied, draining.

Then you step back from what feels like a mammoth effort for two years, and find that you have covered but centimetres of your life, and before you get to sorting the rest of it, as it is ticking away, the ivy will reroot, replant, and none of the effort you put into the rest will ever be fruitful...

At least that was my interpretation today.

Ivy is a weed, bad things in your life feel the same, strangle the good things too.

So I do what?

Get a gardener?!

Burn the whole thing?!

Or make sure you spot the ivy before it overtakes, get it whilst it is beginning? Or is that too late?

I feel you slipping away like the overgrown ivy rockery, I need a gardener...

And I suppose time, that age old expression that makes you want to throw someone out the window when they say that to you!


It's precious, it is a healer...

We just have to keep going, keep uprooting the ivy till there is no more, and we can plat the new flowers, new memories, and grow as we need to as a family.

me xxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 23 September 2013

Dear Alex, A Distant Memory.

Dear Alex,

What's the point? I think, in going to bed? To have dreamed for 2 years of having you in the same bed as me. To have dreamed it would be as times once were, sleeping, together, legs entwined.

What's the point in going to bed? To lie there if you sleep, daring not to make a sound, lest I should wake you and the horror of an awake you and your demands, 'get me food' 'get me a drink' 'sit down there' and anger ensues if I am not apparently sitting in the exact place you want me to sit.

What's the point in going to bed, when you lie there agitated, demanding, grabbing at me, shouting, swearing at me.

How is this a dream come true? Us finally in the same bed again together, when this is what it entails. Hour after hour of this.

I have put the washing machine and tumble drier on, in the hope it may drown out the sound of you. I sit at the table and type out some of my fear, angst. I do all I know, type, type a letter to you. Only you will never read this.

You will never know.

Never understand that I need you to just be you, need you to consider me.

The kids rush in from school, happy you are back, only there's no interaction- you just ask them where I am, no interest in them, it is only where I am.

They are little, they don't understand, I hope to goodness it goes unnoticed, your fixation on where I am. It is always like this, with everyone you are with. 'Where's Tamsyn?' on repeat. Seconds after I have cuddled you, I am only ever doing something for you or the kids. I am never far.

I pray to the Most High for more understanding for you, and more patience for me.

Because at the moment, you are far away. A distant memory I dare not look at. An impostor, it feels, in the house.

How guilty I feel, how heavy is my heart.

Please God, please, help him understand, help him rest and sleep, because I need to too.

me xxxxxxxxxxx