Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Dear Alex, So Proud of Our Son...

Desperate to get in the water, he is his Father's son…

Our friend took him out.

It should have been you.

Me xxxxxxxxx

Monday, 12 May 2014

Dear Alex, Is This the End?

Dear Alex,

I am not sure where this blog is going anymore.

I am not finding it gives me what it always has done.

A cathartic way of expending energies I cannot articulate to you.

An evening space.

Tears shed as I share with you in the only way I can.

I feel it is coming to the end.

I have so many other areas I need to be focussing my energies.

Other areas I want to focus on, Making Waves for You as a Charity, the kids are rapidly growing and do so many clubs these days, commitments and less time than ever.

I visit you everyday, bar one or two. That will never change.

I miss you as much as I always have and always will.

But maybe I don't need 'this' space anymore to talk to you.

I feel I have nothing to say.

And that, then, makes me think that maybe that in itself is telling me something?

I just need to be, do, live, accept for a while?

That I cannot place my thoughts here, they belong with me and me only?

Maybe this is the end?

I am not 'feeling' my blog anymore.

I will have to see.

I will have to think.

I have been feeling this way for some time now.

I will maybe move on from this, move away from it, focus on other things?

I will continue to write to you privately.

Maybe I just a break from it.


See you in the morning angel,

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Dear Alex, Everything Changes.

Dear Alex,

Living two lives is how I live at the moment. With you not even having day trips home (although I hope this is soon to change) I have my life up with you, visiting you, privately wanting you and missing you, and a life where I put a big smile on my face, socialise, a life completely separate to you.

It has become more and more this way, it has become my coping mechanism.

It allows me to deal with a life outside you. A life where I am a single mum of four. A life where I have friends over, I plan activities with other families. I do it without you.

I feel you are on a more even keel, it has the effect of making me so too.

When I come to see you, you just cling onto me, kissing me, telling me how much you love me, I cherish this Alex.

Although I know I have a very different you now.

It is strange how everything is different. So different. In a way I could never have been prepared for, a way I never thought I would be capable of dealing with.

I almost feel completely detached from any sense of pain at the moment. Then it changes in an instant and I am back to square one, then I have to find soothing I am grateful, to offer up thanks and praise for, and I watch our babies, listen to their chatter, witness their smiles and little ways, and I bring myself back to coping again.

The brain damage has meant that you have no motivation to change anything, be any different. It is all done 'to' you. You participate, progress, but you have had your main personality trait eradicated by the haemorrhage … your determination and motivation.

I am trying to understand this at the moment and come to terms with an Alex that I didn't know when we got together.

An Alex that is the new Alex, yet not the man I once met.

I will see you in the morning, and keep trying to be your motivation for you…

I love you honey,

me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Dear Alex, Making You Proud of Me.

I love the fact Alex captured his feet in this shot…tanned and strong.

Dear Alex,

Memories are everywhere of a life once lived. Dreams once shared, a life's adventure course together, hands held, souls entwined, like our legs in bed at night…

In a clear out, I came across a dress, one I used to wear in the Summer in France that you loved, I smelt it, I hadn't unpacked this plastic box full of Summer wear for a number of reasons. Mitzi is with me and I ask her what it smells of, her big blue eyes light up, she buries her head in it, she says 'of France and of Daddy!' I hadn't mentioned to her the fact it was in a forgotten about box from France, it's origins, it could have been new… But she smelled her daddy on it, Papa, as you once were to her. Smells are so evocative.

Photos I scroll through with a glimpse of you in the background, catching a scene in front, but hold you in your organic form- a gesture as you explain something, not the posed moments, but the tiny detail of you.

Your memory seems a little stronger, from time-to-time. On the phone tonight, you ask if I am coming back in, you recall, evidently I was in earlier.

A day or so ago, Monty began surf lessons. I had not realised how it would impact me, how it would delve into my being, searching for you… He comes out of the water, as I arrive to pick him up. He struggles with a board under his arm and see his father's son. I see him carrying on a dream you had for all the kids. You were determined to teach them all to surf- you used to refer to it as you church, prayer and meditation.

Monty cannot wait to get back out there again. He has caught the surfing bug! You would have had your surfing buddy! Your son, then daughters, following you out into the surf…

All the things you should have had,

Would have had…

My being aches, my eyes can't see for the tears I shed in this moment, our boy coming out of the sea.

So I am going to learn to surf Alex. To join our kids, to show them how to combat fears (I am scared of the sea) to make you proud. To be with them in your absence.

And with a heart breaking even more for what you could have had, I will try and learn…and make you proud of me.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Dear Alex, A Degree in the Right Direction.

Dear Alex,

Brisk dog walk before I set off to see you, Robin's call takes me by surprise. Mid conversation, ascending the hill, it tweets loudly right at us, right next to us; as though it were calling us.

We are chatting, my friend and I, putting the world to rights as we do every morning with the fields turning deeper green, stretching out to the burrows that lead to the sea boundless, dogs run and pant, beauty in nature abundant. I wonder what, if anything, was the significance of this tweeting Robin.

I always make a quick coffee to take in the car with me on my journey, which takes nearly an hour.

Reaching you by around 10.30.

I haven't been writing to you much, and this has, in itself made me feel uneasy, wondering why.

I sift through every thought like grains of sand, analysing it all.

And I think I have worked it out.

I am much happier at the moment.

I crashed, completely and wholeheartedly around our wedding Anniversary, feeling like I was mourning our marriage, you, rather than being able to celebrate it as we had always planned to. And I realised I needed something in my life too.

Not just doing all I must and want to for the kids, all I need and want to for you, but I need something else that defines me too. I felt this deeply, like an awakening. I have not been able to focus on this before, because I have felt it selfish and unthinkable. However with creating the Making Waves for You charity, I know I am doing something positive, it doesn't feel selfish, it feels like it is what I am meant to be doing.

I haven't been able to articulate in a letter to you why I was unable to write to you as frequently as I used.

But I need to move aside slightly, take the pressure off waiting for you to spring back, just like it was before. Because that is not what will happen. Strangely, or not so, it is helping me cope better.

I know you will continue to make progress, I see it still. But I have lifted the lid on the pressure a fraction, and I can release it slowly, rather than trying to stifle it and pretend it is not there.

It is making this doable, ever so slightly more.

Baby, you know I will always wait for you, always want you to progress as much as possible, this isn't what this is about. It is changing, and allowing myself to as well, my mind set a fraction, a degree in the right direction.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Dear Alex, The Hugo Southwell Testimonial in London, Little Me, Far Away from Home.

Ready to go at my BFF's House!

Dear Alex,

Dusk begins to descend, I have put all but Monty in bed, who plays upstairs with his Lego. Creating, role playing, imagining. I sneak up to listen and watch him when he thinks he is alone. I lose myself in his world. In awe at the imagination, the world he has created and the ease of his playing.

It has been a busy week.

The Testimonial of Hugo Southwell, retiring from professional rugby as Captain of the Wasps, was a phenomenal night. I wasn't expecting his speech, expressing why he had chosen Alex to be the beneficiary of fundraising that night, to have me in tears before I even got up on stage to speak. But I was blown away by his words, generosity and kindness. I managed it! I spoke in front on everyone, and played a short video of you now, which a friend has been putting together.

Several things came out of the night;

I was able to talk about Making Waves for You, and moving forward, and there were many people there keen to get involved, keen to help out in any way they could. It made me feel more positive about the reason I was there.

I also broke through another comfort zone, stepped out and spoke in front of so many people for you, Alex.

In a few weeks time, I have the first meeting about setting up Making Waves for You as a charity.

I also made a lot of Rugby players cry!

It was truly a wonderful night, always bitter sweet, as life seems to be now-a-days.

I'm proud of you Alex, so proud of you for how far you have come, and how much more you will achieve.

I will soon be releasing the new video of you for all to see.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Dear Alex, Living In-between.

Dear Alex,

I flick through the radio stations, French, not picking up due to the clouds covering the vast sky ahead, Classic, makes me feel too pensive, Radio 4, a topic I can't bear to listen about, nothing is fulfilling the need to drown out my mind noise on the way to see you.

Living in-between.

That's what this is.

The days I am good, I feel life is 'doable'; life is beautiful in a very different way. Then the days I plummet, When I can't bear to face it without you, soul crawling round beneath a weight of darkness shrouding it, grieving for my man.

I am learning to live this way now.

I won't see you for a few days, I am going to London.

I am honoured and so grateful to Hugo Southwell, retiring captain of the Wasps, as he is doing his Testimonial and Dinner in benefit of you. How generous, how wonderful, how much it will mean. But I will have to speak a bit, in front of 400 guests.

I am stepping out of my comfort zone, I am no longer any good in social events, even a neighbour's Barbecue with less than 10 people sent me off to the bathroom to breathe through a major panic attack.

I am no good without you by my side, and yet I keep having to face things without you, do things on my own, for you.

I would swop it all honey, all of it in a breath to have you back, to be sat on the sofa, cup of tea in hand in my pyjamas next to the old you…

Only I cannot be.

I won't ever be.

So it is moving forward with what we have, with who we are now.

Turning changed eyes to God, eyes filled with sadness, longing for hope and help.

And living in between.

The good days and the bad.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Dear Alex, Living Now.

Dear Alex,

Lawn mower passes over someone's lawn in the distance, warm sun sets after a rainy day. It sets on another of our evening phone calls. It sets on a life we once lived.

I haven't been able to write much.

I don't know who I write to anymore.

I once wrote to who I thought would be coming back.

I once wrote through pain and heartache and an experience I thought you would sit down, read with me one day…catch up with my version of events.

I write to a stranger.

Someone I have lost in this life.

This is why I barely write at the moment Alex,

Because I write to a fantasy.

I write to a husband I once had, the man I once knew.

And the pain is too great.

I can't record it, I cannot express it, I do my best, my utmost to avoid it.

Only the evening strikes, the sun goes down and the loneliness of the night ensues. An empty bed, bedtime for 4 children conducted by their mummy again.

It is almost that we are all realising something. Lola stayed at her friend's last night. The lovely daddy there makes her come back and want to talk to me. She opens up about all her memories of you in the hospital, before you were whisked away from us. Before her 6-year-old heart was shattered and one of babies lost their daddy. She talks to me, through sobs of the day I told them of your operation, how well she remembers it. I hold our girl, I hold her tight to me, I kiss her blond head and don't let her go, don't let her see the agony in her mummy's eyes.

You left us all Alex.

You didn't choose to, I know.

But I know you are not coming back.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Dear Alex, The New 'Us'

Dear Alex,

Often I realise, I will never get through this, never not need you as you once were.

Never not have to just live with that pain.

I have recently been avoiding photos of you, videos, everything to do with how you once were. It ties in with our Anniversary which has just come and gone like our marriage never existed, like 'we' never did.

It is coming to terms with how different it all has become now.

It is living as a wife with no husband (I do not say this lightly or cruelly).

The overwhelming realisation that this is me, you, this is the new 'us'.

It needs to settle in me for a while.

I try and avoid it a great deal, all too much to digest. too much to take on board. The one thing I have known I could never confront without falling, and my baby, I feel like I will.

Remembering days when I thought I would have most of you back at least.

Ten years married has forced me into a corner, forced me somewhere I never wanted to be.

And it is lonely, it is just me.

Me watching everyone else, families and dads and men and couples.

It's just me now Alex.

And I feel like I have finally realised you are not coming back.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Dear Alex, 'I Love You'

Dear Alex,

Sun begins to set on another day, Holidays nearly over, another event passed without you.

They seem relentless these events.

I stand in the kitchen making a roast Gammon with the trimmings for the kids, and some veggie dish for me. The kids watch a film, the rain has recommenced. Stuffing chocolate down like there is a chocolate thief on the loose that will take it if they don't consume it this fast!

I start to set the table, call the kids, carve the meat. There is always a spare seat at the table where you once sat. There are always reminders you are no longer here with us.

I am still not handling this all that well. I toppled over this week with our Wedding Anniversary, and have been staggering about ever since.

The kids were excited to see you today, I had done them an Easter egg hunt there, which kept them amused for a time. You cover them with kisses and hold them tight when we arrive. At one point pretending to eat them because you wanted their chocolate, making them and me laugh.

You are good at interacting for a short while, as long as it does not drag on, as you quickly become over tired and agitated and it goes very quickly down hill. This is why I keep the visits short, no longer than 1 and a 1/2 hours really, this seems to be optimum time. When I prompt you, your speech is clearer, although it seems to be that for the past few months your speech has not been at all clear. There are things, however you do say very clearly 'I love you'

And I suppose that is the most important phrase.

And I love you too, Alex.


Me xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Dear Alex, I Promise.

Dear Alex,

Talking to you here, writing to you, is my only means of communicating with you in a deeper sense than trying to understand what you are saying to me, or chatting about the kids to you, telling you things. I can't confide in you, nor gain your advice, that side of my Alex, of you, has gone.

It honestly is the side I miss the most, that side of a relationship, being able to chat in depth about things, the kids and their lives, elements of life that I could do with your advice on…I was very dependent on you before for this, only turning to you for counsel.

Yesterday, was the hardest of days I have seen in a very long while.

Our ten year Wedding Anniversary. There is something so significant about a decade.

I wondered to myself on the way to see you what you may have done for me were you as you once had been. I think you would have whisked me away somewhere for a night or two. Spoiled me rotten!

You would have written me a letter, you wrote to me often.

Instead I write to you, only I write to the you that I once had.

To the you I married.

The you who is gone.

I cherished the afternoon we spent together. You were in a beautiful mood and would not let go of me, kissing me and telling me you love me. I describe our Wedding to you, what you wore, who was there, and how I promised you today the same as I promised you the day we married.

We shed a few tears together, although you don't know that you were ever any different, and certainly have no recollection of our Wedding.

Through it all Alex, I will love you, I will be there, I will comfort you and take care of you.

I promise.

Me xxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Dear Alex, A Decade Married x

Dear Alex,

Before the doors swing open, I feel OK. I remember thinking, I cannot wait! Soon, SO soon I will be who I want to be, Mrs Wood!


Then the doors swing,

I see you, as you turn from the front of the Registry Office, to look at me, where we had decided we just wanted to be married, rather than not. So a Registry Office  in Whitby was what was set. You melted my soul, my very being, I start to cry.

Monty, bless his tiny old soul, was 5 and a bit months old. We had met 2 years before, you had proposed to me 4 days after we had met, I agreed immediately.

 Knowing instantly you were The One…

In all honesty, baby, I have spent the past 3 days in helpless tears, Knowing where I was at before we married, remembering it vividly, to the days where we are now, before our 10 year Anniversary. I didn't realise this would be the hardest thing I have had to face so far.

And I never thought this.

Well, you don't, do you?

I remember a girl, 25 years in age.

A girl, a young mummy, devoted to her man, in awe of her man, unable to see clearly because of the fact she had fallen so hard, so completely in love.

This morning, our decade of marriage anniversary, I wake alone.

I ring you at the Care Home, and there is nothing more cruel.

"In sickness and in health"

At the time, I thought nothing of it at the time, but this was the vow where I broke down for a second, before being able to continue.

And Alex, my promise to you today is still, that in sickness and in health, I will remain steadfast by your side.

I wanted to grow old with you, visions of playing with grandkids together, walks hand-in-hand. I wanted so much for us.

Now, I just want you to grow more healthy, make progress; because I cannot face this life without you.

I love you Alex, more than you could ever imagine.

Your wife xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 14 April 2014

Dear Alex, A Glass of Ice Cold Rose.

Dear Alex,

A day in the sunshine, an evening where I sit outside, dog at my feet, cat prowls along the garden wall, Monty sleeps snoring in my bed, the girls fast asleep upstairs.

Nothing but my music and bird song, slight chill on sun warmed skin, and a glass of ice cold rose, I need it tonight.

I have watched the kids in such awe today, they had not a cross word all morning, brought me a cup of tea in bed. Helped clear up breakfast things. We hung out in the garden all morning, Monty and Lola making eggy bread and cucumber sticks for everyone for lunch! They were so wonderful, it was such a relaxing morning, I even got to lie in the sun for a while!

I have felt ridiculously blessed today.

Loving where we live, the freedom it offers us, nipping to the beach for half-an-hour on the way home from seeing you. We run of a bit of pent up 'hour in the car' claustrophobia and head home for Quorn Bolognese I made earlier.

You seemed sad again today, you just couldn't hold tears back; you have seemed this way the past few days. Like you are 'coming round' again. Asking me why you cannot remember anything. I keep reminding you of our Wedding Anniversary on Wednesday, as it is a big deal, a decade.

We have been married a decade my angel, and I love you more now than ever before-though I never knew that would even be possible.

I am going to make us dinner and see if, with the help of some of the carers, we can lie outside on a picnic rug together, rather than it being me sitting on your lap in your wheel chair.

Allow us some freedom, just to lie for a while together.

Where I can hold you, let you know what you still mean to me, and always will.

Because I love you more than you could ever imagine Alex Wood.

Me xxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Dear Alex, It has Been a While.

Dear Alex,

Familiar drive to and fro from the Care Home. A pain reopened, a realisation that this is it. This is life.

That this is how we live.

Holidays are particularly hard, negotiating kids and activities and visits to you. The days consist of me taking the kids somewhere for the day, beach, walks, picnics, parks, bike rides…Outdoor activities, so I know we have spent time together and they have exhausted some energy. Come 2/ 3 o'clock we hit the road and a few of them sleep in the car on the winding journey to you. It's roughly an hour, and we spend the rest of the afternoon with you, till you eat, then we leave, home and cooking tea and washing and bed time stories and bed.

Only not for me, as I cannot sleep at the moment.

I wake so much, laying there for an hour or so at a time.

Thinking of you.

Wishing we could be a family, aching.

Aching for the kids, that it's just their mum who does their life with them now.

Your mood seems fairly stable, you cry when I leave, but these are tears of knowing you don't want me to be leaving, that something is up, but unsure what is wrong or different.

I cuddle you tight, protect you, kiss you and tell you 'This is not forever'…

Blink away tears that sting and silencing a voice that soars from my soul wanting to scream for you back…

Scream to God how unfair all this is.

Scream to God that enough is enough.

But I bite my tongue, muzzle my soul, blink back tears, remain strong, tell you how much I love you …

Then leave.

How unfair it is.

Me xxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Dear Alex, How You Used to be in my World.

Easter Egg hunt in the woods x

Dear Alex,

I pull the whites off the washing line, tiny white school shirts, four different sizes, multitudes of each. Shadows pass over, I glance up, half-a-dozen crows fly by. Palm tree waves in the wind, I hear the sea.

The holidays are always full, negotiating extra hurdles as kids are full-time at home, so cooking and washing and cleaning take over in mammoth proportions. I cannot do much else, so all projects or plans are on hold till they go back to school. I am also still feeing pretty poorly with Laryngitis, so am fighting this too. I take the kids swimming in the afternoon, something I am now able to do that Lola is over 8 and knows how to swim. A new family trip I can take them on alone.

Then straight after we come in to see you.

My heart tears, splits in two. A fresh opening of an old wound.

And I realise that the time you spent in Exeter, I had no choice, so had to go with seeing you not very often, I knew you were in a wonderful place, and had an amazing shot at rehab and regaining skills.

Now, seeing you almost everyday again, I am back with you, in this life, no detachment, just plunged back into how much I miss you, want you.

Like I have parcelled up this wound, bound it in string, only there is no string strong enough to hold the wound together, inevitable that it will split open again, spilling a thousand shattered pieces of a heart to the floor.

Nothing will ever make it better, because no matter what happens in life, I still do not have you.

And I won't.

And my heart will bleed forever more for this.

You cling to me today, just crying, telling me you love me, you want to be with me, 'stay with me, please' you repeat.

And I cannot put a brave face on it, or cry silent tears.

Because I have to leave you there, this is how it is at the moment, and I hate that.

They cascade on the car and I say I am sorry to the kids, that being with daddy today made me sad, and I needed to cry to help myself feel a bit better… I could barely explain, could hardly get my words out…

Sorry kids, sorry Alex, I am not being very strong at the moment, but I just miss you, how you used to be in my world.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 7 April 2014

Dear Alex, The Man that Made me, Me.

Dear Alex,

Nearly our Anniversary, our 10 year Wedding Anniversary.

Our married life was cut so short.

I haven't much revisited the early years we were together. Although of late I find my mind trying to drift back to the comfort of those early years.

The before kids' years (though that was only 18 months in truth!).

The days of long walks in the woods with first just our dog, Oliver, whom I still miss every single day. Walks with then one child, then a second, a third then a fourth added to our brigade.

Walks went from being on the beach in the North of England to the shores of South West France. You pushed me, told me 'of course you have it in you!' 'Think of the life for the kids, the experience..' And despite being desperately scared, we packed up a few suitcases, Mitzi's, who was 6-weeks-old at the time, cot and got rid of all our earthly possessions! Heading for France with 3 under 3's!

You made me, me, Alex.

You saw things in me I didn't realise I had, saw strengths and aptitudes and you drew these out of me.

Made me change my ideas, not follow routine, throw everything I thought I knew and loved aside and head for another country. To discover life's richest gift- it is not where you are, it is who you are with, and I have loved everywhere, because I am with you and our babies.

All these things we did together has formed the part of me, although I will always struggle to, that can adapt swiftly, look directly past the moment and head in different directions.

You have helped me to cope.

Honed me, without even knowing, but being for me the person and soul I was always destined to meet and be with.

And as I approach the Wedding Anniversary which is next week, I will be approaching it with remembering the things you gave me.

Thank you my husband,

I love you always,

me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Dear Alex, Chats.

After school on the beach… x

Dear Alex,

Holidays and now these are Easter days, and building memory days and I have begun without a voice and having lost my bank card…One, easily resolved as a wonderful friend lends me money to tide me over, the other, a little trickier… She cannot lend me her voice!

They are full of excitement, the kids, for the holidays, and for the first time ever, since you had the accident, for seeing you.

The emotion, the heights of emotion this sends me to, I have not experienced before.

The thought, the knowledge that they actually want to see you has not been something I have been lucky enough to hold before.

And yet they do, they want to see you, the enthuse, especially Monty.

We have the pre-holiday chat, the one where I tell them the things they can anticipate, things we can expect to work on- maybe things I have picked up on during the term, and things we can genuinely look forward to, and also what they would like to do, and how we can make that possible…

The 'Holiday' chat.

The, 'yet another chat without their daddy' chat

The, 'chat not involving my husband' chat

The 'not involving their daddy' chat

The chats I always have to have without you.

The 'where are you, Alex?' chats

So I focus unabated hope on what might be, what may be to come, for our kids..the hope they would want me to give them.


Kids need the truth.

They need optimism, hope, faith, something to work with.

If you do not give this to them

Who will?

In amongst reality, I need to offer them the truth with hope.

And I too, need to heed this.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 4 April 2014

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Dear Alex, In My Dreams.

Dear Alex,

I've seen you, a few times now.

I saw you last night.

You wear a grey jumper, jeans, hair cut short- as you usually were, and how you preferred yourself.

In my peripheral vision I catch glimpses, and have studied you at times too, scrutinising whether it is you or not, and it always is.

You are always right next to me, and I haven't noticed.

And yet I am not surprised, not desperate to get to you, I just realise you are there, it is like you always have been, that pleasure in knowing you are there, but not a shock or desperation. These emotions do not fit with the situation. It is just simply realising you are there.

Then without fail, I wake. I try to sleep again, see you again…grab you in my dream and make you a reality.

Oh Alex, what I would give to drag you back through my dreams and have you by my side.

The tears I weep when I wake.

It was just a dream.

You only live in my dreams.

You will only ever live in my dreams.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Dear Alex, The Kids, Feeling the Loss of You.

Dear Alex,

Dusk, chill of evening breeze through my open window. Dog runs around the garden chasing a pipe cleaner. I have candles that flicker on my window sill, I love watching the pale glow gently pulse.

A meeting has been had about visits. I cannot have anyone dictate to me, I told them this, and to be fair they respected it, also told me I and the kids were the most important part of your rehab. To hear this made me cry. I sometimes feel so pushed out, so redundant as a wife, so negligible my role, that hearing these words I shed tears of relief. That someone does actually think I have a part, an important part to play in this.

Tuesday and Wednesday is when you will be doing the most physio, walking and sitting rehab with them, so these are good days for me to focus on the kids and Making Waves for You, and Making Waves for Alex, which is generally what I spend time I am not with you doing when the kids are at school. The other days I will see you. Twice a week I am bringing the kids in too, they are feeling it at the moment, feeling the loss of you.

Emie frequently cries and says she wishes she had a daddy at home. Monty says 'no Esmie, don't say things like that, you might upset mum' I step in and say how brave and how good and how important it is to talk about these things, even if you are worried it may upset me, and how considerate and caring it was of Monty to think of protecting me in this way.

They need to see more of you, they miss you terribly, and the longer it goes on, the more they miss you.

And this is the same for me.

The more time limps along, the more I miss you, my husband, my best friend, my everything…

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Dear Alex, Our Four Babies to get Back To.

Dear Alex,

White wisps of cloud dominate an otherwise pale blue sky, I find my drive to you an observation of reorientation (I am rubbish at directions, finding myself places, maps, routes) despite the fact I have driven to this Care Home maybe a hundred times before.

Perhaps I do not remember because my conscious wants to overrule subconscious 'You don't need to remember this route, it is all fine, he will be home in a few weeks, all back to the way it was'

No need for acceptance, no need to remember.

Only it is not like this anymore.

I am more than fully aware. Our babies crave seeing you more, I over hear Monty recording something on the IPad when he is allowed a bit of time on the way to see you; "This is Monty, just checking in to say I am on my way to see dad, and I CAN'T WAIT!'

In the back seat, he sees not the tears of relief I wipe from my face. The tears I shed once- for times before when he used to punch his sisters in the back of the car because he was so out of sorts and didn't know how to contain himself, and had to lash out no care for the consequences. It was then I introduced the IPad, recognising that he needed desperately to 'zone out' of the situation for a while.

That at times kids need to zone out completely, then reenter in a safe way, deal with things in a staggered way, if that is possible.

We had no choice but to see you so frequently, I knew no one, we had to see you Alex, for your sake.  Monty was the most affected at this time, and in as much as he and I talked, in as much as I tried several techniques with him (which he opened up to on occasion) I was, and have never been able to help with the fact that he is the oldest, the only boy, the one who maybe needed his daddy the most. I am not you.

I am his mummy.

Being two parents is tough, because you had being a parent taken away from you.

You need to keep at your rehab, exercise, speech, eating, practising, relearning, listening…

Because you have not just me, but our four babies to get back to…

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 31 March 2014

Dear Alex, Today You Moved Again.

Dear Alex,

You've moved.

We have done it again, another change, another move for you. I came straight to see you, and the kids (lead by Monty) said,

 "Mum, we will give you a few minutes just with Dad OK? Don't worry, we won't go far"

And this set you off.

They are growing up so fast, how considerate they are, how sensible they can be. Such grown up heads on compassionate shoulders; they bear the weight of you being this way with dignity and strength.

You are tired, but OK after the few tears you shed. But need me to explain what has happened, where you are, what went on. And, for the millionth time, I have to tell you again about the accident, and reorientate you now you are back in the Care Home again.

It is a strange phase. When you were at Exeter, I had no choice, I had to visit infrequently, and did this fully in the knowledge that it was what was best for you. I also knew you were in the best place you could be, and was excited to see what progress you might make.

Now, it's a quiet phase again. A watching, hoping, visiting, waiting, hoping some more, in a vast stretch of time where I do not know what to expect.

Time stretches out ahead of me, lifetimes' worth, with no compass, no map, no route.

I don't know what I am doing in fact, I feel strange.

I need direction from you.

I need more of you.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Dear Alex, Mothering Sunday.

Dear Alex,

Chocolates, wilted roses and a cup of tea in bed. I am staying away this weekend, and, the friend I am staying with is going through divorce, so neither of us was relishing the prospect of Mothering Sunday alone, hence my trip. Well in truth it was originally to look after my 18-month-old nephew for the weekend whilst my sister and husband went to Berlin, only she became ill and had to stay put.

The kids spoil me and my friend, and we eat soggy weetabix with strawberries and enjoy tepid tea in bed.

It has been a lovely day, I got to see my sister, and a very dear friend of ours too. My sister took me out for tea with the kids, and I am now back at my friends, kids tucked up in bed and about to pack to drive back down tomorrow.

Tomorrow is another big day. Tomorrow you move again. Back to the Care home you were in before going to the Intensive rehab place. We had a good review meeting, they have been pleased with your efforts, seen small improvements and will take you back again the future- their doors are always open to you were their words.

I see the positives in what they say, although there is obviously my heart crying out, why have you not improved more? much, much more? Why is it so slow and minimal now? Why have I not got you back already?

You have so far to go, and I have to be very careful not to address this too often, it defeats me.

Will I ever be able to get you home?

Tomorrow is a big day.

You move again, move back.

Not home.

They are trying to suggest when I can and a cannot visit, which makes me feel sick that as your wife I cannot just see you when I want, because it's not the best thing for you. I will, however, find a happy medium with me feeling I have made some decisions for you, rather than being told what to do around you.

Because my role as a wife, has been challenged as much as your role of being a husband has been taken away since you had your accident.

I don't want any of this.

I will run through my moments of gratitude before I sleep, try and pour gratitude into the daily void I feel inside the second I open my eyes in the morning, every morning, since I lost you.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 27 March 2014


Dear Alex,

I had heard these word before, the exact words in fact, but in French.

I had been sat, in and out of consciousness the time before I had heard these words, trying to piece events together. Trying to be 'here' I had no idea what was going on with you when those words were spoken to me back then ...

Today, the Dr sat, told me she was OK, but to watch out for the following symptoms, and lists them in a similar order to the 4th October 2011. I know these symptoms off by heart, there was no need to reiterate them. They were engrained on my soul the day they were told to me two-and-a-half-years ago, almost to the day.

Only then, I had heard them in French.

Then, I had heard them in relation to you.

Then I had heard them, but was thinking, OK, but he will be fine…

Our baby, Esmie had fallen. She had fallen off the monkey bars at school straight onto her head. She had not been able to breathe for a length of time after. She had been dazed, confused, not knowing what had happened or where she was.

I was not there. I was with you. The school rang, I fire questions: Did she cry immediately? Does she know what happened? Did she lose consciousness? Did she vomit? Is she able to focus? Are her pupils dilated? I fire a thousand questions, knowing more than fully the signs of concussion. My friend has to go to pick  her up as I am 1 1/2 hours away with you…

White knuckles, gripping tightly black steering wheel, this is the longest drive of my life.

I arrive at A and E.

Sitting finally where I belong with my baby waiting to see the Consultant, another mummy comes in. The Daddy follows, caressing his child, making sure she is OK. Another, who rings daddy to chat with the poorly daughter. I try not to notice, try not to hear. Try not to feel your absence as a father, a husband.

I see the Consultant, he nips out to get the machine to observe her vitals. In this pause, I suppress tears unsuccessfully. He is kind, as I do nothing but squeeze her and kiss her head, he offers me tissues, understands my fears as I try and very briefly, I try and very vaguely explain the family history with head injury, and why it particularly concerns me.

Today, my angel, I have lost it.

Lost my grip.

Cried for the Father you once were, the husband you used to be.

Cried for what could have been for one of our babies.

Cried for me.

A very alone, very, very scared mummy. Scared for one of our babies, with no one to share it with.

Thank God for my friends who, again stepped in to help me in my hour of need.

Baby, I have about come around from the shock, which left me shaking, shivering, crying, with adrenalin rushes I haven't experienced for a while. I have about come around from your phone call, where you didn't listen to what I told you about Esmie, your youngest, yet saw you shouting at me and throwing the phone over something. I have about come around from all that. The fact you aren't there for family situations anymore. Are not there for me or our kids, or for me needing you.

I will, however, never come around from the fact that you ARE. NOT. THERE. ANYMORE.

And how, when this sort of thing happens, I need you.

And you do not even know how I need you…

But I do, and I always will.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Dear Alex, Now.

Dear Alex,

My House is now my home.

Where I dwell and I wait for you.

There is nothing more to fix up, no more decorating, no more pictures to hang, no more cushions to buy, making it 'mine'.

It is done.

And now is the hardest part.

Now is the place I have dreaded, now I didn't know existed, now a place of waiting for you unsure if you will ever be here.

Ever lie in bed with me.

Ever hold my hand.

It is facing my life alone with you.

Facing a life of waiting to see if you have progressed enough, are settled enough.

Of people intervening telling me what is best for you.

Only I know you, and I know me and I knew us as we were. You would tell them all to let me be the one to decide, that you would trust me to make all your decisions for you. To know what is best for you. Because that is what we had, we spent our twenties together, having kids, moving countries, depending on each other and each other only. We would say it was you and me against the world.

Now I wait.

Now I am told what is best for you.

Now, I hate.

Because now you may not ever be home, I have no idea.

And that is living through hell in this life.

And my prayer tonight to please God, give him back more.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dear Alex, Two Years Before Your Accident...

Of course, as usual, you were taking the photo, you hated photos being taken of you!

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 24 March 2014

Dear Alex, The Broken Bird's Egg.

Dear Alex,

Wind howls its music through the trees, the sea roars, the earth is alive with thunderous call. Sun is bright, dog pulls on her lead ahead of me, anxious to get to the next bit of the journey, the next smell. Sound of Woodpecker roots me to the spot-eager I am to see its whereabouts. Illusive  by sight, I have to settle ion just hearing it drill for bugs. I find an egg shell, a Blackbird egg, I pick it up with the thought that the kids would love to see it and investigate which bird it came from in our bird book. However I have to carry this broken egg for the full 45 minute dog walk.

I wonder if there is an analogy in this.

It wasn't till I got in and sat to meditate and pray for the first time in a long while, that it came to me.

It was a message for me.

For a while now I have not been 'good' not had many (if any) good days. So low my mood, so fluent my tears of anguish at night, a wet pillow again for comfort.

My friend said she thought the reason was clear- I am settled, very settled. No move in sight, no change, I am staying put and adapting to a routine and an existence, not of fighting battles for you, living on the edge, on adrenalin, not knowing what the next day may bring in frantic attempts to merely exist. I now look to my future, often, this cannot be helped, it is a part of living somewhere and settling in. So somewhere in my subconscious I am allowing suppressed anguish and grief to surface. A life, our life, living it here without you, not as a family, but with the constant knowledge you are not that Alex, not the man I knew and loved, who supported me, cherished me, protected me.

None of this anymore.

And I am having to learn to live with this now.

The broken egg: I can walk around clutching at the empty broken shell, or I can look at the broken shell and see that a new life has broken free out of it and is now somewhere learning to fly.

I think the broken egg was for me, not the kids.

So, I am going to go through this, and try and not feel like an empty broken shell, but a chick that is learning to fly!

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Dear Alex, An Island in the Sand.

Making a sand toilet on her beach Island today!

Dear Alex,

Kids make Islands in the sand today on a fresh and windy walk on the beach. I try and focus on how blessed I am to have our babies, to be here, to witness their imaginary play, trying hard to usher away the 'on a family walk without you' ending to the sentence...

One of the things which has not benefitted from being in the Intensive Rehab Centre is your speech; in fact it is worse than I have ever heard it. So slurred, incomprehensible.

Perhaps the physical work you have been focussing on has meant it has regressed so much.


Most of your progress, whether you will or whether you won't is all 'perhaps' and 'maybes' and 'possiblies'.

We are never sure whether whatever it is at that moment in time is how you will be forever, whether you will change, go back, recovery, progress is all over the place, no straight line about it.

Now I am clear as to when you will be going back to the other Care Home, I can start to put a plan in place for you, extra Therapies, focussing on Holistic Therapies as well as Physio and Speech.

In China, the first three months after Brain injury the patients there receive Acupuncture daily. It has been proven to be an amazing way of stimulating the nerves in the early stages and re-formulating different pathways for the neurons in a damaged brain. It is shown to at least temporarily stimulate the associated pathways in the brain, over continued treatment for a period of time, patients have witnessed improvements.

This week will be one of planning for your move.

And making plans to find things we can do together as a family. An insect Hotel is my first idea, you can easily get involved with this too, it would be a good family project. Of building something up from scratch, patiently waiting for bug life to hopefully live and nest in the home we will have built them out of wood, scraps, bricks, moss. I am starting to try and find projects we can all do together, working as family, a team, a unit. Especially tactile ones so you can feel what to do.

Because I miss this the most, being a family, a whole, a unit, just us lot.

The day that went was the day I lost myself too.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thought for the Day #19

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Dear Alex, Next Monday You Move Again.

Dear Alex,

I see you from the bottom of the hall, you are in the communal lounge, alone, arm shaking, head drooping to one side. I creep up, I kiss you on the lips saying 'Hi gorgeous!'

Your head bolts upright, a huge smile spreads across your face and you won't let me go, you kiss me and tell me you love me, and this goes on for about 15 minutes! You won't stop!

Despite the fact I was anxious about bringing the kids in to see you, unsure what place you would be in, you were wonderful.

The kids tell you one-by-one what they have been up to during the week, taking it in turns to sit on your lap.

Your smile does not leave your lips.

Basking in family love.

We need times like this to heal us a bit, replenish and revitalise the family soul.

I am holding on to today's visit, keeping it for me.

Next Monday you move back to the other Care Home. I haven't had time to consider this, but I know this is still best as you will continue to get regular Physio and Speech Therapy there, and you still need as much of this as you can.

Thanks of making today a treasured one.

I love you my Alex Wood.

ME xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Dear Alex, Three Days.

Look at my babies!!! This was years ago! 2008...

Dear Alex,

Three days, and counting.

Three, nearly four days, and the only thing you have done is shout at me, cry, throw the phone, scream, not listen…

Three days or more, I lose count because it feels like forever. Three days of reliving  'those words' , because when you are in this place, it is having that Dr say to me over and over

"Madame WOOD on attend pas qu'il va souvivre…chaque heure - meme un demi heure, compte…je regrette vous dire, mais on attends qu'il va mourir…'

I heard those words.

'We don't think it likely that he will live, we don't expect him to survive."

Of my best friend, my soul mate, my everything, I heard this, that

"you would not be here.'

I didn't believe it, I thought you would be, that's why, even after they told me the worst, I carried on writing these letters, for  you to read when you woke up… Only it didn't happen like that, it didn't happen how I expected, how I begged, pleaded, prayed.

You haven't come back.

I take each day step-by-step, I take each step, day-by-day.

I think I still wait.

I think I still wait in denial.

I think I still wait for my best friend who will return, wrap me up in his long awaiting arms.

I think I still wait for you…

You do not come.

But my angel, I STILL wait,


Never giving up,


Thursday, 20 March 2014

Dear Alex, Beauty in Simplicity.

Morning dog walk, soaking myself from outside in in gratitude, here were some of my things this morning.

Beauty in simplicity:

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Dear Friends, From Me to You x

To our dear friends,

You all as individuals are inspiring, strong and wonderful people.

I do not tell you I appreciate you enough.

I do, I really do, it's just that...

I need to shrink away, just for a while, just till I feel like my bubbles are back, that I am able to function again.

I ramble, I drift off mid sentence.

I am aware I am like this, I am sorry.

I am embarrassed actually.

But be patient with me,

I am struggling.

I don't necessarily want to talk about it.

There's not anything I haven't already talked about, or things that haven't already been said,

Sometimes I just need to sit with this.

It might unleash a monster in me of resentment and bitterness, and that monster doesn't need to be unleashed, I just need to get myself under control a bit again, feel gratitude warm my core, from outside  in, then I will be able to hang out again.

I will try and find excuses, not because I don't want to be with you, but I just don't feel I can at the moment.

I don't want to feel like this,

So I want to shut myself away till it has gone away again and my smile is not so fake.

I do make a real effort, but in all honesty, I cannot even really be bothered to do that at the moment!

I just have this need to hide.

So I am sorry and thank you for being patient with me.

From your friend,

Tamsyn xxxx

Making Waves for You Update.


I have been doing a great deal towards the project 'Making Waves for You', and thought I would like to put up a brief update:

I have someone on board who may be able to help me with fundraising ideas, who also has a contact who could help us set this up as a Charity.

So that makes Making Waves for You, two, not one!

This is a good start, although as it grows I will need more people on board.

I am mainly focussing on the moment on the content of the Website, collating other's stories of hope is one of my main focusses.

It will be no overnight challenge, rather something that takes its time and evolves, hopefully with the right people to help me for it to pick up speed and make it a real resource website/charity to help those in my or similar positions.

Speaking to some of the professionals involved with Alex, they tell me that Brain injury support and help is so scarce in North Devon, so maybe we have come here for a reason! They are keen to use my blog, the eventual website as a recommended resource for those who may find themselves in a similar situation.

It's frustrating, I am a 'make it all happen now!' person, I do not like to wait, and once I have the bit in my teeth I am away! But I know I have to exercise patience with this, so it is another learning experience for me.

I have started talks about how to set this up as a Charity too, which will take some time, but it IS possible.

It is all moving in an extremely good direction and I am enjoying having something positive and longterm to focus on.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dear Alex, Not Any More.

Dear Alex,

Steam curls off my hot cup of coffee, computer on my lap, dog on my feet, I have set aside a small amount of time to write to you during the day, at least to make a start. Which feels strange in itself, I normally finish off the day by writing to you.

A remark made yesterday, innocent in its origin, naive in the expressing, but like a sharpened knife bearing into my heart the reception. It has left me with a huge amount to think about, to try and 'get over'.

So much resentment I have, so much that I need to excavate it somehow. Work though it. Or will it just always be there? I try not to feed it, not to pay too much attention to it, but on occasion it will simmer and spill over and sting me.

Talking to the Counsellor today I try and put my week into a pattern of events, thoughts, try and compartmentalise all. Only I feel too distant, too uninvolved. I feel too numb, maybe, or too unable to accept things. I feel like if I had pinched myself I would have woken up. You see honey, I have not been sleeping well recently, waking up so frequently for no reason, sweating cold sweats, I sometimes wonder if it is still post traumatic stress. The kids do their bit in waking me up in the night too, and this morning, sore throat ( I have had some bug for nearly two weeks now I cannot shake off) Headache, eyes burning, I just cannot shake this strange temperature sore throat and cough I have had. In the kitchen, doing the familiar, the morning routine, the weetabix, the porridge and legs aching.

These are times I get quite claustrophobic.

Because I wish I had someone with me, just sharing the load a tiny bit. Even just to moan to! It's the feeling of having to carry on, disregarding how I am, I don't count! And be there and make sure the kids are OK.

I need your support at the moment, but you are having one of those days when you scream at me down the phone, showing me you are 'gone' again…

No hope of any support or care or comfort from you, not any more...

Me xxxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Dear Alex, Drifting.

Mitzi telling her dada she loves him and giving him a kiss x

Dear Alex,

Stars are unseen in the night sky, birds can no longer be heard, it is quiet except the whirr of the Dishwasher and the churn of the Washing machine. A boy so full of life, of hope of adventure and innocence sleeps next to me, the girls are curled up in their beds dreaming of life and fun and things to come.

Birthday celebrations are well and truly over, last night 11 friends and I went out to celebrate eating Tapas and drinking cocktails in a cafe in their Moroccan room upstairs.

I notice things about myself now, like how I seem to drift in and out of the conversations, the here and the now of being 'normal' being a mummy, a friend, a wife, I feel like someone who has obvious scars, despite the banter and the smiling face.

I drift and someone asks me something and I pull myself back to the table and the present. I cope by nipping to the loo, just to breathe for a few moments before coming back and chatting life and routine and joke again.

I feel now like I am at times a stranger to myself, like a part of me and my existence in this life fled along with you. Like the day you were whisked away from me in the hospital in France, when in the middle of a fit you somehow manage to focus on me, hold me and say 'What the hell is going on?'.

I still have that question ringing in my ears. The last thing you ever said to me when you were 'you'.

All I could do was yell after you 'It'll be alright, baby, you're going to be fine' as the whisked you off down the corridor, the flurry of white coats and drips and wires and machines to operate as an emergency.

And I tell you this now-a-days too.

Although I do not know what 'alright will mean for us now.

I just have to keep believing, keep asking the Most High for more.

Keep trusting, keep hope, keep faith and step onwards.

There is no going back, so I just have to keep on on this path.

I love you Alex, you are still my world, and my everything and somewhere out there I know, that part of me and part of you that left this earth that day are together, soaring on wings of an unknown existence to us in this life.

I cannot thank you enough for all the times we shared, the memories that I have when I can face them.

Me xxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Dear Alex, When the Lights Go Out.

Dear Alex,

When the lights go out, and here is no sound.

When the sky is black and our babies lie asleep.

When another day is over and I am another year older.

When the night falls and this day is done.

The chores I can no longer continue with, and my prayers begin.

I pray for you.

Our babies sleep in your side of the bed, my company is a million people, but you.

There is no justification, no righteousness in what has befallen you.

My shower droplets fall. They fall on my desperately in need of healing head.

No healing felt, no healing gained, no justice sought.

When the lights go out, and I have our four babies asleep, finally in bed, my heart breaks all over again.

For the loneliness, the absence, the side of the bed which is too big.

I just long for you.

Me xxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Dear Alex, My Birthday.

My Birthday with my man xxx

Dear Alex,

Gargantuan in portion, crusty, flaky topping, soggy watery base; the best porridge I have ever tasted! A bowl of tea… The kids walk in, breakfast in bed! Monty taps my shoulder 'wake up mum, it's your birthday, we have been up since 6 preparing everything! Happy Birthday, we love you so much…' And they all plant huge kisses on me and cuddle me in their fleecy pyjama'd baby arms.

Stevie Wonder is playing. They have picked a Stevie Wonder song on my phone, they could't find 'Happy Birthday to you' So they had a different song playing by Stevie. My Breakfast in bed on a tray with bunting they had made together 'Happy Birthday Mummy, We love you' around the edges of the tray. Singing Happy Birthday over Stevie Wonder, bringing in all cards and presents and a Dime bar as my present from them! A huge banner reads: 'Happy Birthday mum!'

My angels had planned every little last aspect of my morning and my day…right down to the last detail.

I have never felt so blessed.

Never felt so loved.

My babies did it all by themselves…For me

Stevie Wonder reminds me of you. His album 'Talking Book' is where our Wedding song came from. 'I believe' is the song you chose. So prophetic its lyrics.

Their huge smiling faces, their love, the things, the poems they had written me, the cards they have coloured in for me, the love they show me, who could hold it together? I cannot wipe away the tears swiftly enough.

They fill in as quickly as they can the hole they know intrinsically lies in mummy's soul. The piece of the jigsaw missing, they Sellotape with as much love and affection and thought as they possibly can.

Your dischargee meeting sees the Therapists saying they want 2 further weeks with you. Although they are not changing your functionality (a dagger in my heart); you are not motivated to walk or talk or stand or sit, you enjoy it and work at it in the sessions, so they want to continue working with you.

Your head lies on my chest, your right arm around me, and the only words I hear form you are 'I love you, I love you, I love you…lots and lots and lots and lots and lots…' the entire time I am with you.

You have no idea it is my Birthday, but the nurses encourage you to sing me Happy Birthday, and I remain in your arms the 3 hours I am with you…

Friends, family, have sent wonderful messages, sent presents, cards and I have felt wrapped up in a blanket of love and support.

I wish I was not alone tonight.

I wish you were here, and I can never express the hole that has been left in my life since you went.

But I am so full of love and gratitude for those who have wrapped their arms around me today.

I love you all, Thank you

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Dear Alex, Plots.

Dear Alex,

Today has been one of those 'every last second filled' days. a day of focus, a day of family and friends and being taken out for lunch by two of my most favourite people in the whole world- my Aunty and my Grandpa.

A brief dog walk after the school run helped get the blood pulsing, some chit chat about what would unfold in the day proceeding and clearing out some of the yesterday.

Kids plot and hatch plans for my birthday, and I try not to listen overhearing 'well, mum is a vegetarian, so we can't get those' 'Alright, fish then, she eats fish sometimes…'So goodness only knows what they are planning, but they asked for money to go to the shop for a secret after school! I have smiled so much today with the love my kids and friends/family show me.

I did something very different this morning. I saw a Hypnotherapist. Who treats people for all kinds of problems, grief, bereavement, OCD, anxiety, many things. I felt like I was floating when I came out. It was an entirely different, very healing experience. It was nothing 'weird' or 'out there' it was like sleeping but being aware and awake. He took me through a lot of what I had gone through, took me back to my childhood. Walked and talked me through it. I felt pain, huge amounts of pain in my heart and throat.

Explaining this is where I keep the pain I feel, and feeling unable to express it or verbalise it to the extent I may need to then I was to breathe deeply several times.

I drifted off, I was aware of his voice, but felt I needed to go and be 'nothing' for a while.

The hour or so flew, and I am glad I did it.

It is the eve of my 36th Birthday, and I cannot believe I have been on this planet for such a time. Esmie told me I needed a badge stating '36 Today!' To which I respond that when we get older we like people knowing our age less and less, and I probably wouldn't be doing this…

As much as I dread my Birthday, as much as I do not want it to happen, as much as when I rang you today and told you the date 'The 13th March, does that mean anything to you?'


Comes your response, and my heart sinks a bit.

As much as these things I wish were different, our kids are amazing Alex, and what ever they do tomorrow, they are thinking of me and trying to make it a wonderful day-so I will show them they have succeeded in doing just that.

Me xxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Dear Alex, The Room That Sunk.

This shot was taken on our last ever dog walk with Oliver in France before we moved back to England.

Dear Alex,

Tuesday, two days before my birthday day, another year older approaching and I sit, tissues on hand in the Counsellor's room this morning.

Able to talk about it all, everything, able to release, not worry that I am crying, talking about 'me', that is what I am there for, so I feel no guilt at just discussing me!

I am dreading my Birthday, each year that has passed with you gone has been the same. My beautiful Aunty and wonderful Grandpa are coming up to take me out for an early Birthday Lunch tomorrow, my friend is taking me out for Breakfast on my Birthday day, before I head off for yet another meeting, your discharge meeting at Exeter. Saturday night I have arranged a dinner and drinks with the girls, which will be my 3rd night out in nearly 3 years…

As I discuss at length, without interruption how the week has been, how I have been feeling and so on, I am able to face things I do not do on a day-to-day basis.

I come to many realisations, just in saying things out loud sometimes.

I breathe out my pain, cry out my soul's scars.

I try not to go under.

She asks me where I felt I was in accepting what had happened. The acceptance thing has always been a very difficult one for me. Several reasons underly this: That accepting it means I give up on hope, that accepting it means I finally have to say goodbye to who you were. It carries such weight, which was the strange thing, I fell silent for a long while after she asked me this. Then realised I had accepted it.

My heart fell.

You left me all over again in that acknowledgement.

She leans forward slightly saying 'Tamsyn, if this room could sink under the weight that I feel coming from you at the moment, I would suffocate'

So heavy was this weight, it nearly sunk the room.

It sunk my world.

It suffocated me.

I hate Birthdays, I hate them without you, you will not even be aware it is my Birthday, let alone write me a little note, or look after me and treat me to a lie in or to making me cups of tea, doing the washing up for me! Nothing. I do not care about presents from you, I care about time and laughter and companionship from you.

None of which I shall get from you.

I miss you forever.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 10 March 2014

Dear Alex, Head in My Hands.

Dear Alex,

Monday morning, time to rise at 6.30am again. Kids bounce around, school uniforms donned, porridge, weetabix, dog and cats fed. Bags packed, fruit and water in each. Washing up done, clearing up as I try and chivvy four excitable kids out of the door. Last minute signing forms, shoes found, coats on.

I sit, I watch, I see a flicker from the corner of my eye. Butterfly beats its wings, flittering up and resting near me, near enough for me to touch it, would it let me. Resting just by me, flying around me and landing again. It made me wonder that it was the first Butterfly of Spring, the first I have seen in months and a deep bluey-purply colour setting it out from the frequent Cabbage-White Butterfly we see regularly. As I wonder whether it is significant, it takes off.

"Butterfly is so elegant and beautiful, she is the essence and embodiment, the spiritual symbol of the divine feminine. She teaches grace and tenderness and the awareness and energy of another way of being.

The purpose of the life of every Butterfly is to set aside everything that was once known aside and to embrace an entirely new way of being."

This was the spiritual meaning of a Butterfly, as I discovered when I researched its meaning.

I have certainly had to do that, set aside everything that I once knew, and embrace an entirely new way of being. Although I certainly feel like no Butterfly!

You ring me, as usual, several times today, seeming flat. Tonight our last call sees you sad, 'I miss you so so so so so much' you repeat. The kids start to get out of the car to go to Gymnastics, I say I will follow. Head in my hands, I tell you how much I miss you too. Not knowing how to comfort you from such distance. I try and involve you by telling you about the kids, that Mitzi and Esmie have just got out to go to Gymnastics, that Monty and Lola and I would watch them from the Balcony.

Lola sleeps beside me, it is her turn tonight. Esmie wakes like clock-work at 11 pm and gets into my bed each night with whoever else is in there. Betsie our puppy sleeps on the end of the bed. As full as my bed is, it is now mine, not ours.

How I wish our bed was ours.

Me xxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Dear Alex, A Family Complete Again?

Dear Alex,

As Seasons change, they bring new challenges, new hopes. They force you to pause and think.

And this weekend, despite being surrounded by friends, I have never felt so utterly alone.

Saturday night we spend with our wonderful friends who have moved recently down here fairly near by. We go to the beach the following morning, and Father and son go off with the metal detector to hunt treasure as I jump waves with our kids, my friend and her remaining two kids. Standing in front of incredible surf you would have drooled over! Two surfers paddle out... and it should be you. Memories hit me like waves crashing over the rocks. It feels so real, so recent, and how I do not end up in a heap, I do not know…

Everything slows down, people's voices are distant, I can't access the here and now because my soul has drifted into the other time where we were all there on the beach.

The only thing missing is you.

The only person missing, is you.

The rest of Sunday we spend having lunch and the whole afternoon with our other very dear friends. A family with four kids like us. The children play, I paint my toenails in the sun and look over to the hills which stretch before us, view from the garden. Sunglasses hide the tears in my eyes as my friend's husband helps Esmie ride a bike for the first time.

It should be you.

I feel like an intruder. A woman with four kids that do not fit in to 'complete' family life anymore.

I feel waves engulf me, missing you, needing you.

I ache tonight, I cry helpless tears of loneliness and uncertainty.

I just ache for you and to be complete as a family again.

Will my dream ever turn into a reality?

I will drift until then, being an intruder, being alone, hurting so badly needing you.

Me xxxxxxxxxxxx

Friday, 7 March 2014

Dear Alex, Yet Another Friday Night.


Dear Alex,

The air is filled with loud bird-song. Slight breeze chills on a brisk dog walk this morning. My day ahead does not include seeing you, as no days apart from the Saturday do at them moment. But I hold out for the end of next week when you shall be discharged and I will be able to go back to seeing you on an almost daily basis.

You have been asking again recently when you are coming home. I use the same analogy each time. I get you to visualise yourself, younger, fitter, in the changing rooms before a big Rugby match. Talk you through it, ask what you would be feeling, what colour your shirt would be, anything to stimulate your memory and your senses. I explain that you've walked out onto the pitch, you need to get that ball to the other side for a touch down. You discuss with me what you might be thinking, how you are going to do it, I tell you you have just set off. then out of nowhere a couple of gigantic players from the opposition floor you. You hang on to the ball and strive with everything in you to get to the other side, that is where you are heading and you have to get there, but this obstacle has hindered you. You need to fight like hell to get up and get going again. I explain that this is about where you are at at the moment. You are on the pitch, you were floored by injury, but are coming out of that and starting to prepare yourself for the ultimate touch down. For getting home.

You relate well to this analogy and I use it each time now, hoping it will sink in.

I have spent several days now, heart racing in a positive vein. Blood pumping in the right direction.

And tonight, tired after a week of visitors, school commitments, friends of the kids here after school, kids waking too early and going to bed too late, my heart has dropped. That familiar ache. That hum of pain, increases to sears as I try and blank out my thoughts of you.

I miss you.

I am alone, again, on my own on yet another Friday night, with you in a different place, as is our life now.

Some days I hate it. Despise where life has left us.

But I cannot let that bitterness overtake.

I must keep strong…for you, for our babies.

Me xxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Dear Alex, What is 'Normal?'

Dear Alex,

Making Waves for You is beginning to take shape. Although it si constantly on my mind, I am finding it a channel for all my energies, and it is giving me back energy and drive in return.

I am speaking to the few people I know who have been through similar experiences to get their stories/advice/assistance.

In doing this and filling my time with it, I have found I feel less of the 'alien in the room', less of a stranger in the world. I feel normal, as they experience similar yet different lives, my daily routines and thoughts and loss and grief is held on an unspoken wavelength, and I feel more normal. It makes seeing the daddies at school, the couples in the supermarket, the families out together, no easier, yet it makes it almost bearable.

The ache is still heavy, but I am using my energies in a positive way, not letting them circle endlessly around me inside, surfacing in tears and grief and feelings that I accomplish nothing.

As a person, I have never had much confidence in myself.

These past few years I have looked back and managed to say to myself in the mirror 'you're doing OK'

Something I have never told myself before.

And with this added project, which is slowly taking shape, I feel I am becoming 'me'. An independent me. Away from mopping up after the kids, because I am scared of the day I will not be able to do that in the same way anymore, they are growing fast and I need something for me too. Something I can be devote myself to in the same way I do you and the kids. Away, too, from being everything for you to no avail.

It was a strange day for you today, most of the times you ring you are in an unbelievable mood, even recalling what you had done this morning when you rang me at lunch. Then tonight, you ring several times, each time distressed, howling down the phone and the you would throw the phone and insist on ringing me back…And since you threw it the last time, you have not rung back… I hope that our call before bed sees you calmed.

I miss you with every part of me, Alex…

Me xxxxxxxxx