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