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