Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Dear Alex, So much in a day...






August 14th 2012

Dear Alex

At times I want, I need, to run, scream, kneel down and bang my fists pound out the hurt, the ache, the frustration. I want to tell the world to leave me alone for a bit, I want healing for you, It's gone on long enough hasn't it? Now give me my old life back, let us get on with it how it was before.

And yet, there’s so much positivity, things are moving on, you’re going to be doing a few hours a week at home. In OT, you’re going to be on your own with the kids, one at a time, spending quality alone time with each one. You spoke today, and it was a little more articulated than a few weeks ago, although still difficult to understand, some words I understood well.

Esmie and I spend the entire day with you today. I didn’t feel I was ignoring or neglecting Esmie, and I felt we too had some important time together, accompanying you to all your therapies which went extremely well. Speech Therapy had you trying to control pitch in your voice, encouraging the right breathing and sounding out some vowels. Esmie joins in, she really benefitted from today. In physio they worked on your left arm, the tightness in your neck which sometimes, when you’re tired especially, sees your head drooping to the right. You sit up straight, and practice this. The therapies, as I say go well, the day went perfectly, and then at 4.30 I had to leave to get back for the big three who your parents had taken to the cinema today. It’s at this point that you start shouting out, bashing things, rising your upper body up, kicking. I try unsuccessfully to help you calm, give you pillows, plastic bottles, toys to chuck as far as you can. It got too much after half an hour and it was affecting Esmie who cries saying ‘I want daddy back’. This in turn feeds your frustration, I can’t calm you, or Esmie and I lose it myself. I know I should have stayed strong, but I just couldn’t see you like that.

All the frustrations of where you are, how you are now, the desperation, the unknowing, your whole world alien to you…

I am never going to pretend I understand. I can have a go at guessing what it entails, but I’m never going to feel it as you do…

I just pray for peace and healing.

We have new things now to aim towards, and I hope I can carry you as you need through the dark periods…

For peace, for strength, for the right armour to endure this, for perseverance, acceptance and trust, trust that this is not all there is, there’s so much more healing to come.

Alex, despite what you go through, no matter what depths you plunge to, how immense and mighty the thicket of thorns you feel entangling you, I will never stop reaching out for you, dragging you through, being there and my love for you will always be shining, even when you think you can’t or don’t want to reach it.

I love you,


Forever…

Me xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 13 August 2012

Dear Alex, Friendship and new steps...




Friendships- The kids friends in France...



Dear Alex,

Hay bails dot the fields on my journey to see you, clouds penetrate the skies, sun rays falling down across the countryside, the far reaching breadths of the distance I can see, Classic FM pours out over the car radio…

It’s been a difficult week, for me, for you. For me, being away from you somewhere where my memories of you manifested in almost hallucinations of you as you once were, the strength of your physical being, the radiance of your presence, the power of your affection and pulling me close frequently throughout the day for cuddles and just to tell me how much you loved me…I miss that, it pulls so hard at me in France that I am forced to face it. Somewhere I have never dared go, and now, a bit further down the line, with all of me knowing that is not how it is now, but a great deal of me blanking this out just to get through, in France my barriers were weakened. Perhaps the relaxation, perhaps because it is the right time, perhaps because there, memories are full and abundant with you. In England I have not the same floods of memories, we’ve never lived here before. No seat we used to sit in, no places we used to go, no visual references, reminders of ‘what used to be’…

For you, I see where you have reached, being more aware, and day in, day out, the routine, the institutionalised regime, the distance you must feel you are from living once again at home with your family. Still not speaking comprehensively enough to say what’s on your mind, shout for help, ask for a chat, unseeing, dependant, unsure where you’re going, sometimes of where and why you are where you are…it’s yet another step I feel you’ve reached. Another page we need to address, learn, revise and advance from.

So we let the kids play outside, I get out pen and paper, ask you what you want, although you use no words, from my suggestions and analysing the situation, I see you relax, calm, thumbs up for good suggestions and we write, put together our ‘next step’ plan.

The sermon today at church was about friendship, focusing on friendship makes me think how much I miss yours. How much I grieve you being there, looking out for me, sharing a joke, you making a dry quip, then winking at me and squeezing my bum! I miss that, and although it sounds silly to say, I hadn’t really thought of that part of it. The friendship you offered me. The depths that went to, how no one has ever, will ever know me as you do. Knowing someone like the back of your hand, that strength of friendship in the person you marry, that relationship that only the two people involved share, I am vulnerable and lost without it. I think of the friends I’ve made here, praise the Most High for the friendships formed, support, love and laughter, but there will never be a you, and not anything or anyone will ever come close or be that, because they can’t…how can they be? Because no one else will ever be you. My best friend and my everything, in sickness and in health till death do us part. Dwelling on this stung, it presses out tears of sorrow and grief.

So I do what I am learning to do, acknowledge and offer thanks and praise for the friendships I have been blessed with, it's all I can do. No, no one will ever replace you, and I will never feel anything but sadness for what we have, at the moment, lost…

New steps, revising what we know, using it to change what we are not able to move forward with and advancing. This is another new phase, and thank God for an eternity we get to do this together.

Me xxxxxxxx

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Moving photo- Photo qui bouge, trop drole!




Lola meant to take a photo, I reckon this is better though!

Dear Alex, next year, you're coming too...The first and last time we have a family holiday with a main piece of the puzzle missing...







Dear Alex,

Mitzi’s eyes glaze over, filling with tears as we board the plane. She cuddles into me and I stroke her head, kissing her teary cheeks, telling her I know she misses the life over here, her friends, it’s where she grew up. It’s good to be sad about things and express it, and also to hold onto the good things, that we will be back. My goodness, the friends that have become, because of your accident, extraordinary friends. The fact that in a little corner of the world, a village in the South West of France, that we have friends such as these is unbelievable. How we deserved such friends as these I’ll never know. The fact we were in France was because they have set up an association in France, 12 of them together, to raise money for Alex, part of that was buying us our tickets to get out there…how inspirational they are as people to have done something like this for us…they will never know just how much it means.

I hope the smiles on the kids faces, the laughter following us everywhere, the affinity of friendship, despite the fact we are no longer there, they gave us this holdiay, that this speaks the words we can't. I am so grateful and so humbled by their efforts.

From the airport, we go directly to the centre to see you, and Mitzi cries with happiness at seeing you, wanting to tell you all about what she had done, and man, they did some things! You do not let any of us go, kissing everywhere and anywhere you could, stroking our kids heads, grabbing them and cuddling them with your right arm. Your face a picture of peace and delight, contented and calmed in our presence…

I hear from the nurses it’s been a hell of week for you, upset, frustrated, and missing me. But I am back now, and have been forced to rest. As I could not see you, I did not have burning in my mind all the time the fact that I want to be with you day in day out, night in and night out if I could, only I can’t because we have four little souls to bring up and nurture and who are now more dependant on me than ever. The constant tug-of-war of emotions and impossibility of getting it right ever, the noose was released this week. I couldn’t see you, so it was just me with the kids. The joy it gave me to see real smiles all day on their faces, to enter the house just for sleeping, fully physically exhausted from an entire day out, sleeping soundly and well deserved sleep around 10 pm. The refreshing outdoor life. The space, the sun, the beach, the sound of the ocean, the wave diving, the boat trip, the laughter, their real happiness and their relief in knowing life in France is not finished, we are very remembered, very loved and they will still grow up with their friends they have loved and known since they were tiny.

I slept 10 hours every night, the only running around I did was running to the sea to throw myself if as one of the kids drags me down going ‘come on mum, it’s such fun!’ me, who is scared of the sea, let monty go out with his friends wave surfing, me, who wants to cling on and profit every minute with them, letting Monty go for 2 stay over’s with his friends he used to play football with here. Me, who is scared of a lot of things, driving again on the left hand side of the road, facing the place we once were and grew together. Taking them to a lake, and jumping off a huge rock 8 foot high (well that’s huge and brave for me!). When I was a teenager, everyone on this holiday jumped off this huge rock into the water below, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t bring myself to do it, overcome the fear, I was the only one who didn’t. But today, with all I know, with what I have lived, I want to show the kids that confronting your fears, it’s ok to be scared, but it’s good to try and overcome them. I would never have done it before, and I hovered, looked down, there was no way, but then I think, no, for Alex, I’ll do it for you, I know you would have been the first person cheering me on, or pushing me off calling me a whimp! And I ran and I jumped off. And I did it!

I over came a lot this holiday. And my reward was seeing the daily smiles on the kids faces, running around playing with their French friends, I was so proud. Proud I made myself come away, that you want me to do these things for them, even though my heart and soul rest in yours, craving you, missing you.

What a week it was, adventure, tears, laughter, sea, sun, confronting ghosts, and making it through.

Seeing you tonight was just incredible, seeing how much you loved the kids being around, hanging onto me and not letting me go…

That’s how it is, we hang onto each other as tight as we can, forever, and this will only get better and better…


Merci a tout mes amis en France pour une semaine extraordinaire…vous savez autant qu’on vous aime et jespere que nos sourires, nos lames, nos rires reste les bonne souvenirs pour un petit moment jusqu’on revien. Ce que vous nous avez fait est extrordinaire et on vous aime…toujours dans nos coeurs, et surtout le mien pour avoir revu les vrai sourire de mes loulous…grace a vous tout ca-enorme!!!!

See you in the afternoon babes, it’s half-past-midnight, I should think about getting myself to bed!

I am so happy to be back and seeing you…


Me xxxxxxxxxxxx