#rememberingelliot

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To my dearest sweet little soldier who turns four tomorrow!

In my dreams the years have passed by so slowly but in reality things are very different. Life goes on, time moves forward even when I don’t want it to, sometimes I stand and stare in to nothingness, I close my eyes and just wait for you to meet me in my thoughts as I imagine how you’d be now in this very moment of nonexistent time. Seizing hold of this moment despite everything around me moving at epic levels of speed.

I hope you will be watching us tomorrow as we ritually put up the Christmas decorations to mark your birthday and allow our Christmas to begin. Everyone starts their Christmas on the 1st December, but I can’t, and I won’t ever start my festivities before taking my time to remember you! Decorating the tree tomorrow is significant to me in a way that only you, my son, would truly understand. I can hear your brother and sisters now; squealing with delight at tinsel and baubles  knowing it starts their countdown until they are blessed with gifts, but I will hang each bauble with an edge of sadness knowing I will be one child less, one toy sack with a name on but no presents, one advent calendar short and an empty bedroom.

I don’t know why today has been different, my heavy heart has carried around that bag of guilt like a noose around my neck, and you know that ‘guilt’ and I have an arrangement so you understand why I have to allow it in, I have to let ‘guilt’ have its moment because by allowing it this ONE day, it allows me ‘control’ for the rest of the year and into the next.

To everyone else your birthday is tomorrow, the 6th December, but today will always be ours. For today was your last day, today was the last time I felt you kick in the early hours of the morning, today was the day I spent hours holding my lifeless bump and whispering to your spirit that had already gained flight to stay a little longer because I wasn’t ready to give up… but it appeared you were.

Today has passed in slow motion, I have stared at the clock throughout the day and I can almost recall the exact point in time four years previous. I know enough about grief to understand that this is OK, some years will be easy and some will be hard, but its OK!

We still speak about you all the time, Toby even referred to the empty room as your bedroom the other day and my heart skipped a beat, I miss you so much Elliot. Four years old…and what a four years they have been. Join me in spirit tomorrow my little soldier and  when I stand and stare in to nothingness and close my eyes, come and meet me in my thoughts as I imagine how you’d be now in that very moment of nonexistent time so I can imagine what its like to hold you on your birthday again, and while everything around us is moving at epic levels of speed, I will hold on to that moment and place the angel on the very top of our tree.

Happy Birthday my little soldier, all my love to infinity and beyond

Mummy xx

Corey… 

And so today’s your special day! 

When I think that you’d be just starting your final year of primary school, I get a little choked because I think of all that’s been stolen from us. 

I guess when you fall pregnant with twins not only do you expect to go home with TWO bundles of joy but for them to be born on the same day. You my little man had different ideas from the very start. 

My tiny little bundle of 1 lb 7 oz, entered the world in dramatic fashion, feet first without a squeak or murmur. I remember staring at your tiny pink fragile body in the incubator as they wheeled you off to NICU, so tiny but already such a little warrior.

I talk a lot about that instinct, that instinct you get from your gut! It’s deep in your soul but you don’t know why, but you just know! This sixth sense that writhes around your gut is telling you something and it was telling me that although I had hope and believed in miracles my gut said that Louis, you’re older twin wasn’t going to make it! 

After he passed you literally thrived for about 24 hours, nurses and doctors were praising your strength and I began to believe that my miracle was going to happen, so when you took a turn for the worst and the downward spiral began, that gut instinct that you try to fight against, that you try not to believe in, it took over every positive thought I had and I knew. I knew, that my time with you was going to be short and you were going to be with your brother. Obviously that twin telepathy is a force in itself. 

However when there is life, there is hope and having already lost your brother, hope was all I had to hold on to, and despite my dark gut instinct, when you took your last breath, you took half of my heart with you! The shock and disbelief overwhelmed me and my long torent journey of grief began.

11 years on. I’m not over it, but I accept it, and for the first time in years, although I know what the day is, and although I prepare myself emotionally for the onset of emotions, I can wake up, I can open my eyes and stretch, breathing in the new day without pain, hurt and anger being the first thing I think of.

So my sweet tiny soldier, wherever you are and whatever you are doing remember to keep watch over us, because your always spoken about with fondness and love. Happy Birthday Soldier!! 

I hope my two little ‘Lance Corporals’  are having a day AWOL from your angel duties. Miss you forever – love you always. 

Happy Birthday Soldier! 

Love always – Mummy xx 

Another Angelversary 

11 years … Angelversary, birthday, all of which are tainted with such sadness, my little soldiers living without a big brother, my army NEVER being quite complete. 

They’ve created a image of you, what they think you’d be like, what you’d like and how you’d protect them, I trust that this is true. Louis, they will live out your dreams for you so keep watching it will be hell of an adventure. 

I’ll never accept your gone, but I can say that finally, I have learned to live with it. 

It’s been a turbulent journey, ladened with pain, sadness and anger, I’ve had to learn forgiveness, I’ve had to learn to build a strong foundation only to have it destroyed again and again, I’ve had to learn resilience and determination to keep getting up when in my darkest days all I wanted was you and your brothers.

 I wish I hadn’t of had to experience the pain but I’m grateful you came into my life even if for such a small time and for that reason I wouldn’t change a thing.

 I’ll never forget you, my first born! Honestly, how can anyone ever forget their first born! 

Happy birthday up there .. they must of upgraded you to lance corporal by now xxx 

If grieving is the price I’ll pay for loving you, then I guess I’ll be grieving forever. 

Kelly Harris – Mummy to an army!


….I wish I could say all of that and more…..

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To My Dearest Elliot

It’s the 6th December 2015 so what would I say if I could say anything …

‘I love you to infinity and beyond’, is what I would say…. Because all little boys love Toy Story…

‘Happy Birthday’ is what I would say….

…..And God only knows how much I wish I could say all of that and more…..

I wish I could lie with you and stroke your chubby cheeks while you sleep, I wish I could hold you tightly in my arms when you were tired, sad or ill, I wish I could be annoyed with you for drawing on my walls and frustrated with you for peeing in your pants for the 100th time that day.

I wish all of those things and more….

So today your 3 and if you were here it would be your special day, you would wake up so early that the sun would not of even begun to peep over the horizon. We would all be greeted by your chubby face and rosey red pouty grin, and through our gritty eyes still filled with sleepy dust we would all clumber together in one room and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you.  You would clap and jump on the spot like a springy toy, and filled with childish excitement you would then turn to Daddy and say “where are my pwezents?, and Daddy would smile and pick you up and spin you around, you would squawk with joy as daddy holds you tightly and lets you walk on the walls whilst you pretend to be Spider-Man, just like your older brother Toby used to when he was 3, you would be yelling and whooping with happiness….

Lilly-Ella would get your presents carefully wrapped for you, you’d bundle over boisterously and without a second thought you begin tearing strips off the presents before Lilly-Ella has managed to even put them on the ground…she would smirk as if knowing that this is what you would do.

Cheering and throwing the paper in the air like confetti, screaming out the name of each toy and immediately starting on the next gift as if taking part in some sort of speed challenge…

A woody………….. some lego………… a hammer………….some more lego…….A teddy ….. a fireman helmint!

People would come and go all day long visiting you on your special day and bringing you more gifts, we would all sing ‘Happy Birthday’ grouped about the birthday cake, a big cake shaped like a digger with 3 large musical candles on… you would blow and blow and blow and the candles just won’t go out so Isla takes over and does it for you.

You eat so much cake, I’ve never seen anyone polish off so much chocolate and keep it down…

After all the cake, you pop all the balloons with your brothers and sisters, jumping out of your skin every time one pops, as if it’s a new sensation. We all look on and laugh, belly like howls of laughter, and as the day draws to an end and you are beginning to get a little fractious for you are so tired and full of cake!

I change you in to a new pair of birthday fleecy pyjamas and we sit together and snuggle, I sing a quiet hum in your ear, a final rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ and your asleep before I finish the first verse, a soft and comforting snuffle of pleasure comes from you as you visit your dreams, I stroke your head and kiss your cheek and whisper in your ear…. I LOVE YOU TO INFINITY AND BEYOND MY SWEET ELLIOT, SLEEP TIGHT! X.

I wish I could do all of that and more……..

RIP My Sweet Child of 3!

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…. Happily Ever After….

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29th April 2015, at 3.05pm weighing 7lb 3oz, a little girl with no name came into the world after 38 weeks of  pregnancy, 5 days of induction and 16 hours of labour …  Scarf Baby (you need to keep reading to get to grips with the whole scarf baby pet name) came out pink and screaming, and god only knows the relief I felt in more ways than one, now all women know that labour and birth is NOT easy or for the fainthearted, but jeeze she felt like an enormous melon, not just one of them sweet galia melons, but a great big fricking watermelon being forced through a space that no melon could fit through unless blended with vodka!

The labour was complicated and nothing seemed to go smoothly, it was problematic and extremely stressful to say the very least without revealing the very intimate parts of the entire process, like when one vaginal examination almost sent me through the brick wall behind me and it felt remarkably like he touched my tonsils not my cervix…… Too much information…. Yes I agree, so where were we…….

It was the strangest of labours combined with the surrealist of pregnancy’s there were three shadows that followed me everywhere, the three reminders were a constant in Louis, Corey and Elliot. Often I’d catch a glimpse of Elliot’s picture in Lilly-Ella’s bedroom and I’d be reminded instantly of how quick life can change…or I’d stare for a second longer at my reflection in the mirror just staring at my tattoo on my arm and I would think of all of them ‘gone but not forgotten’ one of many memorial tattoos as a way to mark their existence… I would hold my tummy and whisper “everything is going to be alright bubba, just keep on keeping on”, every day further was a day closer to the ‘happily ever after’ I had to keep believing this.

You see, I spent most of my pregnancy not speaking or talking about  ‘THE PREGNANCY’,  to speak of ‘THE PREGNANCY’ would make it real, and I know that sounds ludicrously daft now because I knew it was real, the peeing all over my fingers and seeing the words ‘Pregnant 3-4 weeks’ flash up on the very modern digital pregnancy test told me all I needed to know about it being real, but when you speak about something you make this real to everyone, everyone who loves and cares about you, you make this reality into everyone else’s reality too, but not only that but you start future building in your head, its like a little story of your life to be being built up with each word you speak out loud, each word representing and provoking an emotion linked to a hopeful impending future, creating pictures on a reel in your minds eye!

So you can imagine why I found ‘THE PREGNANCY’ so difficult to speak of, the mere thought of loosing all this for a fourth time, to loose ‘MY BABY’ for a fourth time just didn’t bare thinking about. So quite simply – I didn’t think about it…

I went about my life normally, went to work, met with friends, took the children to school, rushed around to clubs and kids parties at about 120mph, rarely stopping long enough to catch my breath. I attended midwife appointments, hiding in the corner of the waiting room, listening for my Pseudonym to be called out in case someone knew me… What would that be? ….my pseudonym, what would it be?,,,,,,,,,,Well if I had one it would definitely have to be representative of a pregnant woman behaving like a neurotic wolly! But for now, I kind of like Cinderella, Aurora or Tinkerbell – the feeling of belonging to a Disney Movie with ‘happily ever afters’ feels quite comforting at this moment…. So Cindaura Tinkersmell it is….

In the beginning I remember thinking as callous as this may sound, that if there is a god and I am meant to loose this baby, I pray this happens in the weeks rather than months, for me, myself or Cindaura Tinkersmell could not do it again, the mind, body and soul, were still fragile delicate and vulnerable.

Months passed and I was getting on with my pregnancy behind a scarf, first of all hour by hour, day by day, then week by week, the weeks turned into months quite quickly, its quite shocking how time passes by so fast when you don’t think about it,  the ‘hush hush’ of my swelling belly being disguised by various scarves was helping the time pass even quicker, my pregnant swelling belly had now became known amongst the closest of friends as ‘scarf baby’…. Time passed, and so did my anxiety, but as the weeks turned in to months my bond grew for scarf baby, and the familiar maternal feelings were beginning to tap back in to my psyche in turn my thought process began to change, I crawled past the 13wk mark and had seen my baby on the sonographers screen, I am now praying, hoping and holding on to this pregnancy with everything I have, discussing with my consultant, concerns and worries, talking of induction and antenatal care, it was indeed overwhelming but I had to do everything in my power, be verbal, be stronger and be more forth right if I am not getting the answers I need, because I NEED this to work I NEEDED this to be my “happily ever after”, 20 weeks came and went like a number 39 bus, which also mirrored my size, 21 weeks, 22 weeks, 23 weeks 24 weeks and now a small tugboat ….. Counting down to the encroaching 37 week date of induction pre-planned in an attempt to beat the biological clock to 38 weeks, which was apparently the ‘danger zone’.

Jesus some of these doctors have such a way with words…. I mean using descriptive words like ‘danger zone’, how in the hell is this going to alleviate my anxiety and worry, when in the back of my head I feel the looming D Day getting closer and have images of entering a delivery room with yellow and black gaffer tape fixed to the door depicting an area of danger.

My other living children were still being sheltered from the truth regarding the impending arrival of scarf baby, Rob and I had collectively made the conscious decision to not tell them about the pregnancy until they asked, because in my mind the less time they were waiting to meet their sibling meant less worry, less stress, less panic and fewer questions to be bombarded with, So I was about 29 weeks when I was questioned innocently by my 6 year old son,

Toby: Mummy, I am no Doctor but I think you might have a baby in your tummy?

Mummy: How would you feel if the Doctor said that I do have a baby in my tummy?

Toby: Fine, bit worried but fine {BIG PAUSE AND A LOOK OF PANIC} …. But I don’t want another girl, I am all done with girls! ( pretty sure he then had an early premonition, an overload of female hormones spilling out of the house, splitting up hairbrush wars and tiara tantrums between his sisters, with the responsibility of having to be a brotherly shoulder to cry on for his entire lifetime suddenly dawned on him and the look of sheer panic on his face as the realisation of ANOTHER pink one entering the house filled him with utter dread)

Mummy: (stroking his hair in a assuring way) Toby sweetheart, I am having a baby but sadly, we have no control over what we are given, so let’s keep our fingers crossed for a happy healthy baby, shall we? It will be the biggest bestest surprise little dude and we will all be OK!

Toby: Butttttt what if………….

STOPPING HIM MID SENTENCE

Mummy: Exactly that…. Tobes ….. What if!! Lifes full of them and that’s what makes it so exciting!

The SCARF BABY revelation was now completely out, and my ‘then’ 8 year old daughter who already in her little lifetime has seen and witnessed more than most her age, had been caught looking and starring at my belly, occasionally rubbing it and smiling with an off the  cuff comment that I should go to ‘Fat Club with Auntie Hannah’, I knew that she knew so I revealed the known secret to confirm her suspicions …..

My biggest baby with an old head on young shoulders took the news well, she smiled and then almost instantly as soon as the smile had reached the curvature of her mouth, her eyes filled with water and she smiled through her tears and said to me in a quivering voice.

Lilly-Ella: Mummy, will this baby die too? Because I reallyyyy really don’t want that to happen again…

Mummy: NO (I gasp, in an automatic defensive response, composing myself slightly I continue..) but this I cannot promise you and I wish I could, but human nature and the circle of life is very unpredictable and although I cannot make you a promise, I can say that Mummy is looking after your brother or sister the best I possibly can while he or she grows their fingers and toes and gets big enough to join our little family, but whatever happens you must always know that Mummy and  Daddy love you very much and nothing at all will ever change this and that’s MY promise to you, no matter what, always and forever, we will be your constant through the good times and the bad times.

Lilly-Ella: I love you Mummy and as long as you are ok I’ll be ok too….  (Cuddling)

The days were now beginning to drag, no secret left to hide, felling vulnerable, exposed, and fearful the final trimester was quite honestly HELL! Finally induction day came and I was terrified, every part of my body screaming RUN, and the sensible part of my head with a voice of reason, whispering, just have HOPE…..

I had some great midwives, one of which is training in her final year. I already knew her from the crazy morning school runs and sweaty school pick-ups, a brief ‘Hello’ at the school gate while running with yesterday’s random sock still poking out from the bottom of my jeans where it didn’t quite make the laundry and I hope we will be friends as opposed to acquaintances from now on because she was my reassurance, my safety blanket when panic set in, when fear was tingling my skin she gave me the hope back when I felt it slipping away and I don’t think she will realise just how much help she really was. Cassie Chapman if you are reading this – I thank you wholeheartedly!

After 38 weeks of pregnancy, 5 days of induction and 16 hours of labour…..

Scarf baby – became Esme HOPE Harris, our happy ever after!

So moral of the story – never give up HOPE!

To my father….

father daughter

January 13th, February 15th, March 16th , May 7th to most people these dates are of little importance but to me these are dates are of great significance, I feel myself in a ‘shall I, or shan’t I’ dilemma … You see it was my dad’s 59th birthday on the 15th February, mine in the January and my sons and my daughters in the March and May, his grandson and granddaughter … all gone and forgotten. Not a phone call, not a text, not a message passed on through family members.. Nothing at all…

To be that person that is obliterated from someone’s life, well you’d immediately think that I must have done something pretty terrible, wouldn’t you of thought?

The relationship with my father has experienced a slow deterioration over the years and has taken a dramatic turn for the worst over the last three years.

This man who has the title ‘My Father’, whom I pedestalled for years and years, despite his heavy drinking and quick fired temper, the constant let downs and disappointments, none of that mattered to me, I was his child and still looked at him through ‘childlike eyes’ naive but ever-loving, I loved him and I thought that I needed him to love me. We had this relationship that was dependant on each other’s pretend solidarity, this united front that to the onlookers would seem we had the perfect relationship.

The realisation that this father daughter relationship was a farce has taken some coming to terms with and I guess I grieve for the relationship and the man that once was!

But nothing stays the same, things change all the time, people die, people leave, and that’s what happened, I grew up, I became a wife and a mother, and I realised that actually whatever the reason, I could never ever treat my children the way he has treated me over the last few years!

Admittedly, it’s not always been like this, there have been memories that I will hold dear, but that’s it, that’s what I fear, all I will have is a few memories of the Dad that I love. Sadly that person has changed, and he’s changed beyond recognition, I no longer recognise the man that has taken over the skin and bones that looks like and sounds like my dad but acts like a complete (dickhead – excuse my colourful language) stranger.

The way I see it, when you become a parent it’s for life, its forever… for as long as you breathe and beyond the grave. It doesn’t just stop, I am a mother to seven children, three of them are sadly in heaven but I am still a mother to seven and that means I will honour their memory in the way that should be deserved and I will look after my living children to the best of my ability and more, walk the earth for them, trade my life for theirs if I could, because the love for your child is unconditional and is not a love with terms and conditions!

I have learnt a lot about people, friends and family alike during times of need, who you can lean on, who you can trust and who is deserved of recognition and some people stand tall where others fall.

As a child you look up to your parent’s despite the rules and regulations, the curfews groundings and embarrassing dancing. I am no different, I looked up to him, trusted him to make things better  and more importantly just be there to support me in times of need and hardship.

When our twins Louis and Corey died shortly after their birth in 2005, my dad was of great support to me and I guess I assumed that my dad would behave in the same way when Elliot died on the 6th December 2012. It didn’t happen. In fact I didn’t hear anything from him at all… No text, no phone call, nothing! It is now obvious that my father’s previous efforts were more than likely directed from his wife at the time.

I have a mum, a sister, a husband and four amazing children that have surprised me and made me incredibly proud over the last two years, I have many close friends and an extended family, so this blog isn’t about needing family or friends it’s about being failed by a person who you trust.

I’m left wondering what have I done for my dad to not want to be here for me? A question that remains unanswered from the very last phonecall I had with him when I demanded an answer for his cruel behaviour, simply asked him to tell me what I have done that makes him want to treat me this way…..

See this blog could go on and on about being mistreated and let down constantly but there is no point and if he reads this or someone tells him of this writing then he will know, deep down he will know each and every wrong doing and its him that will have to live with the guilt, and its him that’s missing out on each of his amazingly beautiful intelligent grandchildren. One of which he has never met, in fact doesn’t even know she exists!

But on the off chance that he may be reading this… there’s a few points below that play on my mind that are worthy of some thought…

So from me to my father….

  1. I took you in to my home and supported you when your marriage broke down, I gave you a job, paid you a wage and gave you a car!

You took that room and made no attempt to pay your way, just bad mouthed me to my own sister … “she’s materialistic”, She’s up her own A**etc , you took that car and never paid the loan payments….we didn’t even get a Thank You !

  1. I helped you get a home of your own to rent!

They say the ‘grass isn’t always greener, and if you think it is, take a little time to water your own lawn’.

All the groaning about the nice little house you had, well that nice little house is like a bloody palace in comparison to where you live now. Karma certainly bites back…

Despite my disappointment with your move, I remained in contact, calling, texting, visiting….

YOU, hardly called, text sporadically, and BARELY visited until that fateful last time in November 2014

  1. Elliots funeral was 28th December 2012, I offered to come and get you, you declined but promised to come and say a final goodbye to the grandson that was stolen from us, my dear dear little boy Elliot, you said you woudl come to help me through another pain stricken day, I spent the entire day turning and glancing at the doors hoping and praying that you were just late…. You were not late, you never intended to come…

You know how that made me feel because I told you in a letter but you never replied or offered any explanation or apology… is this the behaviour of a father that loves his daughter??

  1. Finally on your last visit resulted with you bringing your girlfriend in to my home and you allowed her to disrespect me, my husband, our home and possessions, you made promises to my children and left in the middle night, leaving no explanation or note, the only reason was … to save the face of your embarrassed, using, manipulating, self-centred and selfish girlfriend!

I was left to console my children as they wept for their granddad, I called and was ignored for  a time and then abused verbally by both you and your puppet master!

I haven’t contacted you, and we have not spoken since our argument where you “wished me a nice life and told me not contact you again” So your wish is granted and the ball is in your court, you have my number? You have my address? You know where I live? But somehow, you have managed to shift all the blame for the fall out on to me… how you sleep at night is beyond me! Oh! Forgive me, I remember how….you drink yourself to sleep…..

The long and short of this is that blood makes you related but loyalty makes you family!

I live daily with the thoughts and the fears that I may never see you again! I may get an invite to a funeral in years to come, but then, another dilemma, do I do as you did and not show respect?

In the meantime I wish you many many happy years with the woman whom you put before me and my feelings and I congratulate you on hurting me more than I could imagine possible and I hope you feel proud when you placed that final nail in the coffin of our relationship…

Father’s Day is looming and I am in a predicament, ‘shall I, or shan’t I’?

So in advance, Happy Father’s Day…. It comes around more often then you!

Love from your daughter ‘Kelly’

I do love you and I will always will but loving you doesn’t give you a right to my life nor to treat me badly and expect eternal forgiveness in return.

Don’t let kindness be an act of the past!

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This blog is about general humanity, I’m going to write about a couple that I met at work, they were kind and friendly and the sort of couple that you don’t see enough of these days.

I work in sales within the Bathroom, Plumbing and Heating industry and this couple came into my place of work looking for help, guidance and assistance with general plumbing and DIY. They honestly brightened up my morning with their funny humour, oober kind nature and up-beat spirit, you couldn’t help but have an instant warming towards these two individuals. Knowing nothing of this couple before, I acted as I would with anyone, always mindful of my mantra ‘treat others the way you wish to be treated’ as I continued to help them, laugh with them, and talk with them, we were soon joined by other onlookers, whether it was just curiosity or just plain and simple nosiness, I am convinced that smiling, laughing and jovial behaviours create a curiosity within us all to seek out where this  fun is coming from, because within us is the desire to laugh and be cheerful and become part of the fun that’s happening!

Whilst in the company of these two very special people I had found out without questioning or without the stereo typical ‘sales interrogation’ that this couple were married, were pensioners, lived in a lovely house in a lovely part of town, and clearly still very much in love after years and years of marriage, they have three grandchildren and a family that from the outside looked pretty perfect.

I got talking to this lady that I found myself drawn to like she was some sort of fairy godmother, and our conversation evolved and we somehow got talking about deaths of my three children, my living children, and my life, she reciprocated by offering me an insight into her life too, she has three children, and sadly one of these children was born mentally disabled, he cannot talk, he is now 37 with the mental age of a child of 6. The around the clock care began to take its toll, so they made the difficult decision to have their son cared for in a care home, he has resided there for 3 years now and he comes home every weekend, this lovely lady explains that although every part of her loves and cherishes her son and she would not be without him for a single heartbeat, there is an emotion she deals with daily, everyday she grieves, grieves for what she dreamed of, grieves for the life her son has missed out on, because when she looks at her two other children, doing everyday ‘normal’ things (there’s that god damn word again…. Like saying normal sets some sort of benchmark for us all to adhere to), having babies, getting married, loving and being loved by someone special, driving cars and holding down jobs, these are all things us ‘normal’ people take for granted and these things are the sadness behind the eyes of this lovely lady as she looks at her 37 year old son and wishes he had the same chances at full life as her other children.

I had arranged to visit them in their home to try and help them further with their cloakroom requirements it was just a few simple measurements so just part and parcel of my job role. Clearly this retired couple were budgeting and were conscious of costs. I was compelled to help this couple because they were kind and because I want to treat other people with the same kindness and for the sake of sounding repetitive ‘treat others the way you wish to be treated’. I was welcomed like a family member, asked what I wanted to eat, how I like my tea, force fed biscuits and then ushered into a corner where we spoke about sly, underhand squirrels, and noisy, unwanted, dirty pigeons. I was in the company of this kind couple again and was smiling ear to ear as they told me stories from their past and showed me photographs of the family including the ‘little man’, the sweet name they affectionately call their 37 year old disabled son.

I made a quick phonecall to my husband, he is a plumber and has copious amounts of loose copper, fittings, and random pipes lurking in the garage, along with a few bikes, buckets with holes in, chemicals and liquids stored in various jars, possibly the cure for Ebola, and 101 paintbrushes that have hardened to beyond their original purpose and could now be used as hammers!

A few pictures sent from the smart phone and a big YES from the truly talented Mr Harris, and I have arranged for the sundry items to be delivered by myself on the Sunday in an attempt to help reduce the expense to remedy their long 2 year awaited cloakroom.

The moral of the story is not everyone lives a life of perfection, from the onset, we can all look like the Von Trapps’ or The Waltons’ but behind the walls of each home is a story, some are more fortunate than others, but some live with grief, some live with debt, and some live with treacherous squirrels and demonic pigeons but we all deserve to be treated with kindness and we all need to helped by other peoples humanity sometimes.

This couple showed me courage, humour and a togetherness that you don’t often see these days, and hopefully I showed them kindness and the help they needed and deserved.

I have since met ‘little man’ and he is a character to say the least, he is clearly loved and clearly happy, and I am happy to say that I am a friend to this lovely family.

Be kind when you can because you never know when you will need the kindness returned and lets face it you make a lot more friends on the way being kind!

End of Chapter 2014

Good

It has been 3406 days that have passed since the day that changed me and my life forever, 756 days since that soul destroying day when tragedy struck again. 239 days since I began to glue my life back together, 203 days since I visited the graveside of my three boys, a place I still cannot bare, nor can I take comfort from. It has been 189 days since my final counselling sessions and 127 days since my last blog.

It has also been 231 days since Stephen Sutton passed away in his sleep after battling the horrific disease, Cancer. He is an inspirational young man who spoke, lived, and sadly died by the below quote…

“I don’t see the point in measuring life in terms of time. I’d rather measure life in terms of making a difference”

Stephen Sutton – http://www.stephensstory.co.uk/

This young man, heroic without knowing, made such an impact on so many people’s lives with his amazing up beat nature and constant positive attitude, and at 19 years young he touched the hearts of thousands, and the day he died, I shed tears for a young man that I had never met.

It is a heart-breaking, life changing misfortune that my twins ‘Louis and Corey’ lived and breathed, but never got to  live a life of achievements or create a lifeline of memories, it is unbelievably cruel and punishing to think that this disastrous event would happen again 7 years later.

The time elapsing between Louis Corey and Elliot’s births, deaths and today, after a low ebb where solace could only be found in the darkest depths of alcohol and drugs, a pitiful attempt to forget and to numb the pain of guilt, but after plenty of help, plenty of healing, plenty of support from good friends and family my life has found perspective, and some of us are given far shorter lives than others.

I mean; who are we to dictate how long we get to spend walking our paths on this earth?

Who knows when your time is up?

Who gets to say how much time should be spent with our loved ones, children, parents, friends and family alike?

One truly important thing I have realised through all this pain, and one thing I will try to continue to remember, is we shouldn’t dwell, or reside in a pit of bitterness, immersed in sorrow, engulfed with guilt, or whatever emotion is controlling your mind at the time of deep unhappiness. For these emotions consume so much of our negative energy it prevents us from being truly happy and stops us from properly “living”!

It isn’t what we are born with, nor is it what happens to you in life that determines your destiny, it is the choices that we make along the way, it is not our actions that define our person, but it’s how we recover from them.

Your past is part of your present and it shapes your future, it makes you, you! Life can be cruel and I have felt its brutal force, look at it as part of your adventure, that writes the book of your life, we all have a story to be told and the pages of our futures are unwritten, so fill them with memories of happiness, fill them with your story, the good the bad and the ugly but never forgetting that with every bad thing that happens, something good can be found if you look hard enough.

RIP Stephen Sutton, May you rest with the many other young and brave, whose lives have been stolen far too soon, you taught the whole world a valuable lesson.

RIP Louis, Corey, and Elliot Harris you taught me valuable lessons, how to be strong, and never give up, you taught me love like no other love, and you taught me forgiveness. I will for eternity wish that things were different, but I will always be grateful for having had you, held you and loved you and no matter how painful this journey has been, it will be one I will remember with bittersweet memories.

2015 is nearly here and I am looking forward to the future, this is my final post of 2014 and in simple terms When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” I encourage optimism and a can-do attitude in the face of adversity.

Life-Gives-Lemons-6X10-Hoop

Happy New Year.

Accomplishment and Unaccomplishment

treading water 4-12c

My life has felt like a list of ‘To Do’s’ for as long as I can remember. I thought it was because I liked to be busy, but in hindsight I fear it’s because I am running. Running from confronting something I’m scared of tackling, or something I am hiding from because it’s just to painful to remember, reminisce or speak about! I wonder is this a coping mechanism I have subconsciously and unknowingly carried out.

When I do something, I do it to the very best of my ability, and I apply myself fully, going above and beyond what is often required. Before children I worked damn hard for approval and recognition in a job I loved.

I bought a flat; I worked harder, in my head… challenge accomplished!

I got a promotion; and I worked even harder…challenge accomplished!

I got pregnant, not quite challenge accomplished…but a new challenge!

Louis and Corey died, saddened to the core, I return to work and I fall pregnant again, Challenge accomplished!

Almost 1 year later our rainbow Lilly-Ella arrived into the world screaming, followed 18months later by rainbow Toby and the start of a combination of two very new challenges. Our own business and two children, 18mths old and a new-born little boy.

A thriving business 24/7 and a daily struggle of kids, paperwork, emails, stress and no life, one miscarriage later and beginning to feel like a failure.

A perfect little rainbow ‘Isla’ comes along, and we now have a struggling business with piling debt and a thirty something mother of three little children, feeling like I am on the edge and the strain is becoming visible…. Accomplishment is far from my reach.

Another pregnancy, a folded business and plans for an extension, mission accomplished until………….Elliot grew his wings on 6 December 2012 and nothing will be the same again……. Guilt, pain and failure accomplished.

I ran, I busied myself, I ran, I planned, and I ran some more and I planned even more filling voids and busying my wondering mind.

Ploughing forward with the build of an extension which was only being built because of our growing family, bittersweet was every brick cemented in place. Reminding me of who isn’t here now and in Elliot’s place there is a spare room and agony. I’m wondering if this spare room will ever fill me with comfort or whether to me it will always be Elliot’s ‘empty’ Room.

One Fundraising event after another, and still putting one step in front of other, mopping up tears, and holding my children dear. Survival accomplished.

A new job, which comes with a new focus, a strained and broken marriage and our baby girl starting preschool, a mixture of accomplishment and failure, I feel like I am treading water but my legs are tiring.

Months of planning and preparation comes to an end when I hold a party in memory of Louis, Corey and Elliot to raise money for the Neonatal Intensive care Unit and Improvement to Bereavement Facilities. Mission Accomplished.

Over £3,000 raised and a massive total of over £6,000 since I starting fundraising but I am left feeling deflated and very much underwhelmed after the huge high, and the amazing feelings of accomplishment.

But a deeper sadness taints my fundraising because the dark truth is ‘would I really be doing this if I had all three of my sons here?’ and sadly but honestly the answer is probably no… and that leaves me feeling confused?

I see my innocent children changing, they have seen, heard and witnessed so much for their young, tender age, there is sadness behind their eyes that only a mother can see, sadness similar to the sadness that mirrors in mine. I see I have changed and the life I lived is now a memory of a life I had. I wonder how much longer I can tread water for…. Feeling unaccomplished.

One step at a time …

It’s been a while since my last blog, there are a few reasons for this, some of which are commonly known as ‘I cant be arsed reasons’ and ‘there are never enough fecking hours in the day’ reasons; but the other more sincere reason was, that I was finding wearing my heart on my sleeve to reveal my deepest pain to the world of cyberspace quite a surreal experience, although often a comforting experience, however the thought was somewhat daunting at times that I may be judged by people that I have never set eyes on.

So after my time away, where am I?

I’m still battling daily with my emotions, a constant argument in my head with the good the bad and the ugly.

The good, telling me I’m one of life’s survivors and I will not be defeated by grief, and the little friendly voice pushing me on to my next venture in the memory of my three little boys whom I miss so much my whole body aches, the good that always tries to see good, and use my losses to help others.

The bad, is the part of me, that when I listen to people moan and whinge about utter rubbish, when I have to fight the urge to stop my arm raising, my fist clenching and smacking the innocent party straight in between the eyes and shouting out loud…. ‘Now you got something to moan about, that’s not insignificant’ ….

Then there’s the Ugly, the part of me that I am embarrassed to reveal, the part that I am ashamed to admit, the part that’s jealous, that’s vindictive and quite frankly very angry and bitter. The good part occasionally dipping in to whisper “its ok to feel like this” but the bad taking over and stomping the arse out of all rationality of thinking…

But as much as I tell myself there are good days and bad days, nothing prepares me for when the emotion takes over; it creeps out of nowhere, like the monster you dreamt of as a child, like the how the darkness of night swamps the daylight sunshine in what seems like a millisecond come the winter months.

But as for my earlier question where I am right now …..

I am still living after still birth, but still wishing things were different and still wondering who the person is that looks back at me through the mirror! I feel like I am in a transitional point between the pain of grief and the pain of accepting grief….

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