Monday, 30 April 2012

Heaven is Here

I first heard about Stephanie Nielson from my cousin Carli's blog almost four years ago.  I had started my own blog a year before that, but reading other people's blogs was pretty new to me back then.  When I read about Stephanie (or NieNie as she is known) being in a plane crash and having burns to 80% of her body, I just had to head over to her blog and have read her blog ever since.

I still haven't gone back and read all of her entries before the crash, but very quickly got to know that she was an amazing Mum to four young kids, she loved her husband 'Mr Nielson' and she loved life.  I loved that she was also a member of our church, and could relate to the faith she showed.  I waited for each new blog post on her blog from her sister, to update us on how she and 'Mr Nielson' were doing.  I was amazed at her strength when she came home from hospital after months of being in a coma.

She has shared how her life has changed since the accident many times including on the Oprah Winfrey show

I was incredibly shocked and touched that she mentioned what had happened to me and my family on her blog back in January.  Since then I couldn't even count how many messages, comments and emails I have received from people saying 'I found your blog through NieNie'.

When she announced that she was writing a book I knew straight away that I would buy it, and it finally arrived a couple of weeks ago and I have spent the last week reading it. 

Although our situations are totally different, so much of what she wrote was exactly how I am feeling right now.

I couldn't put it down and was annoyed that I had to keep stopping to feed the boys, deal with their fights and clean the house! ;)

I was lucky enough to spend some time lying in the sun while reading it last week, while Simone had Kobe for me.

I thought I 'knew' Stephanie a little through reading her blog, but didn't really understand the struggles she went through at all, until I read her book.  I cried a few times as I read different things, but especially when I read about her 'happy ending' where she became pregnant with her fifth child, even though I already knew that she recently had her baby Charlotte.  

When Noah was with us I often had people say 'you should write a book one day'.  Then when he passed away I heard it even more.  Now I guess I have even more of a story to tell, but I can't imagine that I will have a 'happy ending' like Stephanie had had, at least not in this life.   

I'm sure things will get 'easier' as time passes (I hope!) and I still see there is so much good in life (thank goodness for my three boys), but it's just hard to see how I could ever have been as happy as I was when my family of six was with me on the earth.  I just really hope that this quote from Stephanie's book comes true: 'bad days come to an always triumphs and heavenly promises are always kept'.  

Sunday, 29 April 2012

24w ago

Twenty Five weeks ago we were sitting down watching the AFL grand final. Noah wasn't well and we were trying all that we could to keep him out of hospital, but as the day went on it was obvious that he was needing to be admitted.

Twenty five weeks ago he was admitted to ICU for the first time in his life.

Twenty five weeks ago Aaron and I discovered Instagram and had lots of fun uploading pics. 

Twenty four weeks ago this was the first photo Aaron ever uploaded on Instagram - him holding Noah's hand in ICU just one day before he passed away.

I can't believe my life has changed so much.  I just wish so much that we could go back just 25 weeks.  Surely that's not asking much!?

Saturday, 28 April 2012


About a month ago we got a letter in the mail from the Hawthorn Football Club inviting us to be VIP guests at their next training session at Aurora.  Harri was so excited when I showed him and said 'that's actually really awesome!'.  Supposedly a 'few' people had emailed or contacted the club after Aaron passed away to ask them if they could do something special for us, which is so nice. 

I was excited for Harri mostly as I knew how excited he would be (Jalen probably wouldn't have cared if we stayed home :) but couldn't help but think how much Aaron would've loved it, and felt sad all afternoon knowing why we were going to be VIP guests.

We each got a 'show bag' full of goodies and got to sit on the interchange bench to watch them train.

We then got to stand in the race (is that what it's called?) so we could try to grab their autographs as they came through.  Some were more obliging than others and being a VIP guest probably sounds a lot more exciting than it actually was. 

I felt like we were annoying them to get their autographs as they all seemed to be in such a hurry.  The girl that organised it kept saying to the players 'there are our VIP guests' (we weren't the only ones) to make sure they were nice to us, but some were great, and others couldn't be bothered at all (need I mention any names!?....Buddy).  It's disappointing as sometimes he can be so lovely and other times he just can't be stuffed to even acknowledge his fans.

It made me sad for the boys because the players always stopped and took time whenever Noah was with us, but today I just felt like we were bothering them too much. I didn't even ask any of them to pose with the boys as I felt like they were in such a hurry (even though they are staying in town tonight and don't play until tomorrow afternoon).   I just wonder if they would've taken more time if they knew what they had been through.

Tonight Harri said 'if people say 'what is a VIP?', I would tell them that it means 'Very Important People' and it means someone in your family died'.

Friday, 27 April 2012

ANZAC Day march, movie and birthday

On Wednesday we headed out to Deloraine for the ANZAC Day march.   We met up with friends and family and it was a beautiful sunny autumn day, to remember those who have fought and died for our country.  Even though Pop has passed away and doesn't march anymore, it's still nice to go out to the march at Deloraine. Last year we stay in town for it and I remember that Noah wasn't very well that day - his face was very puffy and he just didn't seem right.  It was strange knowing how much had changed since last ANZAC Day. 

Linc loves Jalen so much and kept wanting to sit down next to him on the kerb and would snuggle into him.

Kobe didn't quite understand what the whole day was about, but enjoyed it anyway.

Aaron used to always say 'who has a birthday on ANZAC Day!?' to Maddie and I'm sure he would've been saying it again this year.  It's hard to believe that she's 6 already!

For Maddie's birthday lunch we headed to the Raspberry Farm after the march with Mum and Dad, Steph and the kids and Nicki and the kids.  The boys know that I have been there a few times as I often put pics of the yummy food up on Instagram. They were always jealous when they saw what I had, so they were excited to go and try it out themselves.

The movie 'Avengers' came out on Wednesday and Aaron was so excited to go and see it, and had promised Jay that he would take him.  Jay was so upset knowing that he couldn't go with Aaron, but I told him I would take him instead, so we left the boys with Mum and Dad and headed to Devonport to watch the opening session at CMAX cinemas. Jay hadn't been there before so he was very excited to watch it on the huge screen.

I'm not into boy movies at all, but it was actually very good.  The effects were awesome and we had a great time together.  I asked Jay when we got out why he didn't tell me that Captain America was so hot, which made him laugh.

As we drove back to Mum and Dad's the sun was setting and I was cracking Jay up as I kept pulling the car over to take photos.  I asked him if he ever saw things and thought 'that would be an awesome photo!'. He laughed and said 'sometimes, but not as much as you do Mum!'.  We had the music cranking in the car and I was singing on top of my lungs to some good old One Direction which I thought Jay would be embarrassed about, but instead he just kept laughing.  It was nice to see him have such a lovely afternoon, because things quickly changed later that night as he got sad and scared like he usually does at night.

We got back to Mum and Dad's just in time for Maddie's yummy birthday tea and cake.  

When we got home that night and Jay was going to bed he said to me 'thanks for making today really fun Mum - for taking me to the movies, for making me laugh because you always want to take photos and for the singing in the car.  Love ya!'.  I'm glad I could make him smile for a couple of hours.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Three months

Three months without my best friend. Three months since the boys have seen their Dad.  Three months of not knowing why this has happened. Three months of trying to understand and to still see the good in life.  Three months of having a family of four on earth, instead a family of six.

It's hard to believe that three months can go so fast. I thought it would be the opposite. 

Simone has been so awesome in taking Kobe for me a whole day once a fortnight. It happened to fall on the anniversary of the day Aaron passed away, so it was nice to have some time to myself today.    She made me laugh as she pulled up with her Bunnings t-shirt on as we have a bit of a joke going about Bunnings and she knew it would make me smile.

I enjoyed the quiet time getting some jobs done, and then lying in the sun reading, and had a lovely treatment by a beautiful woman Mary who has been so kind since Aaron passed away.   I have been very spoilt this week and also had an amazing massage by Rose who has also been so kind to me since Aaron passed away. I feel very blessed to have so many people show so much kindness to me.

I headed to the cemetery to have some quiet time at Aaron and Noah's graves while the boys were at school and Kobe was with Simone.  I was surprised to see that Aaron's grave had sunken so much from all the rain recently.  It'll still be a while until they can sew any grass seed around Aaron's area because the graves there are still settling so much unfortunately.

When I picked up Jalen from school he jumped in the car and looked terrible. I asked him what was wrong and he burst into tears and said he had the 'worst day at school ever'.  He was so upset and told me he had trouble with his friend, felt tired and weak all day and had a relief teacher for three periods and his name (of all names that he could've had!) was 'Mr King'.  He then told me he had a big talk and cry with one of the teachers and she was very lovely and supportive and talked to him about a few things that could help him at school, so that was nice to hear.   Because it was three months today since Aaron passed away I said to Jay he could buy his lunch at school for a treat.  He then said 'and the worst thing ever! They were all out of meat pies!' and then had a laugh.

We then went to pick up Harri and his Principal came over to the car to let me know that Harri had been teased by a boy about him not having a Dad.  He got into the car and I just said 'how was your day Harri' and he straight away told me that a boy he was playing football with said 'I don't care that your Dad and brother died' and then he burst into tears.

I had felt teary all day, but had held it together but seeing both of the boys so sad after school made me cry too. I hate seeing them so sad and not being able to take away the pain for them.  We went to pick up Kobe and then headed to the cemetery so we could let off some balloons together.

Jay was very emotional so Harri went over to give him a hug which was nice.  

We started to head over to Noah's grave, but Jay said he wanted to stay at Aaron's for a bit longer and have some time on his own.   I left him as I know he likes to have time alone, just to sit and cry.  I hate seeing him so upset, but I also know that it's okay for him to cry.  I reconsidered taking a photo as I walked away, but thought that in years to come it will be good to look back to see how far we have come (I hope!).

Over at Noah's grave there was a bit of a nudist behind the bushes as he needed to go 'right now!'.

He made us laugh when he came out pulling the silliest faces and moves to make us laugh.

It was nice to see Jay smile again as he picked him up to give him a hug.

Harri and Kobe love running around near Noah's grave and I don't mind them doing it as long as they don't run near or over other children's graves. It's nice to see them smile while they are up there.

We decided that because it was a tough day we needed to do something fun and of couse something that Aaron would love, so it was Maccas for tea.

I just wish Maccas could really fix everything.
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