It could've been very easy to just dwell on how hard it was, but instead we chose to see the positives. We were blessed with having a beautiful special spirit to be a part of our family. We were able to appreciate the little things in life. We didn't ever get to do amazing things like take trips overseas or many trips at all for that matter, but instead because of the way things were we appreciated the little things - mainly just being together as a family. We were grateful for every day that Noah was with us, even if we couldn't do the things that other families could do so easily.
Having Noah taught us a lot as a family but there's also a lot that I've learnt since Noah and Aaron passed away. I've learnt a lot about myself. I've learnt a lot about my boys. I've learnt a lot about other people. But one hundred and thirteen days ago Aaron taught me the biggest lesson of all... that no matter what is going on, make the most of it...every single moment of every day.
We were on our annual summer holiday together, and although we were looking forward to it, and were excited that my whole family would join us for the first time, it pretty much sucked as it was our first year there without Noah. The night before Aaron died, he was so upset and said that he thought it was too hard being there without Noah. He couldn't wait for the next day for everyone to arrive as he was hoping it would pick up his spirits and we could then just hopefully have some fun together.
The next day started off with beautiful sunny blue skies, but after my family arrived the weather turned bad. We desperately wanted to show them how beautiful Binalong Bay was, as we loved going there every summer, so we decided that despite the bad weather we would all go anyway.
When we got to the beach it was freezing, but it didn't stop the little kids (or big men!) going in the water.
After a little while it was too cold for even the little kids to stay in, and we all sat close together on the beach, trying to get warm as the wind blew on us, while Aaron and the other guys continued to jump in the waves.
Aaron, Chrish, Eden and Alex were having a great time jumping in the waves together. Because the wind had come up the waves got bigger and bigger as time went on. I could see how much fun they were having and decided that instead of being the usual wimp that I am, I would run straight out and join Aaron in the water.
We had the loveliest time. He joked around asking what was wrong with me as I never go in the water like that, but for some reason I just wanted to be out there with him, even though it was freezing. As I wrapped my legs around his waist he said 'my heart is being healed having your family here with us'. I felt so happy to know that he was feeling happier than the night before, and was hoping this meant he could enjoy our holiday together more, even if Noah wasn't with us.
It didn't take long for it to get too cold, so I got out and shivered on the beach with the rest of the kids. Everyone else got out of the water too except for Alex and Aaron. They were having so much fun jumping in the big waves. Aaron loves the beach, especially when there are big waves to jump in. He could do it for hours and never got sick of it.
We laughed as he gave us the 'fork' signal with his fingers as we kept yelling at him to get out as the kids were cold. Although I wanted to go I was so happy to see him happy and having so much fun. He had been so heart broken when Noah passed away, so it was nice to see the smile on his face again. When he got in the car I told him I was sorry we had to go, but all the kids were freezing and that's when he said to me that he told Alex ' you don't waste days like this one, because tomorrow the waves might not be as big'.
Photo taken January 2011 on the same beach
Aaron knew things weren't perfect...we were on our annual holiday without Noah, he was missing him so much, the weather was bad and we were freezing, but he still wanted to make the most of the day. It could've been easy for him to just say it was too cold to go to the beach, that he was too sad without Noah and he wanted to stay at the shack. Instead he decided to make the most of the day, despite the conditions not being perfect.
I guess that's how I'm feeling right now. My life pretty much sucks at the moment to put it nicely. It wasn't supposed to turn out like this. I could accept that Noah was going to not live a very long life and had come to terms with that years ago, but to be a widow at thirty seven was not in my plans. To be a single Mum and have lost a son and husband within three and a half months of each other is hard for me to even comprehend, even though it's happened to me!
Some days are much harder than other days, and sometimes things change within the hour - I can have a good morning and a really awful night, or the other way around. There is so much that is bad in my life right now that it could be really easy to just focus on that. Some days it's all I can think about ...that Noah and Aaron aren't here with me. But then I think about Aaron's last day on earth and how he made the most of that day despite all the things that it had going against it.
I can't always change how I'm feeling, and I can't change anything that has happened, but I can look at the good things in my life (like the big waves) and try to focus on those.
I look at my three boys and realise how lucky I am to be a Mum. I look at our beautiful 'new' house and garden and realise how lucky I am. I go to work and know how lucky I am to have a job that I love. I know how blessed I am to have so many people care about us, to want to help. I try to have fun with the boys even though all I can think about is Aaron and Noah not being here. It doesn't stop the pain of losing Aaron and Noah, but it does help me appreciate the good things that I still have in my life.
I'm missing my two boys like crazy and feel like my heart is now broken, but I will keep jumping in the big waves today even though the weather at the moment is terrible, because you never know what tomorrow will bring. It may be better or it may be worse, but for now I'll just keep jumping and make the most of the good things that I still have in my life.
I'm so grateful to Aaron for reminding me on his last day, how to make the most of every day despite the bad conditions.
Thank you to the beautiful Leanne for making this print for me.