Thursday, 17 May 2012

Jumping in the waves

No one ever dreams that one of their children is going to die before they do, but that is what we were told when Noah was nine weeks old.  That same day we made the decision to give him the best life possible and make each day count.  That doesn't mean that every day was a bed of roses - it was anything but.  It's hard having a child with a disability.  It's very hard - physically, financially and emotionally.

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.


  1. thanks Lis xx ...and Aaron for such a beautiful reminder x

  2. <3 every time I read your beautiful blog I end up shedding a are an amazing person. I think everyone that has heard your story will try to live through Aaron's view of appreciating today for everything it has to give! xxx

  3. Thank you Lisa for writing this today. All of us go through good and bad days and of course it's relative to our situation. We may not have lost a son or husband, but we may be a single parent (like me) and may be going through a life experience that sucks. We may be feeling horrid one day and good the next. Thank you for the reminder that we can always find the good in any situation ... that we can smile and take one day at a time. Reading of your experiences give inspiration to others to keep on going when it all seems like too much. Thinking of you and praying for you.

  4. Thankyou for your words, I get excited when I find you have written more on your blog because you have just got a talent with writing. Just this week, I have been really struggling with sick kids and myself being sick and just had a "woe is me" type attitude. After reading your post, it made me realise how blessed I am.

    Thanks :)

  5. I admire you more than any other woman on earth. You have taught me so much. Would be the first to line up and buy your book when you write it! Keep jumping those waves Lisa x

  6. Gahhhh. I just love you. Thank you for the reminders. Thank you for sharing yourself like this. You're the bravest person I know.

    I think of the people in my life who have died recently and have compared their last days on earth. So many mixed feelings and experiences, but I know that a day of fun in the sun is perfect for Aaron, as opposed to laying sick in a hospital bed. He is such a fun and kid-like spirit and I know that his last day here was the best it could possibly be in the situation you were in. I'll always been grateful for Aaron, for his example, for his love and laughter and gratitude and silliness and bagging out. Never worry that his legacy will burn out. It can't. He's the MAN. xo

  7. I agree with anonymous every time I read your blog I shed a tear, but at the same time I give myself a kick up the bum and realise how lucky I am! It is the simple things in life that mean the most. Be kind to yourself Lisa ur my hero!

  8. Lisa this was beautiful. Yes, you can definitely say life sucks right now, but I love that you have listed all the wonderful things too. I appreciate so much that you have shared Aaron's words of wisdom. That quote will have to go up in our home. There have been so many missed opportunities because of my fears or insecurities. Looking back I wish I had just jumped in and had fun. Thank you again for your frankness and words from your heart!

  9. Great quote; such a good reminder to us all. I've had some hard things happen in my life, but I cannot imagine how tough this must be for you. I know we can do hard things, but it sure isn't easy. As I was reading this post I was just thinking how I carelessly wrote 'have a great week' on an email I just sent you...I do hope you can have a better week...take care. People all over the world are thinking of you.

  10. Lisa,
    Your story reminds me of my next door neighbor who was 37 when she too lost her husband from a sudden heart attack. Three days after the funeral many of us were around her to keep her and her young son and daughter company. At one point she said to all of us, "I know you want the pain to leave me and hope that I cheer up but I want you all to know that I am ok with feeling the pain for at least I know I am still capable of feeling and at this time in my life, especially for my children's sake, that is what is most important. Cheerfullness will eventually take over the sadness." At that moment I realized that it was all part of life on Earth. Keep on writing, sharing and loving on your boys - you're doing a great job at all of them.

  11. Praying for comfort in those things you have, and courage in facing life without your two boys; No-one else can appreciate just what you are going through, but please know that there are many people praying for you and the boys each day. God bless.

  12. Lisa, instead of "just keep swimming" as Dory would say, you "just keep jumping, just keep jumping" :)


  13. Lisa, I've been reading your blog since Aaron passed. Someone mentioned your site on another blog I followed. I went back and read pretty much of your old posts. You are an amazing woman, wife and mother! I couldn't imagine going through what you've had to endure!! You are doing it all with such grace. There is no right or wrong way to handle grief. You are entitled to having a bad day. Have faith that it will get better though. This post is a great reminder to anyone to just cherish every little moment. I was definitely inspired by reading it today after a tough morning getting my kiddos off to school. Thanks for helping me with this post! You remind me to be thankful for what I have and cherish my blessings! You have three amazing boys loving you for being their mom....take comfort in that on hard days! (((Hugs from Milwaukee, WI, USA)))

  14. I cry as I read your tender posts each day. We all have trials and bad things happen, but you are handling it with such grace - which is nothing short of inspiring. Thinking and praying for you and your sweet family.

  15. Lisa your words are such a touching reminder to cherish every moment. sending hugs and keeping you and your boys in our thoughts and prayers.(thank you for the lovely card).

  16. What beautiful life lessons you are teaching us, just as Aaron and Noah are teaching you.

    Thanks for sharing them with us in this way.


  17. Thank you for this beautiful post. Such amazing strength you must have to have written them.

  18. Thank you for sharing. By the way I think you are such an inspiration. I have been reading your blog since Naomi shared your story on her Seven Cherubs blog.

  19. I find you inspiring as well. I can only imagine your heartbreak but your grace in amongst such pain is compelling, and beautiful like your family was and is. I almost feel guilty for gaining so much reading your blog when you have lost so much. Each time it helps set my priorities better for the day, I appreciate you writing xx

  20. {hugs} Lisa, to you and your boys. Especially you though. x

  21. You are simply amazing. I admire your perserverence and strength to go on even when it is hard. I know that the Lord has a plan for all of us even if we can't always see what that plan is. I too didn't plan on being a single at 34, working full time and raising 3 young children. But through all the trials I have seen the Lord bless me and my children beyond any measure that I thought was imaginable. Stay strong. Lots of love and hugs fom Logan, UT USA!!

  22. Hi there - I read your blog from Seattle, Washington, USA. Keep hanging in there. You are amazing and an inspiration just for getting up and going on in life. You can do this and people all over are rooting for you and your boys. Take Care and I think of you often.

  23. Wonderful post and something we can all learn from.

    Keep Jumping is my new computer wallpaper.

  24. As you can see, I'm catching up on your blog. This post has me in tears. YOU are strong. YOU are brave. And YOU are an example to so many. I wish somehow your pain would ease and that your heart will heal. I pray for that everyday. I love you my friend!!!


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