Saturday, 29 September 2012

What am I going to do without Football and Daddy?

It's been a stressful week in our house because we knew that the Hawks were a good chance of getting in the grand final.  Aaron would've been so excited this season.  It's been a huge year with his boys from school winning the state premiership, and then Hawthorn finishing top of the ladder.

Last Saturday was the preliminary final with the Hawks playing the Crows.   While we were in Sydney with my brother Chrish, Kobe discovered his Crows beanie and put it on and kept saying 'go Crows!'.   We at first thought he was joking but he kept it up all week and after we got home he still kept saying 'Go Crows!'.  Even last week during the game he was going for the Crows and was disappointed when they lost and wasn't at all excited that Hawthorn made it to the grand final. 

All week we kept telling him that Daddy would be sad if he didn't go for the Hawks, but I could see on his face he was being cheeky and loving the attention that it was bringing.  At Aaron's funeral I spoke about how Jalen once thought he may switch teams and Aaron told him that Easter Bunny and Santa Claus didn't come to little boys who didn't go for the Hawks.  Needless to say the boys have been totally brain washed since birth :)

Kobe still didn't seem to care, but loved that we were all getting stressed about it, but then yesterday morning when Harri was putting on his footy colours for footy colours day at school, Kobe decided he wanted to wear his footy colours too.  It wasn't footy colours day at my school as they had it last term, but I decided I was wearing my footy colours anyway.  The kids at school were so cute and kept laughing and smiling at me all day with my brown and gold stripes.

The last time Hawthorn were in the grand final was a very stressful day.   Aaron was stressed because he so desperately wanted them to win, and I was stressed because I knew Aaron would be stressed.  Aaron loved the Hawks so much and there was no way you could say to him 'it's just a game' or 'next year' because to him it was everything. 

Usually I don't really care about the footy that much, but since Aaron passed away I have been into it more than ever.  It's like I have taken over Aaron's roll for the boys.  This morning I put on one of (the many!) Aaron's Hawks geurnseys and my two necklaces that I wear on one chain, to feel like I have Aaron and Noah close to me.

Grand final day was one of Aaron's favourite days of the year and we always had the same traditions.   Aaron would usually get up early and go and grab all the newspapers and footy record, and he would then just be glued to the TV all morning until the game started.  Aaron's Dad always came around to watch it with us and the boys loved that we would have a 'footy party' with all the usual footy food.

Last year however was not our usual grand final day.  It was actually the last day that Noah was ever home.  He woke up very sick that morning and by the time the game had started I was on the way to the hospital with him.  Just a few hours later he was put on a ventilator as he had gone into respiratory distress and was flown to the NPICU in Hobart.  He never came home and passed away a week later.

Aaron said when Noah passed away that grand final day would 'never be the same again' as he felt that he would always remember that it was Noah's last day at home.  It definitely will never be the same ever again.

I didn't want to be at home today to watch the game as I knew I would just be thinking about last year,  so we decided to go out to my Mum and Dad's. 

Kobe told us this morning 'I'm going for the Hawks again!' and was so excited to watch the game. Harri was also excited, but Jay really isn't into the footy that much and told me he'd probably watch five minutes, and took out the laptop to play on while the game was going.

My brother Jared and Becky and the kids were also at Mum and Dad's but they aren't really into the footy.  Becky hung around for a little while and then took for to visit a friend instead.

Poor Eamon was a bit stressed with all our noise and kept blocking his ears.

When the game started I got a few text messages saying 'go Hawks' and had been getting messages from people all week telling me they were going for the Hawks for Aaron.  It was so nice to hear so many people say 'I don't usually go for the Hawks, but I hope they win for Aaron and your boys'.  Aaron hated people who jump on the bandwagon of any team when they are going well, but I have no doubt that he would've been so happy that so many people were going for the Hawks in the grand final, as he would know how much it would mean to us if they won.  

You can't watch the grand final without having a hot pie :)

It was an intense game with it being so close.  Harri recorded all the statistics in his footy record and after every goal or point he kept yelling 'who was that!?' to make sure he recorded the right player.

Kobe was actually really into the game and was cracking us up as he was screaming at the TV.  He and Harri reminded me so much of Aaron.  I have to admit that I did my fair share of screaming too.  Aaron would've been proud! Kobe was a little bit excited about the ginger beer too :)

Jay kept himself occupied on the laptop and had no interest at all in the game. I asked him why he wore his Hawks top and he said 'for Dad, and so I don't feel left out'.

When the last quarter started Harri announced 'it's anyone's game!' which it definitely was. We were all so nervous and Jay shocked us by jumping up in the last five minutes and started screaming along with us!  Excuse the poor quality of the video - it's just off the iPhone.  Ignore my yelling at Harri to sit down too - you get to hear the real me :)

Unfortunately the dream year wasn't to be and they lost by 10 points.  As soon as the siren went Kobe burst into tears! He shocked me so much as I really didn't think he was that into it, but he was devastated.

Harri was also very upset and just sat quietly for a while.  Jay went over to comfort him and he just sat there and was so sad.  He then started crying and I went over to talk to him and he said 'what am I going to do without football?  What I am going to do without Daddy?'.

I think that the footy season has been his connection with Aaron still.  Last week during the preliminary final he started crying and I said to him that it was just a game and it wasn't worth getting upset over and he said 'I'm not sad about the footy, I'm sad that Daddy isn't here to watch it with me'.  Lately at the cemetery he has been crying a lot saying how much he wishes Daddy was here to watch the footy with him.  It's definitely not the same watching footy with me, but it was his way of feeling close to Aaron still and now the season is over, I think he feels like he's losing Aaron a little bit more.

We were all sad that the Hawks lost but it was still a great game to watch, and we hope that they play as well next year and are back in it again.

When we got home we were surprised with a lovely present on the front door step.  Thank you to whoever dropped it off.  We didn't get to use it for the footy today, but I'm sure will be having the treats very soon :)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Families are Forever

While we were in Sydney we took the opportunity to visit the temple a couple of times.   It's always lovely to visit such a beautiful, peaceful place.   The Sydney temple is actually where Aaron and I were married almost 17 years ago and Jay and I felt Aaron around a lot while we were there. 

Being there again the first time without him brought up so many emotions, but it was nice to be there with the boys and remind them how much it meant to us to be married there, especially now.

After visiting the temple one day we then dropped in to visit my beautiful cousins Carli and Filipa (who live right next door to each other). 

 Thanks for the yummy muffins Carli :)

 It was so lovely to meet Fil and Chris' beautiful daughter Poppy for the first time.

When I was young Carli and Fil lived up the road from us and we were all very close as cousins, and used to see each other almost every day.  The last time I had seen them was at Aaron's funeral which they came down for, so it was so nice to catch up with them again when things weren't so crazy.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been voting for me in the Top 25 Aussie Mum Bloggers competition.  It means so much to know that so many people feel that my blog is worthy of being in the top 25.   I don't blog to get readers but started it as a family record, but I'm happy that others are coming to read about my boys here on earth and my two in Heaven.  It helps me to know that they won't be forgotten.  

There are still 8 days left to vote, so if you would like you can vote once every 24 hours by going here (there is also a link on the top right side of my blog which takes you to the page to vote).   Thank you again.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

8 Months

Today it is eight months since Aaron passed away. In a week and a half it's a year since Noah passed away.   A year!  Where did that year go!? It's hard to believe it and it gets harder every day to live without them. 

For Aaron's funeral Jalen and I put together some photos from Aaron's life to music, so we could play it in the foyer while people were coming in.   It was so hard to quickly come up with some songs but we knew we had to choose an Oasis one as they were Aaron's favourite band.   We chose the song 'Perfect' because the message is what Aaron always wanted his students to remember - that they should believe in themselves no matter what.  The last song we chose - 'Without You' was popular at the time and was exactly how we were feeling - that we couldn't live without him.

Thank you to Kim who helped me convert the clip out so I can finally share it on here. It's not great quality, but I wanted to share it on here so the boys can watch it whenever they want.  It's quite long but has some great photos from Aaron's early years (when the boys say he looks like a girl :) and lots with his students from school.

Thank you so much to everyone who has voted for my blog in the top 25 Australian Mum blogs competition.   I'm blown away by how much support we have.  I'm currently coming third.  There is no prize - just recognition for being one of the top 25 Aussie Mum blogs (who were nominated - I'm sure there are so many more that deserve to be there but haven't been nominated).

There is still ten days to go until the competition is finished, so please keep voting.  You can vote once every 24 hours.  You can vote by going here or to the link at the top of my blog.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Todd's Gold Medal

Tonight when we got home after school we were excited to have a visit from Todd and his Mum Gerry. They had come by to share something exciting with us.  Todd had recently participated in the Paralympic Games in London and had won a gold medal in the shot put!

Todd goes to our church and is a great guy.  We loved watching him on TV when he won his medal and loved how he celebrated.   They nicknamed him 'The Hulk' which made us smile.  Not only did he win the gold medal but he also broke the world record!  It is so awesome to see him do so well, especially as he's had a lot of challenges in life (you can read more about Todd in The Australian).

The medal was very heavy and much bigger than I expected.   It was awesome to be able to hold it.

The boys were so excited to be able to hold it and wear it.

Thanks so much Todd for coming around and sharing it with us, and telling us all about your awesome experience.  For anyone local Todd is home in Tassie for a little while before returning back to Canberra where he trains.  He is happy to come and talk at schools about his experience. 

p.s. A lovely reader of my blog sent me a message saying she felt I should be nominated for the 'top 25 Aussie Mum blogs' on a website called Circle of Mum's.  I have no idea about these things as I never enter them, but thought I'd give it a go. You don't win anything except the recognition of having your blog in the top 25.  I guess I'm entering as I love to share my boys - those with me and in Heaven and want to share with more people our life with Noah and the struggles and blessings of having a child with a disability, because I feel like that isn't shared enough. 

The voting has been going on for a while, so I probably don't have a chance, but if you would like to vote there is a link to vote on the top right of my blog or you can vote by clicking here.    At the moment by blog is listed under the 'pending approval' tab. 

You can vote once every 24 hours, so if you feel like voting keep jumping on to vote again.

Thanks in advance!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Sharing the joy, sharing the pain

While we were away in Sydney I got an email from a journalist from The Examiner, saying she was going to be doing a story about blogging and wondered if she could interview me. I'm not sure how she came across me, but while I was sitting on the beach at Terrigal she rang me and we talked for a long time about blogging. 

She asked me about why I started my blog, why I enjoying blogging, why I continue to blog and advice for anyone starting out in blogging.   For me I don't blog to get readers at all, but it's just happened that I now have a lot of readers because of what has happened to us as a family.   It's been a huge blessing to me to have so much support right now, and I know that a lot of it comes from having my blog. 

The story included two other bloggers including my gorgeous friend Leona whose blog I love.

The story isn't online so I will share the text of it because it is hard to read from the photo below. 

THE blogosphere is like a window into the lives of others.
Personal musings, notes on the daily intracacies of family, how-to-tips, and recordings about life.
Hundreds of bloggers and mummy bloggers write everyday, and have created supportive online communities.
Some write blogs as online diaries.
Others have realised the money-spinning potential as marketing companies offer cash for comment, and advertisements on blogs.
Lisa King is a prominent Launceston blogger who receives between 3,000 and 3,500 daily hits at The Kings.
Mrs King said she will stay away from the marketing side of blogging, preferring to keep her blog as a family journal.
She has been blogging since about 2007, and continued to write her blog after the deaths' of her husband Aaron in January this year, and son Noah three months earlier.
``I feel like it is therapy for me,'' Mrs King said.
``It was small to start with, but it started to get 300 to 500 hits a day, and I thought wow, why are these people wanting to read about me and my family, and I started to get a bit nervous,'' Mrs King said.
``Then I thought, I love reading about certain families (and) they are probably doing what I do.''
Mrs King's blog is deeply personal, refreshingly honest, easy to read, and dotted with various family photos.
A lot of what she writes delves into her grief, and the grief of her sons Jalen,13, Harrison, 8, and Kobe, 4.
Mrs King writes, ``I miss my best friend so much.  I still can't believe he is gone and no matter what I am doing or where I am, all I can think about is 'Aaron died'.  I think about Noah too, but it's such a different feeling to when I think about Aaron dying.''
``I still can't get my head around that he is gone. It feels like he is just on a really long holiday.  Oh how I wish he was just on a holiday and would walk back in the front door soon.''
At other times Mrs King writes about family nuances, and the stories that emerge every day.
On her eldest son Jalen's recent birthday, Mrs King writes:
``I'm not sure how I got so old, so fast. Today Jalen turns 13. I'm the mother of a teenager!! How did that happen!?.''
Mrs King said she initially started her blog because of her second son Noah, who was born with brain complications at birth.
She said she knew Noah was not going to live very long, and that it would be a good way to record family moments.
``I wanted to share what it was like to have a child with a disability, but in a good way.  I wanted to say that it is hard, but it is also awesome if you want it to be,'' Mrs King said.
``I get so many emails and comments and pictures from people saying `what you are doing is healing me and what I am going through' _ it may not be the same situation (as us) _ but it is helping them.''
``I guess the feedback I get keeps me blogging.''
Queensland blogger Naomi Ellis, who writes the blog Seven Cherubs, has been an amazing pillar of support for Mrs King and her family after the death of Mr King.
Mrs Ellis was instrumental in raising $45,000 through the online blogging community for The Kings.
``I had read her blog, and she (Mrs Ellis) had read mine.  She jumped on my blog about when Aaron passed away and burst into tears,'' Mrs King said.
``She imagined herself in that situation and thought what can I do...we will be great friends forever.''
Mrs King said the secret to the success of her blog was that she wrote for herself.
``Only blog if you are doing it for yourself.  If you are blogging for other people, then you are not going to be happy,'' Mrs King said.
``If there are 3,000 people (reading), It doesn't matter what they want to hear, it is what I want to say.  Some people I know, because they know they have a certain audience, feel like they have to say a certain thing.''
``Once you are happy with your blog, you will probably get a lot of readers.''

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Central Coast

While in Sydney we were looking forward to going up to the Central Coast and spending some time at the beach and with our good friends Penny and Wayne.  When Jay and Noah were little it was easy to travel so we often spent weeks at a time at their house.  As Noah got bigger it wasn't as easy to travel with him, so we haven't spent any time with them since Harri was born, but whenever we see them it feels like we have never been apart.

I was very brave and drove up from Chrish's house and had a stiff neck and shoulders by the time I got there from the stress! Give me Tassie driving any day.  I was just glad to know that once I got there I could relax. 

We called into Penny's work on the way through to say hi before heading to Terrigal beach.  I have lots of lovely memories of being there with Noah and Aaron, so it was very bitter sweet sitting on the beach, remembering the times that we were there together. 

The weather was so beautiful so it was so nice to just sit on the beach and watch the boys have so much fun together.

Some of the waves were quite big and Harri got dumped a couple of times.  He would come up out of the water laughing and would yell 'that was for you Dad!!'.

The boys decided to play a little bit of footy and Kobe was the designated umpire.

Penny joined us after work at the beach (unfortuately Wayne was at home as he wasn't feeling well) and brought along lots of fun things for the boys to use.

We then had a beautiful tea of fish and chips (and the works) right by the beach at dusk.

For dessert we had Cold Rock which the boys were so excited about.  The last time we had it was in Hobart the day before Noah passed away.

It was lovely to stay at Penny and Wayne's the night and to catch up with them and also their daughter Kate who we hadn't seen for years.  Harri and Kobe hadn't met her yet, and only met Penny and Wayne the night before Noah's funeral, but they loved staying there. I'm upset I didn't actually take any photos with Wayne and Kate.

The next morning was actually Jay's birthday.   We had already celebrated it at home and he had opened his presents the week before, but he still had a special day.    Penny took us all out for breakfast at Avoca Beach. 

It was such a beautiful morning and was 21 degrees by 10 am.

After breakfast we soaked up some sun before going shopping so Jay could spend his birthday money he had been given.

Even though our stay with Penny and Wayne was short we loved it and hope to get back to stay with them for longer next time. Kobe was crying as we were leaving 'I want to stay longer with Penny and Wayne!! I wuv them so much!'. 

For tea we met back up with Chrish and went out for a buffet meal at a place that we went to last year when Mum and I went to Sydney for TOFW.    I had to laugh at the difference between what Harri and Jay would choose to eat.  Harri kept going back for plate after plate of salad and pasta, while Jay chose plates of fried foods.  No need to ask which one is my healthy boy and which one has health problems!

Jay had a lovely birthday and it was so nice to spend some of it at the beach.  I find being at the beach so therapeautic.  I often wish that we lived near the beach and imagine myself just sitting there writing or soaking up the sun all day.  If only life were so simple.
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