Friday, 31 May 2013

All Over Me

I don't like posting a lot about our grief - not because I'm trying to deny it, because you can't, as we feel it every day.  Sometimes the only way to cope and get through another day is to focus on the blessings that we have, so instead of saying every day 'this sucks' or 'this is hard', I try to look at the good things that we still have in our life.    It doesn't mean it doesn't suck and isn't hard, but I choose to not focus on that every minute of every day, because it could so easily take over my thoughts if I let it.

We do have many happy moments and we often have smiles on our faces, so it can be hard to explain to people how hard things still are even though we are 'looking good'.  I often run into people that I haven't seen for a while and they usually say 'you are looking really good' like they are surprised by it.  I was talking to someone the other day about it and said that it's so hard because although I may 'look good' I feel far from it.  There are days that are 'good' and days that are 'okay' but there are also many, many sad days.

Unfortunately the only way to 'heal' is to go through the stages of grief.  Luckily the stages come at different times and not all at once, or there is no way that I could cope.  Grief is exhausting and sometimes you feel like you get a little 'break' from it such as when we go on special holidays, or have extra special things happen, and sometimes every day life is okay, but I have found that you can only have a certain amount of 'good' or 'okay' days before you feel really low again.  

The reality of  my life often hits me at times when I'm least expecting it and I'm overwhelmed by grief and wonder if I will ever feel 'normal' ever again.  Normal meaning back to the old me.   I admit I was never really 'normal' ;)

The old me meaning the person that I was before Noah died.  The me who loved my life of being a stay at home Mum to four beautiful  boys on earth.   The me who was married to my best friend and spoke to him every day on the phone while he was at work, and couldn't wait for him to walk in the door after work to tell me about his day.

I know Noah and Aaron are supposed to be in an awesome place right now and I do believe that, but to put it nicely I don't want them there. It's not fair that they are there.  It sucks that they are there.  I often think about how Aaron got to good end of the deal. 

I'm sick of feeling like I'm drowning in fog.    I wonder if there will ever be a day when I go about my day without thinking 'Aaron and Noah died'. I wonder if I'll ever truly be able to laugh again properly, without feeling like my heart is really broken.

There can be weeks at at time when I feel 'good' and life is running along okay and I feel like I'm on top of everything.  I exercise a little bit, I make sure I'm eating well, I have the energy to deal with the housework and running the boys around and cooking them decent meals, and helping them with their own grief, and I look forward to things.

But then there are many days when I can't cope with anything.  The house is a mess, I'm eating crap, I have no energy to do anything, especially not exercise, my body is a mess, I don't want to leave the house and the boys are a mess, because I am too.

Some days it just takes all my energy to get out of bed, but I do it because I know that's what Aaron and Noah would want and I do it for my boys. 

I've been doing a bit of work in the library at school and one day I came across a book called 'The Sad Book'.  It perfectly described what grief is like. 
Right now I'm feeling like sad is very big, everywhere and all over me. That high that we were on just a couple of weeks ago has definitely gone.
I  know it'll pass and I will have 'okay' and 'good' days again. I just hope that the fog starts to lift very soon.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Egg Head

Tonight I heard a scream from Kobe and he came running to me with Jalen by his side.  Jay told me he ran into the door frame and I looked at him, just expecting I could give his head a rub and give him a hug and he'd be okay, but then I saw his head.

He had the biggest egg I had ever seen and it turned purple straight away.  I grabbed an ice pack and try to be calm as I put it on his head, but then Jay and Harri both saw it and started to panic a little bit.  He was crying because it hurt but seemed fine. but the egg was just so big that I thought I'd better ring the National Medical Helpline to see what the nurse suggested.

I was so embarrassed as I had to ring about a month ago after Jay almost suffered concussion, when he and Harri were wrestling. I was sure she was going to see on my file that I had rung recently, so joked that it sounded a bit dodgy but she said 'that's boys for you'.

When she realised how big it was (she asked me if it was the size of a fifty cent piece) she told me to take him straight to Emergency at the hospital to get him checked out.  She then started to tell me that if he lost consciousness or had a seizure to ring the ambulance straight away.  I wasn't that worried, but knew it was bad and knew I would feel better if I just went in and got him checked.

After a quick phone call our friends Makayla and Gavin came around to look after Jay and Harri.  Kobe was in tears because he wanted to stay to hang out with them, and didn't want to go to the hospital. He kept saying 'but it's not hurting now!'

On the way to the hospital (luckily it's literally a five minute drive away) he asked 'are we going to Noah's hospital?'... 'do you remember the lolly shop at the hospital Mum, do you think we can go there?'.  I told him he wasn't allowed to eat anything until the doctor saw him and then he said 'my tummy feels sore, I think I might 'bomit'.

When we got to Emergency it was lovely to see a nurse who used to work on the kids ward at the desk.  I told her what had happened and Kobe was chatting away to her and telling her that it's almost his birthday.    He was so chatty and I felt silly for taking him in as I knew he was okay, and just hoped we didn't have a three hour wait for a doctor to tell me that.

When Kobe told her he felt like 'bomiting' she gave him a spew bag and told him that if he wanted to vomit he could vomit in there, and if he didn't vomit then he could use it as a hat, but not to use it after he had vomited in it :)

While we were giving the clerk our details she asked me if he had ever been admitted before. I said he hadn't and then she asked if he was born there. I said he was and he said 'what!!? I was born here!!? This hospital is SO old!'.   He couldn't believe it when I told him it was actually more than four years old and was over 150 years old.

Our trip to Emergency was literally the quickest of all time (and we've definitely had a few to compare it to).  We were taken in to see the doctor within half an hour and he did a few tests with his eyes and asked a few questions and said that as long as he didn't lose consciousness then he was good to go home.
As we were walking out Kobe asked 'why did he say I could go home if it's still hurting me?'.  When we got home he was excited to show everyone his new 'hat'.

He hadn't seen the lump until he went to bed and saw it in the mirror.   He was shocked and yelled 'is that my lump!!?'.
He took some Panadol before bed and kept yelling from bed 'I can't sleep because of my lump!', but he's now sleeping soundly.  Hopefully the egg will go down a little bit during the night.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Stop Growing Up...

is what I wish I could say to Jalen right now.  I don't know what's happened over the past year (okay, well maybe I do) but he has suddenly gotten long and lanky (he's definitely no longer the shortest kid in the class) and has grown so much. 

He finally brought home his school photo last week after leaving it in his locker for over a month.  It's amazing how a threat of time off the computer will jog his memory! ;)   I was so happy with it. 

I know I'm very biased, but I think he looks so handsome in it.  He is still suffering a lot of grief, but I can see that sparkle in his eyes coming back. 
I just I could stop time right now, and keep him this age forever.

Friday, 24 May 2013

The Bet

A sure sign that Hawthorn has beaten Collingwood....yet again! (sorry Kristy!).

Aaron and his friend Kristy had an ongoing bet whenever the Hawks and Collingwood played.  Whoever won was owed a can of Pepsi the next day at school.  So far we have been lucky as the Hawks are on a roll against Collingwood. 

We love visiting Aaron and Noah's graves after a game, knowing that there will be Pepsi waiting for us.   Thanks Kristy for making us smile, and reminding us of Aaron's love for footy, the Hawks and Pepsi :)

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Catching up with Cousins

What we loved the most about our recent weekend in Melbourne was catching up with my sister Nicki and her husband Alex and the kids.  We miss seeing them regularly now that they are 'mainlanders'.   It has now been a year since they moved to Melbourne.   Nicki told me that when she told Lincoln that we were coming to visit he yelled 'Maddi, Alex...guys!!! Our Cousins are coming!! Our King cousins!'.

It was so nice to see Nicki and Alex and the kids. It was especially nice to see Linc looking so well as he often has a few health issues going on.   It's nice that they now live so close to the Royal Children's Hospital and have been able to get a lot more help with Linc's asthma.  I know when I took Noah there that I was so impressed with the staff and services there. The kids had grown so much since we saw them last. 

 'Little' Alex was so cute and would go out to the garden and pick me dandelions off the lawn and bring them inside and give them to me.  
The kids just loved being together, and Linc wouldn't leave the boy's sides.

While we were driving in the car Linc would put his arms around the boys necks and kept on kissing their faces and hands. 

 He loves Jay so much and would often have his arms flung around his neck. 

It was so nice for the boys to be with their cousins again, and we can't wait to see them again. 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Still On A High

We are all still on a high after our exciting day on Saturday.  To see Harri run through the banner with his sporting heroes, just made my heart so happy and I didn't realise how much it would pick up our spirits. 

Yesterday in the Mercury newspaper was this gorgeous photo of Kobe.  He was so excited about it and kept saying 'it's me!!'.

This cool photo of Harri was on the Examiner newspaper website. 

The game was only televised on Foxtel, and we no longer have it, so I was so glad that Aaron's sister Trudy was able to send  me a video of the run through the banner off her iPhone.  It's so quick and you can only just see Harri, but he's so happy that he got to see it.
Harri spends so much time kicking a soft footy around the house, commentating to himself as he does it.  He literally spends hours every day doing it and I don't even notice it anymore.  Yesterday afternoon Kobe also go into it so they both doing it in different rooms.  They asked me to put the banner up that Harri brought home after the game on Saturday so they could reenact the run through it.
It was so funny listening to both of them kicking the footy around - supposedly they were both Buddy Franklin :)

Tonight Harri drew a picture of himself in his gear on Saturday.
A friend said today that when she saw the photos of the boys from Saturday, that she felt like it was the first time that she had seen genuine smiles on their faces since Aaron and Noah have passed away, and I agreed.  Yesterday afternoon we went to the cemetery and I couldn't stop thinking about how nice it was to have a little 'break' from the grief we've experienced over the last eighteen months. 

Unfortunately I know that the high isn't going to last as long as we wish, and the grief is always there and just creeps up on you when you are least expecting it, but we are so grateful to have been able to do something so special and know that the boys will never forget the day that Harri got to run with his heroes. 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Experience Of A Lifetime

We have been so excited all week, knowing that we would be a special role to play in the Hawks V Giants game today at Aurora Stadium.  Last night when Harri went to bed he said he was too excited to sleep.  He was excited and I was starting to get nervous, knowing that I would be tossing the coin in front of thousands of people (live and watching on TV).   Having some funny friends making hilarious comments on Facebook to me all night about all the things that could go wrong, didn't help :)

Harri woke up early and couldn't wait to get dressed.  All morning he kept saying 'why is this day going so slow!?'.  It was finally time to head to the game and Harri couldn't wait to get there.  It was so nice to see some people that we know from the kids ward who were collecting money for Give Me Five For Kids. 

When we arrived we met Emma who works for Hawthorn, who we already know.  She took us straight to the Hawks changing rooms and let us spend some time in there watching them warm up.  The boys that thought was so cool, and loved watching their pre-game routine.

Harri was mesmerised watching his heroes.

He was lucky to be given some socks, shorts and a top that matched what the players were wearing that day, and he even got to keep them!  He went and got changed, and was then ready to run through the banner with them.
He was so nervous and kept asking lots of questions about what he had to do, and where he had to run.  Emma was great at explaining it all to him and letting him know that he didn't have to worry, and that she would be waiting for him after he had run through and would walk back with him.

 We all felt very special today with lots of different photographers taking our photos. 

Jay and Harri were lucky to be in the guard of honour as the Hawks ran past.  They were given matching tops to wear too, but they didn't get to keep them.
This morning Kobe said 'why do we get to do it Mum? Is it because Dad and Noah died'.  I told him that it was and because people want us to have something special to look forward to because we've had lots of sad things happen, and it's nice to have some happy things happen, and he said 'that's good isn't it Mum'.

The Hawks started coming out and it was finally Harri's turn to run through the banner with them.
Emma quickly introduced Harri to Hodgey and he handed him a ball as they started to run out together.  It was so cool to hear them calling out Harri's name over the microphone, telling people that he was the Hawks mascot today.

It was lovely to watch some of the players ruffle Harri's hair or give him a pat on the back before he ran through with them.  I don't think they would've even known why he got to run through with them or what has happened.
Hodgey grabbed some of the banner and handed it to Harri to keep as they were running. 
 Tonight he was telling me how fast they ran.
Emma told Harri that they would do a little bit of stretching and he could wait with them and then he should look out for her, so he could run back over to her.
He did a great job, especially as he was getting so nervous about it.
Emma also grabbed some of the banner for him to keep, which he is so excited about.
 It was so nice seeing him so happy and excited about it.
It was then my turn to go out to the middle and toss the coin. Brayley who also works for Hawthorn explained to me how it all worked and walked me out to meet the umpire. The umpire then introduced me to the captain of GWS and he was lovely and told me his name was Callan as we shook hands.
He then went to introduce me to Hodgey and said 'this is Lisa' and Hodgey and I just smiled at each other as I'm sure he already knew that I knew who he was (especially since I had his number on the back of my geurnsey!) and I shook his hand and laughed and said 'Hodgey' :)
The umpire joked with me about not having a dodgy coin, as someone a few weeks back had a double sided coin which was heads both sides! I was expecting that they would have some kind of AFL coin, but I was just given a regular 20 cent piece from Brayley to use.
The captain of GWS called 'tails' and it was heads which meant Hodgey won the toss. I didn't even have to rig it :)
Before I got to the stadium I was feeling very nervous, but once I got there I was just excited for the boys and knew that it would be fun. I just hoped I didn't trip over or do something silly, so I was glad when it was over and I knew I didn't make a fool of myself.  Supposedly they also announced over the microphone that I was tossing the coin, but I was too excited about getting to shake Hodgey's hand, that I didn't hear it ;)
We then headed over to our seats to sit with my Mum and Aaron's Dad to watch the game. 
The game was a good one with Hawthorn winning easily, which is what was expected since GWS is still a new team to the AFL.
After the game we were excited that the crowd was allowed to go on the ground to have a kick. Harri was hanging out for it all day and it was fun watching the boys in the crowd of hundreds of others, kicking the ball around. It was just as the sun was setting and the clouds looked beautiful over the stadium. 
We had the best day and know how lucky we were to have an experience of a lifetime.  Tonight Harri was really emotional about it and actually came out of bed crying. I asked him why he was sad and he said he wasn't sad but felt like he was really special, because he got to do something so special today. I told him he was special and reminded him how lucky he was that he got to do it. I could tell that he really understood how special it was and know he'll never forget that he got to run on the ground with some of his heroes.
All day I kept thinking how much Aaron would've loved it.  Thank you again Tash from the kids ward at the hospital and Hawthorn Football Club for allowing us to have such a special day.  Thanks also to Simone and Alison for taking photos for us.  You both captured some awesome moments.
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