Sunday, 9 October 2016

5 Years

All this week Facebook has been sending me notifications of my memories of our last week in hospital with Noah.  I often feel like I'm doing okay but it's hard when I see old photos pop up and things I had written about him being in ICU such as 'they are giving Noah a 50/50 chance but his doctor is optimistic that he will surprise us once again' or 'Noah had a better day today' but I know that just a few days later he passed away. 

Anniversaries and birthdays don't make me as sad or anxious as they used to, but they can still be hard so I like to keep busy to keep my mind off things as much as possible. I'm not sure if it's a good coping strategy or not because you still have to deal with everything at some stage, but it helps me get through a hard day.

I've actually found that it's not always the day that is the hardest, but the lead up to an anniversary or birthday that is harder.   I knew I wanted to make sure we did something fun which included just getting away to make the five year anniversary of Noah's death a little bit easier.

I had been keeping my eye on the weather all week as we have had two weeks of school holidays and we have had lots of rain for probably half of that! I couldn't believe my luck when I saw that yesterday and today was going to be perfect weather.  On Thursday night I asked Alison if there was any chance that she could have Milly for us if we decided to go away for a night (whose stupid idea was it to get a dog!?) and luckily she could (thanks Alison!) , so I jumped online and started looking for somewhere to stay on the East Coast of Tassie.  We've always loved going there with Aaron and Noah and the beach always makes me feel so much better, so I knew I wanted to stay somewhere close to the water.

We found a great place at Swansea and headed off yesterday to stay for the night.
Unfortunately all the water views were booked up, but we had a lovely little place and this was the view just 50 metres from where we were staying.
We headed straight to the beach.

Harri and Kobe couldn't wait to play with the footy.

And Jay did what he usually does and headed for the rocks :)

When I checked in the lady told me that they had just filled the pool and that the water was freezing, but the boys were welcome to go for a swim if they wanted.  Even though it's spring and the weather is warming up, it's definitely not swimming weather, but Harri and Kobe were so keen to jump in. I knew they wouldn't last long, but told them they could go for it if they wanted.   Harri yelled 'you only live once!' as he jumped straight in! I think the temperature shocked him at first and he said it was freezing, but they got used to it and lasted about fifteen minutes.

We then jumped in the car and went to Bicheno for a drive as we love it there.  We went to the blow hole first.

These two crack me up, and embarrass Jay a lot! : )

 We had a quick play at the playground before grabbing fish and chips for tea.

The water was absolutely icy but Kobe was so keen to go in.

The boys loved having a night away and kept asking me if we could stay another night. If only it wasn't the end of school holidays!

 It was hard to leave this amazing view this morning.

Today we went to Freycinet National Park and stopped at Friendly Beaches first. It's one of my favourite beaches but it was so windy. 

 We had a quick stop in Coles Bay before we went to the Cape Tourville lookout.

Jay and I were laughing at the boys as they reminded us of all the Asian tourists who take their iPads around with them to take photos.

From the lookout we saw a couple of whales splashing around!

We then went on the hike to the Wineglass Bay Lookout. It's probably been three years since we have done it and although I was dying on the way up, it was a lot shorter than I remembered last time - probably because Kobe is so much older now and it's not as hard to do it with him. On the way there I was telling the boys about the time we went there with Aaron which was just a couple of weeks before he died, and at the time he was really struggling with the walk, but we didn't realise that it was because he was having problems with his heart - we just thought that he was grieving and really unfit. 
It was actually a really warm day and hiking up a mountain made it hot, so Kobe would stop whenever we would see a stream of water and water himself down.
Jay and Harii beat Kobe and I to the top by about 10 minutes as we are so unfit and also had lots of fun on the way.
 When we got to this seat Kobe yelled 'I remember this!! I sat on this chair with Dad! This brings back memories - it's in my photo book!'.  He was so happy to sit on there and I have no doubt that he only 'remembers' it because of the photo, but it was nice for him to have a memory of Aaron there.
It was nice to finally get to the top of the lookout.  We didn't have enough energy to go down the Wineglass Bay.  It actually felt a little strange and very bitter sweet to be doing something on the anniversary of Noah's death, that we never could've done as a family when he was alive.  If we ever wanted to do something like that, we either had to leave him at home with someone looking after him for us, or Aaron would volunteer to stay home, while I took the three boys.   We hated leaving Noah home while the rest of us went out, so we would often just choose not to do something if it meant we couldn't all go together.

I love that we can now do things like this, but also hate it because it means that Noah isn't here with us.  It was a lovely day and we had some fun, but I also felt really angry that I've been ripped off spending time with Aaron and can't do things like this with him.  We always knew that Noah would pass away one day, and we had talked about the things that we would one day do together when that time came, but we always said that we didn't even want to think about that time, because we would choose to have Noah with us forever if we could.

I only have four months to do things like this with Aaron without feeling bad that we had left Noah at home, and during that time we were grieving so much that we didn't even want to think about doing 'fun' things.  We thought we had years and years together to hike as many mountains as we wanted. I couldn't help but feel angry today that this isn't the case - especially when I saw so many couples hiking together. 

Luckily I have these three that I can do things like this with, but it isn't the same as doing it with my best friend.
While we were walking my friend Simone sent me a text with this cute photo of her son Flynn.   He had chosen a cactus to put at Noah's grave because it didn't need water.
On the way home we stopped at the cemetery to visit Noah and Aaron's graves.  Even though it's been five years since he passed away, it only seems like a few.  We miss him so much. It's hard to imagine life with him here still.
 It was lovely to get home to some flowers at our door from Simone.
I was so glad that we were able to have such beautiful weather and could get away and have some fun.  I'm sure Noah turned on the weather again for us.  

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