The best Christmas gift that wasn’t for me.

I have been so lucky this Christmas with some amazing presents. Yet my favourite gift was not one of mine, but it was one that really blessed my heart.

You see every Christmas my aunt and uncle sends gift envelopes for my girls. It is something they and I are completely grateful for. Also whichever foster child joins our family will also find themselves with a envelope with their name on Christmas morning.

This is so lovely and so appreciated,
Yet it’s isn’t these envelopes that really warm my heart.

It is the one that has still carried on coming every christmas for Livvy.

The sweet envelope with my beautiful daughters name is what makes my Christmas Day.

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Knowing that she isn’t forgotten.

It’s a just little envelope that holds so much more than the money inside it.

More than the flowers the money will buy.

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Losing a child is unbearable the shock comes first but then you are left with a lingering agonising pain.

It’s the pain of watching people move on with their lives that twists deep into your heart.

They move on without her.

I cannot bear the thought that Livvy will be forgotten and yes it’s something that causes such a panic within my heart.

So when this envelope comes along I am so grateful that my aunt and uncle are just taking a little time to say, “she isn’t forgotten”.

That for me is the best present ever.

Thank you Auntie & Uncle

Being thankful

Over on Facebook I have been seeing a lot of posts on thankfulness.

Mainly ones from my USA friends as they give thanks for things and people before their holiday of thanksgiving.

It has really set me thinking about giving thanks and especially this week as I face the anniversary of Olivia’s death.

I want to give thanks for those that were there when I really needed them..

Who were the light in my darkness.

Thank you …,

To my husband Alan for just holding me in your arms until I cried myself to sleep. To dealing with my pain on top of your own, for loving me unconditionally, through the anger and the sorrow. For still being there and for giving me the freedom to still now fall apart at times.

To my girls for being the reason I had to get up each day. For remembering your sister with laughter and for being so damn brave. You are my constant inspiration and your sister would be so proud of you all.

To my dad for the endless phone calls where you just listened. When I raged against the world and questioned why. Thank you for not trying to explain it but just being there. Even though your heart was broken too you put me first constantly.

My mom, siblings, step mum,in laws etc all of you walked this pathway with us. There was no answers to be given but there was so much love and I am truly grateful.

My friends,for just being there. Ange you just sat by my side when i couldn’t speak. Just holding my hand. For talking books and endless crap just to keep me sane thank you.

My Facebook friends, Rett mums and special needs mums thank you for just reaching out over the computer to just remind me that I wasn’t on my own. Flowers you sent to brighten my day, messages, emails all gave me strength.

Kelly you keep Livvy’s alive in ways I will always be grateful for. Not hiding her away but honouring her memory. I cannot tell you how much this has meant to me. Seriously there isn’t words. To your dear family too for just reaching out and loving on me.

For Compassionate friends the forum which was always open. Moms, dads who really understood the journey I was walking. For not promising it will be ok but reassuring me I would find my new normal. For still celebrating our children now . Never lost just missing. You have become some of my dearest friends. I so need to do a gathering soon.

To those who have supported Livvy’s Smile and all my Rett Syndrome awareness work your support gives me such strength and I give thanks.

To my blog readers for your emails, your comments encouraging me to keep writing to keep sharing my heart.

Thank you.

I have so much to be grateful for and whilst here in the UK we don’t celebrate thanksgiving I want to. I want to say thank you to those mentioned here and so many more for being by my side as I have walked through the pain of the last six years.

For your encouragement, your support and your friendship and love.

Losing Livvy changed me in ways I never could of imagined. I have learned the true value of life.

It’s not about money or fancy things it’s about love and friendship. The relationships we have with others.

I didn’t know what the new pathway would hold but I knew who would be there to walk alongside me.

For this I am truly thankful.

There is only one stage for me.

September has begun and i am simply a mess.

 

It could be holiday blues.

 

It could be just plain exhaustion.

 

Or it could be that I’m just so very p*ssed off.

 

Yesterday was the first day of the new school year and it should of been the day that Livvy started Year 11.

 

Its crazy to think my baby would have been 16 next year, when the truth is she didn’t get to see double figures.

 

I don’t know how to feel right now.

 

Anger

 

Grief

 

Numb

 

Its a variety of emotions that seem to move with the wind.

 

I close my eyes and I try so hard to imagine Livvy as a teenager.

 

What would she be like?

 

Would she still be the little rock chick, dancing her heart out to Guns n roses.

 

Or would she have continued down the road she started with her love of skulls and all things gothic.

 

I imagine her sitting in her chair in Dr Martens, or maybe Converse.

 

I just don’t know.

 

 

 

It’s breaking me apart right now.

 

The not knowing what she would be like.

 

The not getting the chance to make those memories.

 

I was robbed of my baby girl.

 

She was robbed of her future

 

And its just not blooming fair.

 

Denial

 

Anger

 

Bargaining

 

Depression

 

Acceptance

 

The five stages of grief,

 

What a joke.

 

Stages are something you work through.

 

You finish one and then move on.

 

I’m not moving on.

 

I miss my daughter so much.

 

For me there is only one stage of grief

 

Simply heartbroken.

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Scared she will be forgotten

I have a confession to share.

This week I have found myself really scared

Scared people will forget Olivia.

That as the years pass her beautiful smile is fading from people’s memories.

The fear actually causes my heart to race and my chest to tighten.

She cannot be forgotten

She cannot be allowed to slip from your minds.

You see my girl was amazing.

Yes I know all moms will say this about their children but Livvy she was truly inspirational.

Her courage

Her wit

Her strength 

Her life 

Changed every bit of me.

She taught me the value of the moment.

How precious the here and now is.

I learned to listen,

Really listen to the world around me.

The whisper of the wind

The harmony of a bird song.

She taught me freedom

To dance like no one is watching

To sing tuneless but with heart.

She taught me about love.

True unrelenting love.

The release of your whole soul to another.

Each day was a gift wrapped up in a lesson.

A lesson of love, 

A lesson of compassion

My girl she kept on giving when all had given up.

Kept on dreaming when others had awoke.

How can she be forgotten?

Please don’t forget my beautiful daughter.

Hold her in your hearts like the gift she is.

Dance in the rain and under the rainbow she will send.

Hug each other tight with all your hearts.

Make those memories each and everyday.

Be compassionate

Be loyal 

Be mischievous 

Live life in love 

Just like Livvy did.

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The song of loss

As I sit on the bench at Livvy’s special place. I just watch as people come to visit their loved ones.

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The elderly man who comes everyday to visit his wife. He bends tentatively to the ground laying his flowers for the lady he cared for through the last years of her life. The woman he had loved for over 50 years still loving upon her now.

The middle aged woman who tends the grave of her parents with the kindness they shown her throughout her life. Missing her moms sweet laughter ,her fathers sage advice.

The woman who tends the grave of her son who lies across from Livvy. She is there everyday still looking over him as mothers do. Her heart aching for a son who is now out of her reach.

All of us from different places from different lives but united in grief.

Our pain is there in our eyes for the whole world to see.

As we tend the graves of the ones we miss so desperately. Our hearts beat yet each missing a piece.

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Trying to move on in a life we can never fully connect too. A life that is full of shadows of the ones we grieve for.

I lay Livvy’s yellow roses and as the sweet smell reaches my nose my heart is burning. Burning with the missing.

I look at her photo, that smile that I ache for everyday.

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Those eyes so full of mischief never to hold my gaze again.

I look up with tears as the old man gently taps my arm.

It’s doesn’t get easier” he says. I cannot answer for the words are lost in my throat.

No it doesn’t get easier. Over time I guess we learn to carry our burden a little higher.Hiding the pain in a way that makes people think we are healing.

But a broken heart doesn’t heal. It just beats to a different drum.

The grief march.

A tune no one wishes to learn.

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Yet one that once you know will haunt your soul.

The notes of missing

The notes of longing.

The notes of pain.

The song of loss.

Four Years

Somedays I can reach out to a photo and almost touch her. I close my eyes and smell her sweet baby powder aroma.

She isn’t gone,

it was all a horrid dream

My baby is still here with me.

But those somedays are few, for the most part she is out of my reach.

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Like a memory balancing on the edge of a cliff waiting for that one gust of wind to allow it to fall into the abyss of forgetting.

The mind is an amazing thing but at times it goes into protection mode to allow you to survive.
To stay in that emotion filled place is impossible your sanity wouldn’t survive.
So your mind protects, defends and shields your heart.

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It’s been four years since that devestating morning.

Four years since we last witness that beautiful smile or heard that infectionious giggle.

Four years since my heart laid shattered into millions of pieces.

I’m still numb, still praying it is just a evil nightmare.

People ask the question “how do you cope?”

What a misnomer, who is coping? I’m surviving simply by grace alone.

Holding on to my girls as the breathe I need for my lungs.

Holding on to my husband as the strength I need to get out of bed each morning.

Holding on.

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My heart is in protection mode and there is will stay because I cannot live in that place.

That place of reality, that place of an untruth.

Because She isn’t gone, she is just out of reach for a while.

I hold on to the promise

I hold on to the gift of eternity.

One day I will hold her again.

One day I will be reunited

One day forever will be ours.

One day the pieces of my heart will be restored.

So I’m holding on

Holding on for that one day.

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Four years may seem like a lifetime but it will be a blink of an eye in eternity.

I miss you Miss Olivia Georgia, not a moment goes by when I don’t, but one day my precious daughter we will be together again and nothing, nothing will part us.

Love you to the moon, stars and back Liv Biv my beautiful precious girl.

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