Memories cherished as memories are made.

I have just returned from a wonderful week in beautiful Wales.

I have loved every minute of it, from the beautiful sunsets to the endless beaches.

Its been a truly wonderful week.

It was a week I so needed, time to recharge and refresh my mind.

Time to allow the words to form and the passages to write.

I am feeling stronger that ever.

My heart and mind are on the same path.

This holiday was the first time I have gone back to this area of Wales without Livvy.

I honestly believed that it was going to have to be another first without her.

Yet it wasn’t because as I have enjoyed the views, cherished the sunsets and loved the ocean I have felt Livvy everywhere.

Memories cherished as memories made.

Dogemals 2015 Newquay 2015 west wales 2015

My word for 2015

So as we start the new year I have been thinking a lot about the word I wish to lead me through the next 365 days.

The word that will represent all my hopes and prayers for 2015.

It isn’t easy finding one word which fits all your plans and ideas.

Still after thinking  hard for a while I am going to go with the word.

 

dream

2015 is going to be my year of dreams.

This is a big step out of the ordinary for me.

You see I have never really allowed myself to dream.

Broken promises, painful situations and a lot of disappointment made me believe that dreams were for others and not for me.

It was something I accepted as just life.

I could hope but I couldn’t dream.

I was never the girl who dreamed of her wedding day.

Of the children she would have or career she would achieve.

Anxiety and disbelief stole away my dreams.

I cannot get excited for an event or a holiday until I am actually there and as for promises, well maybe we shouldn’t go there.

But this year is going to be different.

I am going to allow myself to dream and I’m going to see my dreams fulfilled.

I am going to dream that I can and will achieve my goals.

I will attend university.

I will move forward with this blog.

I will further my writing career.

I will put myself forward more.

I will look in the mirror and like what i see.

I will believe in me.

2015 you are my year to dream.

Its scary but it’s time.

All together

My daughter returns from university today and yes I am so excited to see her.

So why did a friendly comment feel like I had been punched in the stomach?

My friend said “ I bet you are excited to have all the family back together’.

How simple and true is this comment.

Yes i am excited.

But my family will not all be back together.

You see there will always be a missing piece,

missing piece

 

An empty place at the table.

A pile of presents that have not been bought.

On Christmas day only three of my girls will be celebrating it here with me.

Heaven holds the celebration for the other.

I want to say that i’m ok about it all, that i can be happy and enjoy the season but I can’t.

The ache in my heart is getting stronger and stronger as we head towards the 25th.

I hate that on Christmas day I have to visit the crematorium, that the only gift I can give to my daughter is flowers on her stone.

I want the air to echo with her laughter, the harmony of my four beautiful girls to play.

Yet all i can hear is the silence of the missing note.

Christmas is a special time of year, I love the wonder of it all.

The excitement that builds in peoples hearts.

The joy of giving , the love that is shared.

Christmas is a time for celebration and I promise I will try.

Still I hope that it will be ok, that sometimes through this season i disappear.

Disappear to a place where i can allow the tears to fall.

Where I can allow the missing to show upon my face.

Because I cannot pretend all the time.

I just don’t have the strength.

I need to give my heart freedom.

Freedom to grieve my beautiful missing daughter.

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.

livvy3

 

 

I need to change my go to.

What do you do when life seems crazy and you feel like it’s all to much?

Do you have ways of calming yourself down, meditation, prayer or maybe wine?

I’m not really sure I have a method.

I seem to carry on and carry on until I have to sleep with complete exhaustion.

Only yesterday I realised I do something else when life gets stressful.

I pull away.

My phone stays silent,.

I ignore the notifications and I only communicate as and when.

It’s as if I can only cope with so much that I’m scared to open up in case it becomes more.

Yet in doing this I find myself alone, lonely.

It wasn’t always like this.

Something happened last year which left me hurting terribly.

It took away my naivety

It took away my trust

And why I have tried not to let it have a hold over me I realise it has.

My closing off and pretending I’m ok Is literally locking out those who wish to be there for me.

[Tweet “Punishing many for the few.”]

I apologise to those I have shied away from.

I see now all you were trying to do is be there for me.

I am truly grateful.

I can’t promise I won’t hold back or close off anymore.

[Tweet “But I can promise I will try.”]

 

It’s my birthday

Today is my birthday I am 38 years old.

I cannot believe how amazing my 37th year has been.

I have finally found me.

That sounds crazy doesn’t it.

How do you lose yourself?

I don’t think i  actually ever lost myself because I don’t believe i had ever found myself before.

For so long I have tried to be who I perceived others wanted me to be.

Hiding my heart to keep others happy.

But its not honest and its certainly not a way to live.

 
I will be ok when I get my degree.

I will be better when I lose weight.

I will become nicer.

I will try to be kinder.

More open, more trusting

A better mom.

A better wife.

 

My list became endless and always out of reach.

 

No more.

 
I finally can see that.

I am kind hearted

I am a good friend.

Good mom.

Good wife.

I am beautiful.

I am so loved.

 
What a year!!!

I wish it hadn’t took 37 years to get to this place but hey ho I am here.

I am so excited to see what my 38th year will bring me.

I already have exciting things planned.

I mean I’m modelling for goodness sake.

Whatever happens I know it will be fun and filled with love, laughter and friendship.

What more can this birthday girl ask??

 

graphics-happy-birthday-161793

 

Sometimes you have to fight to be happy.

Someone once told me that “happiness is a choice”.

I’m not sure if I fully grasped at the time what they meant but over the last five years I have had to choose.

Choose to be happy. 

You see emotions are like waves, sometime’s they can be calm and peaceful.

Yet at moments they can be raging against the elements, wild and unforgiving.

waves

 

Grief especially is a whirlpool.

It tries it’s hardest to suck you down into the depths of despair.

So I have had to fight.

Fight to be happy.

And you know what thats ok.

I’ve learned a great lesson in life

That happiness isn’t a given.

You have to look for it

At times you really have to search for it.

You have to remind yourself that darkness is only the absence of light.

So you have to look for that light.

I call that light hope.

I find the light in my children’s laughter.

Listening to their plans and dreams for the future.

It’s there in memories that I hold dear to my heart.

Never forgetting the strength and courage of the one I have lost.

I find my light in the knowledge that life is for living.

That I have to make each moment count.

It’s there in the promise that one day I will hold my daughter again.

Sometimes life gets does get hard and I find myself fighting against the waves.

Frightened that I’m drowning.

But I still search for the light.

The promise of a new day.

The chance to make another memory.

I remind myself that although the whirlpool will never leave me.

I don’t have to let it consume me.

Keep swimming

Ride the waves

Tomorrow is always a chance for hope.

tomorrow

Choose happiness 

 

 

 

It’s not where you come from.

It not where you come from it’s where you belong.

I listened to this song the other day and I just fell apart. The words hit my heart and like a dam breaking inside of me the tears began to fall.

Journeying through life isn’t easy but it’s a lot harder when you don’t have the basic support structure behind you.

Family, friends, community.

These are what guides you and lifts you through the struggles of life.

Yes they may be times when one to two of these break but then hopefully the others step up and fill the gap.

Yet as a foster carer I know that sometimes this structure completely falls apart. For various reasons children find themselves in…

Need of a home.

in

Need of a family.

in

Need of friends

and In

Need of a community.

My heart has broken listening to stories of kids growing up not knowing where they will be tomorrow.

Children scared of making friends because tomorrow they may be somewhere else.

This is why I love my job.

I get to be that structure for a child in need.

I get to love upon and help them to understand that they are loved.

Teach them that they deserve love and most of all they are safe.

I get to be family,friends and community to a child in need.

Each day children are taken into care and the need for foster carers has risen dramatically over the years.

It’s not an easy job, time after time you will find yourself being rejected.

But it’s not about you.

It’s about a child .

A child whose world had changed.

A child who is scared to trust.

A child in fear.

Yet being a foster carer is also one of the best jobs in the world.

You get to change a child’s life.

You get to make a difference.

What could be more amazing than that?

Its not where you come from it’s where you belong.

 

 

 

 

Speak life

I watched this video yesterday and loved it . The message is so simple and so true.

Words can heal.

Words can wound.

Words can make a day brighter.

Words can surround one in darkness.

Words can build one up.

Words can tear one down.

Words spoken.

Words typed.

Words in any form are powerful.

Choose your words carefully

and

Choose to speak life.

 

 

 

We are all in this together.

Throughout our lives we find ourselves becoming parts of communities, part of set groups or to use the sociology term subcultures.

Be it a group of work colleagues , all the technicians together. Be it a parenting group, parents of two year olds please hang here. We come together through shared experiences or passions.

We are never really ever only in one group, different aspects of our lives play into different groups.

Myself I belong to many, parents of teenagers, parents of 12 year olds, foster parents and also the one group I really wish I never had to join parents who have lost a child.

All these groups I am proud to be part of but one thats on my heart right now is parents of children with special needs, especially as I like to call them my Special Kids in the UK family.

This is one amazing group, you find us  in all shapes and sizes . We have varying beliefs and certainly different personalities. Our children have different conditions even with the same diagnoses or in some cases no diagnoses.

So what makes this group rather special?

We can bitch and moan as good as it gets but when one of us is hurting we stand along side them.

If you were my friend on Facebook today you would see that my news feed is full of pictures of Minnie mouse. These pictures are our way of showing one of our members that we stand beside her. Most us wish that we could literally be standing beside her tomorrow as she lays to rest her beautiful son. We wish we could swap our virtual hugs for real squeezy ones.

Thinking of you xxx
Thinking of you xxx

But we cannot,

Life, children and distance keeps us separated. Yet nothing will stop us thinking and sending our love and wishes in support, compassion and remembrance tomorrow.

This same group right now are also sending prayers and healing to children in hospital. Sending strength to parents who are utterly exhausted. Families that are at breaking point.

At times we cannot offer more than the words “I’m here”  but believe me over the years those words have meant a great deal.

I am blessed to be a member of this group. For over the last 8 years they have been my strength. I have made friends whose friendship goes over and beyond the fact that we are special needs parents.

When I lost Livvy one of the crazy worries I had in my head was that I would lose these friends. How wrong was I, our children may have been what introduced us but they aren’t what bind us.

Maybe our binds are forged in exhaustion, endless battles with professionals and way to many late nights. Maybe they were joined in the many melt downs and medical jargon and repetitive forms.

Who knows, who cares, regardless of the why there is simply the just is.

I am so thankful to be part of this unique subculture to know and to share my life with these crazy people. At times I am not sure I would have coped without one or many of the group members.

Together we have faced the worst.

I am so grateful that one day many years ago I stumbled upon a small yahoo group. I have watched in grow over the last 8 years watched the number of members change from the tens into the thousands.

Being a member of this group means that although we may be facing uncertain futures with our children. We are never facing them alone.

We are all in this together.