We all had our own thoughts about Harry over Christmas. Callum could remember building sand castles on the beach with Harry and talked about him too, which was lovely to hear, but painful too, as it enhanced our miss of him. I felt close to Harry in Whitby and I am sure he was swirling above us smiling. I had thought we would have some sought of ceremony to acknowledge Harry, but this wasn't needed as we acknowledged him constantly. The weather was kind to us and Callum just loved going on the beach everyday. Getting out for a Christmas Day walk at Sandsend was refreshing and lovely too. The change of scenery was definitely good for us.
On our return Paul then commenced a set of 6 shifts. I saw other members of the family with Callum, then headed to Derby for New Year's Eve. Since paul was working nights I took the opportunity to visit Kate and her little girl Eva. Callum gets on well with Eva, being of similar age and he really enjoyed having company. My aim was to return home New Year's Day, until I slipped backwards on the ice and fell back on my head. This was a frightening experience and all I could think of was that I was going to have a brain haemorrhage or in time I will develop a brain tumour! Well, when the inevitable has happened ie childhood cancer, the unlikely does happen. I was also acutely aware that though I miss Harry and want to see him again, actually I feel he is in a good place now and my journey on earth needs to continue as Callum needs me more! I was checked out at A and E, seen pretty quickly due to the nature of the injury and returned to Kate's for another night. So new year started with a bang!
January is a strange month, one where dark mornings and nights continue, the hype of Christmas over and spring seems long awaited.
For us though, January symbolises something new, the month Harry's cancer grew silently, paralysed him from the waist down and really was the beginning of the end. Tonight, one year ago, I thought we had months still ahead of us as a family of 4, but 72 hours later Harry was in trouble, he'd lost the feeling in his legs.
Grief has it's twists and turns, just as I feel upbeat, I am suddenly struck down by pangs of heart ache. We take baby steps and try and get through each day. I know the next few months are not going to be easy as we relive Harry's last few weeks with us. I miss Harry more than ever at the moment, the true realisation that he has gone forever, yes he lives on in our hearts, but never being able to cuddle or kiss him again is truly sad. I also remember the battle to keep on top of Harry's pain those very last weeks and how Harry couldn't tolerate being cuddled. He always reminded us so very frequently how much he loved us.
Callum is an inspiration and he makes me smile. He is learning to live with his grief too and can become angry and upset at times, right out of the blue. He so very much treasures Becky and Bumbi - Harry's toy dogs, in fact they are going to get married and we have to make them outfits!
I am also beginning to realise how much Harry meant to his friends. They still very much miss him. For some of Harry's friends who had know him since birth, he was a constant. These children have had to face loss and bereavement at such a young age, one where emotions are mixed and misunderstood. They have also had to learn that humans can die at any age and this fact has for some unsettled them and meant they have become aware of their own mortality at an age where playing should be the main agenda.
I have also become aware how much harry's death has impacted on our friends too. I realise that there is a sadness amongst many of us. I don't know what to do about this or how to move on at times. The journey of grief is a steep learning curve. We are still climbing that massive mountain to recovery. At present it feels like we are stumbling, slipping and sliding in the mud, at times we manage to get a grip and take giant leaps forwards and other days, the rain sets in and the mud thickens and we slide down a few feet. I realise it is still early days and we need to be kind to ourselves.
I have therefore entered myself along with 10 other mum's into the major series challenge on March 15 th. It is a 5 km assault course run by the army! March 15 th is Mother's Day and what better way to ensure I don't end up in an emotional heap missing Harry, but to honour his memory, by completing this challenge in aid of Candlelighters and Martin House! I may end up in a physically exhausted muddy heap by the end, but I am told it is exhilarating! Watch this space to find out more! We are also getting organised for Harry's ball on Aoril 25 th. Tickets are £40 each and the event is being held at The Craiglands Hotel. We are collecting money in thick and fast, so get your names down if you want to attend.