Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Nearly 1 year on

Next week on the 8 th April will be the date that signifies the first anniversary of Harry's death. At 7.40 pm harry took his last breath. Having re read some of the entries I have written over the last year  i can say that I have come along way in 12 months. Some days the pain is so intense and our miss of harry is as roar as it was the day he died, but I suppose it would be true to say the length of time these phases last has decreased. The waves not quite as ferrocious as they were. The loss becomes something different at times, the loss of dreams. The loss of our family of 4. The loss of what was supposed to be. The loss of seeing harry grow up and be a year older. The loss of managing sibling rivalry, the loss of the sound of laughter between 2 boys that loved each other so much. The loss of hearing how Harry would be doing at parents evening. The knowledge that he will be forever 6. We watch his friends grow and we will never see Harry grow. Harry's favourite theme will always be pirates. He will always love lego, listening to One Direction and pretending to play air guitar. Time will stand still in terms of Harry's favourite things, whilst his peers will have constantly changing fads and obsessions. 

Our ball to be held on April 25 th has a pirate theme to honour Harry's love of all things piratey! The ball will mark the first anniversary of Harry's death. We have a massive treasure chest that has been filled 2 inch deep with 200 bags of chocolate gold coins, to be a centre piece on our sweetie table! That's a lot of loot for our guests to get their hands on. We still have tickets if anyone wants to cone, but need the money in for the 10 th April. I hasten to add it is NOT fancy dress!

We have thought lots about whether we have another child, to make us a family of 4 again. There is no definitive answer, but the thought of going back to having babies is not something I feel ready for or even want in the future. The truth is that since Harry was born 7 years ago I have never had much me time. Callum was born when Harry was age 2, which proved very challenging at times, managing a toddler and a baby. Callum was always so determined, not a content baby and not one that slept well. Very early mornings was the order of the day for several years. Just as life seemed to be settling down post our house move and the boys became able to play more contentedly together and I could sit and have a cuppa, cancer rolled up and swept us off our feet. Cancer turned our world upside down. Suddenly it felt like we had a new born again as the effects of treatment meant we constantly had sleepless nights attending to Harry. Often vomit bowl at the ready. Post treatment and when Harry had relapsed, cancer itself caused many side effects, such as pain and managing this was a full time job some days. The emotional rollercoaster of dealing with this for 2.5 years meant we were fatigued beyond imaginable by most. Thus, going into motherhood again as I begin to reclaim my life a bit just for me, seems extremely scary. Paul's shifts mean I spend a lot of time as a single parent. This is ok now as Callum and I can have such fun and adventures. Having a baby in tow would make planning outings more difficult and challenging. Callum could feel left out, or he could feel like the grown up brother. He has said that he wants a brother, but aged between 3-7 and he should be called Harry! If we were to have another baby then it should be a boy not a sister! We could adopt, but I don't think we feel in a position to take on the challenges of someone else's child, probably being age 3 plus. Our finances were always geared up to having lower child care fees as the boys grew, to set against the fact our mortgage grew with the house move. A baby would mean we had no spare money again.
However, a baby could bring new hope, new meaning to our family. Callum would have a sibling and though the age gap would be great compared to what we set out to achieve, when Callum is older he could very much appreciate having a sibling. In some ways I feel robbed of enjoying Callum as a toddler, due to having spent so much time with Harry in hospital or managing his needs at home. My patients was curbed by the fatigue I felt from managing Harry. However, I have a very special relationship with Callum now and he will openly say he has the best mummy and daddy a boy could wish for!
Currently we are enjoying adventures away in our caravan. We have a holiday in Turkey to look forward to. A holiday we felt unable to book last year or able to enjoy. Callum is having swimming lessons and can now swim 20 meters without arm bands. He knows that we are going to Turkey, where there will be slides into the hotel pool. He is very excited about going as we are too. I have been buying summer clothes, having not had a holiday abroad in years. Apart from our day trip to Lapland, we last went abroad to Nice when Harry was age 1. This is therefore an adventure for us and a first to be going all inclusive! 
Our major series mud run raised over £1100 with gift aid for Candlelighters and Martin House. Thank you to all those that sponsored us. Our ball is on the horizon and we hope to raise lots more for Candlelighters and Nuzzlets farm. There is the possibility of another fundraising venture on the horizon too, which would be under the umbrella of Harry's legacy, this will take a few months to secure, but watch this space. 
Harry may have lived till he was only 6, but his memory will live on. 
This next couple of weeks will be hard to get through as the 1 st year of living without Harry draws to a close and the 2nd year begins. My memory gets in a tangle these days as I still think it was last year that we had great adventures with Harry, but the reality is that it was 2 years ago. The passage of time can be complex. Some days our adventures seem like yesterday and others they feel an eternity away. 
This time last year was truly, truly awful. Those days I think about, what Harry endured, I think about, but most of all I think about Harry's smile, his courage and his determination to the bitter end. 

Fly high Harry, we will always love you. Forever in our hearts and memories. You are still shaping the future as we raise money because of you, to help create a better path through the minefield that childhood cancer is, from diagnosis to beyond the ashes.