You raised me right.

Hey Dad,

You would have turned seventy this month. That’s right 7-0.

Seventy on the seventh.

I still remember your face when your walked into the restaurant for your surprise 60th that Mum threw for you.  I remember the tears of gratitude that filled your eyes as you looked around the room and saw all your family and friends sitting there just to celebrate you. I never imagined that it would be your last big party.

To be honest – I am still pretty angry that you had to leave us.

I know that eight years on people are probably thinking that I should be past the anger stage by now, but every now and then it comes in like a giant tidal wave and completely wipes me out with such intensity.

And I never ever see it coming so I’m never fully prepared.

I never used to swear this much. And I never used to struggle with the massive anxiety that I have had ever since the strongest and most loving man I ever knew closed his eyes for the last time on this earth.

Death really sucks big ones.

Right now, it’s Sunday afternoon and I’m sitting in my driveway in my car that’s got an empty petrol tank that I couldn’t be bothered filling.

The engine is on and I expect it to die very soon but I need the air conditioning turned on because I can’t open the windows due to the shouting I’ve been doing, and the manic banging of my fists on the passenger seat in total frustration.

Its all slightly insane but oddly cathartic to be so geographically close to my family but so far away emotionally.

They haven’t found me yet and I’m not ready to go inside and adult or parent. I want to get this out of me before I explode and end up hurting someone else by reflex.

The grief is crippling me at this moment and I just don’t know what else to do with it so I’ll scream until I lose my voice or one of the neighbours calls the police.

I kid of course .. Writing to you is calming me. It’s helping me feel heard and valued.  It’s allowing me to purge this anger a little and make room for the peace that my soul craves.

I’ve become a bit of an expert at pretending, but Mum knows the truth. She wants me to go and get some grief counseling.  But I just don’t know that I can ever trust another counsellor again after the marriage counselling went catastrophically badly and almost ruined me.  Ruined us – ruined my hope and my belief in human nature.

I want to go back on the medication that I despise because I need to once again be numb.

I need to not feel so much and I need to be able to function again.

I’m going to be ok Dad, don’t worry about me.

But I would give anything to have you put your arms around me one more time and tell me that ‘God’s got this kiddo’.

Because Sunday’s are always the worst day of the week for me. I just can’t do church anymore – I can’t keep pretending for the sake of not making other people feel awkward at my outbursts.

So I’m going to sit here in this hot car and wait for Jesus to come meet me where I’m at.

Because that’s what you would have told me to do. Because you raised me right .

I love you. I always have and I always will.

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This was your 40th dad. The age I am now

 

Until Next Time….

Well Hey! Hi, How’s it going? What’s happening? Is it as good as they say it is up there? Have you been reading the letters I’ve written you? Does God pass on my messages? You know I ask him to, like – all the time?

Today begins a new year, twenty sixteen – can you believe that? Yep – 16, the age your firstborn grandchild turns this year. The daughter I brought home from the hospital on your birthday all those years ago. Speaking of birthdays – you would’ve been 70 this year. Time flies huh?

Remember when I was chatting to you out loud the other day – when I was driving between jobs – when I cried that messy, ugly cry and had to pull the car over on the side of the motorway until I managed to pull myself together enough to continue driving? Yeah well – that situation worked itself out with a few well-timed phone calls, apologizing, begging and whatnot.

Thanks for listening to me and not judging me on that one. A hug certainly would’ve helped but – you know – kinda difficult with you being up there in heaven and me being here and all….

I miss your cuddles the most. The ones where you’d pull that face and extend your arm and say: “Come here kiddo, it’s gonna be ok” and you’d pull me close and wrap me in a bear hug and kiss the top of my head. Somehow, that used to make me feel safe and protected no matter what storm raged around me.

I don’t get hugs like that anymore, no one in my life seems to be ‘huggers’ like we both were. I’ve taken to sometimes hugging my teddy in my bedroom because none of my kids care for the kind of hugs that I need.

Pathetic right?

Yeah, well …

OK.

I guess it is what it is.

*shrug*

I really miss your words too, I miss being told that you thought I was beautiful, and smart, and clever, and when you told me what a brilliant mother I was, I believed you. I think that’s because you were (and still are) the only man in my life who never ever hurt me. You were the only man who was brave enough to show me all your emotions and your love was never conditional.

Sure, I was often difficult, and unreasonable and often moody, but your love for me never waivered.

I’m going to start running again this year, I have a lot of pesky kilos that have sneakily crept onto my frame and this year I’m going to be kinder to myself. It’s time to stop making excuses and look after my own health and my mind better than I have done to date. I was pretty neglectful of me in 2015 and that really needs to stop. I need to do something for me – just for me – and not for anyone else. It’s my turn this year.

We just finished another Christmas.

It was hard.

Christmas is always hard now you’re gone. I miss your ‘Dad jokes’ and the way you’d have to stretch those paper hats to their capacity to get them to stretch over your big ol’ noggin. I miss the silly selfies we’d take together long before selfies even became a thing. Way before iPhones existed and Instagram and Facebook were even invented.

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I miss the way you’d get so excited – just like a little kid – when you opened your gifts and how you would drive us all crazy with anticipation as you felt every square inch of your gift trying to guess the contents before removing a single piece of tape.

You’d shake it and turn it this way and that, and smell it before finally deciding to open the damn thing and put us all out of our misery!

You saw it as part of the fun of Christmas. You really were a big kid at heart. And that was one of my favourite things about you.

I loved that you were the only person who could pull me out of a bad mood successfully. You wouldn’t stand for my grumps and you’d call me on it every time. But you did it with a tenderness and compassion that I’ve never found since. You were the first person to ever tell me when I was being a bitch, and you will probably be the only person who would get away with it even to this day!

Grief, is a funny thing. I’ve learnt that it’s not just a matter of going through the seven stages and then being miraculously cured for the rest of time. No, grief is very much a cyclical thing. The cycle I’m currently in is a painful one, but I know that I’ll get through it because, I always do.

I thought I’d be doing better by now. I mean, it’s been almost 8 years since you left, but there are still a LOT of days that leave me struggling to cope. I spend a lot of time and energy pushing people out of my life because I’m frightened to let anyone close again.

Pretty screwed up hey?

Anyhow, it’s time to take another step forward. Time to throw myself at God’s feet (again) and let Him continue the healing process.

I’m ok, don’t worry about us. Mum takes great care of us all and I know she misses you as much as I do, but we understand that it was your time to go.

It just sucks is all.

Have fun running through those streets of gold and stay out of mischief.

Love you Dad,

Your Fi xx


 

Beauty Will Rise

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Springtime has long been linked with new beginnings and the end of a cold, dark oppressive period. (The winter) I was looking over some old letters today (because I’m very sentimental like that) and came across a beautiful ditty in a card that my best friend’s Mum wrote to me about this time two years ago. It still very much speaks to me.

It’s in the winter that the trees shed their leaves, and look bare and even unattractive.  However, under the ground the roots are drawing nutrients, growing bit by bit, and becoming more secure and able to hold the following spring’s “leafed tree” more securely afterwards.  I remember telling myself MANY times: “In the winter, the roots go down.” Spring is on its way!!!

I was reminded of a song written by Steven Curtis Chapman following the untimely and accidental death of his daughter Maria.

The tragic loss almost caused him to quit the music industry and give up completely. But during the grief that he endured in the many painful months afterwards, he wrote the song “Beauty Will Rise”

‘Cause I have seen the signs of spring

Just watch and see

Out of these ashes,

Beauty will rise

And we will dance among the ruins

We will see it with our own eyes

Out of this darkness

New life will shine

And we’ll know joy is coming in the morning

He didn’t give up nor did he allow difficult and painful circumstances to shape him or dictate how his future was going to be.

He chose to allow beauty to rise from the ashes of death both physical and metaphorically.

It is September and the first official month of Spring here in Australia and I am starting to see new life sprout in the form of progress in my children and a new hope for my future. During the winter periods the roots DID in fact go down, in fact, they went down very deeply. They have been drawing nutrients and life saving water reserves and already I’m starting to see newer and fresher foliage appear.

 

 

Psalm 1:3 He shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water. That brings forth its fruit in its season. Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

 

I can’t help but be excited about whats in store for us.

Five years later….

Dads eulogy

Another year without you Dad,

Twelve months of  ‘life goes on’,

And yes – it does, despite being sad,

I’m learning that’s NOT wrong.

~

It’s hardest when the memories come,

And take me by surprise,

The smallest thing pulls me undone,

And tears pour from my eyes.

~

But memories can bring laughter too,

And cheerfulness heals pain,

Remembering the pranks you’d do,

Has me giggling and smiling again.

~

You taught me how to be my best,

You showed me how to laugh,

To trust in God whatever the test,

And to always follow my heart.

~

You taught me that life’s greatest things,

Are people – not possessions,

And showed me how much joy it brings

To love life’s little lessons.

~

I’m thankful for the times we had,

I’ll cherish them forever,

Those thirty-two years I called you ‘Dad’,

They couldn’t have been any better.

 

 

Love you Dad.

 

5 years today.  XX ♥ XX

Frozen.

Has anyone heard that saying that goes something like this:

The little things that annoy you the most about a person are the things that you miss the most when they’re gone?

Yeah?

Well that.

And I realised how very true this is when I was out shopping today. I was on my phone chatting with my Mum like I do every day and we were talking about my blog post from last night. Mum was telling me that she was sorry that she never knew the extent of how much I hated school and how bad it really was for me, and I told her that it’s all ok because I never told her and Dad much about any of it anyway.

I finished the call and hung up and my mind was replaying the conversation in my head as I walked along.  I was mulling things over when I heard a deep male voice behind me give a hearty chuckle and make a comment to his wife and I froze. I stopped so abruptly that I caused the man and his wife to crash into me.

I fumbled my way around an apology and turned around and stared at him trying to make sense of the short man in his mid 50s with a long beard, bandana and dozens of tattoos that stood in front of me. He looked at me awkwardly and asked me if I was ok and I must have convinced him that I was because he smiled and continued on his way.

I remember watching his retreating back and trying to shake myself out of the trance I was in but realised that my brain wasn’t connecting to my feet and they weren’t going anywhere. I then noticed that other people were walking around me and I reached up and felt the hot tears that were slowly starting to make their way down my cheek. I wanted to run away but I couldn’t. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t get any words out.

I was acutely aware that people were staring at me curiously but I was still firmly planted in the same spot. I stood there for about five minutes just crying and sobbing and looking like a complete idiot because I was so overcome by unexpected emotion.

It was almost like I was watching myself on a screen. I was so removed from that moment that it actually really frightened me.

***

My Dad used to say a lot of funny things and he also used to say a lot of things that embarrassed us a lot when we were teenagers – like most Dads do I’m sure.

He was a stickler for “dad jokes” and when he adopted the vernacular of the youth of our era it would drive us CRAZY! He took a long time to learn the correct context for the phrase “sucked in” and “cool beans” was another favourite that we hated.

But the quote that he used most frequently that used to make both my sister and I absolutely cringe was the one that the man in the shopping centre used today. “The name’s Billy not silly”. And I don’t know why but for some reason, when Dad said that  it would always make me want to hide under a rock. It grated on me big time.

It’s will be 5 years this February since that nasty cancer took Dad from us and I honestly thought that I was doing ok, but the human brain is a complex thing and it plays tricks on us at times. Somehow the phrase that man uttered triggered enormous grief in me and I plunged into fright mode. And that’s never happened to me before so it was a very scary experience to have had but I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what Harley’s body does when he is thrust violently into a painful situation.

I mean…everyday things that most people take for granted are enormously overwhelming to a child like him. Most of us don’t notice the sound of the flickering fluorescent lights at the mall; all we hear is the laughter and chatter of the crowds.

Most of us don’t recognise the tune playing over the PA within the first 2 bars of the song, in fact we probably aren’t consciously aware that there is even music at all. Most of us can walk along and chat with a friend without scanning the centre for imminent dangers constantly and are able to enjoy the experience somewhat. And I doubt that many people have to count the tiles on the floor or how many shades of a colour are in a rack of clothing or recite phrases to themselves over and over just so that they can keep on top of their anxiety and not freeze up from fear when they are out shopping.

But these are all the kinds of things that Harley has to do so that his body doesn’t make him do crazy things. Every single time. Sometimes he’s not even sure himself what sets him off just that he is freaking out and can’t stop it or make his body obey him.

Today was certainly a huge learning curve for me and it’s made me appreciate just how much courage it takes for my boy to even enter a shopping centre let alone endure an hour in there. I think he is truly amazing.  And I have even more respect for how hard he tries and how far he has come.

As for me?

I’ll be ok. I have wonderful memories and tons of photos to get me through.

Like this:

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Burnt Eggs and Cold Toast.

 One of the best phrases that I have heard regarding fatherhood is:

“The best gift a father can give his child is to love their mother”.

I remembered this quote this morning after my husband managed to pull me out of a deep pit despite the fact that it was he who had been hard done by and it was ‘supposed’ to be his day.

Today was Fathers Day in Australia and it started on a bad note with every single one of us forgetting it.

Gulp. Yep. Completely forgot.

You see, last night we had another family over for dinner and although it was a brilliant night….keeping our children up until 10:30 pm wasn’t our finest decision.

We had tired, cranky, objectionable youngsters today and neither of us of had had enough sleep ourselves to deal with them.

From about 2am onwards-we had an out-of-routine Harley in our bed and I couldn’t sleep with him there so went and slept in his bed to try and grab at least SOME shut eye! But as a result of this decision, I didn’t wake up this morning in the right bedroom to see the presents that the kids had laid out the night before to remind me that it was Daddy’s special day. *sigh*

I walked out to the kitchen at about 8am and Mr Patient was breaking up an argument between two very tired little boys and had obviously been stopped midway through un-stacking the dishwasher from last night. He looked tired himself and more than a little sad.

I walked up to our room to get my slippers and then I saw the gifts laid out and raced back to the kitchen to deliver my most heartfelt apologies. I rounded the kids up, tried to send him back to bed (he wouldn’t go as the thought of crumbs in the bed from breakfast made him squirm!) but we did manage to get him to sit down and unwrap his gifts.

While he opened them, I went over to the kitchen to start cooking his special breakfast. I heated up the pan to cook him eggs on toast as he’d requested but I burnt them and ruined the frypan in the process. It had to be thrown out it was that bad. The toast was cold and then when I tried to open the bottle of orange juice , I bumped it and accidently spilled it . Finally I overboiled the milk for his latte making the whole breakfast thing a complete disaster from the get-go.

It just wasn’t happening for me and it was NOT pretty but he ate and drank every last bite with a smile plastered on his face God bless him!
After I’d finished cleaning up the kitchen, I started to retreat to our bedroom to try and gather my thoughts. I was sinking fast and needed to escape my family at the risk of ruining the day further and I thought I’d escaped unnoticed but my husband found his often dormant intuitive side and followed me wrapping his strong arms around me.

I buried my head in his shoulder and the tears flowed. I cried and cried and cried all the while apologising because today was his day, not mine and that I didn’t want to take away from that. I apologised again for forgetting that it was fathers day and that I was ruining his day by being so overly emotional.

He kissed my forehead and sat me down on the edge of the bed and let me cry while he held me tight. He told me that I was being silly for feeling guilty and that I wasn’t stealing his thunder because he realised that I needed some space to grieve. He admitted that my Dad had left a big hole in his life as well and that he missed him every day too.

He told me that he knew that I had just had one of the hardest weeks of my entire life and that he wished he could make all the crap just go away permanently. He said that he wanted to be able to snap his fingers and remove all the stupid hurdles that have presented themselves to me and that he KNEW that no-one could make me laugh like my Dad did but that he would give it his best shot 🙂

He smiled and said that he thought the breakfast disaster this morning was funny and not to feel bad about it but to laugh because I’ve created a funny memory that we can always refer back to in future years. “It will go down in history as the funniest fathers day breakfast EVER! In years from now – the kids will be telling THEIR kids about that time that Grandma ruined Grandpa’s breakfast on Fathers Day!”

I giggled.

Then he laid down next to me on top of the bed and stroked my hair off my forehead while I continued to sob into my pillow for the next half an hour.

He told me to stay there until I felt ready to face the world and to cry it out for as long as I needed to – I joked that I would probably never leave the bed but grinned at him all the same.

Sure we’ve had our troubles and a very rocky marriage at times, but today – I saw an extremely compassionate, loving, caring and considerate man. I saw a man that put his own disappointment aside to love on his hurting and lonely wife.

And that quote couldn’t be truer right now.

“The best gift a father can give his child is to love their mother”.

My kids are especially blessed.

Happy Father’s Day Mr Patient…..you’re one in a million.
xxx

LEGACY

This would have to be one of the longest posts I’ve ever written but I gotta tell you  – I LOVE it 🙂

The words just flowed today so go and grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine depending on what time it is and come and join me on this journey of discovery. I can wait 🙂

~*~

I woke up this morning and decided that today had to be all about me. I have been so snowed under with responsibilities and demands that it had really started to do my head in. I realised that I needed to take some time out and work through what has been going on in my head lately and I actually permitted myself to take this time without feeling selfish.

(And THAT in itself is a huge step of progress right there!)

Recently, there  have been a huge array of emotions that are seemingly unconnected to each other and I needed to stop and try to piece this jigsaw puzzle of confusion together once and for all.

I dropped Lucas at pre-school and jumped into my car and drove until I felt that I had reached the perfect spot. I landed in a small country town roughly and hours drive away. We are very fortunate to live where we do because it really doesn’t take too long before you’re in the countryside enjoying the fresh air and mingling with small town folk who always make you feel welcome.

So here I sit holed up in a gorgeous little cafe with a strong coffee, a HUGE piece of gluten-free cake and my iPad, notepad and pen. The warm winter sun is coming through the window onto my back and the fire crackling in the fireplace is completing the ambiance.

(OK….I lied about the fire but I really am in absolute heaven you could say!)

~*~

Things have been really rough lately in that I have honestly believed that I have been cruising along nicely but it turns out that this has all been surface emotions. I had been fooling myself again.

Because that awful little terror called grief really is a sneaky little bugger. He lies in wait for sometimes quite a sizable amount of time lulling you into a false sense of security and then one day, he creeps up on you and whacks you over the head when you least expect it.  It has been so forceful in its attack on me this time, that it has brought me to my knees dramatically screaming in agony and wondering how on earth I didn’t see it coming!

Grief is no respecter of times or places and is not subject to the unspoken rules of political correctness. It operates according to its own schedule.

Most of my grief stems from the loss of my Dad to cancer 3 years ago and I have been remembering a lot of wonderful things about him this week. Strangely enough – thinking about him usually has the reverse effect in that it brings me smiles and laughs and keeps my wonderful memories alive.

It doesn’t weigh me down because I’m choosing to remember the good times and not focus on the loss. It’s really cathartic for me.  But with those joyful thoughts – the sad thoughts also inevitably creep in and they are what drag me down and threaten to wipe me out.

My dad was a really gentle soul. He was a hugger, an encourager and a comforter. He was laid back without being lazy, peace-loving without being wimpy and authoritative without being demanding or unreasonable.

I miss his laugh, his silly jokes and his amazing wealth of knowledge. This man knew everything about everything. He was an asset to any trivia team and had a memory to rival any elephant!

He was particularly special in that he would often go out of his way to learn all about something that interested one of his friends so that he had something to talk with them about at his meeting.

When Mr Patient and I got married – he threw himself into learning all about Mr P’s interests and did the same thing with my sister and her hubby. He loved God passionately and because of his earthly example to me of what a father is – I have found it easy to trust in God as my heavenly father.

Dad always joked that he should write a book because “one day I won’t be around anymore and I want you kids to know where you came from and what I consider to be the important lessons in life.”

But as you all know – “one day” came a lot sooner than any of us could have anticipated.

Dad used to be the best storyteller I knew. His facial expressions and mannerisms helped illustrate the tale and brought a real authenticity to it. He often told us stories of his youth and can I just say – he was a ratbag at times!

Dad holding me when I was about 12 months old

He would tell us of all the pranks that they used to pull on the girls at school, the numerous times that he was given the cane for mischief and the times that they narrowly escaped the law!

He regularly reflected on his childhood and remembers that his mother often told the tale of her standing in the street talking to friends when Dad climbed down out of his pram and took the wheels off so he could figure out how it worked!

Oh how much my boys are like their Granddad!

Dad ended up working with his hands in his chosen vocation and was also the best handyman around. There was nothing my Dad wouldn’t have a go at and his can-do attitude was contagious.

Dad also wanted to write down all the stories of his childhood and youth so that my sister and I could have a record of where we came from and what life was like back in his day.

When Ella was in grade 2, she did a speech at school that was all about the differences between when her granddad’s generation went to school and now. Ella would ring him up to pick his brain and hung on his every word. Of course Dad got a real kick out of being asked to share his story and was as proud as punch that she wanted to know!

And Ella actually ended up winning that year’s speeches coming first out of her whole entire grade! It completely made his day,

Dad always told me that he wanted me to write, he was always encouraging me and loved the silly little poems that I would often churn out as a child. He told me that I had the gift of the gab like him (no doubting that!) and that I should share my life story with my kids.

So I guess this brings me to the point of this post.

This particular post has been written in honour of my Dad but also because I want to continue the legacy that he never got to see to completion. I want this blog to be that book for MY children that Dad never got to write.

I want MY kids to be able to read back on this in ten years time and see how much I love and adore them and to show them just how far they have come.

And if something were to happen to me and I was to join Dad in heaven prematurely – I want to leave this legacy for my children.
I have told my daughter and husband my blog log in and password and if that day should ever come…..I want them to continue writing this for their children and for their grandchildren and so on.

I want this blog to become a family tradition, a record of highs and lows and successes and failures. I want my descendants to know that they do matter and that their lives are full of purpose and that their dreams are achievable.

I want them to be the best that they can be and I want them to  know that above all else – they are loved.

And on that note – I think it’s time to go and get a coffee refill.

I’ll leave you with some photos that I took on my phone of the beautiful Australian countryside.
I truly found peace out there today , I hope you all enjoy your evenings or your days wherever you are in the world.

This pic should give my "real life" friends an idea of which direction I drove in today 🙂

Fi x

While they were sleeping…..

I had one of those “AHA” moments this week.

I’ll set the scene by explaining that here at Mum’s -she still lives in the large family home that I spent my teenage years living in.

It has 4 bedrooms which means that Ella gets her own room, I get my own and the boys share another room.

Only it doesn’t really work out that way…..

You see, BOTH of the boys have sleeping “issues” that range from sleep walking , night terrors and difference of opinion on whether there should be a night-light or not!

So the best solution was to separate them.

We did this by putting Harley’s bed in my room with me and leaving Lucas in the other one.

Sounds good right?

Well, yeah…..if you like to lay awake listening to snuffles, sleep talking, sleep -groaning and the tossing and turning of a little boy who can never get comfortable!

This is one instance where I consider being completely deaf in one ear an advantage!

I can put my hearing ear onto the pillow and sleep in total silence!

But this is the start of my complete turnaround in perception.

This week, I was given the book Choosing to see which was written by Mary Beth Chapman who is the wife of a well-known American Christian artist: Steven Curtis Chapman.

It is a mother’s story of loss, pain and adversity following the untimely and tragic death of her youngest of 6 children Maria who was only 5 years old.

The accident occurred in their own driveway when her 17-year-old son didn’t see his sister run out to greet him and he ran her over and fatally wounded her so Mary Beth is dealing with a double whammy of emotional heartache.

The book was one that I couldn’t put down. It shook me and made me realise just how precious life really is.

Mary Beth wrote chapter after chapter describing her grief and the pleas she would make with God to give her just one more day or to be able to hear her daughter’s sweet voice once again.

She watched the balloons being released in Maria’s memory and wished that she too could float up to the heavens with them and escape the dreadful pain she was experiencing every day.

What really grabbed me was the countless times that she would describe Maria and use phrases such as “her sweaty, stinky body”, her “sticky maple syrupy kisses” and “mischievous smile” as she ran ,climbed and jumped from place to place.

She described the daughter who loved to swim in the pool completely naked except for her goggles and the child who loved to jump on the trampoline (also naked) and the child who was almost always dressed in a fairy costume or Tinkerbell outfit wherever they went.

I cried when I read this as I have lost count of the times that I have told my own children off for stripping down (in our own house) and snapped at them to “take that stupid costume off and go put some proper clothes on”

I would have a fit at them if they refused to wear the outfit that I chose out ( I know…..I should pick my battles right?)  and I’d go mental at them if their hands were anything close to sticky and as for the sweaty bodies……eeeww!  I would yell at them to go and hop in the bath THIS INSTANT!

All in case my precious furniture might get dirty!

And here is this gorgeous mother missing all the little things that defined her precious daughter.

What she would give for just one more day with Maria.

That night, I slept with my good ear up, not on the pillow as it usually is.

I wanted to hear EVERY murmur.

Every sniffle , and every soft moan.

I got up a few times and crept into Ella and Lucas’ rooms and just sat on the end of their beds thanking God for them and kissed their little foreheads.

I came back to my room and climbed into Harley’s bed with him and snuggled in …….until he woke up and looked at me groggily and announced “Get out!”

But I didn’t care. At least he was alive and talking to me.

I really am SO blessed. I mustn’t forget again.