Friday, 17 February 2017

Dear Doctor

Dear Medical Professional,

You will ask about his medical history,
And I will repeat the story I have told 100 times or more,
The details fine tuned to the essentials I know you need:
He was born full term,
He has a 7 year old brother who is fit and well,
He is allergic to penicillin. 

You will ask me what happened,
And I will answer:
He is 6 years old.
He wasn't breathing for 7 minutes.
I gave him mouth to mouth.

I will hand over a careful typed piece of A4 paper.
It will tell you his hospital number,
The things he is allergic to, 
A list of medications and doses.
You will take it and smile.
You'll tell me I make your job easier.

I will stand calm,
And in control. 

You see my demeanour, 
my hospital bags packed and ready,
And you say,
You've done this before.
I'll nod and say many times.

But remember this;

That 6 year old is my baby.

That boy with the oxygen,
And the wires,
And the tubes,
Is my son.

I watched him turn blue.

The first time, 
The fifth time, 
The hundred and fifty fifth time... 
It was still my baby.

My answers may be more polished,
I may appear more organised and calm.

But he is still my baby.

Sometimes I lie my head on the bed beside him in A&E and sob huge silent tears onto the starched, white sheets.

Sometimes my hands shake so much, I hold them tight between my knees while I'm answering your questions.

Sometimes I hold my breath just to stop myself screaming, my throat burning from the effort of holding it in, a single tear escaping and betraying me. 

So please doctor, registrar, paramedic, nurse... don't be fooled by my tough exterior.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

I'd Move Heaven And Earth To Help You

I would move heaven and earth for you,
If I could.

I'd walk a thousand miles for you,
If it would help.

I'd pray to God,
To any god,
To every god,
If I thought it would make a difference. 

I'd go to hell and back for you.


I've been to hell and back with you.

I've begged God to save you,
To help me,
To stop this.

I've walked miles of hospital corridors,
Paced the house in the early hours,
Ran until I couldn't breathe.
 
For you, 
With you, 
Because of you.


And yet;
Here we are...


Friday, 11 November 2016

Missing Dad

Just Like Grandad
It's at funny times I miss my dad; when I'm driving somewhere new and I've no one to discuss the route with- I'm sure he knew the fastest way to get anywhere - or when I catch an episode of Deal or No Deal and I remember how, when he was ill and I was pregnant, we'd spend hours sat watching it and discussing what we'd do. 

I don't miss him all day every day, but I think about him often. I know that if he was here, he'd be project managing this whole Big Build. He'd have spent hour after hour here getting the job done. My Father-in-law too. The pair of them would have been hammering and sawing and building and fixing, putting to shame lads half their age. 

I miss them both.

The Big Build, as exciting as it is, is a huge reminder of the important people missing in our lives. The two men, who'd have built it single-handedly if they could, and the two women who would have filled it with such warmth and love. 

Trying not to drill their fingers to the roof
It should be John Joe on the roof, teaching his grandson how to hold the saw correctly.  It should be my dad with Sean on his lap in the digger, teaching him how to drive it, as he did with me when I was 7.

There are times I look at this project, the house that it will become and how it will change all our lives and I feel incredibly lucky, truly blessed to have such people in our lives to help us achieve this.  Yet there are other times when I am acutely aware of the people that are missing and I know that I would trade it all in a heartbeat to have them back.

We'd have had a fight with the two dads about the flat roof- of that I'm sure. Neither would be impressed with that decision. And John Joe, my father in law, would be cursing me that I've still not painted that side gate! He'd have given up nagging by now, I guess, and done it himself. 

I'm not sure if I believe in ghosts as such. Not the spooky, white sheets over your head kind anyway. But spirits, or souls, or positive energies or whatever. I believe in that. 

And whilst they may not be physically here, giving the orders, cracking the jokes and wheeling barrow after barrow load of screed through the house, I know they're both here, watching over it all, tutting when I'm not bringing the tea fast enough and rolling their eyes at each other. The foreman and the site manager.

I hope they're proud of what we've achieved so far. 


Dad looking amused at my dubious sawing skills