Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Dear Aaron - 2014

Dear Aaron;
I can't believe that another year has gone by already, and that it's the last day of 2014 already.  How can time go so fast, but it seems like you were only just here with us?  I'm sure time isn't the same where you are.  It's almost been three years since you were with us, and that sounds like a long time, but it feels like half that time.  I can't believe that I would complain about you going away for two nights a year before.  What I would give for that to happen now.   I see other people complaining that their husbands are away, and just think how lucky they are that they will be coming back.

It seems like such a short time since you and Noah have gone, but then it also feels like forever since I did everything for Noah.  I can hardly remember what it feels like to touch him, or rub his cheeks and hair, or to suction him, push him in his wheelchair and give him his meds.

How can I forget those things, when I did it for ten years?  It makes me so sad to know that eventually I'll hardly remember any of it, but I'll never forget the way that he made us feel.   I hate that all we can do for him now is visit his grave and decorate it for him.  We miss and love him so much. I still wonder what you two are doing and if you are together all the time. 

It's still so hard without you, but there are more better days than bad days at the moment.  I feel sad a lot of the time, but not like I was last year.  Now I know that I am just having an extra hard day or week, and that the next day may be better. 

I try to have things to look forward to with the boys, to keep us going. It's so nice to create new memories with the boys, but whenever we are doing something special together we just talk about how much you would've loved it too.


I'm so grateful for family and friends who keep us going. We know they miss you and Noah almost as much as we do. 

The hardest thing is being so lonely and knowing that no one can change that - not family or friends or the boys.  There's so much that I keep inside now because I can't talk to anyone how I used to talk to you.

I want to tell you so much - big things and little things.  I want to talk to you about TV shows.  I want to complain to you about money, or how much we don't have.  I want to ask you want you want me to make for tea.  I want to sing in the car with you as a song will come on the radio that we both love.  I want to get cranky with you for watching the boring cricket on TV all summer.  I want to come home and tell you about how much I love my job teaching English as an Additional Language.

I want to tell you about my beautiful students and their families, and why they have had to come to Australia, and all the things they have had to deal with in their short lives.  We have been through a lot as a family, but it's nothing compared to others.  We haven't had to leave our families and friends, because we are not safe in our own country.  We are so blessed.

I want to talk to you about some beautiful friends that I have met since you died, but then I wouldn't have met them if you were still here.   All of them know just what I'm going through as they have also lost their husbands way too young, and I dream of the day when I will one day meet them in person.  I just wish they didn't live so far away. 
 Have you seen how much the boys have grown this year?  When I look back at old photos it hits me how much they've changed.  Kobe is so sad because he can hardly remember you and Noah anymore.  We talk about you all the time, and Kobe gets sad because he can't remember what we are talking about.  It's just not fair that they were all so young when you died.  It's so nice to see them smiling so much now, and having fun.  They're still sad at times, but they are all doing so well.

 It's so hard to be happy and excited on birthdays and anniversaries, but luckily the boys don't seem to pick up on how sad I am on those times. 

Did you see how how brave we were, as we went back to where you passed away?  We loved it there so much, and I don't want it to be a place that we now hate, so I knew we had to go back.  As we were driving into the town, my heart started racing and I hid my tears from the boys as I wondered whether I wasn't as brave as I thought.  But once we were there, and we saw our favourite beach, I knew it was going to be okay. 

   We had a lovely day and knew that you would've been proud of us for going there.
It's so nice to see Jalen getting back to his old self again.  Except he's really not his old self at all - he's grown up so much since you've been gone and is such a young man now.  He is so funny and is so much like you, which I tell him is not always a good thing! :)
He misses you so much and says how much he wishes you were here to do fun things with like go the movies together.  Instead he's stuck with his old Mum who has no idea what's going on.  He's such a good boy and I know you would be so proud of him.
I was so proud of him when he was elected onto the Student Leadership Board at school for next year.  It's amazing considering how hard the last few years have been for him, and I keep telling him how proud you would be of him, especially since you always worked with the Prefects at school.
I have no doubt that you would be loving Harri's obsession with any sport.  It's crazy how the boys are all so much like you, but in different ways.  
Can you believe how obsessed we still are with Hawthorn!?  It's like your spirit has gone into me or something as I know almost as much about the Hawks as you used to.  I even take trips to the mainland, especially to watch a game of footy! Who am I!?  

Can you believe that they won the premiership again this year!? Actually I guess you can believe it, because no one loved them more than you, and I'm sure you're up there pulling some strings or something because ever since you passed away they've been in the grand final each year! 
Hawthorn have been so lovely to us, and I can't help but smile when I think about how much you would love the things we have been able to do.  
I hope you like the wording that I chose for your plaque which they offered us.  
I'm sure you were loving all our Hawk stalking we did this year, and all my jokes about me marrying Hodgey.  I love seeing the boy's reactions when I tell them that Hodgey is going to be their new Dad.  I'm sure you would approve :) 
 Whenever we spend time with your Dad I think how happy you would be about it.  I know he loves seeing the boys. 
Were you laughing at me when I found out I needed glasses?  I couldn't help but think about when you got your glasses and how much we loved teasing you about getting old.  Look whose getting old now hey! I wish you were here to help me choose my frames, but I'm thinking that you would love them.
I still can't believe that we have a dog, and as much as I love Milly and how she has helped our family, I still have a love/hate relationship with her.  She drives me insane as she follows me around the house and is obsessed with me, and I wonder how she can love me so much, when I get so cranky with her.  I joke with Jalen that she reminds me of you, as I would always be so cranky, but you didn't care. You loved me anyway :)
It's taken almost three years, to start to feel a bit like my old self again.  I will never be the old me, but it's nice to feel joy at different times. 
Whenever I feel on top of things, and like things are going well, I always come crashing back down to earth though, as grief seems to just hit me all over again.  I wonder if that is always going to be a part of my life now, or if that will stop eventually.   I hope it's okay that we don't go to the cemetery as often, but we still like to visit at different times to just be close to you and Noah in a different way. 
On really hard days I have wondered if you have seen me sitting at your grave, drowing my sorrows with Maccas, and whether you're worrying about me or thinking I should toughen up. 
We do anything we can to remember you and Noah, as it's my biggest fear that one day people will stop talking about you, or won't know you or what kind of people you both are.  We hope we are making you and Noah proud.
I'm so grateful that I have felt you around a lot this year.  I used to think some things were a coincidence, but I really do believe that you are sending us signs to let us know that you are still close.

Please don't ever go too far away, as we still need you so much.   It's so hard being a single parent, especially as I don't feel single.  I just want you to always be a part of our lives.  We love and miss you and Noah so, so, so much.  We are a family of six, or seven as Kobe says, because Milly is a part of our family.   Being a family of four will never feel right.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Our Christmas

I decided because it was Christmas that I would pull out my good camera, and take most of my Christmas photos on there. Tonight I went to get the photos off my camera, and something was wrong with my SD card and I've lost all my Christmas photos. I'm disappointed that I'm stuck with photos off my phone, but glad that I took pics on my phone so we have the memories for later on.

On Christmas Eve we went to see Aaron's Dad and Step Mum Carrol to exchange presents.  Aaron's Dad seemed quite teary and I could tell that he finds Christmas hard now too, but he always loves it when we come to visit.
For tea on Christmas Eve the boys were excited to do our tradition of a picnic on the lounge room floor, while watching a Christmas movie.  The boys chose to watch Elf and we had a great laugh.
When it got dark I decided that because the boys were too excited to go to sleep any time soon, that we may as well jump in the car and go and see some of the Christmas lights in our area.   We hadn't seen any yet, so the boys were excited to go out.
 It was a nice night to go and do it and we had a good excuse not to stay out too late, as Santa was on his way.
Kobe cracked us up with his card that he made Santa.  Obviously Santa has been very naughty this year and has turned into Satan!
Harri woke up at 2.30 am and told me he couldn't go back to sleep. I told him he had no choice but to go back to sleep, but five minutes later he was back in my room. He ended up sleeping in bed with me till 5.30 am when he couldn't wait any longer.  We woke up the other boys at 5.45 am and they couldn't wait to see their presents.
My brother Chrish arrived from Sydney about 9am so I went and picked him up, and then we had him and the missionaries from church over for brunch.  We love our missionaries at the moment - Elder Nonoa and Elder Chan-Tung.  They're awesome guys and are also a lot of fun.  It was nice to have them over as it gave me something to do in the morning, and they made Christmas morning fun.

The boys couldn't wait to get out on the trampoline with Uncle Chrish.
Elder Nonoa has an amazing voice and is very talented on the guitar as well.  We had heard about his talents, so we asked him to bring his guitar on Christmas morning.  We loved listening to him, and could've listened to him all day.
At lunch time we headed out to my brother Eden's house.   We decided to have our big family 'Christmas day' on Boxing Day, so that my sister Nicki and her family could spend Christmas Day in Hobart without having to travel up, so our Christmas Day was very casual, but really fun. 

We spent a long time playing cricket in the backyard.   I don't love watching cricket (unless it's a really exciting one day match) but like playing it. It was so much fun that we couldn't wait to play again on Boxing Day.
My sister in law Steph put on some music and all of a sudden there was a dance party on the deck. It was fun watching the kids dance away together.
Even some of the adults got up for the nutbush!
It didn't really feel like Christmas, but we had a lovely day just hanging out with my family and eating yummy food.  That night we stayed at my Mum and Dad's house, and went to look at a home near theirs that goes all out on the Christmas lights.
On Boxing Day morning we took Milly to the dog beach, and she had a lovely time fetching the ball.  She would go for hours if we let her.

When we got back Mum had made us a yummy brunch.  Dad has been keeping us entertained with all of his stories which are starting to come back to him. 

When we went back to my brother's house, my niece Chloe told me she had a little shop set up and I could come to get hair chalk, nail polish and could have my portrait drawn.    It's fun to do girly stuff with my nieces.
When my sister Nicki and her husband Alex arrived, I noticed her tummy straight away and thought she was pregnant, but then thought how embarrassing it would be if I asked her, and then she wasn't, so I didn't say anything! I did quickly run over to my sister in laws and told them I thought she was pregnant, and once they had another look they agreed too.

I was waiting patiently for her to make the big announcement, and finally as we sat down to eat they told us the exciting news that she is not only pregnant - but is 27 weeks pregnant!    Living in another state makes it easy to keep such a huge secret.  We are very excited to be getting another nephew in March.

After lunch my brother pulled out the black plastic for an awesome water slide. It wasn't warm enough for me to brave it this year, but the kids loved it.
It seems to be our new Christmas tradition since Aaron passed away, and I love it.
All of the grandchildren (except for Noah and the one on the way) with Grandma and Grandpa.  Apparently Jalen's silly face is very serious :)
The whole month of December is hard with the lead up to Christmas, but Christmas Day and Boxing Day were actually okay this year.   It was nice to have some fun and laughs and not feel too sad on the days.  I think because all of our Christmases since Aaron and Noah passed away, have been different to when they were here, it has made it easier.  It's been good to make new traditions, but also have some of our old ones as well.
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