It 9 months now since we lost Elspeth, and I think this has proven to be in many ways a far easier month, but a couple of very important factors have made it hard work.
My ridiculously huge Hernia
has become our main focus at the moment. My planned operation was
rearranged 2 days beforehand and I'm now due to go in next week. I've
been bumped up to 'urgent' and 'as soon as possible'. I won't lie, it's
sore now, and I'm struggling to eat. The weightloss is welcome, but not
exactly a healthy way to diet. One of my main daily worries is clothes.
The only skirt that's comfortable is dangerously close to wearing
through, and maxi dresses are unusual attire for the school run in
Manchester in May!
We are doing okay. Our youngest is settling better all around, still sleeping well and being brave going to the toilet alone in the day. There are more smiles, there is more easy laughter. There is less exhaustion and we're less stressed now that the inquest is finally over. The initial dip after that has passed and we're on the up again.
The fog is clearing and we can plan ahead a little. Next week doesn't
seem too far away to contemplate, and it feels that Summer is coming
towards us already. Everything is still effort, but more is getting done, and that in turn means more achievements and less pressure. We aren't as broken by small disappointments, we can cope a little better.
The exams are starting again, and that's really hard for us. We have young people this year doing GCSE's and AS levels and it's full of reminders we can't get away from. Elspeth had spent so much of the last few months of her life revising. She had intricate timetables on her bedroom wall, and piles of revision cards, and yet she didn't wait to see her results. I want to scream at the kids that I don't really care what they get, it doesn't matter. But it didn't matter to Elspeth either, she had an unconditional place at Art College, so it would give me no comfort. Best of luck to all of the young people out there doing your exams. I hope you get the grades you need, but there are always alternatives if you don't. I'm no example of academic success - I missed my A Levels because I'd gone to Glastonbury...
We (I in particular) had one real fail, and two events this month which have given us a real boost.
I missed my friend's wedding. I was only invited to the evening do, from 7.30pm. By then we're done and just want to hide, the day stretches out so long behind you. My partner had already said he couldn't cope with going, and as time went on it just got harder and harder. Eventually I was sure everyone there who didn't know me, would know of me. I became worried people would stare and show me their sad face and I'd know that they knew. I didn't want that to happen, I didn't want to be sad or have anyone else be sad at a wedding and the stress got too much. I cried with relief once I'd made the decision not to go. I guess if you really are that wound up over something, it really isn't worth it. I believe she has forgiven me....
I went to the Blog On conference, with exactly the same reservations as my friend's wedding, but hoping if they'd heard of me, they'd at least have read my blog. I had an escape room in case I'd turned into a quivering wreck, but I managed until the end (almost), and I'm proud I did. It was lovely to be supported by so many friends, and maybe learn a bit too. And if anyone showed me their sad face, I looked through it.
We were Super Heroes! My partner and 3 of our children dressed up for what turned out to be an amazing day, which we couldn't have forseen would be so great for everyone. It requires genuine effort to 'do' anything, the stress it causes makes it incredibly hard, so when everyone agreed to dressing up and travelling over to Warrington on a Saturday morning I was stunned! We did it, we broke a record, and we made some amazing memories - it's just a shame 2 of our children had to be elsewhere and missed it.
Here are the smiles I have collected over the last month...these are all my Super Heroes...