I have been meaning to write this for the last 4 months, but turns out having a newborn and a 3 year old means when you do get any time to yourself, you don’t have the energy to sit and write, especially a likely emotional piece.
So year 4 without you, we have now entered that dreaded territory where I have been longer without you than I had with you. That feels kind of strange to me. You were such a big part of my life, yet for such a small amount of time. Many others out there knew you longer than me, but a husband wife relationship is so different, you know a person in a different way to any other. I’m going to hazard a guess that a mum would say the same of their son or daughter and whilst I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child, I am afraid I am going to keep up the selfishness of my grief for you, it is something that I cannot share with your Mother. The loss is different and I don’t feel able to share you in the way she knew you. Someone said recently, when a wife comes along, she needs to be the priority and no longer the Mother, as a wife I wholeheartedly agree, as a Mother I absolutely do not and hate the idea of Charlie ever having anyone other than me as his first priority!
So I still think about you several times a day every day. It’s strange really as you seem so distant, yet so near in my thoughts. You are still a part of my everyday life, but we don’t make any new memories. Am I going to turn into one of those people who only live in the past and repeat the same stories a million and one times? God i hope not!!
I am finding this post so hard to write, normally i don’t struggle at all, but i think it may be because i am starting to leave you more in the past, i can’t relive those same memories over and over, they begin to lose their meaning. Don’t get me wrong i still love the memories, but its like having a one way conversation. Whether it is hormone related, or just another part of the grief process i am unsure, but whilst pregnant with our latest arrival, Isla, i missed you more than ever, i was angry at you once again for not being here. I had one of those really vivid dreams around about the 20 week mark, where its like you are right there with me and remember waking the following morning so upset at the realisation that you are not coming back. It sounds silly because for years i have been perfectly aware you won’t be back, but there was something far more significant about this. I cannot describe the overwhelming sadness that i felt, it was like my heart breaking all over again. I felt like that several times throughout the pregnancy.
So Isla Olivia Louise Parke was born, 10 days late, weighing 9lb 3oz on Sunday April 12th 2015. As with Charlie i did not find out the sex of our baby and was looking forward to the surprise. When she finally and very painfully arrived, my instant thought was of you. You so wanted a baby girl (of course you would absolutely have loved Charlie and been so proud to have a son), but i felt so so blessed to have a baby girl and a baby boy, both your beautiful children. The feeling was so overwhelming, i cant quite put the emotion i felt into words. Unlike Charlie, it took three failed frozen embryo transfers and one fresh egg cycle to get pregnant with her. Between that and her being 10 days late, lets hope its not a sign of the trouble she may be intending to cause! I hate to say it, but those Parke genes are going strong, the poor child looks like your mother, help!!! (sorry Mags). She, like Charlie has your beautiful crystal blue eyes and those ridiculously long eyelashes, i am sure she will use them equally as well as your son does. Fortunately they both have my smile i think, that broad teeth showing cheek squashing wide mouthed smile, not that tiny little grin you used to give! In all Isla is a lovely content happy baby and i am loving being a mum to a baby all over and seeing her character take shape.
Charlie has changed so much in this last year. He speaks about you a lot. Because he kept asking to go up into the sky to see you and explaining and making excuses as to why that was not possible became difficult, we finally got around to using the dead word. Charlie now understands that you would so love to come back to us, but can’t and that you keep watch over us from above and in the shape of a seagull. Poor nursery had to have a strange conversation with me about why when Charlie saw a seagull one day, he called it his Daddy. That was a tough one to hold back the tears on i can tell you! Often he tells me he just wants to see his Daddy, sometimes i find that so sad and other times i am pleased that you feature so often in his thoughts and he is keen to learn more about you. He now knows you were called Michael and frequently uses you against me if he doesn’t like something i am doing. For example, “My Daddy is watching you and he doesn’t like you talking to me like that!” The first time i heard this i was a little shocked, a little proud and felt a little like chuckling. I thought this was very clever, very cheeky, but at least he knows you are there looking out for him! My response was along the lines of “you are right, he wouldn’t like me talking to you like that, but he wouldn’t like the way you are speaking to me either!” Pretty sure it diffused the situation!
I still think about a time when i will be ready to move on from you and meet someone else and i think this more frequently these days and don’t feel as bad if i see a hottie walking down the street and have a good old oggle. But the upshot is, i still want to meet your double. I am not sure there could possibly be someone out there that would make me feel as special as you did, who would be so gentlemanly, plus on top of that i have just had another man’s baby!! Timing is perhaps not quite right just yet. I look at all those people out there that meet new men/women when they have small children and wonder how that ever happens. I rarely leave the house without a child and if i do i still long to be in bed asleep (on my own) by 21:30! I guess i am in no rush to get back to the hassles of dating or the new complexities of introducing my children to anyone in that role, not that i am an overprotective mother much or anything!! As much as i shout, yell, scream and try not to murder my children, they really are my life, my ever lasting attachment to you and our greatest achievement/medical miracle. In fact Charlie even told me Isla was a miracle the other day! Charlie absolutely adores his new sister and she adores him back. He has become so much like you in a lot of his mannerisms, its just a shame you are not here to pass on your calm outlook on life. That level headed, non knee jerk reaction, think of all angles approach, that i really lack!
Anyway its getting late and as we are still averaging 5 wake ups a night between the 2 children i better get off to bed. I am afraid i have no words of wisdom for year four, losing your other half still leaves a great hole in a part of your heart that will likely leave a permanent scar that you live with, but never truly heal from. I still wouldn’t have been without you though. Worth every ounce of grief, for the short lived happy times with you and the lifetime enjoyment of our miraculous children!