Sunday, November 29, 2009

Josh's Birthday

The spectacular view from Josh's plaque today

Joshy's plaque with his birthday card and flowers

Peter, Uncle and Anika with the Fudgey baby

Joshy's Ben 10 cake (green of course)

Ben and Seth at the BBQ

At 6.28am on 29th November six years ago our lives were hit with cyclone Josh and have never been the same since and we wouldn't want it any other way. Of course we have had some unbelievably hard times with him and our experiences are not what I'd wish on anyone else, but I know Josh was here for a reason and he knew his purpose very clearly. Josh taught me patience, to exist in the moment instead of focussing so hard on the moments to come and in this way I feel like I really got to see how amazing Josh was and how powerful his memory is.

We felt we needed to have a birthday party for Josh which may be bizarre to some people but my feeling is that I have to carry on the celebration of Josh's life no matter how hard it might be to do it without him. Thank you to everyone who was at our beach BBQ for Josh, the weather was beautiful and we enjoyed the company of good friends and family who were so important to Josh. After a wonderful lunch and the kids having a long and exhausting play in the playground, my brother Ben and Zac, Erin and Seth joined us for a second fire-up of the barbie. It was so great to have Seth there for an important milestone for our family. I have to also say a couple of words about Ben, he's faced many struggles in his life and he is now really breaking through the other side. For all the things he may regret, there are many more he should be proud of as we are of him. I am just sorry it took me so long to see what a good person has been underneath all the time. Now also welcome to the family Erin and Zac, it must be hard to come into a family carrying such a huge amount of grief but you are doing a great job of making Ben very happy.

I don't know how to describe the emptiness without Josh here everyday and how heartwrenching it was knowing he should be with us opening his presents and enjoying the end of a big and wonderful birthday not in an urn in our lounge room. It just gnaws at me so often that he deserved anything he could wish for after what he suffered but instead his life was cut so short and cruelly ended with a relentless pain. To those people who say "You are only given what you can handle", I say screw you. If I did not have to get up each day and breathe in and out and learn how to live again for Anika, I wouldn't. No-one who has ever lost a child was dealt that because they can "handle it". Yes they may learn to get by bit by bit but that doesn't mean they deserved what they got or that they love their child any less than those who can hold theirs in their arms. I have such a struggle with Josh's last days and I realise it is something I need to learn to be at peace with but I just don't know how to. I wonder how much pain he was in, did I do what he needed, was there something he wanted and I didn't realise, did he know we were all there? I will never know the answers but for now the horror plays in my mind everytime I close my eyes.

Anika misses Josh so terribly right now and I don't know if I am doing the right things and helping her the ways she needs. I do doubt myself a lot but I know it is good for her to talk about Josh and to know it is OK to cry and tell me what is inside her and I know she desperately craves the company of other kids. She loved having Uncle to stay over on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and showing him around WhaleWorld and the coastline. She was so pleases when he came to see her and that he was so delighted with all her little talents, watching her dance and sing and swim in the bath. It was a great few days with him until he had to go back home to Bunbury.

Well, we have made it through almost seven months without Josh and I can tell you, it doesn't get any easier. I still think I see him in the playground and I still can't watch Ben 10 without crying. In saying that though we do have a huge group of friends and family there to support us; Mum, Dad, Joel, Ben, Dad & Jan, Joe & Halina, Uncle, Danny, Lea, Em, Brayden, Sunny & Alex, Glenny, Leslie & Phil, Sarah,& Rich, Molly, George, Caroline & Dave, Laura & Laught, Ty, Jas, Tam, Abby & Chris, Michael & Mish, Kim, Damien & Jo, Lesley, Lynn, Camille, Bec & Terry, Melissa, Fee & Jason, Kody, the lovely miss Immie & Ashton, Alison, Jeannie, Nola, Lois and so many other people and especially our beautiful Ranita.

Sleep well and hug your babies even tighter tonight and tell them you love them an extra time for Josh,