Saturday, May 19, 2012

Week away

Last weekend on Mother's Day once again was Josh's angelversary.  The third this time and of course once again a very sad Mother's Day for all us mummies with empty arms but full hearts and eyes brimming with tears.  Of course I have my precious girl but if anyone else tells me to "look on the bright side" or "not let it get me down", I reserve the right to smack their front teeth out.  Anika is a separate child, not a consolation prize!!!!  I do not love her less than Josh, but she will never "make up for" Joshy not being here.
I miss his little hand on my arm and his sweet voice asking me "Are you OK Mummy?  I love you mucha mucha." I miss his grumpy face when I got his wrong PJ's out and most of all I miss his bony cuddles and fuzzy head in endless squeezes.
This year I celebrated Josh's life and of becoming his mumma by visiting some of the places we had been together; the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, Simmos Icecreamery and Busselton Jetty.  We also visited the places I would have taken him but had to instead carry him there in my heart like the Underwater Observatory, Ngilgi Cave, Reptile Park, Eagle's Heritage Raptor Rehabilitation Centre and Yallingup Maze.  In return, he gave us rainbows to brighten the way.
I am so fortunate to have been able to share this week with my wonderful family and not be at home looking at his pictures and being in his room but by DOING in Josh's spirit of adventure.  Thank you to Ben, Erin, Zac, Noah, Joel, Kelly, my Neeky and Pete.  Especially thank you to my Mumma for being the driving force in pulling us all together and bankrolling what we couldn't manage without you, you are an amazing lady.
Thank you to Uncle, Julie and Renae for caring for our beloved pets and to Dad for the extra help when needed. Thanks to Danny and Lea for holding Pete up and keeping him busy.  Thank you to all my other special angel mum's for being on this twisted path with us.  Especially than you to my Joshy, my inspiration and my conscience, Anika, my sweetness and passion and Aaron, my fun spirit.
I think I am a bit tired and not making much sense, but just wanted to let you all know how grateful I am for the so many ways you make life bearable and encourage me to try and rebuild my broken heart a little each day.

Interview on ABC radio on what Josh means to me

Each day is a gift, go out and rip the arse out of it like Joshy did!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


It has been ages since my last post but just a few quick comments about the "work in progress" that we are or this thing we call life...

We are OK. Not super-dooper, over the moon type stuff but we cope and get through each day. We love Anika but having her does not "make up for" losing Josh and never will. They are separate people and one child does not replace another; no matter what happens we will always love and miss Joshy no matter how many children come after him. We function each day and as a rule are quite well balanced and yes even happy (although we are not happy about everything in our lives just like everyone else).

We do not know if we'll have more children or when. Certainly not in the near future. End of story and that is all there is to it.

Anika is beautiful and happy but absolutely traumatised by the loss of her brother. She saw things that no child should have to see, the pain and suffering of her darling Josh is something we wish she had not had to go through but did not feel it was right to keep her from him and the healing of knowing he never stopped loving her and the fear of the unknown taking up space in her heart. Of course she remembers him and what went on, it was a massive part of her life and she too lived with the worry and uncertainty of what the future would bring. Her healing too is an ongoing process and she cannot be expected to be a perfect child and have impeccable behaviour at all times. She just cannot express as effectively how she is feeling or have the learnt behaviour management we as adults have learnt. As her family and friends we have to give her the love and understanding we give ourselves in letting the hurt and healing cycle when we lose a very vital person in our lives.

Josh remains such a vibrant and constant part of my life that he is embedded in my soul. I don't always have to talk about my grief to be hurting and healing so never be fooled that I am "over" his illness in particular and to a lesser degree his death. Josh's physical absence is a huge thing but the legacy of his illness is the most distressing component for me. That he was in pain (even if he didn't often say so) and that his new normal was tubes, injections and the invasion of his being that is the medical side of treatment is my nightmare. Somethings we cannot change and it is my cross to bear that I could not take all of the pain and distress away. ANY pain was too much and ANY emotional injury is too great for my beautiful boy to have gone through, that is how I feel. Even though Josh is physically gone, his soul remains to allow us to move forward with courage, his key legacy.

We understand our worlds through language, and I have learnt to chooser words daily to explain my position and feelings, I've found that in three words summarising how you feel can help you move forward and modify your position. My three words to summarise Josh today are: courage, love and forgiveness. The three words I assign to my life at this point are; gratitude, hope and passion. Each of these words are positives I choose to define my life by and I hope each day to move forward with gratitude for what I have and the experiences I have had and people I have in my life, hope that there will eventually be a cure and passion for my family, the gifts I have been given and the information I can now share.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy 7th Birthday Little Man

Today as everyone can probably understand wasn't the easiest day in so many ways, but I did keep a very deep sense of peace at least, which has surprised me - especially as the weekend was so difficult. I think it was my gift from Josh. It is so like him to be giving me the gifts on HIS birthday!

We had a really nice picnic lunch at Middleton Beach, pinched some roses for Josh's plaque (I could hear his evil little cackle as I did it!) and sent him some balloons to add to the angel party I am sure was going on just beyond our reach.

Thank you to everyone who called, texted and posted for us, it means so much that Josh is remembered and still much loved. He gave us so many gifts in his time here and us honouring his life is the most important thing we can do for him.
The pain doesn't lessen with time contrary to popular belief, it just moves deeper inside you and you learn to grow around it. That's how I like to think of it, with Josh still being at the core of our family and celebrating our milestones right beside us. In fact it's what gets me up in the morning. I don't want Josh feeling sad I am not making to most of the opportunities I have to enjoy life and enrich other people's lives.
Today and always, so proud and grateful to be Josh's mumma forever. Sending you angel kisses darling, still wishing on rainbows and shooting stars. XXX

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Approaching Storm

It's been so long since I updated...nothing much has changed in our little world. Josh still dominates every thought I have every single day and there is no relief. Some days are worse than others or should I say some days are better than others if I am trying to be "Glass-half-full". I will never understand what has happened to Josh and although I can see why he was sent to us I still think surely there had to be a better way of teaching us that giving us a little piece of magic and light and then stealing it away again so we are plunged into darkness. Other people are moving on with their lives but we are trapped in grief with our little man who's Forever Five.

When Josh was here our lives were full to overflowing with love and laughter. Now our cups are just that little less full. The world has lost some of it's beauty and every incredible moment is tinged with the thought that it isn't quite as special without Josh here to share it. He deserved to have a wonderful life and instead got cheated with the life of pain and distress he was given. My dreams are always plagued by the same question, whether at the end he could feel as much pain as we believe he did and was as distressed as we were when he drifted away. Did he see us fall apart?

Our other little whirlwind keeps us motivated to get through this and she is really an amazing girl. Anika is so good at everything she does and her opportunities seem endless as all children's should. She is filled with this amazing potential to be anything she wants to be and we are so proud of her. She has started Girl Guides and Irish Dancing in the last couple of months and she is very good! She loves Guides because she can get together with other kids and just have fun. She told me not long ago that she is scared of being alone and hates it, meaning with no brother beside her. She said now Joshy is gone and Aaron doesn't want to see her she is all alone. It breaks my heart that there is nothing I can do to fix this.

I am not trying to say our lives are devoid of happiness and we are depressed with our lives. On the contrary, we are very grateful to have plenty of love, fun and two living and growing children to be with. It is just that the sadness can be overwhelming and many times it creeps up on you. When you look sad, other assume something has happened in the very recent past to upset you but it isn't so, you never forget your child, you carry them with you every second of the day. Sometimes they are light and joyful and help your heart get through the day and other days their memories are grey and of the bleakest moments. The mental images are so powerful that one moment you can be in a happy place and the next an image of suffering and pain flashes through your mind and you crumble on the inside.

The trouble is that our wounds are on the inside so they rarely show and we make a good go at getting on with things and we do genuinely cope quite well but there are times when nothing but one of Joshy's radiant smiles could drive the darkness out. Nothing erases memories, either happy or distressing, they just cycle in your head making a sort of white noise in the background of your life.

So the next time I look sad or uspet, don't assume it is problems in my day to day life that are affecting me, they are insignificant. Really how can anything be OK without the centre of our world? That's all, just needed to get that off my chest.

To all the families, especially the angel families both new and those from years past, our love and very happy memories are with you all at one of the challenging times of the year. The times that you can't help but making milestones of like I do; Josh's first christmas in heaven, Josh would have been six today, my first birthday without Josh. This month is our milestone of "Josh would have been 7 today" on 29th November. These dates bring back memories both happy and sad and serve to magnify my sense of loss as I imagine it does other angel families. I will be thinking of each and every one of your children and hear the echos left behind of their laughs and see their sweet faces in my minds eye. Love to you all,


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Precious Josh

We have survived a year without your laugh and your smile. That is about all I can say Joshy, some things have changed but many have stayed the same. Our love for you does not change as time passes but grows deeper as we discover memories others share with us and realise the full effects you had on everyone around you. So sunny and funny and wise in so many ways. You will be missed all the days until we are reunited.

"In my dreams, you are alive and well
Precious Child, precious child
In my mind, I see you clear as a bell
Precious child, precious child
In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart there is hope
'Cause you are with me still

In my heart, you live on
Always there, never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Though it may be true that we're apart
You will live my heart
In my plans, I was the first to leave
Precious child, precious child
But in this world, I was left here to grieve
Precious child, precious child

In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart there is hope
And you are with me still

In my heart you live on
Always there, never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Though it may be true that we're apart
You will live my heart

God knows I want to hold you
See you, touch you
And maybe there's a heaven
And someday I will again
Please know you're not forgotten until then

In my heart you live on
Always there, never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Though it may be true that we're apart
You will live my heart"
Thanks to everyone who sent cards, texts, emails and posts. It helps to know Josh was loved and will be remembered.
Love and hope to our beautiful friends The Holmes Gang in one of the hardest weeks they will have to endure with their beautiful Imogen's Passing Parade. She would have loved it and you did a wonderful job of honouring your amazing Princess Ladybird. Thank you for sharing her light with the world and letting us be part of her parade, she will not be forgotten and will be eternally loved as will you all. Imogen May Eileen Holmes, newest and brightest angel, we love you and were honoured to be in your life. XXX

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Elephant Rocks, paradise on earth

Anika's First day of school

Holly Saphira McKenzie

Immie and Anika

It has been so long since I posted I don't know what I have said last time! We have been going along reasonably OK recently but with the odd bursts of complete devastation and overwhelming sadness. One day that was so full of joy but also sadness that Josh could not be there was the birth of darling little Holly my best friend Laura's sweet girl. Josh loved babies and would have been so gentle and loving with her. I could picture him holding her when I took Anika up there to meet her a few hours after she was born. I was so privileged and grateful to be the only person other than Laura and Laughton to be at the birth and to be official photographer for such an emotional and private experience. I still cannot believe I got to witness a new life be born! It is so completely different to giving birth yourself with the anxiousness for someone you love so much being in such pain and not physically being able to do anything about it. You were amazing guys, so calm and relaxed, I am in awe of this perfect little princess you created who I will be forever tied to by this incredible moment in time.

Another such time full of joy and sadness was our day in Denmark going snorkelling (Anika's first time and another first Josh never got to have) at Green's Pool where we went on our camping trip with Josh and Danny and Brayden last summer. We visited the ironically named Elephant Rocks where the beauty of the scenery just overwhelms you and the meadery for honey icecream which was one of Joshys favourite places in the world. He just affects my every moment in so many ways. Many days at night I go to his room and curl up in his bed with his blankie and cry until I am empty. It never goes away, but some moments hit you more than others.

Anika's first day and first term of school went wonderfully. She has made so many friends, especially Lily, Kate, Nyssa and Ashlyn. She can write her own name almost right. She is met every day by a group of kids calling her to play with them "Hi Anika, come and dig in the sand pit with us!" and is liked by her teachers who see how bright and outgoing she is. I am so happy she enjoys it and celebrate every little victory with her, enjoying being parent helper and seeing the new projects she has done. But I feel this creeping bitterness that Josh never got this chance. He should have had friends waiting at the gate for him. He should have been the teachers pet. He was clever and funny and sweet. Why did my beautiful, intelligent, dazzling little boy not get this life too? Why is he not starting year one with his friends and why did he get left behind? This will never, never, never make sense because it is completely illogical.

Our very special and charismatic friend Immie is nearing the end of her Journey too and I just weep for the things she did and had to do because of this shit of a disease, and I weep for the things she will never get to but should by rights have got to do. What reason is there that she should be taken? I made this bargain with God when Josh relapsed "OK God, so you have to take Joshy. I knew it would come. Just do one thing for me please, just one little thing OK? Just leave us Immie. Her family needs her, WE need her to be OK, to live, to love to grow up and make mistakes and learn from them like the rest of us. If she gets this life my son should have had, I will never ask for anything else, I promise. Amen" Well, God broke his end of the bargain didn't he? And right now I have to say I feel that God, you suck! There is no sense to this, no purpose and no benefit from my beautiful friends suffering and her family hurting more than she does having to bear witness to her pain.

I wish you a painfree journey Immie and a peaceful rest you have earned a thousand times over with the fight you put up. Go with love in your last walk however long or short it may be knowing Josh, Blake, James, Naomi, Savanna and so many others will be there to take your hand. You will not be alone and you will be loved and remembered always.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Aaron's Birthday

Cutting the cake (so delish)

Birthday Boy

What a poser! At Muttonbird Island.

It's not Baywatch, it's Boofwatch...or is that Woofwatch?

Hi everyone...we have been so busy over the last few weeks!!!
Firstly we have had Aaron staying with us for the last two weeks. This year we did not have him for christmas but got to spend his birthday with him which was great! We have spent the time he has been here visiting the beach, pool, going to the movies, playing heaps of Wii and just chilling out. For his birthday we had a quiet (ish) pizza night with family and a beautiful icecream cake from Granny (thanks very much for making Aaron's day so special). I think (hope) his 15th birthday was think when I met him he was an adorable 5yr old just starting school and now he is almost a *gulp* MAN! Makes me feel a lot older than 28!!!
I have started full-time work at Lincolns Accounting and Business Management! Yes, I have a "grown-up job" now and can pay bills, wear a bluetooth headset and answer phones! It was quick but exciting to start the day after I was offered the position on Monday. So far I am loving it! Ask me again on Monday evening after my first day out of training and flying solo and it may be a different story!!! Seriously tho, they are wonderful people there and I feel I will be very happy and will slot in well. The job is a very demanding one being for such a large firm and having such a vital job range so I will enjoy the challenge. The atmosphere in that office should be bottled, so positive and supportive. I sound like a Lincolns recruiting agent!
We are all well with no major problems, just plodding along. We have our down days but we have fantastic support from family and friends that I for one never feel lonely or alone which I think is really important for bereaved families. I hope my other angel mummies get as much love and understanding as I do. By the way, thanks so much Mille for the chat this morning, you are a great friend.
I am so looking forward to the pitter patter of little McKenzie feet, roll on March! You'd think it was me who was expecting. Only a few weeks to go til we get to cuddle (smother with love) the new little princess. AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I love babies! I wanted to just squeeze Sebastian this morning, he is so yummy.
Have a happy smiley Sunday and think of me braving it without my Svengali Marie on Monday, whatta girl she is, I am sad she has to leave for me to start there!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Daddy and Anika fishing at Whaler's cove

At Whalers Cove - Danny, Pete, Anika and Lea

Anika the Christmas Tree

Thank you to everyone for being so understanding over the holiday season that we aren't really feeling in much of a party mood. I think it is harder the further time goes by since we have seen Josh and held him in our arms. Not having him there ripping into his presents and admiring Anika's goodies and making a fuss about her and just being so excited is a very bitter pill to swallow. And there will be endless other christmasses, birthdays, events and milestones Joshy won't be here to share with us. It makes me wonder how much longer I can stand not having him here. Sometimes it feels so raw that I would swear my insides are being sucked out slowly. Don't be concerned I am going to be stupid though, I have a wonderful little girl right here with me to keep me going. I think my technique for getting through the day now is to push it down and get on with life and laugh wholeheartedly and then to let myself crumble when it gets too much. The wound heals from the inside out and the edges pull together a little more each day but there will always be a scar.

We had a lovely christmas in spite of our lost little man and had a seafood BBQ of yabbies, shark and lamb chops with Mum, Dad, Joel, Ben, Erin and Zac down at the beach. The kids splashed around and it was good not to be somewhere we had spent all the other christmasses with Josh, it would have been too hard. Mum did a great job of catering (as always) and we had yummy food, great weather and fantastic company *bliss*. Later on Pete's brother Danny and lovely Mum Lea came back down from Busselton on christmas night. Danny was one of Josh's very favourite people and it was good to have him stay with us until the 31st. Many of you know my mother-in-law was an angel for us during Josh's illness and now she is doing the same for Dan and his kids, she is a very special lady.

In the last month we have spent a lot of time at the beach, fishing, enjoying time with family and friends, doing all the things I think makes christmas so special. We have been thinking a lot about our other angel friends Blake, Naomi, James, Cameron, Kahlilla, Shakir, Jayden and others we did not know as/of well. I hope thier families find peace at this time of year knowing their precious child is not alone but among friends who walked the road with them and made it to their beautiful home in their own time. Ranita told me something a while ago that only made sense very recently to me that they choose their time to go very carefully, that there is often special significance to the time they pass away. I realised not long ago that Josh passed on the 2yr anniversary of the first day he entered the oncology ward at PMH on 13th May. I had spent ages thinking he had tried to make it to the anniversary of his diagnosis on 16th May. Not so, the nightmare really began for him on that day and it was fitting he ended the suffering on that day also.

Finally, I just want to quickly send out happy birthdays to some of those with birthdays coming up in the next couple of weeks; Mum, Lachie, Chloe, Aaron and a very happy anniversary to my husband of seven years on 11th January Peter. Through hard times and good has taken on a whole new meaning in the last three years but we're still here!

I am going now to have fun with my family, may you all have a fantastic year in 2010 and spread love and magic to your friends and family,


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,


Monday, October 26, 2009

A Joshy Rainbow
Anika and Ethan in Busselton