Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Monday, 30 January 2017

30 days and 30 nights... OM

My Natey.

It's been a full month since you left. Not counting our last night which we spent together that night you left us. That's 30 nights and 30 days without you now.

I am not sure how we have managed to keep going in this time. When everything used to be about you before, from the time we opened our eyes in the morning until we closed them at night.

30 is an interesting number for me.
You left on the 30th.
My birthday is on the 30th.
The second cycle of Jewish mourning is for 30 days. The first 30 days are called 'shloshim', from the word meaning "thirty", and represents a full-lunar cycle since the loved one's passing. (The 1st cycle is 7 days, and 3rd cycle completes the first year)
When I was 30 I went on my first trip to Thailand (the place on earth I feel most drawn to and spiritual about. While there I got a tattoo with 2 geckos in a yin-yang design.)

And then the symbol OM... to me always looks like the number 30.
And since you left I have felt such a compulsion to go back into my yoga practise and to find me, and my balance and centre again.

As I am writing this I am actually listening to the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra - which I learned at a workshop with my yoga teacher while I was pregnant with you Natey. Do you remember it?
om bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ prachodayāt

I feel like I need to find and take time in my busy, focused and driven life, to slow down, and go inwards, to feel, learn and remember who I am and what my journey is.

When I was on a course in November just before our Rome trip, we had to write '30' on a card - which we could hold up at any point if we thought we needed to move on, and if someone was babbling too much or going off track. It indicated that the person it was directed at should wrap up within 30 seconds - I actually drew an OM symbol instead...

So with 30-days behind us since you went, it seems like 30-seconds and a life-time.

I miss you beautiful boy. It's so hard to understand. I wonder why. I doubt and question myself. I feel so very responsible. It feels like so much of your potential was wasted. It feels like there could have and should have been so much more.

But I also feel more grounded, aware, spiritual and ready to step into a new phase, than I have for a long time.

I feel like your life, your laughter,  light, your love was meant to teach me and guide me.
I am trying to listen, learn, lean in, love and let go, to trust myself to follow where it wants to take me.

Guide me Natey. Om....

Friday, 27 January 2017

Of Rome and Crows....

Andrew, Nathaniel and I went to Rome, at the end of November, just a month before Nathaniel died. We went to meet up with Andrew's sister Edie, her husband Fred, and their daughter Julia - who'd just finished a semester studying in Prague.

Natey was just over 2 years old, not necessarily an ideal age for a grand tour of arguably the most historical and beautiful city in the world... Still we were up for anything, and usually he was too, so off we went.

Rome was magnificent. It is simply awe inspiring, and just amazing. Everything is breathtaking and impressive and beautiful, and over-the-top in terms of size, decoration, beauty and embellishment. We were enthralled. And Natey lapped it all up with us.

As usual we were travelling with Natey on our backs, in our trusty, well used and very loved African Baby Carrier  - gifted to me by a colleague - where he could see everything, chat, or sleep if he got tired. We made sure to focus on things he'd enjoy too - very easy because he would get excited by each and every bus/truck/police car/ambulance/fire truck/stone/bird - but for the most part we were really just touring around like 'normal' people and Natey was quite content to come along for the ride. Of course Andrew's 'Jewish Mama' tendencies also made sure there were always snacks on hand, which also generally smooths the way for good cooperation from everyone else too...

Anyhow, the point is we spent a good 5 days thoroughly exploring the sites and marvels of Rome, with Nathaniel seeming to genuinely be enjoying all of it. In fact the biggest 'problem' we had with him was trying to get him to stop exploring for long enough for us to be able to enjoy dinner.

The photos are on Facebook: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6.

The day after we arrived we decided to dive right in and do the Vatican city first thing. We walked there from our apartment in the morning, and managed to get in relatively quickly and easily. It turned out the Vatican City museum has something like 56 galleries. Yikes! Expecting not to able to see very much we identified a short 'must see' selection, but then remarkably went through a really good number of them, until we were all exhausted and pretty much walked-out.

Natey would point to things and comment on things he saw in the paintings, sculptures and tapestries, and seemed to be enjoying himself - especially when feeding the pigeons in the courtyard. In fact my only 'complaint' was that he was so chatty that I didn't get to listen to much on the audio-guide I had.

By late afternoon we headed into the Sistine Chapel, and took in the beautiful ceiling...
After leaving the Museum we headed to St Peter's Basilica nearby.

As we walked through the door Nathaniel gasped on my back and spontaneously said; "It's huuuge... It's so beautiful!"

I got goosebumps right then (and every single time since then that I mention or even think about it). I was astounded. Not only because I had no idea he knew the words 'huge' or 'beautiful'... but also because what 2 year old notices and appreciates a cathedral?

He seemed to be awestruck. He was just gazing upwards and saying, "It's so beautiful" over and over as I walked around.
After a while I took him off my back so he could walk around. He toddled around just looking at everything, in a happy, but pretty calm way. After a while he lay down in the middle of the floor, staring up at the ceiling. I was again amazed. Sadly it didn't take long for the security to arrive to tell us that no lying on the floor was allowed... so we had to pick him up.

The whole experience was so surreal and other-worldly and gave me shivers.

For the whole of December. Every few days Natey would look at me and say, "I want to go on an aeroplane again. I want to go to Rome". I just assumed he wanted to go on holiday again. But did he?

While in Rome I kept seeing crows. They showed up all over the place. I remember thinking, and even commenting on them, as it seemed a bit incongruous to me. Why were these crows in a place so full of 'angels'?

I didn't think about it much. In fact I completely forgot about it, until the other day.

Back at work in December in our main big meeting room, while having a big management team working session. A big crow appeared at the sky-light window and started knocking on the glass. And kept on and on. I kept seeing it, but no one else seemed to notice. I remember thinking it was a bit weird and eerie.

Also on that last afternoon with Natey, as I mentioned before,  while we were at The World of Birds, at one point as we walked through one of the bottom cages (the herons I think?), there was a bush-lined fence blocking the cage to our right. The top had some open space. A large crow suddenly caw'ed loudly and pecked at the fence in our direction. We squealed and got a fright. My sister said "That's a bad omen" and then had to explain what that meant to her son... Afterwards she said 'I don't know why I said that??". We didn't think much of it and just continued our visit.

Then a few days after Natey died. I was walking on my own. I had ended up walking most of my usual running route. As I came back up the hill and neared the place where the ambulances had met us on the road and where they worked on Natey at the side of the road (I really struggle to pass that section every time now), I stepped over a large black feather. I stopped to pick it up, and was compelled to put it with his little pile of memories.

(When I did it I had forgotten about the crows in Rome and also the one at work.)

Then on Sunday nearly 2 weeks ago now, a friend I have know for years (online) but just met in person during Natey's shiva, and was drawn to, asked if she could come fetch me and take me for a drive along the coast and to drink wine. I went. We started driving, and she suddenly realised she needed petrol and had forgotten to bring money. We turned back to go to her house - which was nearby. She jumped out to go run inside and then came back and said, "Hey do you want to come inside?". I was going to say no. Then decided, why not? So I walked in behind her and through to the lounge. Where mounted on the wall is a large stuffed crow!
I was a bit gob-smacked. She said: "Yeah that's Cedric. I love crows, they are my spirit animals". She went on, "People misunderstand them and think they are bad omens, evil, or bad luck... but really they are just messengers between the living and the dead."

Wow, ok...

I suddenly started getting a vision of a tattoo, which I think I want to get, and which somehow now represents Natey.

I told someone at work about this weird crow theme. Feeling slightly insane. But then I walked away, came back to see her again a short while later. She was not at her desk so I stood there a bit lost for a few seconds and turned around to walk away. As I turned I saw a figurine on the next person's desk of Jon Snow from Game of Thrones (incidentally my favourite character)... aka The King Crow.

Since then I have seen crows flying almost every day when I drive home. Andrew thinks I am mad, and that they were always there, in Grassy Park, near the cemetery. OK fine... but then why were there suddenly 2 flying over Green Point park when I went for a walk there the other day too?

And then just last night, Griffin got home after Scouts, he was sitting on the bed chatting to me... after a while I said 'What's that on your arm..?'. It was his patrol badge... he is in the 'Ravens' patrol now. Of course!

I have been wondering if crows/black birds are my 'sign'. And do I even 'believe' in signs? I want to. So I am drawn to go for a 'reading' with an 'intuitive'.

I actually have a session booked for Saturday morning now, to see what comes up.

Last week I went to see a friend she is a doula/ aromatherapist/ colour therapist/ crystal healer etc etc. At one point she pulled out her Astrology book to find my 'sun' (son?) sign. It is Leo. So she turned to the Leo page and there was this illustration of a mighty gladiator type man-Lion (Leonidas?) standing... in Rome. The Colosseum was clearly visible.

Rome and Crows, what are you trying to tell me?

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Archangel Nathaniel

The other day I got a message from a dear friend, who had received this from a friend of hers:
" I read Jane's story and it hurt me emotionally and physically. I have a 17 month old nephew and the thought of losing him scares me. I thought of praying to God but knew there would be no answer. so I prayed to Nathaniel and asked him to take flight with his Angel wings and look after our little T and all the other little boys and girls who need a guardian Angel. I imaged Nathaniel with snow white wings. But the vision in my mind was of him with shining golden wings. just like his hair. I will keep you all in my prayers.' thank you for sharing Jane's story.    I am more aware because if it. sending much love."

After reading that I absentmindedly opened a browser and googled 'Angel Nathaniel'...Nearly all the pictures are of red hair and golden wings and light...

And then I found this...


Colour: Red, Orange
Chakra: Heart Chakra
Element: Fire
Planet: Sun, Stars
Crystals: Carnelian, Orange Calcite, Garnet, Rutilated Quartz,
Signs/Symbols: Orange Flame of Transformation

Archangel Nathaniel’s name means ‘Gift of God’ and/or ‘God has given’.
Archangel Nathaniel works with the premise of the Universal Spiritual Law of Cause and Effect (the Law of Karma); that what you give out comes back to you.

Archangel Nathaniel is known as the ‘Angel of Fire’, the ‘Angel of Energy’, the ‘Angel of Purification’, the ‘Angel of Divinity’ and the ‘Angel of Life Purpose’.

Archangel Nathaniel works to open and expand the Heart Chakra.

Nathaniel is said to use the energies of the Sun and stars and participates with crystal healing sessions and therapies.

Archangel Nathaniel resonates with the element and energies of fire, which are purification, transformation, transcendence, prosperity, protection, cleansing, motivation, passion and enthusiasm. Archangel Nathaniel transfers the Divine energy of fire to our world where it is transformed and used to burn away misconceptions and our feelings of separation.

Nathaniel encourages us to maintain a strong belief and faith in our dreams and aspirations so that he is able to help us to manifest them into our lives. Nathaniel’s fiery energy awakens our passions and desires, and encourages and motivates us to manifest our intentions. Archangel Nathaniel helps you to ignite the energy and passion within you and helps to fan the fire that dwells within to seek to transform it into something uplifting and wonderful. Nathaniel helps us to wake up to our own true power.

Archangel Nathaniel encourages us in the direction of our true heart’s desires and inspires us to follow our passions. He encourages us to do what we love, as doing what we love uplifts the spirits and makes us feel good, empowering us to do more. Nathaniel teaches us how to bring our passions to the fore and transmute our spiritual fire or spark into beneficial action. Archangel Nathaniel encourages us to pursue our life purposes and serve others with altruism and benevolence, as contributing positively to the world and being of service ensures reciprocity. Nathaniel helps us to share our passions in ways that benefit ourselves and others.

Archangel Nathaniel is the patron saint of lightworkers, and he helps to keep us grounded during meditation and spiritual connection and communication. Nathaniel brings balance, harmony and trust, and can be called upon to help you connect with the spiritual, angelic and higher realms. Nathaniel encourages lightworkers to step forward and fully utilize their talents, gifts and abilities to shine love and light out to the world and fully serve and fulfil their life purpose and soul mission.

Archangel Nathaniel helps you to overcome obstacles, shed and heal the past, and brings you a sense of inner-peace and confidence. Nathaniel helps us to understand how to work with our gifts and abilities and implement them into our lives so that we can utilize them for the betterment of ourselves and others. Nathaniel helps us to see the Divine spark within and helps us to discern between things that enlighten, inspire and encourage us along our paths, from things that serve to distract and hinder us.

Archangel Nathaniel encourages you to consider your true wants and desires and to be very clear about what you want to manifest into your life. Nathaniel then inspires you to move forward with your soul mission and turn your passions into reality in your life. Nathaniel helps you to manifest your goals, dreams and aspirations. Nathaniel can also help you to identify your life mission and soul purpose.

Archangel Nathaniel encourages us to work and participate as a collective whose purpose is to heal, help and protect our planet and all of its inhabitants. Archangel Nathaniel is working closely with us helping us to prepare for the spiritual shifts and changes taking place on the Earthplane.

Archangel Nathaniel instigates change on many levels and helps to overcome procrastination and assists with accepting change with grace. He helps you to accomplish more than you thought you could and imbues energy, enthusiasm and passion. Call upon Archangel Nathaniel if needing assistance with focusing your thoughts and emotions and for clarity of mind. When you invoke Nathaniel be prepared for rapid and intense change, as he imbues you with energy, enthusiasm and motivation, as well as wise guidance as to your path. When going through life changes and transitions, ask Archangel Nathaniel to guide and assist, support and encourage you.

If you are contemplating making life changes, or are aware that things in your life are changing, ask Nathaniel to be with you as he will ensure that all transitions are for your highest good. At times, our life changes may not be what we wanted or expected, but Nathaniel ensures that they are for our highest good, and often turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Nathaniel brings purification, protection and cleansing energies, and helps you to clear away and detach from things that no longer serve your highest good. Nathaniel offers guidance regarding all life choices and changes, such as careers, finance, relationships, health and lifestyle etc. Nathaniel helps to heal beliefs and thoughts of self-doubt and/or lack, and helps to bring clarity and a sense of purpose. Nathaniel comes to us to help us with all shifts, changes and advancements in our lives.

Archangel Nathaniel can manifest abrupt, sudden and dramatic changes. Changes can come about in any and all aspects of your life. You may not quite know exactly what changes need to be made, but in hindsight, once the changes transpire, it will become very obvious and clear. At times, changes and shifts can seem difficult, unwelcome and/or overwhelming, but Nathaniel helps us to adapt gracefully through life changes and transitions. When invoking Nathaniel and asking for his help, be clear about your desired path and expect rapid changes to take place.

Archangel Nathaniel encourages us to clear clutter, be rid of waste, and let go of things that no longer positively serve us. At times, changes come about through endings and closures, and Nathaniel encourages us to release the past with love and gratitude for its service, and embrace new experiences and opportunities. Nathaniel helps to clear the path of anything (or anyone) that is preventing or hindering you from pursuing and fulfilling your soul purpose. When you invoke Nathaniel you can expect people and situations to leave your life, making way for better suited circumstances and relationships. If Nathaniel knows that something or someone is not in line with your higher path and purpose, his energies remove them from your life. With hindsight we are able to see how the changes bring benefits of all kinds to our lives.

Call upon Nathaniel when you are feeling stagnant or stuck and feel ready to move forward in your life.

Archangel Nathaniel’s Twin Flame or Archiea is the Archangel Ariana. Ariana works with sensitive children, and helps and assists with autism and the like.

Archangel Nathaniel helps with:
- crystal healing and therapies
- manifesting your intentions
- energy, focus and motivation
- your life purpose and soul mission
- overcoming procrastination
- letting go of the past
- clearing your path
- life choices and changes
- accepting change with grace
- pursuing your passions
- stepping into your own power

Joanne Walmsley
Sacred Scribes

More references:

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Today was a tough day...

Today was a tough day, because it was full of meetings that I had to attend at work. And the usual conflict and heated debates are starting up again, the usual deadlines, demands, and overwhelming load to juggle is coming back. I need to get back on my game to be able to catch up and keep up again.

Today was a tough day, because in under 2 weeks I start a PGDip, a serious qualification requiring a serious commitment of time, effort and attention. Can I do it? I don't know? Can I not... no I have to try. I can not give up on it now. The reading material and pre-assignment arrived today and has to be in by 5 Feb. It's overwhelming already.

Today was a tough day, because 10 minutes before I had to leave work, early, to fetch Quinn to take him to a new ENT - as it was time for his annual ear clean-out - I lost my mobile phone. I left it somewhere in the building at work. I ran up and down for 15 minutes and then had to leave without it. So I was unable to contact Quinn, or the doctor's office or get their address or contact details etc... And then I realised I have so many photos and Natey memories on my phone that were not backed up....

Today was a tough day, because the new ENT's office is in the New Christiaan Barnard hospital. So not only were we stuck in traffic, late, and I had no phone to communicate with, but I also had to drive to and past the ER we took Natey to where he was pronounced dead. I had to drive right in there and past the door.

Today was a tough day, because when we finally found the doctor's office, we had to walk past the empty office next door, with the name Dr Oliver Raynham neatly tuck on the door... only that office is unfinished and empty and dear Doc Ollie will never be able to fill it.

Today was a tough day because I popped into the gym. Too late for my usual spin-class. But I was there last week, clearly looking less fun and happy than usual. But my regular instructor saw me and came over to ask if I am feeling better this week. I said no not really, and after a few light-hearted and well meaning comments on his part 'It's not so bad' 'Chin up' type stuff... I had to tell him. Which left me clutching him and shaking and sobbing onto his shoulder...

Today was a tough day, because 2 beautiful and loving friends got me the most kind and thoughtful gift. A beautiful Pandora charm of an angel wing, with 'Nate' carved into it, and a leather thing so I can wear it close to me heart. What a beautiful, kind, generous and thoughtful gift.

Today was a tough day, because a beautiful kind and caring soul, someone I went to school with, but was never close friends with, and who  befriended on Facebook. We've liked some of eachother's posts over the past few years... gifted me

Today was a tough day, because while I feel and appreciate SO MUCH LOVE from everybody, my heart hurts so much. I don't deserve gifts, or attention, or to be so showered with love and kindness.

Today was a tough day, and this feeling of being more loved, but lest deserving than any time in my whole life is so very confusing.

Today was a tough day, because you are not here Natey, and you are all I want and all that matters.

Today was a tough day...

Monday, 23 January 2017

I had no idea...

I had no idea that when I posted the story of what happened,  it would reach so many people, and get the attention of so so many people. I have been literally blown away by how people have been touched by it, and how many times it has been viewed, shared, commented on.

The posts has over 60 000 hits now!

I have had comments from people telling me they have enrolled their children in swimming classes, ordered better fences and nets for their pools, are just more aware of danger and especially water danger. That they are spending more time with their babies, children, families. Just being present and appreciating them. I even had an amazing message from a lady who has been severely depressed for several years, since her child was born, in her words; "Fuck...I have nothing to be depressed about. My life is fucking fine and here I was being so ungrateful. I have learnt to stop being ungrateful, complaining of never having enough help or support. I have a whole new take on life. I don't feel depressed anymore. And my eyes opened because of all these horrible news happening to families like you. I am so sorry Jane."

We have received close to R35 000 in donations in Nathaniel's name to the Red Cross Children's Hospital. All of which will be donated towards helping other little ones dealing with Childhood Heart Disease.

There are also so many connections, coincidences and 'signs'. That I have been noticing.

Natey my brave baby boy. I hold such responsibility, sadness and sorrow for you. I want to believe that your death served a purpose,  that it was 'your time', and that 'your journey on earth was complete'. But it is so hard for me to believe that...

I do have to believe though that because of you, so many people are more awake, more aware, more grateful and just MORE.

So I wish us all enough*...
* Apparently this poem is by Bob Perkins...

Thursday, 19 January 2017

There are no words...

To describe the beauty and agony of this...

It's the small acts of care and kindness...

In your darkest and most difficult life moments it's the love and kindness of friends and strangers that see you through.

 A card from my team, and beautiful piece of rose quartz from another colleague - who had no idea how drawn I am to this particular stone (or stones in general). This was her 'stress stone' to hold when she feels stressed. On Monday when I returned to work she said she was compelled to give it to me. I clutched it all day, and was even able to sit in a meeting... One step at a time. 

Appreciating every bit of help on this sad, lonely road... Xxx

Gratitude for incredible Kindness & Generosity

When we posted the original, terrible, devastating message breaking the news about our darling Natey's death. We asked that any money that would have been spent on sending flowers to please rather be donated to the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital via the Children's Hospital Trust in Nathaniel's name. Where it could do some good.

Little did we know that the kind and generous, incredible people we know did just that. We have been informed that quite a sum of money has been received in the name of Nathaniel Leonidas Thor Canter, which will be able to help many little sick children in need. We have chosen to allocate all the funds received to support other children dealing with Childhood Heart Disease.

This has brought me to tears. I can not express how much this kindness and care means, and how humbling and overwhelming the generosity and compassion of people is. Thank-you everybody. ❤❤❤

We received a letter from the trust coordinator yesterday: 
The Children’s Hospital Trust would like to express our sincere condolence to the family of little Nathaniel Leonidas Thor Canter. It is with immense sadness that we received the news, from beloved family and friends, of his sudden passing. Our thoughts and prayers are so much with you during this time. 
I have also been informed that, instead of flowers, you requested friends and family to make a donation to the Children’s Hospital Trust in memory of little Nathaniel to benefit the sick children here the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, for this we are forever grateful. Through these donations, Nathaniel’s legacy will live on through the lives of the thousands of children it will touch here at the hospital.
Every cent of this legacy donation is invested into giving back childhood to the little patients at the Hospital. Their futures are shaped by the treatment they receive now, and one day they will understand that there were people like you who cared enough to give them a chance to grow up and take their place in the world.
We were overwhelmed with donations in memory of Nathaniel and to date have gratefully received an amazing R23 000. I wish to inform you that we will be creating an In-Memoriam in memory of Nathaniel.
Every In-Memoriam donation of R5000 or more is acknowledged with an individually engraved plaque in our beautiful Garden of Remembrance at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital as well as calligraphied in our Book of Remembrance which holds a special place in our reception area.
The In-Memoriam will be in place by the first week of March 2017 and we would like to invite family and friends to come and visit the garden, view the book and go on a hospital tour, if so desired.
Update received from the trust coordinator on 17 Jan 2017: "I wish to inform you of further donations received in memory of Nathaniel. The response is overwhelming and it clear that he was and still is much loved.  Total donations received R29 880."

Updated again on 23 Jan: Final tally now at R34 000

Every night in our dreams...

I've said before that Quinn is not very openly expressive. But I know he is deeply emotional. He vents his emotions through art, movement, and communing with dogs and babies.

He has told me he has been dreaming of Natey, and he has also dreamed of being held under water himself... So I know he is grappling with feelings and memories.

He seems to enjoy music (I have a strong music-emotion connection). He had a recorder when he was in Grade 1, but never took it very seriously. He also got a flute from his granny. She had bought it for his dad, but his dad refused the gift. She gave it to Quinn. He quickly learned the basics on his own, but then sold it, to finance his other hobbies (long-boarding).

He recently took his recorder out, and gave it to Natey. So during December we got used to the sound of a record screeching through the house. Let's just say Natey was not an instant natural at it. Still everyone thought it was cute, and the screeching sound was well tolerated.

In the past few days I have been hearing Quinn playing that recorder down in his room. And it sounds pretty musical. I eventually asked him what he was doing. It turns out he is learning to play 'That song from Titanic'. I thought that was a bit random and even a bit funny* and out of character.

Until I took the time to listen, and then last night I actually went to listen to the song... and I realised that this is not random at all. I am not even sure it's completely conscious, but this is him, feeling, and expressing what is inside him... The music, lyrics, and even the movie it is from seem to be significant.

My Heart Will Go On

Every night in my dreams

I see you, I feel you
That is how I know you go on

Far across the distance

And spaces between us
You have come to show you go on

Near, far, wherever you are

I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

Love can touch us one time

And last for a lifetime
And never let go till we're one

Love was when I loved you

One true time I hold to
In my life we'll always go on

Near, far, wherever you are

I believe that the heart does go on
Once more you open the door
And you're here in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

There is some love that will not go away

You're here, there's nothing I fear
And I know that my heart will go on
We'll stay forever this way
You are safe in my heart
And my heart will go on and on

* Disclaimer I am not a Celine Dion fan, and have always thought this song was a bit schmaltzy

I am so proud of Quinn - my warrior man-child

Quinn has already been through a lot, more than many people, in his young life. He has endured many challenges including rejection, disappointments, loss, a life threatening ear condition, hearing and sight loss. He also struggles with ADHD. And yet he goes on, always with a smile and joke. He is strong, capable, independent...

As I mentioned before Quinn had a special bond with Doc Ollie. Doc Ollie was his doctor, saviour, role model and friend. Doc Ollie introduced the boys to Camp Hermanus. Where their life long memories are formed each year. They have so much good old fashioned 'boys will be boys' fun and adventure there. And there was no better ring-leader of fun that Doc Ollie whose inner-boy was still strong and playful. His life's motto was 'He who has the most toys wins!' and he was working hard at making sure he won!

So when tragedy struck at camp, that fateful day of 29 Dec 2016 taking the life of Doc Ollie who was literally at the helm of an adventure, it wasn't surprising that the camp decided unanimously to carry on with camp in honour of Doc Ollie, and furthermore the epic 70+km Danger Point Hike 'Dangers' would be done in his memory on 3 Jan 2017. Then the unthinkable happened. Our precious Natey was taken the very next evening on 30 Dec 2016. Doc Ollie and Natey were the most significant and meaningful people in Quinn's life. To have lost both over 2 days, is just beyond devastating.

When I had to break the news to the boys, over the phone on the morning of 31 Dec, it was too much for Griffin. He understandably just wanted to come home. Quinn was resolute. He insisted he needed to stay to do Dangers. Now for Doc Ollie and his beloved Natey. (I went through to collect Griffin that afternoon, and spent some time with Quinn, and then left him at camp to carry on...) Quinn does not openly express his feelings. His usual way of processing is being alone, or in his interactions with animals (especially dogs) and babies. I was worried that Natey could have helped him deal with losing Ollie, and Ollie would have been able to help him with losing Natey. But losing both... how would he deal with that??

On the dawn of Tuesday 3 Jan 2017 - Quinn's 17th birthday - he set off with the group. Due to timing of the tides and a change in access rights to properties they ended up only being able to leave after 9am... and the distance was increased to about 74km. They walk from Camp Hermanus (on the Hermanus vlei) to the Danger Point Lighthouse beyond Stanford and back, largely on beach sand.

He has done it before. It's an exceedingly tough day out, no matter what the circumstances. Usually male-bravado and camaraderie sees them through...

I messaged him at about 21:30 asking if they were back at camp yet,and how it had gone.
A response came through at 00:12 "Still walking... So hard "
We communicated a bit and he told me they still had 5kms to go.
He said he couldn't go on.
I told him he could do it, to put on foot in front of the other and do it one step at a time, that Ollie and Natey were with him.

It turned out that in those last 5km he became delirious and was collapsing face-first into the sand. The others were hauling him up and drag-walking him further. They tried to feed him water and chocolate, but he'd gag and vomit. He asked to give up... but they told him it would take longer to be rescued, so he had to keep going. And he did it. Everyone thought he was just overcome with physical and emotional exhaustion and grief.

They eventually finished after 2am.
He told me the next morning "Jesus, thought I couldn't make it".
I told him how very proud I was of in, and how he could rest now, and come home. He wasn't ready to come home though. I realised that he felt safe and protected in the fantasy-land of camp, and that coming home would make it real... SO much as I just wanted to drive out and fetch him, I gave him his space.

That evening he messaged me again to tell me he was being taken to hospital, to the ER. My heart stopped. I think I nearly passed out... I was sitting with the people who had gathered to sit shiva with us that evening, and I just felt panic rising. He sent a picture of his leg. There was a large pussy red wound on it. I managed to get hold of him and he said, "Mom I am sorry, I told them I was fine, but they are insisting I go to hospital... I'm sorry if it is expensive..."

One look at that picture and it was clear he was NOT fine. It was super infected whatever it was.
My god, he was trying to protect me and not be a 'problem' or 'expense'!
I told him to get to the hospital and get whatever treatment he needed and FAST. I again wanted to go out to fetch him.
He got the wound cleaned out and disinfected and was put on strong antibiotics, just in time. That was the most arduous journey of his life. And even so sick and infected, he was trying to protect me and not burden me with more pain.

It turned out he had a highly infected (like started to get necrotic) violin spider bite on the back of his calf. And that this was probably why he had struggled so much with the hike. He was literally being poisoned by it. And yet he carried on and on and never gave up.

He is growing into such a fine and magnificent man. I am so proud. Ollie would be proud to call you a Knight Of The Long Tables. I love you Quinn.

Monday, 16 January 2017

So what actually happened? Or how the best day turned into the worst fucking day of my life

Well, it's a long story. The big boys were away at Camp Hermanus where we'd dropped them just after Christmas for their 2 weeks of good old 'boys will be boys' fun and adventure. It's always the much anticipated highlight of their year.

I have blogged about it

So we left them there after taking them out to Hermanus and spending some time out there too. We came back to Cape Town on the evening of December 27th. Andrew had opted to work that week between Christmas and New Year. Just 3 work days. Xolisa (Andrew's long standing house helper and also Natey's nanny when he was younger - his beloved 'Kia) had just resigned. Olivia our cleaner was off for 3 weeks. Natey's wonderful au pair Melinda (Minda) was on leave just for that week, and so was I. Andrew had asked if I wanted any help in those 3 days that he'd be working while I was home with Nate. I said no, I was actually eagerly anticipating having my munchkin to myself and getting to do all the cool and fun things I couldn't do while working, and which him and Minda got to do (while I enviously got photos on whatsapp). I had no sense of it being a burden, or being stuck with him at all.

On the Wednesday we went for an epic walk to the gym - which is actually just 5kms away - with Natey's pram, taking a super scenic route via Camps Bay, Bantry Bay and Greenpoint and eventually arriving there after a 15km walk. We got snacks on the way, chatted up a storm and Natey had a good nap too. At the gym we swam and played and then walked home. At home we played, swam, and played some more. It was a great day. When Daddy came home we went out for sushi down the street.

On the Thursday we did more playing, swimming, exploring the neighbourhood, chilling and reading. It was Minda's birthday that day and when I told Natey, he immediately said 'Birthday, cake!'. So although she was on leave we still wanted to celebrate it. Natey and I went down to the park to play and then we went out and ordered a nice big piece of carrot cake for her. Which we then ate for her. It was so big we had enough to take home to share with daddy after dinner. We made some videos of Natey wishing her for her birthday too.

While sitting at the table after dinner I got a whatsapp from Quinn - it was rare to hear from the boys while at camp, they are usually just having far too much fun to waste time on their phones. The whatsapp said "Mom". I responded brightly; "Hi! How's it going? Are you having fun?"

There was silence for a while... I know the signal is really bad at camp. Natey, Andrew and I kept chatting around the table. Then 3 more words came through: "Doc Ollie's dead" My blood ran cold.

I sent a flurry of messages asking what he was taking about. Was he kidding? What was going on?? They didn't go through though and I got nothing further. I tried calling but couldn't get through at all. I tired calling the camp leaders and couldn't get through to them either. Eventually I got hold of someone, but the line was so bad I had to ask him to repeat what he'd said 3 times and even then I had no idea what he'd said. I just heard "Sailing... mast... back". I thought they'd been sailing, and the mast had hurt Ollie's back. It sounded bad, but I didn't think it was THAT BAD. I was so worried though.

I didn't sleep that night, constantly worrying about Ollie, my boys, and wondering what was going on. I woke at dawn on Friday and immediately tried to contact Quinn. I got hold of him. He told me what had happened. I was horrified. It's a long story - which I won't go into detail on here or now. But it was true Doc Ollie had died in a tragic accident sailing on camp. There's a news reference here. and here.

Doc Ollie was one of our favourite people in the world. He'd literally saved Quinn's life by fixing his advanced and aggressive cholesteatomas. He'd restored Quinn's hearing. He'd shown us kindness and care beyond measure while I was a newly single mom with no support dealing with a child with this scary and serious condition. He'd fixed my boy with his skill and expertise. Protected us from debilitating medical debt. He'd taken us under his wing, made us feel special and loved. And made us close friends. He introduced us to camp Hermanus and he secured his place as my boys' mentor, role model and friend. He was so happy for me when he found out about Natey's pregnancy and birth.

I asked the boys if they wanted to come home, and they said no. They had all discussed it and the consensus was that camp was Doc's happy place too, and so camp would go on in his honour and they wanted to stay.

I was gutted but decided the best way to honour such a great man, was to try to be more like him. And so I decided consciously to be PRESENT in my day and to focus on priorities. Natey woke up. I had booked a spinning class at the gym. I decided I'd  skip it if he didn't want to go. But when I asked him if he wanted to go to the gym he said "YES!". He cheerfully cooperated and helped me to get him dressed and ready and we set off down to the gym, while Andrew was still sleeping.

Natey happily went into the Junior Care at gym, and when I asked if he was going to stay to play he again said yes. I said "Bye, see you later" and he cheerfully waved me away. An hour later, sweaty and glowing from a good work-out I collected him, still happily playing and having a great time.

On the way home I decided to stop for coffee. So we went to Strolla. He sat on the chair next to me while I enjoyed my coffee. Sipping his juice and proclaiming proudly "I'm eating my snack!". I even took a photo to send to Daddy, so he could see how fun and chilled our day was going.

Afterwards, I decided it was close enough to nap time so rather than go straight home, where he may have ended up getting over tired and not going to sleep, I took a meandering drive home. He noticed what I was doing and after exclaiming "My school", as he did, at least 2 or 3 times as we passed it, repeatedly. He became suspicious and said "Mommy, where you going?". I told him we were going home. I tried putting the classic station on, reckoning that would be a sure way to lull him to sleep. A lovely guitar concerto was playing. He listened to a few bars, sat up, and demanded "Turn that off. I don't like that noise!" I had a good chuckle, thinking classical music loving Grandpa Fraser would be horrified. I even posted about it on Facebook. Still, after turning it off, soon enough he drifted to sleep, and I drove on home.

While he napped I had plenty of time to shower, pack bags and get ready for the rest of the day. We were going to be heading to The World of Birds to see my sister and her children. Once Natey woke up I asked him if he wanted to go to World of Birds and he readily agreed. It was one of his favourite outings. So off we went.

We had a lovely time exploring the World of Birds and especially enjoying Natey's favourite part - playing in the sand pit with all the trucks! At one point as we walked through one of the bottom cages (the herons I think?), there was a bushy fence to our right, the top of it had some open space. A large crow suddenly cawed loudly and pecked at the fence in our direction. We squealed and got a fright. My sister said "That's a bad omen" and then had to explain what that meant to her son... Afterwards she said "I don't know why I said that..?". We didn't think much of it though and just continued our visit.

We eventually left and said our goodbyes well after the official closing time, as the last of the staff were leaving. Then Natey and I wound our way back from Houtbay to the Seapoint-side. Unperturbed by the holiday maker's traffic, and simply happy to enjoy each other's company as the day wound down. While we cruised through Camps Bay Natey said, "Mommy is not angry. Mommy is not sad. Mommy is happy."
I said, "Yes, I am very happy. Is Natey happy too?"
He said, "Natey also happy"
We drove on in amicable silence. He then said, "Mommy is beautiful"
I was amazed. I'd only heard him say the word 'beautiful' once before (in Rome - more about that in another post). I wondered who had taught him the word. I decided it was Minda, who must have coached him. Still I was positively glowing with love and happiness. Could the day have been any more perfect!?

As we got towards Seapoint I said, "Hey Natey do you want to go to the beach?". He of course said yes. So I turned off at the first opportunity in Bantry Bay and went to a beach I'd never been to before. Natey walked down the stairs and onto the beach himself. We sat on a rock and hugged. I took his last 3 beautiful photos and posted all 3 on Facebook right there. We chatted, he played with stones and shells, and we just soaked up the calm golden warmth of the evening.

After a while we went home. I got us out the car and unpacked and then suggested we swim. He was keen. So we went out on the deck and stripped off. Me to my underwear and him naked. We had a glorious relaxed and cuddly swim. I wanted to climb out. He said "Swim more mommy". I told him I was cold, so wanted to get out, but that he could swim some more if he wanted to and I'd watch him. He said no and decided to get out. We cuddled in the big towel in the last evening sunshine. Then we went inside. (Where I am sure I closed the baby gate leading to the deck. Surely I must have? I always did. I always nagged other people about it!)

Then I started making dinner. Put on a load of laundry. Washed dishes. Copied a movie onto our hard drive to watch later. Made us each tea. Fed the dog and cat... And I actually think I stopped to marvel at how amazing this day was and how everything was just easy and RIGHT. I think I even smugly thought, "I am winning at life today!". Stupid fucking fool!!

Natey was wandering around with me as I went about things, commenting, chatting, helping, asking what I was doing, as he would, "What you doing?", "Why you do that?" And then he appeared with a handful of dog food. I said "Natey. What you doing?"
To which he cheekily replied, "I messing the dog food"
Me: "Why did you do that?"
Him: "Why you do that?" (He never ever did answer that question with anything other than repeating "Why you do that?")

Honestly, I was not bothered. I even thought, "Ag whatever, the dog can eat off the ground..." But I halfheartedly asked him to go clean it up. He disappeared out the back door, down to the dog bowl and came back a short while later. I asked if he'd cleaned up and he gave me one of those head cocked to the side looks as if to say "Lady, do you really want me to answer you?" I think I tickled him and said "You're so naughty!" and just left it at that.

I was still making dinner and pottering about, and then saw I'd missed a bunch of Whatsapp messages from Andrew during the day. Feeling a bit bad that I had hardly communicated with him all day, or much the day before, and being conscious about wanting to connect properly with the important people in my life, I wanted to respond. Natey was asking for Play-dough. I got it out, opened it up and put it on his table. I squashed it down and put a shape in it to show him what to do. I told him I was just going to go talk to daddy quickly.

He followed me. He asked me to play with the dough. He also wanted food. So I gave him a small snack, as we were going to be eating dinner shortly. I had a directory of photos open on my laptop. I wanted to look for photos of Ollie to post in a dedication to him on his Facebook page. I remember clearly thinking "I really want to do this, but I don't have to right now. It can wait. Right now I am spending time with Natey. I can do this when he is asleep".

So instead I flicked over to Whatsapp and sent about 7 lines to respond to Andrew's messages. This was at 19:57-19:58 (I still have the time stamped messages.)

I then listened. It was quiet. Weirdly quiet. Too quiet. I almost called out, instead I got up and walked to the dinning room, just a few paces away, around the corner.

Natey was not at his table. I immediately thought "Oh he's gone back down to the dog food". I was about to head through the kitchen to the backdoor to look down the stairs, when my instinct told me to 'sweep the pool'. Something I have always done. Every time I am not sure where a child is I always check the pool first. By default and as a routine. No part of me thought he was near the pool. I knew he wasn't. I nearly turned back, feeling silly...

Then I noticed the dog sitting out on the pool deck. I didn't think about it really. but how did he get out there? What was he doing there? Why was he sitting there, weirdly still, just staring into the distance?? So I walked out to the deck. Glanced at the pool and saw nothing. I almost turned back again. I called Natey's name this time... I think my sub-conscience realised that if he was by the dog food the dog would have been with him, right...? I walked another 2 steps forward, to where I could see right down into the pool - and was horrified to see Natey there at the bottom of the pool...


WHAT THE FUCK!?? He was JUST standing next to me. Not 2 minutes before. I had JUST said, "Let me just talk to daddy quickly". Not annoyed, or in anger, or pushing him away. In a light and friendly way.

I bounded into the water, grabbed him by the arm, and pulled him up. As I brought him up my main concern was that he was going to be crying and upset, and what a shame it was that I had created this sad blip on an otherwise perfect day... But then I realised it was far worse that that. He was not coughing, or spluttering, or choking. Or Anything.

I rushed inside with him, grappling with his wet slippery naked body, pretty much falling over the baby gate and trying to hold him head down so the water would drain out of him. I put him down on the dinning room carpet and started mouth-to-mouth and did some chest compressions...

That sound of the air automatically exhaling after you do mouth-to-mouth will haunt me forever. Every. Fucking. Time. It happens I am convinced the person is breathing!! (I had also watched this just 2 months before when a colleague collapsed at our team-building event and I helped the guys with CPR efforts before the paramedics arrived... Sadly we watched our colleague die that day. But still the CPR was fresh in my mind. I knew the drill.).

After a very short time I realised I needed more help. I needed to get assistance, and an ambulance. Knowing our neighbour down the road had his full contingent of armed security standing guard a few hundred meters away,  I picked Natey up and I ran out to the street clutching him in my arms, pushing our alarm panic-button on the way out. I yelled out to the guards, "Help! Do you know CPR?!"

They saw me and came running up to us. By which time I had put Natey down next to the driveway and was carrying on doing CPR myself. I also sucked some saliva and vomit out of his mouth. Once they arrived and seemed to indicate they knew what to do, I let them take over. I told them he'd fallen in the pool and wasn't breathing. And they got started. I asked them to call an ambulance too and then ran back in to the house to grab a phone. I got the house phone and my mobile and ran back out to make sure they were doing CPR properly. I fumbled the phones and couldn't remember what number to dial but eventually dialed 107, and managed to place the call.

Ages and ages seemed to pass. I still ran inside pulled on some shorts (I was still just in my underwear) and then phoned again. They told me I had just called. I told them then why was NO ONE coming? They told me that were coming and to wait. I know I made what I think was the second call to 107 at 20:05. that's 5-6 minutes after sending the Whatsapps! (The SMS reference for the first call came through at 20:06, less than 7 minutes after. That was after finding him, doing CPR myself, taking him outside, doing more CPR, handing over to the security guys, going back into the house, going back out again, and then dialing and making the call to the emergency services. He can't have been alone for more than a minute or 2.

How in that time could he have got out onto the deck and climbed into the pool? Silently, with no noise from the gate. No talking. No dog bark. No splash. And more importantly WHY!?? WHY did he go out there? What was he doing?!

(Later that night we found his beloved front-loader truck floating in the pool. It had not been in the pool before. It was drying just outside the door from the day before. He must have climbed in with it. Gone down onto the second step... and? What?? Reached out for it and slipped in??)

How can that happen so fast!!!!? How can the child who'd stayed pinned to me in blissful loving amicability all day, telling me every thought and feeling, just wander off like that? I can't can't can't make sense of it or understand it. My brain just can't erase that image of my beautiful perfect baby. Andrew's beautiful perfect baby. Lying there at the bottom of the pool. Probably dead already when I found him.

How the fuck can that have happened when I loved him so much and when I was RIGHT THERE, with him, watching him and caring for him? Loving him and playing with him? Consciously focusing on him.

WHY was I so stupid to not let Andrew get someone to help me watch him?  Why was I selfish about wanting to have him to myself??

I failed Natey. And Andrew. My boys and myself. I should have played dough with him like he asked me to!

I frantically called Andrew, the alarm was still blaring. He was riding his bike home. I told him to get home immediately. He jumped in a taxi as fast as he could.

I was getting more and more anxious because the ambulances were just not arriving. I was running up and down, fetching towels, blankets, pillows, my handbag, pulling dry clothes on. Just running up and down as if that was doing any good! Pacing, praying. Wringing my hands. Asking why no one was coming!!??

Eventually the security guys said, "We have a siren, do you want to go?" I said yes. And so we piled into their Mercedes armoured vehicle. They turned on the siren and drove like mad-men, racing and hooting, accelerating, braking hard... Go go go! After 4-5 blocks an ambulance passed us speeding up the hill. Our driver  veered to the side of the road. The ambulance turned around and came back to us. And then another arrived and then another and another and another, and police and who knows who else? There must have been 4-6 ambulances, paramedics and police cars. We all piled out on the side of the road. The paramedics got to work. At first asking about the scar on his chest. I explained it was an aortic valve condition, but that it was fixed and he was fine. Please to just save him. They got an oxygen pipe in and got an ECG trace going... There was no heartbeat. NO FUCKING HEARTBEAT!!! I watched as they did CPR. Chest compressions, oxygen, adrenaline... There was a some movement on the ECG, then nothing, then something. I was praying to a god I don't believe in, begging, pleading, bargaining. I called Andrew again (at 20:19). Sobbing. Begging him to just get there... Stupidly believing that once he arrived everything would be ok. It always is when he is there.

I paced. I watched. I waited. Some well-meaning bystanders tried to make me go sit down, where I couldn't see or be 'upset'. Fuck that. I was staying right there. Watching. Willing. Being responsible. Wanting it to be ok. Andrew's cab pulled up and he rushed over.

We held each other. We watched. I said I was sorry. I nearly passed out. I thought I was going to faint, or vomit, or die. I wanted to.

I was chanting, "Breathe baby" under my breath.
Andrew said, "He's not going to make it".
I just said "No no no no no no".
They said "Let's go to the hospital"
A ray of hope!?

We all piled in to various vehicles. The security guys took Andrew and I in the Mercedes. We flew off in 4-5 vehicles. Sirens blaring on all of them. The whole of Sepoint and Fresnaye knew something bad was going on. We arrived at the hospital at 9pm. We went into the ER. A female doctor dressed in all black scrubs (I have never seen that before?). Took one look and said to the team, "Why did you come here?"

They hesitated and then glanced at us. Someone turned to us and said, "Can we take you to the Comfort Room?"
Andrew said "No we are staying"
I said "We won't interfere, please just do what you need to do."
They were still doing CPR. It was 21:05.
The paramedic looked at the doctors and said, "We've been doing CPR for an hour. We came because we wanted to show the parents we were doing everything we could."

That line told me what I needed to know. It was over. He was gone. The love of my life. The absolute love and light of Andrew's life. The light of Quinn and Griffin, Melinda, all of our families and everyone that knew or even saw him, was gone. Dead.

They all walked out then. And pulled the door closed. Leaving Natey lying there on the stretcher. And Andrew and I just standing there. Andrew took out his phone and started taking photos. He also used a pair of scissors to cut a lock of Natey's hair off. Realising he was never going to reach his milestone 3rd birthday and first haircut...

I immediately walked up to Natey and started taking everything off him. Andrew looked concerned and kind of did a double take then (I think he was wondering if I was allowed to be doing that.), I didn't care. I carefully pulled out the oxygen tube, pulled off the ECG probes, pulled out the IV line. I picked up my beautiful perfect baby boy, wrapped him in his blanket and went to sit down with him.

I sat there with him, cradling him to my chest, smelling him, breathing him in, kissing him over and over. Waiting for him to just open those beautiful eyes and be fine. He looked like he was sleeping. He was soft and warm, his lips were full and rosy. He felt like he was THERE.

After a while they took us to the Forensic Pathology Services (aka the Morgue) in the ambulance. We had to say goodbye to him there and hand him over. We had to talk to officials, police men, paramedics. Nothing made sense. I have no idea what happened there.

A kindly police constable took us home afterwards. Where we didn't sleep. The next morning we had to go back and see him again at the morgue to 'identify the body'. Worst experience ever.

Our beautiful baby. Beautiful beautiful beautiful boy. Our perfect fairy-tale.
The End.

One of my best memories of Natey...

Was this precious cuddly bedtime, when he was trying to charm me into giving him a 'lil more Milky. And he just LOVED milky.

It melts my heart every time. Gosh this child was so cute, and beautiful, and loving and FULL of life and love.

In the meantime...

Natey, this song has been running through my head all day today....
"When I look at you I smile. But when I think of you I cry"
"I cry when I think about you all the time. I cry when I wonder where you are tonight."

Facebook Memorial Page

We have created a separate special Facebook page for Natey, which we can keep updated and where we can share and keep memories and thoughts of him. Feel free to follow the page if you want to follow activity, or not if you don't.

Friday, 13 January 2017

May your days be long...

I noticed that Jewish people say 'May you have a long life' to mourners... at first I was taken aback, feeling that was the worst thing to wish for me. A long life of pain and suffering..? Andrew did some research though and established that in Judaism, there is a custom of wishing “long life” to mourners. The original Hebrew blessing actually means “may you have long days” and he found a nice explanation of this.

 “Some of us are blessed with long lives, some not. But we can all have long days. A long day is a day full of meaning, a day spent doing good, spreading happiness and fulfilling a purpose. A day of giving and loving, learning and teaching, building spirits and lifting souls - that is a long day. Some achieve in a short lifetime what others never get around to doing. The difference is not how you spend your life, but how you spend your day. We don't choose how many days we live, but we can choose how we live our days. The length of our days is not measured in hours on the clock, but in beats of the heart, not in minutes, but in mitzvahs [good deeds]. When we suffer the loss of a loved one, we become more sharply aware of how precious just one day can be. A wasted day is an eternity lost. And a day well spent can have an eternal impact. Yes, there's always tomorrow, but there's only one today. And we have many lifetimes, but this one we only live once. Don't wait for tomorrow. Time is short, make today a long day.”

 Well I can say with absolute certainty that Natey had long days. The longest of days. That boy squeezed every minute out of his days.
Long Life stock image. Image of draw, asian, letter, design - 40344241

Thursday, 12 January 2017

A brief journey of time... Nathaniel in pictures.

Nathaniel Leonidas Thor Canter 
29 August 2014 - 30 December 2016
2 years 4 months 1 day

Natey - twinkle boy of love

Where to start...? Ours was a love story. A perfect fantastical fairy story.

Natey you were born out of your father's longing. His life's longing...

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
On Children ~  Kahlil Gibran

​At first you were not mine. You were his and his alone. You see I chose to give the biggest gift I had to give. Because I wanted to do good. To be able to maybe be a little good by doing good.​

So I offered to give your dear deserving father the gift of a child. His own child, to love and care for, and to complete his already happy and fulfilled life.
​It was not a terribly difficult decision for me to make. Sure the thought of giving you up was difficult, but I knew your dad would LOVE you and you him. And I knew that would be ok. And that I would be ok...

I guess I wasn't supposed to bond with you, or love you. But well I have had many hurts and disappointments in my life. ​I have dealt with many difficult to face circumstances. I had already crossed that bridge no parent ever wants to cross. I was already part of that terrible club no one wants to be a member of... That of those that have lost a child. Among many other things you see, I lost a baby. My first baby. When I was just married and just 23. A beautiful, perfectly-formed, live, but too small baby girl. Born too soon...

So I am not afraid to love. And I am not afraid to lose. I have lost before and I knew I could survive it. But I have chosen not to close myself off to any opportunities to love, because really - love is all that makes life worth living.

So there you were growing inside me, and gosh was I happy. I was so FULL of you. Full of life, hope, possibility and pure love. I savoured your pregnancy and relished every moment of it. I loved preparing for your birth. It was such a happy time of anticipation.

By the time the day of your birth arrived I was so ready. Ready to birth you as gently and peacefully as I could.

And your birthday was magical... and just perfect. It was all I imagined it would be and more. Nothing could have been better. It fulfilled my dream of a perfect birth... and then there was this perfect, beautiful baby boy. 

Nathaniel Leonidas Thor Canter. A strong, bold, and really easy going guy right from the start.

No one could help but just dive right in and just LOVE you with abandon. Right for the start. Everyone who saw, or held you became entranced by your happy, and relaxed vibe. You were easy to care for, adaptable and just delightful.

I have consciously been thankful for having the honour and extra unexpected bonus of getting to not only be part of your life, but actually being your real proper MOMMY too. It has been the biggest honour and privilege of my life.

Your brothers, also not knowing whether they'd get to share in your life, also immediately bonded with you and loved you with an intensity and purity I had not seen in them before. You brought such richness, joy and wonder to them.

You taught us what real love is. You gave us real love. You were real love.

Natey you were my absolute DELIGHT.

We were living a charmed life, and we KNEW it. We felt lucky and grateful constantly... I don't know why our luck ran out so soon.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.' ~ Kahlil Gibran 

​We were not ready to say goodbye to you yet darling boy. We had so much more to show you, and I am sure you had so much more to teach me. Just when the fantasy started feeling like a real 'forever after', suddenly it was 'The End'.

I am so sorry I failed you - best part of my life. But thank-you for all the love. Keep shining beautiful twinkle in the sky...