Manchester

I didn’t want to start this post with pleasantries, mainly because I don’t feel like it. I hadn’t planned to write but I felt I needed to. I am of course referring to Manchester, bizarrely being a Brit in the US meant due to the time difference I was aware of the attack before many of my friends and family, they were tucked up in bed blissfully unaware of the brutality occurring. During my lifetime there have been too many attacks in the name of terror, but something about this particular one has resonated with me. I think being a mother of a young daughter I could relate. Yes Little L is only 3 but I could see her and her friends wanting to see a music concert. It is a right of passage for a young girl to go to their first music concert, often to see a band or performer whom you slightly obsess over, for me it was Take That. I remember going with friends to see them, in fact I was probably aged 12 or 13 so very similar to many of the audience in Manchester. I think the motivation of attacking an event where the vast majority of the audience are young girls horrifies me. I am not sure why I feel shocked after all these young female concert goers represent everything so abhorrent to the terrorists. I have been through all the emotions, numbness, tears and anger. I cried this evening after a young lady Olivia Campbell (15) was pronounced dead, her parents had been looking for her all day. I heard her heartbroken mother on CNN on the night of the event when they could not find her. Now the unimaginable horror has been confirmed, how are they and others who have lost their children supposed to continue? It is not the natural order.

I had noticed today that my feelings were focusing on anger, who wouldn’t be angry? Life being taken to young and unnecessarily. I’m angry that these events make me question my parental style and shape what I might let my daughter do or behave in the future. As a mother I am one to push independence, I think I have mentioned before that I feel it is my role to give Little L the wings to fly. I want her to go to music concerts, travel and experience life in the ways that our society allows. I have to remember that anger breeds anger, hate breeds hate etc. If I remain angry I allow these monsters to win. It made me feel sick on Monday because I had just explained to Little L that monsters don’t exist, I lied, they do and they hide in plain sight. I don’t want to feel angry that is not justice for all those people who died or have been injured. I pray that the media do not continue to name the bomber or show his face, after all that promotes the infamous martyrdom that they so desire. I have to remember that as much as I want to hunker down, not go out and wrap Little L up in cotton wool that is not the answer. We must stand united, we must allow our girls the freedom to be who or whatever they want, after all that will bother them far more. They are not worthy of my emotion.

Instead I will spend my next days thinking of those affected, I can not imagine what those parents and loved ones are going through. There are no words. As a tribute to their angels I need to continue to raise Little L the way I want. I need to spend more time listening and being kind to others. I need to be a better and more present member of society, I should worry less about minutia and care more about what is going on around me. I should appreciate the small things, so today take a moment look around you at what is beautiful about the world. Take time to appreciate the moment and your loved ones because if this event has taught us anything it has shown us how precious and fragile life is.

To those affected I am so so sorry that mankind is so cruel.

Kate x

Sweet Dreams

Howdy Y’all,

My blog is seldom very personal, in fact I was so very reluctant to post this simply because it exposes me at my most vulnerable. I am doing it for several reasons. I want to preface that this is not for sympathy, that is not what I desire from you my reader, but more a sense of sharing feelings. Perhaps it is a subject with which sadly you are familiar, or perhaps one with which you have no experience and find it difficult to understand. I share this mainly because it is a topic I think very few people open up about. I feel I can share it not because I am healed but because I am healing and I believe this will help me move forward and I hope it might help others.

Two weeks ago (it will probably be longer by the time I publish this) I suffered a miscarriage. Finding out you are pregnant when moving several hundred miles is not something unfamiliar to me, it happened before I had Little L. The Lord seems to think that we can manage. I was shocked, but they say miracles happen when you least expect it. We were happy. It took those first few weeks to accept the idea; it was never that the baby was not wanted, it was more the added emotion on top of everything else we were going through. I felt different, my body was beginning to change and my mind was beginning to think about loving another child the way I do my daughter. You get carried away, of course you do. It is the private euphoria you feel as a couple: boy or girl? What about names? You make your first scan appointment, you start thinking of how you will manage the birth. You know there are risks, especially with my history, and you try to keep the excitement contained just in case the worst happens.

I had no cramping or pain, just bleeding. Sorry if that is TMI for some of you. As I drove myself to the hospital alone, knowing what was happening, I have never felt so alone. Mainly because I was alone – my husband was still working in our old city. I am so thankful for my friend K. She held my hand, she kept my spirits high and most importantly she cried with me, she listened as I selfishly thought “why me?” I will forever be in her debt, I will forever remember her total unconditional friendship. She is one of the few who has seen me at my most vulnerable. I also want to thank the other K – and she knows who she is – who stepped in and helped me with Little L while I was at the hospital. Thank you.

Since the physical event I have been healing. I have been through so many emotions, mainly guilt. Guilt, it is such a nasty emotion, could I have done something different? Did I push myself too hard? Did I move too many packing boxes? Did I get stressed over crazy pointless stuff? I feel guilt towards my darling husband, that my carelessness has deprived him of being a papa again. A kind and caring man who has hugged me and cared for me, told me to slow down and to think when my inclination is to carry on as before. A man who must be grieving himself. It is so hard for men, society suggests they are not really supposed to show emotions although I know he has felt them. I have moved through guilt to anger, I was briefly angry with the ridiculous notion of “why me?” Like I am a fifteen years old. Why the hell not me?? I got angry with life, I know that to most of the world I live a charmed life and you would be right, but when you relocate as regularly as we do, the solitude and the effort to start again and meet new people can be tough. I had moved to a place where I knew so few, my husband was working away, my little one was unhappy because I had torn her away from all her friends, plus my mother has lost her mother and I wanted to be there for her. How much can one person take before she cracks? I have moved past this anger, after all I have never held a pity party and I am not about to start.

Instead I have been healing by being positive and focusing on the good things, of which I am blessed with so many. I am very fortunate to be a mother to the most wonderful child, I have that bond and I am eternally grateful. I am so lucky to love and have that love returned by my husband, a good man, the best of men, whose life purpose is to make the world a better place for Little L and I. Sometimes I think isn’t that enough? Am I, was I greedy to want more? I am now in a passage where I am being more reflective and philosophical. Mr L the scientist tells me that perhaps it was natures way, things were not right. Of course whether science or religion is your recourse there is some truth in what he says. Does it help ease my guilt? Perhaps yes. I often think the Lord has a different plan for me. Maybe I am only meant to have one child? People say this is a process of grief. After all we cannot all have large families. The planet is struggling with the current population.

So for the sweet angel I carried for those weeks, know this: you were and are loved. You will forever be etched in my heart and soul. I will always be your mother. Although I never met you, I think of you often and imagine what could have been.

 

As life moves on which it naturally does, I feel more positive. If you know me at all you will know how unbearable this is for me to write, but I think sharing it will help. If you have stuck with me to the end of this emotional post, I ask this of you: please think before you might casually ask “are you having a second?” Or “isn’t it time you had another?” You sometimes have no idea how these words hurt. I am definitely philosophical about the future whether that is with another child or whether we decide to stay as the Three Musketeers. I do know that this experience has made me grateful for the love I have in my life and it has made me a better mother. I am trying to be more patient and tolerant and it has made me appreciate all the little things with Little L all the more. I still have bad days but they are fewer and fewer.

I promise no more sentimental things on the blog for a long while! If you have suffered a miscarriage, or know someone who has, I am so sorry but please know you are not alone.

Sweet Dreams Angel.

TLL x