I'm feeling ....
More to follow....
The firewall didn't work, and I reckon there must be something wrong with our line to do with Broadband, not necessarily AOL. Soooo annoying though. I have to phone them again tomorrow and probably get taken off Broadband and put back on the old dial-up method. Oh well. I just want to get online whenever I want to without paying for every minute of the time. So needless to say I haven't been online since I posted the last diary entry, not even to check email or messages, so don't think me rude if I haven't thanked you if you've left me one! :)
Okay now I have a fair bit to write about, so be warned! I have been playing The Sims for a while and Neil is lying down listening to some music (good for unwinding, and he hasn't done that for aaaages, so it's a good thing). So I thought now would be a good time for a mammoth entry!! :) Hope you're not gonna be busy in the next 20 minutes, because it could take that long to read this entry! Knowing me anyway.
My IBS is a little better, yay! And my hayfever too. Don't know what that was about. I sang a lot today and then I ate some chewy gummy sweets (v. stupid of me), and now my jaw is sooooo painful. I have tried heat and stuff, but I am not hungry enough to eat so that I can take some anti-inflammatories yet, pah. It's been a while since it was this sore. But it was worth it to sing sing SIIIING my little heart out! :) Poor old jaw. Singing is one of the things it says to stop doing on the leaflet I got from the hospital yeeears ago (for Jaw Joint Malfunction). But yeah right, like I'm ever gonna stop singing!! I love to sing.
Okay I will get straight to what I want to talk about. I mentioned Cameron's mum phoned me yesterday, didn't I? I am sooooooooo (many more 'o's) glad she did. I have been longing for some contact with her. She is something that's "left" of Cameron that I can still maintain. And I've been desperate to find out how she's coping and let her know I am here for her. But you know, she said she would be in touch when she was ready. I'm so so so glad she called. Her name is Sharon. I think it's time I called her by name here. She is my friend and I am her friend. She's more than just "Cameron's mum" to me, especially now. So I will call her by name here now, except that I'll probably still write "Cameron's mum" in brackets all the time, since I would hate to lose that connection when I write about her, for now at least.
It was great to chat with Sharon. We talked for over an hour!! It was so great. I am so relieved!!! I know I'm going on about it, but I really really am so relieved, it's like a huge weight has been taken off me just from the phone call.
Sharon had a favour to ask me, as well as just wanting to catch up and chat. Woohoo!!! It feels wonderful to be asked to do something for them!!! I can't explain why, I don't really understand why it feels so great, but it just does. I was like, "Yesss!!! Anything!!" when she said she had a favour to ask me!! Hehe. It's Michael's 4th birthday in December. They think it would be great to have a party for him, because although they are finding it hard to get up and plod through each day, they think Michael shouldn't be missing out on normal things. He is now back at nursery school and seems happy there, though he has started wetting again and is back in nappies. You can't blame the poor kid, he's lost his big brother, gained a baby brother, and started nursery school all in the space of six weeks. Poor little love. I would pee my pants too. Maintaining bladder control is hardly a priority when all that is happening, is it?!
Anyway, so Sharon asked if I would mind helping at the party. She feels a bit overwhelmed I think - they have asked a LOT of nursery children to this party! They don't know how many are coming, but it could be like a whole class or something! Yikes! They are having a magician / balloon-man, the same one they had for Cameron's 6th birthday party. Anyway, it's Saturday 13th, so I am going to go over there an hour and a half earlier than the party time, so that we can just catch up and chat a bit before getting things ready. I think there will be other helpers like Sharon's family and maybe the lady next door to them, so it won't just be me and Sharon and Geoff (Cameron's dad (step-dad)).
I am glad to be doing this for them. I said if there was anything else I could do, they should always ask me. I have been blessed so much by helping this family. That's how it all started - me helping out the family by taking care of Cameron on alternate weekends when he had respite care.
There's soooo much that we talked about. I wanted to write it ALL, but I don't even know if I can remember it all now. And anyway, I would never stop writing probably! We talked for a while about how they are coping. They are coping, just. The new baby is extremely colicky which is making things more stressful and exhausting than they could have been, but these things happen. Sharon is exhausted by the sound of it. She doesn't get to go to Cam's grave as often as she'd like I think, because of the baby and stuff. I've been four times since she was last able to go. I didn't tell her that, because I don't know if she would have found that hard. She said she'd seen my flowers and thanked me for them, and she said she left the little pot I put them in at the grave so I could always put more in it. I told her I didn't want to clutter his grave up so I had put it away somewhere else. She said I shouldn't worry about what I want to put there. So that was nice.
She said a lot of stuff about how she is feeling that I completely 100% identified with, but again I didn't tell her that most of the time, because I didn't know how she would feel about someone else coming along and saying, "Oh yeah, I feel that way too." I feel I have no right to that, especially compared with his mum. She must be at the absolute pinnacle of grief. I can't possibly be on that sharp end where she is. I can be pretty close, but never on the sharp end, because I am not his mother. So no matter how distraught I am about Cameron's death, I can't just come along and say I know how she feels. Even if she tells me how she feels and it completely describes the way I've been feeling, I can't say that to her because, I don't know, I think that would be mean. Unnecessary anyway. She did ask me a few times if I felt the same way though, and I said yes then. I didn't really talk about how I felt about Cam or his death, not till later in the conversation anyway, because I felt it should be all about Sharon in our phone conversation, since SHE'S the one going through all this. She is the priority for sure.
But after we'd chatted for quite a long time, about Michael's party, and about how they're doing, and about this and that, Sharon suddenly said, "How's work going?" (she knows I temp). I said I had been working recently but I quit. I was nervous to say it because I knew it was about Cameron and how I'm dealing with his death, and I didn't know how she would react to the idea that I was finding it this hard. Silly, I know, but I somehow feel sensitive about these things. Her tone changed and she asked if I was okay. I said yeah. She was worried that I was getting ill again, like when I had M.E. I said it wasn't that. She asked what was wrong. I took a deep breath and said, "Actually it's more to do with Cameron."
For the rest of the phone call (about half an hour), she was absolutely a-m-a-z-i-n-g, and I'm completely in awe of her all over again! Sharon is this amazing person, who just has strength like I've never ever seen. And not strength like the false type, where underneath you're weak but you seem strong on the outside. Nope, she is really incredible. She always has been, it's a special quality of hers. She climbs insurmountable mountains, and somehow still carries on giving to others while she's at it. Like at the funeral. But she is honest when she has nothing left to give. It's only for a time though, because she's back giving out before you know it. I can't get over this. She was amazing to me on the phone. She just talked and talked and talked to me about grief and about Cameron, but not about her - about me. I mean, HELLO?!! Sharon is the one who is really going through the major grief thing - I know I am going through some heavy grief too, but really it's Sharon who has the full brunt of it. And yet she puts the focus on me to help me. I've just got to say it one more time - she is such an amazing person. I love her. I never thought about that before, because I was too busy loving her little boy and thinking of her as his mum rather than a special person who I love as my own friend. But she is, and I do.
I tried not to say much about how I was feeling for a long time, because I didn't want to seem like I was suddenly gonna focus on me and say ohhhh how hard it was, etc, just because she'd been lovely enough to ask. But she kept saying stuff about me and about what I am "going through", and I just kept saying, "Yeah..... mmm..... d'you think so?..... yeah...... no....." and so on. I tried not to say, "Yeah, and I feel so X, and I don't know how to deal with Y, and it's so awful, and why can't it have been different?" etc.
But it's like she said it all for me. She said, "If you're anything like me, you're probably feeling X" or "Are you finding it hard to deal with Y?" or "I ask myself Z all the time, do you do that too?" But not for her own benefit, for mine. I was gobsmacked. Honestly.
She is in regular contact with two other mums in the local area who have both lost a child, and she says that is helpful. She gave me TONS of their advice because she thought it might help me too. I feel so.... humble? That she would include me in that kind of idea.
She said she knew I loved Cameron and that we had a very close relationship. She said I was there for him more than most people in his life, when he was little. She said I was there for her too at the same time. She said she thinks a lot of me, and she doesn't think a lot of many people. She named all the people she thinks a lot of. There are four couples. Neil and I are one of them. She says she respects us because we are kind and always think of other people's feelings. She said she has never seen me get angry, and I was always kind and giving to other people.
She told me so much stuff about Cameron, little things. She said that Cameron thought a lot of me. She told me that whenever I came up in conversation and he said my name, it was always, "ALICE!!!" (she pronounced it like he would say it, and I can't reproduce it in writing - full of excitement and feeling though). She said he loved hearing from me. He loved my letters. He was always excited to see another letter with stickers all over it. He often said to her, "I'm going to write a letter to Alice!" but he wasn't so great at sticking to it - this sentence would often be followed by, "... in a bit..."!! I told her I have the letters he DID write me. I treasure his letters. I did even when he was alive.
She said she has been going through his things recently, packing them away. The loft conversion is finally finished now, with no point to it at all, because it was so that Cameron could move into the loft when the new baby came, and Michael would have his old room. Now it's not even needed. She said it's the same thing with the new car they've got. They bought it so that they would have enough room for three children. It was waiting for them right after Cameron died. She said Cameron would have been allll over the new car, pushing buttons and being all excited about it. She said a lot of things like that - how Cameron would be reacting to this and that if he were alive.
Anyway, they are going to move Michael into Cam's room because that's how it would have been if Cameron had been alive anyway, and also she says she needs something to be done with his room. She keeps going in it and it's too weird. She thinks it will become an issue if the room isn't put to use - like she won't ever want it touched otherwise. She said it was so sudden - his death - so unexpected, that it makes it hard to feel like you're suddenly standing in his room and he's gone. I feel that way at his graveside a lot. But I can't know what that feels like really, because I never had him living in my house with his room across from my bedroom like she did.
She is packing all his toys away for Michael to use when he gets older, and his clothes too. She said that is how Cameron would like it. It's how he always did things - when he outgrew clothes or toys or whatever, he wanted them to go to Michael, or if for any reason that wouldn't work, they would go to charity, and if they were worn out they would go in the bin. That's how they always did it, so that's how she's doing it now.
She found a tape of his amongst his computer games. He had taped himself playing a playstation game (for some reason!). She listened to it, and she could hear him on it. She heard herself come into his room and say he had five more minutes, and then he said okay, and when she closed the door (she remembers it) he was muttering away under his breath! That boy was so funny! He used to make me laugh so much. Michael came in and did something he shouldn't have, and Cameron told him he was being naughty. Sharon told me loads of little details from the tape. I expect she will treasure it for ever. I would. She also said he had left "a little legacy" on the computer, because Geoff went to use it last week, and he hasn't used it for 8 or 9 months apparantly. Cam used to use it all the time. Anyway, there's some sort of error on it, you can't do anything without getting this huge load of duplicates all over the screen, so they are having to get a PC repair person out!! She said Geoff was really grumpy because he wanted to use it, but she had to try not to laugh, because it was just like Cameron, and if he had been there, he would probably have just poked a button and it would all have fixed itself. Or else he would have said, "I didn't do it, it was like that already!" Cheeky monkey :)
I miss him.
But it was a good phone call. I have a ton more to write about it actually, but I'm starting to not remember any more, and I'm sleepy and I want to go to bed. So I think I will leave this unfinished and write about the rest tomorrow. Sharon said a lot of other stuff that is really important for me to write about, because it has had a big effect on how I've been thinking and feeling since then. So I HAVE to write about it. I just hope I don't forget it before I can write it. I wish I could carry on and finish now, but I feel a bit scrambled so it's probably best to carry on tomorrow.
Hopefully I'll be online more normally soon and then I'll check my emails and catch up with diaries, etc. But thank you if you've left me a message or email! :)
Cameron's first anniversary - 2004-09-24