Saturday, 29 August 2015


It's 8 years now since a young adult was placed in a bath of water that was too hot. Eight years since we took that long ambulance ride away from the hospital we knew and over to East Grinstead and strangeness. Eight years since introductions and developing relationships changed to awkward defensiveness and police investigations. Eight years since a worn out and finished with body was locked in a freezer for three months until permission was finally given to lay her to rest. 

And I only knew her for seven years before that. My dancing cuddly koala of an eleven year old, who could cling on round my neck as I walked out to meet people. My grumpy teen dragging the duvet back over her head and refusing to get up for school. My little innocent, needing one more recital of the Three Little Pigs, one more Billy Goats Gruff, one more Cheese and Potato Pie and maybe even a Chocolate Bar. 

It seems extraordinary that she can have been gone now for longer than I knew her. Crazy. How can she have been a part of our lives less time than she has been apart from our lives? 

It can't be eight years since the phone all which changed everything, eight years since we stood by a bed listening to the sounds of a sats monitor gently beeping more and more slowly as an overburdened heart wound down. Eight years since the relief about the end of the suffering marked the start of an entirely different kind of pain. 


And so, as an annual reminder, I'll say this again. If you're a carer, and you bath your clients. Take off your gloves before you test the water. Use the thermometer. Follow the law, follow best practice, save lives. 

And if you're one of our carers, caring for one of my children, forgive me if I possibly seem a little irrational on the subject of testing the water. It matters, folks. 

And if you buy a secondhand bath tub, get the manufacturers to fit the thermostat accurately. Maybe it is expensive. Funerals cost more. 

And if you're a friend, don't tell me your thermostat's all wrong; tell the plumber. Fix it. Because trust me, you don't want the images I have in my head even eight years on. 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Love heals.

One girl, getting bothered, sats dropping, pulse rising. Breathing fast, losing smiles, and generally working too hard at what should be a relatively simple automatic process of keeping air moving in and out of lungs. 

Move said girl from somewhat squashed scoliotic upright position onto a camp bed where her spine can straighten where it needs to and kink further where it must. 

Pain better, but everything else still too hard. 

Take one boy, place alongside and slightly underneath the girl. 

Watch girl's panic ease, see vital signs improve on the monitor. 

Out of interest, clip second monitor onto the boy. And watch as the girl's heart rate slows, coming to rest at exactly the same rate as the boy's. 

Two hearts, beating as one. Breathing calms, sats pick up, a boy's gentle hand strokes an ear and teases out locks of hair. A girl's distress replaced with gentle smiles for her boy. 

Love heals. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


Sun, sand, sharks and jellyfish on the beach, lifeboats launching around the corner, giant rabbits, baby cygnets, ice creams and fresh fish and never changing but always something new to find alongside our old favourites. 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Friends can.

Friends can 
Tease gentle strands of your hair until the whole of it is a crowning blaze of tangled glory. 

Lie on each other's arms until they go to sleep, and only protest until they are awake again. 

Gently tickle ears and necks until everyone is laughing together. 

Argue over whose turn it is to choose the music. 

Detach sats monitors and feed pumps to set off alarms and make each other laugh. 

Find entirely non-verbal ways to insult, tease, and celebrate each other. 
Maybe we let our words get in the way. 

Monday, 10 August 2015

A holy mess.

I'm a holy mess. 
Cloaked In righteousness, 
Hooked on holiness 
I am a holy mess. 

God's life laundry
Old stains shaken loose
My God is bigger. 
Waves of shame washed in oceans of love. 
My God is bigger still. 

A holy mess
But I am a child of God. 

I am a holy mess. 
Cloaked in righteousness. 
I am a child of God. 

Hooked on holiness. 
Washed, and with a new Grace dress. 
I am a child of God. 


Blog Widget by LinkWithin