Forever 10 years old

Dear Lennon,

Today is your 11th Birthday – The first time we will celebrate your Birthday without you.

I haven’t ordered the balloons that you loved, or the fabulous Yo Gabba Gabba cakes that you could never even taste.

I haven’t been out to the shops and collected a plethora of catalogues for you to flick your way through.

I haven’t got your big birthday badge and the lights we decorated your wheelchair with.

Lennon spent his 9th birthday at Universal Studios in Florida!

We celebrated each one of your Birthdays as if they would be your last. Just incase.

I’m so glad we did.

You never really understood Birthdays – but year after year, as you grew older, I think you got used to knowing it was ‘your’ day. A day that was specially made for you.

Lennon’s Day.

We kept the day the same every year, in hope that the routine would let you know it was your Birthday.

We would send you off to school on the bus – with your huge birthday badge, lights and balloons. Just to ensure that everyone at school made a big fuss of you!

Lennon’s 7th Birthday.

You would wear the fabulous birthday cake hat at school and your friends would sing you a ‘Happy Birthday’ in assembly.

You loved assembly’s, and you most certainly loved being fussed over.

We would collect you from school. I’m sure at this point you would know what was happening next – We would take you to Van Hages and Ice skate for your birthday treat.

You loved Ice Skating. I can picture your face whilst sliding across the ice in your wheelchair, your wide eyes, big beaming smile and flapping arms.

Ice Skating on Lennon’s 10th Birthday.
Ice Skating on Lennon’s 6th Birthday.

One year Daddy fell whilst pushing you and your wheelchair flipped backwards onto the ice. My heart skipped a beat, worried you were hurt. We picked your chair up and all the while you were laughing so hard you could barely catch your breath – You wanted to do it all over again!

Always the thrill seeker.

We would walk around Van Hages admiring the decadent Christmas decorations and lights. Every year you and your sisters would each chose a decoration for our tree.

We would go home, light your birthday candles and sing you Happy Birthday. You were never able to blow out your candles yourself, but you always displayed great delight in watching your sisters blow them out for you.

Once you were in bed, Daddy and I would reminisce about the day you were born and wonder how on earth you survived.

Lennon’s 1st Birthday party.

With each year that passed, we grew prouder of your fight for survival and we felt so incredibly lucky to of celebrated yet another birthday with you.

I treasured your Birthdays like gold dust. Each one more precious than the last.

Lennon’s 9th Birthday in Florida – By far his most magical birthday!

Last year we went all out for your 10th Birthday.

10 whole years with you.

We considered you reaching 10 the most amazing achievement!

Singing Happy Birthday.

We threw you a massive party – a UV disco. You loved ultra violet lights! So many people came to celebrate with you.

My only regret was that you were poorly. Your colon had failed by that point and you were in so much pain. I wish so much for you to of enjoyed your very last Birthday with us.

Before the big ’10’ party.

Today, I will make you a birthday cake and your sisters will blow out your candles.

Today, I will blow up your balloons, we will write you messages and send them to the sky for you.

Tonight, we will go Ice Skating for you, like we always did on your Birthday.

When Daddy falls over we know you will be laughing with us.

Today, like every other day since you died, I will think of you and wonder where you are. Wonder whether or not you are happy and pain free now. Able to celebrate your special day.

Lennon’s day.

Mummy and Lennon on his 10th Birthday x

Farewell, my little soldier

On Tuesday 22nd August 2017 Ian and I took Lennon on his last journey and said our final farewells to our cheeky, thrill seeking, courageous little soldier ❤️

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Just after an interview with Paul Ross from BBC Radio 4.

I thought my heart couldn’t break any further, but when the hearse arrived at Keech and the funeral attendants placed his small, white coffin in the back, alongside a beautiful red rose ‘Lennon’ the pieces of my heart shattered again. My whole body felt so heavy. I honestly did not think I would be able to make it through the day. It was most definitely the second hardest day of my life.

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Lennon resting in the Meadow Suite at Keech Hospice.

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hadn’t really seen many people or been out much since Lennon died and having to face all those people and paint on a face was so tough, when all I really wanted to do was go home, get into my bed and sob.

I really, really hope that we both did our only son proud. Ian was amazing (he wrote and read out a eulogy of Lennon’s short, but hectic, fulfilled life) and I’m super proud of him. And despite Isla being heartbroken and not wanting to go into the Crematorium, both my girls were equally amazing to get through the service 💗

We played the song that Lennon loved from his favourite TV show ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’ – Rainbow Connection by Paul Williams.

Florence was her typical self and sung all the words at the top of her voice.

I hadn’t noticed how many people had come to say their goodbyes to our little soldier. The funeral director felt their was roughly 250 people there – Truly amazing considering Lennon was just 10 years old and had never spoken a word to anyone in his life!

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Isla and Florence’s big balloon for the balloon send off.
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Memory board made by Lennon’s Aunty, Uncle and Cousins.

Three lakes, Westmill Farm, ended up being the perfect venue, and the balloon release was simply stunning. The view from the top of the hill, over the lakes is breathtaking. And it was a beautiful moment to see all those balloons flying up to Lennon – including Isla and Florence’s special BIG red balloon which I think broke through the clouds!

Ian now wants to us to get married at Three Lakes, after we cancelled our wedding that was due to take place on September 16th.

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Lennon’s balloon release.

We also set up a Memorial page for Lennon, so that people can share photos, stories and memories of Lennon.

I don’t feel any different now Lennon’s funeral is over. In fact, if I think about it, I actually feel worse. It is final now. The missing piece in my puzzle is gone forever, I will never find a piece even remotely similar to fill that big empty void, and these last few weeks are not a horrific dream that I will one day wake up from.

My little sidekick is gone forever.

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Lennon and Mummy x

Life moves on – it has to, that is what life does.

But I cannot see how my life can possibly carry on. My head is fuzzy and my eyes permanently full of tears and I can not begin to imagine life without Lennon.

The thought of going back to work scares me, but I know that I will have to – to do what, who knows.

For now it’s one day at a time. I won’t think about tomorrow or next week, because mentally I can’t.

Previous blog post – Our final gift

Our final gift

Lennon’s funeral is something we have spoken about since Lennon was a baby.

When we should of been taking our newborn baby home, and enjoying those first few days of being new parents, we were sitting staring at our tiny baby in his incubator covered in wires and tubes and wondering how long he would survive for.

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Christmas Eve – the first time we held Lennon.

Over the years our thoughts and ideas changed. Songs we thought we would use were replaced, the image in my mind of his coffin got bigger, the colour alternated and the outfit he would wear changed.

I always tried to push the thoughts of Lennon’s funeral to the back of my mind. I can’t do that anymore.

I can’t avoid those thoughts – I need to turn them into reality.

I can just about get out of bed in the mornings. Putting one foot in front of the other is zapping my energy. Ordering balloons and helium today took up everything I had left for the day and felt like a mammoth task.

I always hoped I would be strong enough to stand up and speak – I am not. But Ian is, and I know he will do both Lennon and I proud.

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Enjoying the sun in Coram Fields after an appointment at Great Ormond St Hospital.

I have one more task to fulfil for my little soldier, maybe the second biggest gift of all from me to him (giving birth to him being the biggest). I hope we can give him the send off he truly deserves. I want people to remember my tough, stubborn, smiling, cheeky, mischievous little boy and to share their favourite stories and memories of him.

And for everyone to be honoured and proud that they played a part in Lennon’s amazing journey through life.

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Ian, Lennon, Isla and Florence – Summer 2016. Our last family holiday.

Previous blog post – The days after