When you find out you are expecting a baby the emotions are so all over the place. I felt nervous, excited, hopeful, worried, proud..a huge range of things. I remember the excitement of bringing a new life into the world. A new little person to join our little family and our wider family. Hubby and I are the eldest children in our families so we were excited to be the first to bring a grandchild into our parents lives. For one of my seats of grandparents it was also the first great grandchild and as much as my Grandad (I actually never call him that, he is Brissy...long story!) isn't a man on many words and doesn't normally do babies, I could tell he was surprisingly excited.
My pregnancy progressed and we started to get everything ready for his big arrival. Family continued to get more and more excited with my Mum especially buying little bits and bobs for her eagerly anticipated Grandson. I won't forget the day that she came round with the new though. She seems so different that normal. Not excited but tried, pressured and with the weight of the world on her shoulders. My Mum is the strongest woman I know and seeing her like this that day, I knew that something was wrong. Hubby was also in the room too and it was as if she knew he was coming (which I later found out he did).
It was then that she told me that in among all of the new baby anticipation and happiness, there was a black cloud and storm coming. Brissy had cancer. Terminal cancer and he had between 6 months to 1 year. Writing this now almost a year after that day, I am still struggling to see through the tears. My head raced with so many different things but the biggest was that I wanted, more than anything in the world, for him to meet his first, and what would be only, great grandchild.
I did get my wish and Brissy spent 5 wonderful months being Bubba's favorite. As Brissy fell more and more poorly he started to struggle to speak but I remember just after Christmas, Bubba was in his bouncer and Brissy was just not giving a damn about the fact he couldn't talk much and was using all his energy to keep Bubba laughing and smiling at him! This is one of my favorite memories of the two of them. Whenever Bubba was around him, he would be smiling and giggling and loving the time he was spending with him. Part of me felt like it was almost like he knew he was bringing so much happiness to his Great GrandBrissy and that was why he was so good. Brissy loved my little boy so much and he may have only been little but my God could you see that my little boy loved him back just as much.
When he passed in February, the way I dealt with it surprised me. Yes I grieved. I grieved not only for myself, my Mum, my Nan, my brothers..but I grieved mainly for my little boy. For my tiny little 5 month old who would never get to see first hand the love that his Great GrandBrissy had for him. Who would never get to understand for himself why Brissy filled my childhood with amazing memories and for Bubba to make new ones for himself with him. It broke my hear, yet I found myself taking comfort in Bubba. He was my way of coping and I poured myself into being the best Mummy possible for my little boy. This may have meant that I spoiled him for a month or so with cuddles and letting him sleep on me all the time but in a way I didn't feel strong enough to fight with him and I also found that he was my distraction from the aching in my chest.
This then leads me to the point of writing this post and to what I hope will help others in this kind of horrid situation. I think this all happened for a reason. I have always been a believer in fate and I do honestly believe that Bubba being brought into our lives when he was and Brissy falling so ill when he did was all just the way it had to be. Bubba became everyone's little beacon of light and hope. Even before he was born and in the darkest days, he was my reason to keep on going and I like to think that he was a little bit of sunshine for my family through all of the rain clouds.
It was a strange thing to find myself feeling happy and hopeful about the new life we had created when my family and I were loosing someone we all cared about so much. A few times I found myself wondering why life had to be so cruel as to bring one life into the world but yet take another away but after 3 months I have started to realise that I shouldn't see it like this and the ache does start to ease and life does start to seem a little brighter. I am grateful that they had 5 precious months together and realise now that everything happens for a reason. My Bubba now has someone who loved him oh so very much sitting on his star protecting him and watching over him and I can sleep well knowing this.
What I want to say if you are going through anything similar is that it does get better, Yes it is one the hardest things when you loose someone you love but it does get better. The rain clouds do start to fade away and the sunshine does eventually break through but it will take time. And, those rain clouds may well come back (in my case I unfortunately know they will do) and you will have to do it all over again but it will get better. Focus on your family and being the best Mummy/Daddy you can be for your child. Focus on the here and now, spend time with those you love and treasure the memories you make with your child so even if they can't remember it, you can tell them. Keep those family members memories alive through your children as those Nanny's, Granddads, great grandparents are still there, watching and loving, but you just can't see them.
Dedicated to my Brissy
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