Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Running: The Cape Town 12 One Run

I ran the first Cape Town One Run 2 years ago. It was a great event, and I was keen to give it another go. Last time I finished at just a few seconds over 1 hour, so this year when my amazing friend Dave (who is doing an INCREDIBLY inspirational life and health turn-around) said he wanted to enter this year as his first race I was IN. For some reason despite entering about 6 weeks ago, I was not seeded and was placed in Batch F right at the back. Meh. So I arrived this morning on my own, lonely, and feeling pretty glum. But I had my #DoingItForNatey sign on my back and knew I had to just do it. Before the race I walked towards the lagoon on the edge of tears... and then a huge crow flew over me and then off towards the sea. It was so big majestic and beautiful. I remember thinking 'Haha, I actually couldn't make this up!' That gave me a big smile and so I headed to the start determined to go do it. They started us a good 10-15 mins after the first batch started. So by the time I crossed the start line at least 10 000 of the 14 000 participants were ahead of me... ARGH! I started trying to fight through the mass of people. I came so so close to thinking 'fuck-it' and just giving up and walking as it was almost impossible to move. In stead I ducked, dived, jumped, and scampered, in and out and around one after another of all those people. And any gap I got I ran as fast as I could. It took at least 7kms before I was able to get any kind of clear path. The whole was was a fight through hordes of other runners. (I am not used to this I normally start as close tot he front as I can!). But I ran and ran and wouldn't allow myself to slow down or walk at all. By the time we got the the 'Usain Bolt 100m sprint' I ran my heart out... almost literally. I actually thought I might go into cardiac arrest, I was pushing so hard. With 1.5kms to go I kept going. As I got to the last 500m I realised my time was not terrible and my goal of a sub-60 - which I had abandoned before even starting - seemed possible. But by that stage I was so tired I actually couldn't sprint any faster. So it was all I could do to carry on plodding down to the end and to finish in 1:00:24. Still that's an average of 12kms/hr or 5min/km over the race, which is not too shabby! And although results are still being finalised it seems I came 60th female and 9th in my age category. That was hard work though, next time I want my bloody seeding! Despite the seeding grumbles it was an amazing event and wonderful day out, and the absolute cherry on top was watching Dave Luis finish his first ever race and longest ever run.... like a boss! #SoProud #DoingItForNatey

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Twinkle boy in the stars with his crows

Natey was our Little Prince....

At his memorial his Aunt Edie read from 'The Little Prince'

"You—You alone will have stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so, it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night. You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! 

And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me… You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure… It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It was a beautiful and poignant reading. I had never actually read The Little Prince at that point. But I got myself a copy and read it cover to cover one Saturday afternoon in January while tears streamed down my face. It is a lovely and evocative book which really struck a cord with me.

The symbolism of Natey as the Little Prince and also his 'Twinkle Stars' association was set.

Within the first few weeks of January I knew I wanted to get a tattoo to commemorate Natey. I spent a few months mulling over ideas and elements I wanted to include. I had too many ideas. But stars, crows and the Little Prince kept coming up and stayed pretty constant. The other elements came and went and never felt completely right.

I had several different ideas.. and then suddenly it became clear and I knew exactly what I wanted. Just like that.

It started with this picture I found of a tattoo someone else had which actually pretty much encapsulated what I wanted to do...

I love the circle, the stars and the way the little prince was portrayed. But his hair needed to be like Natey's and he had to have his crows (Odin/Thor's Crows Huginn & Muninn 'Thought & Memory')



Elements were inspired by these...



And in the end I had a vision conceptualized. I mulled it for a few weeks or so, and then just after my birthday the time suddenly seemed right. And I acted - fast. I decided on the Friday that I was going to do it and 2 hours later I had an appointment for 12:00 the next day.

I contacted Cape Electric Tattoo. And when I went in Waldo worked with me to turn my conceptualization into a final design and he got it.

Next thing I was on the table and under the needle... for 1.5 hours. Waldo was great. It could have been extremely emotional and overwhelming. But he is a lovely guy, hee was so kind, caring and respectful and he did a great job of distracting me (so I didn't focus too much on the pain and physical trauma) while still allowing me to be present and feeling what I needed to feel at the time.

I LOVE what he produced, and I now have a permanent physical connection to Natey and his memory.

It is nowhere near as good as having that precious beautiful boy here. But I have to accept that this is all I have now... his twinkle stars laughing in the sky and his crows that I see every day. Pretty much without fail.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Four months of eternity

Darling Natey. It is 4 months now. 121 days and nights without you keeping us busy, entertained, happy. Without our purpose, our joy or our 'sun'. It is my birthday today. But I don't care about that. It's not a celebration for me this year. It's just another sad reminder of what happened.

I have done the work. Although I guess one is never 'done' with this kind of work..? But I am doing it, facing it, going into it. Not avoiding it. I think. I feel. I cry. I move. I plan. I focus. I colour-in. I connect. I feel gratitude. I do yoga. I listen to music. I read.  I travel. I smile. I make jokes. I take photos. I work. I work-out. Sometimes I even force myself to socialise (this is the very hardest for me still). But afterwards I always settle back to an empty, hollow nothingness. My meaning somehow went with you my boy. I know that's not fair to you. But it is true. And now I need to find something else, and to release you from that burden. Because it's not feeling any better.

My heart still aches with missing you... and seeing your dad miss you. Some days hiding away from it all feels like it will be easier, but I know it won't help. So all I can do is keep going. One step and one breath at a time. Without you. Because of you. For you.


The crows still visit me daily. Sometimes more than one and more than once. They are all around me, and they still comfort me. But you, you are fading. I can't feel or hear or picture you on my own anymore. It breaks my heart.

Someone shared a story of another mommy in the states whose darling 19-month old Rory drowned in Feb, she recently wrote this and it captures exactly how I feel.

"... and it feels like a hundred years and mere seconds in the same instant.  I can’t believe he’s gone, and I sometimes struggle to believe he was real.

Sometimes, I feel like that sweet, beautiful baby boy was really just an incredible dream that we all were lucky enough to dream together for a while – and then we woke up.

So where am I standing now?

Alive.  Feeling like maybe I shouldn’t be.  Struggling with positive emotions and negative ones.  Knowing Rory wouldn’t want us to be sad, and yet reeling with the guilt of joy.  Breathing, and breathing deeply.

Working at walking forward.  Always forward.  Even when it’s hard"

Natey, I miss your precious face. Your angelic voice. Your cheeky smile. Your button nose. Your gorgeous eyelashes. Your crimson luscious lips. Your chubby hands. Your cute little bum. Your special scar on your chest. And the red curls. oh those curls. I miss you Natey and I am so sorry.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

When Great Trees Fall

A dear and caring friend posted this to me on Facebook today...
  ❤❤❤

When Great Trees Fall
When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.
When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.
When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.
And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
Maya Angelou

3 months today

Dearest Natey.

It is now only/already 90 days, or 3 months, since you left us.

It is not getting any easier. In fact, if anything, it is getting harder and harder. As the enormity and magnitude of it all really sinks in. And also as the small little details come into bright focus and make themselves starkly evident. Little things I hadn't even thought of can become big huge gut-punch things in nano-seconds as the realisation hits me.

The other night a friend posted one of those cute Bored Panda FaceBook posts of 'Childhood Photos Recreated'. You know the ones. Original photos of 3 toddler in the bath, recreated with 3 tall gangling adults squished into the same pose. Or girl with baby brother on her lap, now grown-up with huge twice-her-size brother trying to balance on her lap. They are sweet and sentimental... and as I was looking at them and smiling it hit me. Right in the pit of my stomach. I gasped, barely able to breathe or contain myself, wishing I could un-think the thought I had just had. But I couldn't, and I couldn't look at any more of the photos in the series because there was no funny, sentimental or lightheartedness about them anymore. Because we'd never get to do those with Natey, and my now 10-year running tradition of our annual Christmas hat photos of the boys is suddenly gone forever... paused in time at 2016, and never ever to be the same again. :(

All the photos of you dear Natey and all the videos. People wonder if they are hard for me to look at, but the truth is they are not. I love them and I like to immerse myself in them. Because in them is you, and in them is all the happy, present, light, carefree, spontaneous and fun memories of you. Every photos and memory brings a smile. So I don't avoid them, I seek them out. Because that's where I find comfort.

Everywhere else where you aren't, or won't ever be, holds pain, sadness, emptiness, desolation and sorrow. That's the part I find difficult to deal with. The 'what now?'ness off it.

#DoingItForNatey keeps me focused on moving forward, and keeping going. But when I stop I di sometimes wonder, 'What the hell for?' 'Why bother?'

Natey after 90 days I miss you more than ever, and I am struggling to find new meaning and purpose without your smiles and laughs. I wish you would come to me when I dream at least, so I could see you sometimes. For now all I get are my crows. Every day they are there. And I love them, and they are the one thing I hold on to. When I see them I even say out loud 'I see you there' and I smile.

I bumped into an old neighbour last week at the gym. He'd heard the news and offered his condolences when he saw me. I was at a loss for words and feeling so defeated at the time. Not even knowing how to respond, I eventually just said 'I don't even know how it happened....'. Because I really don't. He looked at me and simply said, 'If you knew how it happened, it wouldn't have happened'. It's as simple and complicated, as mundane and profound as that.

I really really wish I knew, because then I would have prevented it.
Natey I wish I knew.

I love you my boy.
I will never forget you.

Monday, 27 March 2017

To an Angel

I met the beautiful and funky Shannon McLaughlin at the 2015 Midwifery & Birth Conference. She made an impression on me at the time as such a beautiful, grounded and free-spirited and seeming natural woman. 

I have attended 2 of these wonderful events. One when Natey was in-utero, and the last when he was a rambunctious 14-month old refusing to be tamed - while I told my story of 'Tragedy to Triumph'  culminating in the healing circle-of-life journey of his incredible birth. I had no idea my talk had much of an impact on anyone there, but it was important for me to tell it, and to express my gratitude at having had the opportunity he gave me. The wonderful people behind the Midwifery & Birth Conference were very much part of my journey and have held me then and still now. They kindly dedicated this, last, conference to Nathaniel's memory. 



I very sadly missed this phenomenal gathering of birthing people, which just happened last week-end - I wish I went, but I felt too vulnerable to trust myself to hold it together, and it wouldn't have been fair to the happy expectant pregnant ladies that would have been there. 

Anyway, Shannon attended again and heard about Natey's fate there... She wrote this beautiful piece after hearing about him. 

Thank-you Shannon. 


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

75 days...

Natey Boy, it's been 75 days since you left us.



That's 2 and a half months.
It feels too long. It feels like you were just here, and you could come back at any moment...
But you don't.

You are everywhere and nowhere.
I see photos of you all day. On my phone, in the house, on my laptop wallpaper, on Facebook.
We have a nook in the bedroom with all your 'stuff'. Rocks, stones, feathers, well loved cars, baby bear, your art from school, your favourite books (Remember how you used to giggle when I used to Read you the 'Bunny Pie' book?), the black feather I found.
I still say the things you'd say: 'Are you kidding me!?' 'Holy Cow!' 'A little more milkie please?' 'My school!' 'Dat boy whadup?' All these things make me smile and laugh.

I see your crows everyday. Not a day goes by that I don't see at least one, usually more. They bring me great comfort and make me smile each time I see one. They very often fly right over me.

But they are not you. Your photos are not you, you memories are not you.

And every now and again the enormity of the hole you have left in our house, in our lives, in our hearts really hits and feels so big. Too big to bear even. So big I can't let myself feel it completely yet. I can;t bear to think of all the potential and possibilities you had, and how much more you could have and should have got to be, get and give here.

I miss you baby boy. Life is just not the same without you in it. It's hard to find joy, and fun again my boy. We try to keep going to live #LongDays and to keep #DoingItForNatey, but it's hard.

I love you.
I am sorry
Please forgive me
Thank-you

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Natey's Red Cross Memorial Plaque

We were invited to visit the Red Cross Children's hospital and to tour the facilities and especially the cardiac unit. 

An in-memorium plaque was placed in the memorial garden at the Red Cross Children's hospital in honour of Natey and in thanks for the fund received in his name which will be used towards helping other children with Childhood Heart Disease. 

About R60 000 was donated in his name. We sincerely thank each and every one who donated and who helped save or better the life of another child.

 Natey's plaque was placed next to Doc Ollie's plaque. 


Us with Pauline, the Children's Trust donations coordinator.

Natey's Plaque

Doc Ollie and Natey's in-memorium plaques placed along-side each other


The hospital memorial garden


Cake (with stars!) & Sunflowers for the hospital staff.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

#DoingItForNatey

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. 



#DoingItForNatey is about remembering to be present, grateful, spontaneous, to live long days, to push yourself beyond your fears or self-imposed boundaries and limitations. Be who you are and who you want to be without inhibition or apology. 


I will be riding the Cape Town Cycle Tour, and hopefully also doing the Platteklip Challenge again this year both in support of SAEP and also #DoingItForNatey

For every breath that feels tough during the training and the actual ride, I will be grateful that I can breathe and I will push on, because he can't. And if I can raise some awareness and money for the Children's Hospital *at the same time that will be an extra bonus. I am already riding in the charity group in aid of SAEP (South African Education and Environment Project). But will add this to my reason to keep going...

But despite fund raising this is a cause to seize the day and make the most of your life. Do it for you and keep #DoingItForNatey.


* In honour of dearest Natey there is a donation drive to collect money in his name (Nathaniel Leonidas Thor Canter) for the Children's Hospital Trust, in order to help other little ones with Childhood Heart Disease to get the life saving treatment they need.

Grateful for generous nourishment

Someone who works for Andrew set up a meal train  to provide meals for us for when we went back to work and all the guests and visitors we'd had stopped.

This is an online system to coordinate a meal provision service for someone. "When a friend is in need, everyone asks "What can I do to help?" The answer is always to make a meal. When many friends make and deliver a meal, this is a meal train."

At first we were embarrassed and a little resistant to accept it. I mean it's not like we were ill or disabled. We were back at work, walking around and 'functioning' throughout the day, and acting 'fine' for goodness sakes.

But both Andrew and I soon realised that we were 'at work' more than actually working. And that we were not that productive or functional at all. Attention spans were (still are) short, our focus is scattered and unpredictable. Our memory and recall is unreliable. We are forgetful. We zone out. We are easily distracted. We get easily overwhelmed and we are more often than not day-dreaming or a bit emotional. Between this we are trying to juggle our actual real jobs and the responsibilities we have to our clients, companies and teams. So while everyone is being kind and patient and giving us lee-way, stuff does need to get done. By the end of the day of frankly 'keeping our shit together' in public at work, we are pretty exhausted physically and emotionally.

I found that I had no time, energy or inclination to cook by the end of all that, and more so I was almost incapable of going to the shops to do grocery shopping etc for a good month or more. Noisy hustle-bustle public spaces - like shops - actually made me frightened. The sensory overload actually made me fearful and feel like retreating and hiding away (fright or flight mode). I couldn't easily face it. I am only just now not panicked at the thought of having to go do some shopping, but I still take it really slow.

Then for over a month I had almost no appetite. I didn't feel like eating, and nothing tasted good to me either. I ate to keep my strength more than for any enjoyment.

All of this was contradicted with a feeling of duty and responsibility - and also wanting - to make sure the boys and Andrew are looked after, properly fed and nurtured. To make them feel valued and to support them through their grieving process. It was a bit of a conflict in me; I didn't care about eating myself, but felt I had to look after everyone, but I also didn't really have the energy to bother. It was a weird and unpleasant tug-o-war inside me.

So when Andrew found me sitting at home literally having eaten an old discarded crust of bread for dinner one Friday night (ah Fridays those weekly reminders of what happened)... he decided the Meal Train would not only be welcome, but actually probably practically necessary for us at the time. And so he graciously and gratefully accepted.

It is such a marvelously practical way to coordinate and help people in need - whether due to a new baby, illness, injury, a death or any reason why someone would need help with meals. For the past month or so we have been blessed with kindness, care, generosity and nurturing nourishment in the form of a hearty home cooked meal each week-night. We have had curries, lasagnas, pasta bakes, picnics, quiches, pies, chicken, paella etc. All lovingly made and delivered by friends and colleagues.

I am so grateful for the wonderful people who have helped us so much during this terribly hard time.


It has given us room to breathe. Space to be still and to think and feel. Time to talk. And very real actual nourishment to give us the strength and energy to get up each day and put one foot in front of the other and to keep #DoingItForNatey.

I'll be forever grateful.
I hope to be able to pay this act of kind service back one day. When in a situation where you want to say 'How can I help?' chances are providing a meal is a really good way to do just that. Remember this.

Sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed.

Friday, 17 February 2017

And the worst part is there's no one else to blame...


Breathe me - Sia



Help, I have done it again

I have been here many times before

Hurt myself again today
And the worst part is there's no one else to blame

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

Ouch, I have lost myself again
Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,
Yeah, I think that I might break
Lost myself again and I feel unsafe

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me


Saturday, 4 February 2017

You are golden

A song for Natey - from Minda. This is not my usual type of music but I've been listening to it for a week now since Melinda sent it to me, and it is perfect for my golden boy.
<3 span=""> x <3 span=""> x

"The day you strolled in, my heart was stolen
Cause you are golden
Lovely
Oh so hard to find
Yeah you are goodness, forgiveness
Of the purest kind"



How can something like this happen?

Surely we had safety precautions??

Yes. We had a pool fence, and also baby gates* on the 2x sliding doors leading to the pool-deck. One of these doors was never opened anyway, the other we kept mostly closed usually, and ALWAYS had the baby gate closed. I was the one always nagging people to make sure it was properly closed, and to make sure he was never out there alone  - despite the net.

Andrew had also decided he wanted to get another line of defense. A pool fence. He'd gone so far as to find and buy one too. He found it on Gumtree and I had gone to fetch it after work on my last work day before the Christmas break. He'd said once the fence was up we could take the net down, and I was adamant that no, the net would stay. Yon can never be too careful, we'd have the net, fencing AND keep the baby gates.

While Andrew was working that last week he had been trying to make a plan to get the fencing installed. We had a discussion about how he was trying to hire the large drill bits needed to install it, but everywhere he'd contacted was closed. I assured him it could wait until the following week when everything opened up again (again, what a stupid fool I was!!!). And that it was ok, that everyone took a break to enjoy that special down time between Christmas and New Year. Where life slows down and the days are long, relaxed and magical. So the gate which had actually been lying around the pool ready to be installed, got bundled into the garage to wait for the next week....

I had recently started teaching Natey basic pool safety while enjoying swimming with him during the summer break. "Hold on to the sides." "Monkey walk" "Kick kick kick" "Careful on the step, don't slip".

And we even had a book, 'Curious George goes to the Aquarium'.  Where the baby penguin who can't swim yet goes to the water's edge without his mommy, and slips. Luckily George was there to save him that day.
Natey knew that story well and would frequently mention how he mustn't go by the water without mommy. That last day at the World of Birds when we past the penguins he even said, "The baby penguin can't swim, so he mustn't go near the water without his mommy". He KNEW about this.

So how could this have happened?

Well, we had just had a swim. Instead of pulling the net closed - which was difficult, to the point of not even possible for me to do properly alone - I decided to leave the corner open, in case we wanted to swim again with daddy when he got home.

And then the gate. That damn gate. Did I close it behind us? If I did, did I make SURE the top and bottom were clipped closed? I think so... I always did, so why wouldn't I have? And then in our comings and goings over the next hour or so as we were pottering around did I open it again so he could go out and wee (we were potty training him and would prompt him to wee in the drain on the deck every now and again)..? Did I? I don't know. I just don't know. I know he knew how to open the gate, but he shouldn't have been able to easily get out. I wish I knew HOW he got out...

How can something like this happen??? It seems true that you really never can be too careful. The number of stories I have no heard of other little ones that have fallen in water. Many may saved (thank-fully) and many also ending in tragedies such as ours. It's just too sad. And to much to bear.

* We still had about 6 baby gates in the house, at one point we had about 10.

Friday, 3 February 2017

The Sunflowers

The Sunflowers 
by Mary Oliver



Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines 
creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky 
sugars of the sun.
Come with me
to visit the sunflowers,
they are shy 
but want to be friends;
they have wonderful stories
of when they were young -
the important weather, 
the wandering crows.
Don't be afraid
to ask them questions!

Their bright faces, 
which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds -
each one a new life! 
hope for a deeper acquaintance;
each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe, 
is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. Come


and let us talk with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Natey's Poem by Mel

by the wonderfully compassionate and biggest-hearted Mel.

A little star, I never met,
Yet feel so real and in my heart.
You fill my thoughts and soul and mind
Your family too and all your kind.


And not just me but many others,
Loved and adored around the world.
What is it special little star
That has us grieve you near and far?

I never saw you face to face
Your wriggly toddler body embrace.
I only saw your daily pics.
And laughy Natey toddler clips.

Yet that was enough for me and others
To get to know you and your brothers.
I have watched them too for many years,
Chubby cheeks and freckles, laughs and tears

We waited for you little star,
While you twinkled in the sky
And then plucked down and brought to life,
In a family of love, no stress, no strife.

Your galaxy on earth so perfect,
Filled with all that’s good and right.
Your laugh, your eyes, your brightest smile,
Your beauty we shared for just a while

It’s far too short and is not fair,
It makes no sense the grief we bare
It makes no sense you had to leave,
A void now left with so much grief.

At night I sit and want to cry
So pause and look up at the sky
And though so far away I see the light,
I see you twinkle in the night

I see you little shining star,
I feel your light and love down here
It hurts like hell I will not lie,
Bright twinkle boy up in the sky.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

To Natey-Bug - from your Minda

Natey's beloved au-pair/girlfriend Melinda sent us a beautiful letter she wrote to him a few weeks back.

She was so very wonderful with him, and he ADORED her.

She had to start a new job today. That can't have been easy for her, and it was SO hard to say goodbye to her. I hope we can keep her in our lives because she is simply wonderful.

xxx

"A letter to my Natey-bug 

My dearest baby bug, 

I sit here waiting to pick you up from school. Wanting to see that big smile on your face as you see me walk into the classroom. Wanting to put you in your little car seat and then quietly lay you down as you take your afternoon nap. I now sit here watching the time as two hours pass by knowing you'd be coming down the stairs, shoes in one hand as you sleepily make your way over to me. You insist that I put your shoes on but as I take your shoes I ask "cuddle Minda first please?" You agree given I switch the tv to your favorite show as you allow me to cuddle you for a few minutes head resting on my chest. Oh what I wouldn't do for just a few more minutes of your sweet cuddles you gave so freely. 

You didn't know it at the time my bug, but each and every day you crawled deeper into my heart. I cannot bear the thought of the pain that mommy and daddy feels each and every day, if what im feeling is but just a fraction of their pain... 

You filled my days that now feel so empty. I feel so guilty for wanting to fill my days again for the emptiness becomes too much to bear some days more than others. Perhaps fill my days again with another's little laugh or cuddle, equally as innocent and as lovable as you were.

But never ever the same. 

No one will ever be able to fill that place in my heart that you crawled into. You will always be there smiling, laughing, bouncing, running wildly freely as you loved to do. 

Natey, our journey together was more to me than just a job I had to be good at. Much, much more. I loved you wholeheartedly as you showed me every day how much you loved me too.

I cherish every trip to the park, our many trips to checkers, our wonder-filled and quick trips to the aquarium (Yes you are probably the only todler to cover every inch of the place in less than 20 minutes). I cherish bath time and swim time and most of all taking naps together. I cherish the moments having you sit on the counter, watching me prepare your lunch and sometimes while I cook dinner. I cherish the moments of when I got to swing you for a full hour at the park and made me run after you another hour after that switching back and forth between swings as we go along. I cherish the few moments I got to co-sleep and being kicked in the face every time you tossed and turned. I cherish being woken up at 3am for yet another bottle of milk. (I am now convinced mom and dad wanted me to have first hand experience of their nightly fun filled routine).

With that said My Bug, just know that if any of us could just have one more moment with you, we would jump at the chance to see your sweet little face again. 

I am not sure how to do this...this moving forward business. I am not sure when the emptiness will feel less empty or when it will ever get any easier. All I know that for now, holding onto the memories of you, is something I try to gain strength from every single day. I can now watch your videos and laugh at how cheeky you were and smile knowing how free and happy you were. 

I wouldn't change a single moment of my time spent with you.Through all our ups and downs, our moments of laughter, ouchies and being a little sick sometimes, you were always such a joy to be around. Yes, you sure did find ways to drive your Minda crazy some days but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. 

Thank you for showing me my capacity to love. Thank you for putting a smile on my face and making me laugh every single day. Thank you for teaching me how to be more patient and for opening my eyes to new ways to live and love life. With no regrets knowing that every day was lived fully. Thank you for deeming me worthy of your love, kisses and cuddles and for showing me a heart as little yet as big as yours can love and impact so many all at once without conditions or expectations. 

You will always be my little love bug and I will write about you again. 

I will miss you every day and my memory of you, Natey-bug, will never ever fade ♡ 

With love,
Always your Minda ♡ "