Dear Arthur,

Today you turn one. A day that when you were first placed in my arms I never thought we would make. With every day passing filled with so much anxiety that you are on loan, that after day 382 we will have to hand you back, like we did with your big brother William, it felt like we would never reach this milestone. I have learned from losing William that I must manage my days and hours in bitesize pieces. Never looking too far ahead. A whole year seemed impossible back then. But here we are, we did it. You did it.

You my darling boy were born out of hope in the midst of grief. An innocent little boy with absolutely no knowledge of all that has happened before you. I have tried so hard to make sure that you have never witnessed mummy crumble, I don’t want you to be scared or worried about why mummy is upset. The time will come when we tell you that you have the most beautiful big brother, a brother who lived before you, a big brother that you will never meet but a big brother who is with you with every breath that you take. You see William’s photos all around you, you’ve watched mummy on the television talking about him, the time will come, but slowly you will get to know him.

But, you are you. You are your own little person. The most independent, determined and head strong little baby I know. Some say they wonder where you get that from…I don’t want you to grow up in your brothers shadow. Despite the attention your brother receives, it is YOU who bought us light out of suffocating darkness. You have been the reason that I have put one foot in front of the other. You are the reason I get out of bed on the days when life seems impossible; because do you know my little man, YOU saved my life. Some say that your big brother has saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives because he has given me the passion to campaign, but it was YOU that gave me the life to continue. You are part of this incredible journey. You are responsible for mummy taking a completely different path.

There was a time when mummy couldn’t bear to think about the next ten minutes of being alive. There was a time when mummy tried to take her own life; at the time believing that I could never exist without William. Had it not been for your daddy, mummy wouldn’t be here. There was a time when I couldn’t move, dress, speak coherently, or even think. I remember this time so vividly. A time I don’t wish to forget about, a time that is part of this indescribable journey of survival. It is a painful reminder of how many steps I have taken since then. They say there are five stages in grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I would say I have experienced some of these things. Not necessarily in that order. But the one thing I haven’t done is accept it. I don’t think I can accept the unacceptable. But during the most insufferable days when life has felt too much of a challenge I started to realise that the one thing your brother wants is his life. Who am I to waste the one, most precious gift that was robbed of him? I never realised this before you came along, you gave me the ability to see that as much as it’s okay to not be okay, it’s also okay to be okay. As they say the past is in our heads but the future is in our hands.

You have taught me that it’s okay to miss William whilst being able to love you too. You have taught me that it is okay to pine for William whilst being happy that you are in my arms. You have taught me that it is okay to be sad that William won’t reach the milestones that you will reach. As much as your brother floored me with the most overwhelming love, you have taught me that it can continue, for him AND for you. You have taught me that it is okay to live. You my darling boy, have lived on this Earth for 365 days and you will soon be older than William was but your innocence, your total, unrivaled, uninhibited love is something that I feed off daily, something that keeps me going and something that allows me to realise that you and William share a bond that is entirely unbreakable.

You are his and he is yours. You are both mine, and I am both yours, always.

Happy birthday sweetheart xxxxx


www.justgiving.com/williamoscarmead

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Your 3rd birthday

William on his first birthday xx

William on his first birthday xx

When we found out that you were due on the 21st November we thought you might arrive on daddy’s birthday on the 24th, but you didn’t. You wanted to hang around and arrive on mummy’s birthday instead. You made your grand appearance on the 27th November at the same time your daddy was born at 12:21. I didn’t mind, I loved that we would share such a special day. Mummy has never been a person who really celebrates her birthday and when you came along I was more than happy for your to steal all the spotlight. Apart from the day you were born we only ever got to spend one birthday together, your first.

We celebrated your special day with our friends and family, you had a lovely farm animals birthday cake which you spat out, not having eaten any sweet foods before, but we enjoyed it anyway! You didn’t really understand what birthdays were all about yet. You were more interested in playing with the wrapping paper than you were the contents. Pretty standard stuff I think. On this special day daddy captured my favourite video of us together. As you sat with your presents you pushed them away, climbed into mummy’s lap and gave me a big birthday cuddle. I will never forget. I can close my eyes now and feel your little arms around mummy’s neck, the most precious jewels that will ever be around my neck. I can smell your sweet strawberry smell as you nuzzled in, getting as close as you could. Your touch is what mummy misses the most.

I can remember one very specific moment, when you were born I was overcome with a wave of emotion, no other feeling comes even close to how I felt when you were placed on my chest. But you know, when daddy drove us home for the first time, I looked at you and I could barely believe you were mine. As I carried you up the steps to your new home I couldn’t open the door, my mum, your nanny, opened the door and I was stood there in tears, sobbing as I was holding you. Nanny’s face etched with worry, ‘what’s wrong, is everything ok?’. My response, ‘I’m just so happy.’ I cannot even put in to words just how happy I was. I knew at that moment that my life was complete.

So what would you be doing today? You would understand what birthdays meant by now, I expect that you would open your presents in a hurry, the anticipation taking over. Mummy and daddy would obviously be taking lots of photos and videos, just as excited as you. I sit often and wonder when mummy comes up to heaven, will you still be one, or will you be 27 or 43 or however many years have passed before that moment. I hope that you’ll still be one, I hope that I will get to be 28 again, I hope that we can reset the clock so that I don’t miss any of your birthdays, that I can get to watch you grow up, watch you turn from a baby to a toddler and into a little boy and never miss a single moment.

Do you know that after you died mummy took such a long time to change her glasses, I was scared that when I got up to heaven with different glasses that you wouldn’t recognise me. I think the same thing now, I don’t want to cut my hair short, or change the way I look incase you don’t know who I am. After ruminating about it, I think to myself well what happens if many years have passed and you’re no longer one, will I recognise you? I could imagine what a two or a three-year old William might look like, but you were too young to imagine what a teenage William would look like. I am left with only imaginations, not memories. I like to think that whatever age you are when I arrive in heaven that I will recognise you straight away, I’ll know who my little William is, the little boy mummy desperately yearns for every single day. Of course most of these thoughts are completely irrational to a normal person but to me truth lies in there somewhere. These are not things that parents should worry about. I should be worrying about you falling over or making sure you learn how to cross the road properly, not how old you will be when I get to heaven.

How did the most special day of the year become such a sad day. Maybe in time we will ‘celebrate’ your birthday with Arthur, I should imagine as he gets older and understands a little better that he will want to celebrate your birthday and mummy’s birthday, but it’s so hard to be happy on a day that is fraught with so much sadness. I miss you every day, all the time. Somehow Arthur being here makes your missing presence even more profound. You should be here, you should be excited about your birthday, you should be helping mummy and daddy with Arthur, you should be three, you should be ALIVE.

Life sucks here without you, but I know that I have a reason to live. The little 7lb 11oz gift that you sent us gave us a purpose once again. We know that it is you saying ‘it’s ok’. But it doesn’t make missing you any easier. I’m really hoping that heaven gives you the very best party. That you will be happy. That you will be loved and that you will stop, pause, and blow a kiss to mummy here on earth. What I do know for certain though, is that heaven is a very lucky place to have you there. My darling little boy I wish you every happiness in the world on your birthday.

From your ever-loving mummy xxxxxx


www.justgiving.com/williamoscarmead

William’s Birthday Fundraiser

So, William’s birthday.

I’m going to write this blog purely about you, and how you have all helped us as a family to raise nearly £10,000 for the UK Sepsis Trust for William’s birthday.

The final figure hasn’t been totalled up yet, as we still have donations coming in and payments made for auction lots that were won. But as a rough breakdown, we raised over £3,500 via William’s Just Giving page (including giftaid), for those who couldn’t attend and bought balloons and raffle tickets. The online auction raised over £950, the auction at the event raised £400. Donations on the day for raffle tickets, balloons and donations exceeded £1,000. Worldwide Financial Planning (where I work) have agreed to match fund £1,000 and we are currently waiting for Santander Bank to match fund, the amount has yet to be confirmed. A cake sale at Standard Life raised over £400 with Standard Life matching the amount raised. There was a balloon release held in Spain where my family live, this raised over €300.

There are some events still taking place, these funds will be added to William’s Just Giving page. With a target of £10,000 I think with future fund-raising we might consider a new target!!

There are so many people that we need to thank, those that donated raffle and auction prizes. Their time, their help and most of all the support. Not just from family and friends but the wider community, including all around the world. There have been balloons sent to heaven for William from the States, South Africa, all across Europe including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. I am absolutely certain that William caught every single one.

Given the awful weather conditions, lots of people turned up to help us celebrate William’s birthday, it was extremely windy and rainy, typical UK style, but nevertheless, people put their wellies, hats, gloves and coats on and mucked in to help the family through what was an extremely emotionally charged day. At one point half of the balloons blew away, when a gust of wind was determined to steal our gazebo. But that didn’t spoil anything, we blew the reserve balloons up and let them go instead. As Paul, helped by all the children, let the balloons go from a big net, the Sun broke through the clouds, a perfect, tranquil and beautiful moment, I’m sure William knew. Our little two-year old was watching over us.
I would also like to say a very special thank you to a lady in Canada (I haven’t been specific with location from where they were set free to allow the students anonymity). Lydia along with her students raised and set free beautiful Monarch butterflies in William’s honor. They did this a couple of months ago, however, I thought it would be lovely to include these photos with William’s balloons. These elegant butterflies, one male and one female are currently making their way to Mexico.  Their wonderful teacher explained about William and his story and when they set the butterflies free, they all said a prayer for our little boy.

We are fast approaching one whole year without William, but that is an entirely different blog altogether. I want to sincerely thank everyone who has supported us, and restored our faith in humanity. I will shortly be putting up a gallery on my blog of all the photo’s we have received, so if you have any, please send them to me. If you are able to help us reach our £10,000 target, you can by visiting William’s Just Giving page by clicking this link I’m sorry that I might not have thanked everyone personally but we love you all xxxx

Happy Birthday Baby

William baby, I miss you, I miss you so much. I wish so much that you were here, or I was there. I don’t like this, I hate this, I can’t get used to this at all. I need you so much, I need you to be here, I need to see you, I need to hold you, I need to breathe in your beautiful smell and run my fingers through your soft hair. I need to know that you are ok. I need you, my baby, here with me.

When you arrived two years ago today on my birthday, I was overcome with an emotion I had not experienced in such an empowering form as this. I loved you fiercely from the moment I knew you were coming, but when I first saw you, when I first felt your tiny weight, your warm skin on my chest. I was in love. I knew then, that I would need nothing more in my life, it was you, it was always you. I couldn’t stop looking at you, waiting for you to open those mesmerising brown eyes, to drink in your soul. You loved with your eyes from the moment they were opened. Your eyes, the key to your beautiful soul is what I miss so much. I look at your photos and I just look into your eyes, hoping, wishing, wanting to jump right into that photo. Knowing so much that those little eyes won’t talk to me again, knowing that those little eyes won’t love me like they did. Although as your mummy no-one can get closer to you than I am but it is an infinite chasm that is between us. Un-natural, relentless and peppered with hardships that neither you nor I should have to endure.

Our first cuddle xx

Our first cuddle xx

I’m sitting here looking at a photo of you lying on my bed 3 days after you were born. I can remember lying there with you, I remember tracing my fingertip round the edges of your ears, learning their shape, getting to know every millimetre of your perfect little body. I remember gently walking my finger up the inside of your tiny little fingers, knowing your senses were heightened now you were no longer being incubated in mummy’s belly. I could see you taking it all in, stretching your perfectly formed little fingers out so that our fingertips could touch. Both of us tingling with new sensations, I was learning what your touch felt like, storing those moments in my memory for me to recall, I am glad I did that. I remember so clearly the folds of your skin, I remember the indentations your finger prints made, I can draw in my mind the lovely wrinkles that made you brand new. I remember oh so well. If I close my eyes, I can touch you. I know what your touch feels like. It gives me goose bumps and sends shivers down my spine. You were mine and I loved every bit of you.

Our first birthday cuddle xx

Our first birthday cuddle xx

I remember holding you, almost comatose on milk but not quite, still hanging on, that lingering look between us, I would slowly rub your forehead just at the top of your nose, until I would stop and my finger would come to a standstill, my finger with its tiny pressure resting on your forehead, you would succumb to your milky way. I wouldn’t move my finger, wanting so much to be part of your dream, my connection with you whilst you were sleeping. I wouldn’t move until you woke. The first person you saw when you opened those sleepy eyes. How many times did you wake to see the tears streaming down mummy’s face? You knew they were happy tears, tears when mummy was overcome with emotion, never quite knowing how to cope with the love that eclipsed us.

Today as I navigate through our birthdays without you I seek desperately to find some comfort knowing that you are safely tucked up in Heaven, but it’s not right and it’s not the same. This evening I will look up to the stars knowing that you are not just one but all of them, you’re beautiful soul shining through. I’m sorry I couldn’t get to you today. I’m sorry I can’t hold you, I’m sorry that I can’t cuddle you and smother you in a million kisses. I’m just so, so sorry. Sorry I couldn’t protect you, sorry I couldn’t make you better, sorry I wasn’t holding you when you took your last sweet breath. I’m just sorry it was you and not me. I would give my life for you to have yours. I would give my life so you could take one more breath, live one last moment, cuddle you one more time. I miss you sweetheart, I’m totally lost without you my precious little boy.

Today you are turning two, and I wonder what you are doing in Heaven. I hope there are lots of toys, and you are having lots of fun, I hope you miss mummy, because mummy misses you. I hope that the birthday you are having is a happy one. I ache to hear those little words, it’s my birthday mummy, it’s your birthday mummy. I ache to hear that little word uttered by you, mummy.

Happy birthday sweetheart, I love you xxxxx

You’re one of Heaven’s angels now,
A perfect little star.
And when you shine the world can see,
How beautiful you are.

May you fly with magic wings,
On clouds so soft and white.
May your heart be joyful,
And your days be bathed in light.

And though our hearts are broken,
And your life was far too short.
We thank you, sweetest angel,
For the happiness you bought.


www.williamslegacy-auction.com

www.justgiving.com/williamoscarmead

William’s Charity Auction

Givergy

So everyone, William’s birthday is in two days time, and as you know we are releasing some balloons for his second birthday on Saturday, as are so many of you around the world.

Yesterday evening, our online charity went live. It’s now possible to bid on the amazing items that so many generous people and businesses have donated. Here is the link:

www.williamslegacy-auction.com

The lots include the following:
– A holiday for two in Bali;
– An iPAD;
– PADI Diving course, beginner or intermediate;
– Limited edition signed book by Amanda Prowse;
– Signed England rugby shirt worn in the recent England Vs Ireland game – framed;
– Signed Everton FC shirt – framed;
– £100 Jewellery voucher for Zamsoe;
– Detailed & lifelike A4 animal portrait;
– 2 x Limited edition signed prints from Aminart;
– 3 night cottage break for 2 in the Lakes;
– 2 Night boutique escape, your choice of hotel;
– England Vs Wales 2016 VIP tickets;
– 24 Hours on a private island for 2 people;
– 2 Nights, your choice of Champneys Spa’s for 2; and
– A jewellery set by Jacy and Jool’s.

All of the proceeds will be donated directly to The UK Sepsis Trust in William’s memory. So please support us in achieving our goal of £10,000!!!

Please share the link with your friends on your social media sites. We are so grateful and thankful for your support.


 

www.justgiving.com/williamoscarmead