White Roses. Do one.

You’re disrespectful, how can you not see that? You come to our daughter’s place of rest and make it obvious that you have been but think you can keep your anonymity and it not disturb us?

Yes, I’m talking about you…. anonymous white rose leaver, you’re an absolute disgrace, you’re an absolute arsehole and that’s putting it mildly.

If you’ve followed me for a few years, you might know that maybe 18 months ago, I had a rant about someone leaving white roses at Millie’s Resting Place and it stopped. Whoever it was, stopped leaving them.

The same bunch of white roses always turned up on or around special dates to do with Millie and I’m going to be honest, it wound the shit out of us.

The last time I talked about this, I said that it’s like someone going into Millie’s bedroom without permission but making it obvious they’ve been and some then waste of space told me that she was public property because she was buried in a public cemetery.

It doesn’t work like that … far from it.

This is our daughter’s resting place and we’ve never publicly said where it is. We know that some people know where she is buried because people have seen us there but we have just chosen, never to publicly mention it through our own personal choice.

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Don’t get us wrong, we love people visiting – but all our friends and family know to drop us a little text or leave a note to say that they’ve been, it comforts us. It comforts us that people still visit and that they let us know. We have random members of the public that often see Millie’s place and they might leave a little something or they message us through our Facebook pages and let us know that they’ve been and we love this; it’s lovely to hear this.

What’s not to love, is this.

The same insensitive person has once again turned up and left the white roses and not just on any old day, the day that Asher turned 9 months old (this is how old Millie was when we lost her) – coincidence? We think not.

Whoever it is (we’ve got an idea) … you’re creepy. You are so creepy because you make it obvious that you’ve been. It’s like you want us to know that the same person is back again and you do this by leaving the same white roses every time, like it’s a message. You’re strange and you’re gutless. If you want to express your sympathy, express it to us, Millie’s parents – not by hiding behind the same choice of flowers but making it obvious. Grow some.

And the flowers, ripped up and in the bin, yet again! Every time you leave them, they get torn up and stomped on and until you own up and tell us who you are, this will continue to happen, so stop wasting your bloody money trying to wind us up, it doesn’t work, we get angry and then laugh at you for not having the guts to admit who you are.

Rant Over.

Oh wait, no it’s not … let’s hope I don’t see you there …

Regards.

One Angry Mother & Father

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Six, that many?

Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that we are just around the corner from our sixth Christmas without our little girl.

We were at Millie’s resting place yesterday and a lovely lady came to talk to me who recognised me from a newspaper. We got chatting and she told me that she was visiting her son who has in grieving terms, not long been buried, she was so sad. It hurt me to see her in so much pain and knowing that there’s nothing that you can do to take it away. Her son was a lot older than Millie, in his twenties but still no age to lose your life and a parent should never have to go through the indescribable pain of losing a child, no matter how old or young they are or in fact, you are.

Instead of preparing ourselves for Christmas by hunting out the latest gifts that our children want, an extremely large number of us are hunting out flowers or plants that might just last outside over Christmas a little longer than usual, we are placing little Christmas Trees and outdoor lights around our children’s resting places and we are laminating cards to last in the rain or laying them down knowing that within 24 hours they will be destroyed but hoping that our children will have read our words in them, in some strange and mysterious way that they are involved with our lives.

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For the first three years after we lost Millie, we didn’t celebrate Christmas. We didn’t put a tree up, we didn’t see any family or friends or exchange gifts or cards. We didn’t acknowledge it, it was just another day to Dan and I.

I don’t ever think Christmas will be a huge thing for us, it hurts too much. It’s hard to make plans with other people as I can’t predict how many times each of us will break down and cry and many people (thankfully) cannot understand why this happens. We’re more comfortable just having our own little Christmas in our own home.

The fourth year was different, we put a tree up and did a little bit of Christmas because we now had Leo. We couldn’t not do it for him. We’ve always said that we don’t want Leo’s (and now Asher’s) lives to be any different or miss out on on things because of what happened to Millie.

Christmas is something that Leo and Asher’s friends will celebrate and take part in and we don’t want our children to feel left out and not to be able to enjoy this time of year, especially as they get older.

I’m not religious, not at all. I did wonder,like many of us do and we had Millie christened but once she passed away, that was it for me. I couldn’t believe in something so cruel, something that could take away a child from loving parents, so as you can imagine Christmas will never be associated with religion in our house.

There will never be any Christmas scenes, any prayers and certainly no bibles. It will always just be a fun day for our children where they get some presents and are allowed to eat more chocolate than usual!

It’s extremely hard that first Christmas after you lose a child. Everything you see or hear, tears your heart out. Children getting excited looking at toys or coming out from visiting Santa, families enjoying big family Christmas meals and songs on the radio that can make you spontaneously burst out crying in the middle of a supermarket after playing just a few notes or words.

Waking up on Christmas morning, there are lots of tears before any of the fun. The tears fall as soon as we wake up for the missing part of our family, our precious daughter. We cannot help but think about how we won’t see her face running smiling into our bedroom, or the shock on her face when she sees that Father Christmas has been or how happy she realises she can be when she can have chocolate for breakfast. None of it. We never got to see it, we never will and we still miss it like it’s an existing memory. That’s the thing with us though, we don’t have any Christmas memories with Millie because we never got to see her first one. All we know, is everything that she will miss out on, everything she will never get to see or experience and although these thoughts are with us every day in everything that we do, they became ever so more prominent at special times of the year.

We’ll visit Millie a couple of times on Christmas Day, normally in the morning and then in the evening to light some candles. She’ll be left a card and lots of gorgeous flowers from us and at home, she’ll have a Christmas Stocking, just like we all will. Although it won’t be filled with special treats like all the other ones, it’s still hers and it will still be there.

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We’ve also got our other little star, the baby I miscarried in November 2016. I love my family so much, but it’s hard not to see what should have been, that we should have 4 children all laughing around the table with us, that there should be twice as many presents in our living room from Father Christmas and that there should be twice as much mess as there will be. I’d love to see twice as much mess and twice as much chaos in our home at any time because that would mean that we wouldn’t have any sad memories from the past and that all our children would be here with us.

If you are lucky enough to be able to celebrate Christmas with all your children around you, send a little love to the people that can’t. Christmas is an emotional time for anyone who has lost a loved one but a Christmas without a child that should be there is unbearable as you think about all the missing futures that they should have and even just the missing smile from around the table.

As much as we will laugh, smile and play with our little ones on the day, a piece of us will be with our missing children and there’ll always be a part of us that can’t quite get to that happy place that we all crave to get to, that perfect life that we all want.

I sign Christmas cards (any cards) off with Millie’s name in them, she’s a huge part of our family and always will be. Some people might find that odd and think that we shouldn’t do it, but I don’t care. Unless you have lost a child, I don’t care for your opinion when it comes to how we should we grieve or how we should act. Losing a child, is not the same as any other type of loss or any other type of grief, far from it.

Six Christmases down the line since we lost Millie and we are still trying to figure out what and how we want to do things without Millie here.

My heart is with all those parents right now who are experiencing their first Christmas without their child. The pain of all those firsts is a pain that will never leave me and will always hurt. I wish that I could tell these parents that the pain will go away but it doesn’t,not at all.

You learn to live with the pain and your life is built around it. You learn how to deal with your pain to get you through these special days and you will discover what is the right thing for you to do on these days and whatever you decide that is, is perfect – for you and always will be.

If I could line you all up and give each and every one of you a hug this Christmas, I would … I feel your pain, I feel your miss.

From one grieving parent to another xxx

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United we are 

The pure solidarity from the people of Manchester last night and today evidently shows what amazing people there are out there in the place that we all lovingly call home.

From the professionalism and passionate determination of the emergency services that took those first awful initial phone calls and that risked their lives to run straight in and began rescuing people; to the men and women on the street that provided first aid treatment to many strangers on the street that they had never come across before; to the taxi drivers that wavered their fees and travelled hundreds of miles to ensure people’s loved ones could get home and to the restaurants, shops, bar and hotels that have opened their doors free of charge to ensure that people could eat and have a safe place to rest whilst they waited to be reunited with their loved ones …. we stand united. 

Not just in Manchester, but the whole country.

As the day has gone on and the details have unfolded of what happened, the enormity of the tragedy coming to light and the lost loved ones photos have emerged slowly in the media , my mind is still completely astonished about the understanding of what cowards could do this, to target an innocent crowd … and more so, an innocent crowd full of children. 

Monsters. 

There is no other word for them. 

The grief of course is not confined to the Manchester community as people had travelled from hundreds of miles away for the concert, communities will be mourning all over the country when details of the further lost loved ones emerge. 

Lost brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, friends but most of all what hits me the hardest is the loss of sons and daughters – children to a mother and father somewhere, no matter what their age – still someone’s child – so many people still so young with their full life ahead of them. 

Many of us do not know these people personally but we have potentially lost future doctors, future fighters, future maths teachers or future (insert what comes to your mind here)…

…Or simply, future friends, future husbands and wives or that person across the street that just smiles at you at the right time when you are having a rough day and when you need it the most.

Today I have cried every time that I have seen a new photo of someone that has had their life confirmed lost because they are so young.

I cried for their parent’s pain.

I cried for the parents receiving that terrible news that their cherished child has lost their life.

I cried for the future that their child has lost.

I cried for the enormity of the grief and the challenges ahead for these parents of living their life without the child that they thought they would see receive their GCSE grades, the child that they thought they would walk down the aisle and the child who would give them beautiful grandchildren. 

I cried for them all, for all that they have lost and for all the future memories that have been taken from them in a split second. 

As a parent, the loss of a child is the hardest thing that you will ever go through, there is simply no comparison and I know that from my own experience. 

I looked at my 2 year old son today sat there laughing on the floor, so innocent and carefree and I was genuinely scared for the future of our children – the scale of the attacks and the technology and ideas in the weapons being used makes my blood run cold when I think about what it could be like for them in 20 years …. I wish the world was a better place for them. 

We could not attend the Manchester City Centre Vigil this evening but we have attended a local one to us earlier this evening and paid our respects. 

My heart stays with the families of the lost loved ones and the injured this evening x


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Nearly older than big sis X 

Millie was just 9 months old when we lost her. 

Leo is 9 months old today. 

 
Milestone number 12833379440 (there’s been that many, we’ve lost count).

It’s been so hard getting to this stage, but we aren’t exactly there yet, still a few more days to go. 

I know the exact day that Leo is the exact same age as Millie … 286 days old … So I also know that the day after Leo is technically older than his big sister. In fact, I’d worked this out a few hours after Leo was born and it’s been a date stuck in my head ever since. 

I thought the period running up to Leo being 9 months old would be the hardest but now I’m not too sure. Don’t get me wrong, it has been so hard but so beautiful at the same time. Millions of tears have fallen but at the same time, millions of smile have been seen too from all of us. 

 

We’ve watched Leo develop over the past 9 months, just like we watched Millie. We’ve seen him smile, giggle, roll over and so much more – all things we watched Millie do.

Pretty soon, we will be entering the next stage of development with Leo – the stage we never saw with Millie. 

So is this next stage going to be harder? More tearful? 

Honestly, I just don’t know. 

What I do know though, is that we have done ok in the past 9 months, in fact a lot better than we ever could have imagined. 

So here is to seeing Leo take his first steps, say his first words and so much more and with every new thing he learns, we will be so grateful that he is here. 

Lots of love to both our kiddies, we love you so so much. 

Love mummy xxx

A reindeer called Ralph???

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, has a very shiny nose …

They are all over the place now … Christmas songs I’m talking about. Most shops that I’ve walked in to this week have been playing them ... Santa Claus is coming to town … Walking along … Walking into a winter wonderland … All I want for Christmas is you…. 

Last year, I could not stand them, this year I’m finding myself humming to them and I even caught Dan singing to one of them this week in a shop that we were in; how things haved changed. 

As a lot of you will know, we’ve been unable to celebrate Christmas for three years because we lost Millie, it has just never felt right because she never even got her first Christmas and it’s just been another day for us ever since …. But this year, yesterday … There was this 

 
Yes, that is Leo, Dan and myself with The Santa Claus himself .. Yes the real one guys 😀

6 months ago, I would’ve have said that this probably wasn’t going to happen …But yesterday it did, thanks to a lovely lady named Kerry and we owe her a huge thank you. 

Kerry has been a follower of ours since we began and she wrote (yes, wrote to me, I loved getting a letter in the post – actual letters don’t happen that often!) to me a few weeks ago and asked to help us make Christmas special for us and for Leo as she knew we were struggling … And it just happened that she works within a Reindeer sanctuary, so she invited us over on their press day for their launch for this season. 

So yesterday we woke up at 6.30am and I actually felt excited about our visit, I’ve not had that feeling for a long time, it felt special .

We then packed up the car and headed off to spend the day at this amazing place called Blithbury Reindeer Lodge and our little man got to see the big man arriving himself into the reindeer sanctuary with 7 reindeer (this was the only day Santa arrives like this as he’s boarding at the Blithbury Reindeer Lodge until Christmas Eve.) 

As Santa arrived, Leo and his cousins got very excited and Leo couldn’t stop smiling – this was so lovely to watch but also so hard because I see Leo experiencing new things and I absolutely love it but my heart also breaks when he experiences something that Millie never did. 

As soon as we arrived we got to meet some lovely reindeer including the actual Red Deer, from the film Braveheart, Albert, who resides there. 

We walked through the doors of this magical place and were met with not only some of Santa’s Elves but also some gorgeous baby Reindeer from Scandavia and some beautiful home grown ones too! 

Leo got a very special present from the sanctuary but we’ll tell you about that in a few weeks closer to Christmas. 

We were very lucky yesterday with the rain holding off until the end of our visit, this made sure our visit was even more enjoyable! Picking up some feed on the way round we got to some of the older reindeer, in particular we loved the white ones, we thought they were stunning.   

Then it was time for Elf School – learning about how Elves work in Santa’s workshop and what reindeer like to eat. 

Then Leo went to meet Santa for the first time. This is how he reacted …

 
Seriously though, he loved it and we have to say that Santa was absolutely fantastic with Leo and with us. Santa knew all about what we are going through and he made everything very extra special and told Leo what a good boy he’d been this year!

Then he sent us into his special elf workshop, where we have to say the presents were amazing and the elves had worked really hard to produce some fabulous presents this year (in fact the best we have ever seen in an elf workshop).
 
Then he met Ralph, this is Ralph 😀

What was so lovely to see is how well the animals are looked after at Blithbury and I didn’t know until yesterday that they are such chilled out animals and so beautiful and soft. 

Our special visit soon came to an end when Leo needed milk and a long sleep with his reindeer friend that he had picked up on the way round!  

So what a milestone for us. We never want Leo to miss out on anything growing up because of the sadness that Dan and I experience because we lost his big sister. 

We want him to experience everything the world has to offer (within financial reach, of course, lol) but seriously though, Christmas is a huge thing for families and we want Leo’s first Christmas to be so special, just like Millie’s would have been-no matter how hard it is for Dan and I.

We aren’t sure at all what we are going to actually do on Christmas Day. We know we want to stay at home and just be our little family and I suppose everything else will just fall into place around us. We just want Leo to enjoy it and obviously to build all those memories for us of all of Leo’s special days. 

So thank you so much to Kerry and Blithbury Lodge (click here to visit their website and book to visit) for our special visit and making us so welcome. 

And Christmas .. We think we can just about survive you.m

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A blog just because … 

Not much to read on this blog but just had to blog. 

The sound of silence drove me mad after we lost Millie.

Just been stood in the kitchen chopping up carrots and all I could hear was Leo giggling in our living room because Daddy was playing with him.  It made me smile as wide as my face. 

Never thought I’d smile again like this again over something so simple. 

Now our house is full of Leo giggling, crying, shouting and Rolo (our dog) running around and barking. I love all these noises.

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Enchanting Stars 

It’s a dark night and there are stars in the sky, sometimes there is just one lonely star shining down and sometimes there are a thousand to look at glistening down on you. 

Tonight is a night when you need to feel your loved ones close to you because you are missing them so much. Tonight this star is your loved one for you and at the same time, thousands of miles away in another country or a few miles away from where you are, someone else is looking up at the exact same star getting comfort thinking about their loved one – is that not just an amazing thing? 

Whether it be a child, a father, a mother, best friend or anyone else close to you; it gives you comfort to know they are watching over you and looking out for you in life.

Our enchanting stars. 

Then you look around you. You have your children playing around the house or that proud moment your son or daughter is getting married or when your partner makes you breakfast in bed. You see these enchanting stars don’t only need to be the people that we have lost, they are also the people that make you get up every day and see in a new day with a smile.

These are my Enchanting Stars, you can show me yours by leaving a photo in the comments book on Facebook. 

  

This is why Dan and I decided to use the name ENCHANTING STARS  to enter into the Thomson #nameourplane competition. 

We could have chosen to submit a name in honour of our precious daughter’s memory so she could fly high in the sky as she never got the chance to go on an aeroplane just like many other children who are taken too soon OR we could have chosen a name after Leo who currently loves flying and watching the clouds pass by out of the window. (I secretly always look at the clouds in hope of seeing Millie sat on one smiling)

But we wanted to include all our followers, we wanted you to have a name to relate to, to mean something to you and you never know if we are lucky enough to have our name picked, you might even see that plane one day and it will make you think of your lost loved one OR you’ll be looking at all the Thomson Planes at the airport looking at the names and this will remind you of voting for us and who you did it in memory of OR you’ll able to tell your 5 year old son that you are plane watching with or your partner that you are waiting to board a plane with that you voted for a plane to be called ENCHANTING STARS because it made you think of them. Pretty sure that will make them smile and they’ll know how much you love them right in that moment. 

So here it is, our name for the plane 

ENCHANTING STARS

You need to click on the name above or the link below to vote for us to get in to the top 5. If we manage to get in to the top 5 Thomson will then choose one of the 5 names to name the plane after.

VOTING CLOSED 

  

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