I just want to take a moment to thank all of our supporters – YOU – as you follow our road on the HHE journey!
I only started this blog earlier this year, in April and despite needing to slow down from August, due to wanting to be with my mum and dad during my dad’s cancer battle, we have reached over 200 supporters.
It means so much to have family & friends, and new friends, all over the globe, follow Mikey D’s adventures and ours as a family.
Every life has value and meaning, has the ability to contribute to the society they live in, if given the right opportunities. As Mr D’s mum & dad, Bryce & I try to do the best we can with these opportunities, learning as we go along the way.
If we can help others not feel so isolated and alone, then our job here has half been done. The other half of the job is to breakdown the stigma and barriers that having a ‘disability’ limits you in some way, and the stigma it has on the family. No more pity parties for us, just parties thanks 🙂
I will try my best to be open with challenges we face but how those challenges can actually be a blessing in disguise. As a person who was a natural ‘worrier’, that quickly progressed into a depression/anxiety disorder after living on a knife’s edge for too long, I sought the right medical advice needed to address it. As with my son’s rare condition, if I don’t seek help when I need it, how can I help him?
By seeking help, I was able to focus and concentrate on my desire to write about my experiences. I have been lucky to connect with other bloggers online who have brilliant pieces to read, and who have been doing this for a long time. I was published in the online parents mag, BubHub and the trolley petition of 2015 was picked up and shared through many groups, personal pages, disability advocate groups and even MamaMia! Source Kids, Australia’s first print & online magazine for parents & carers of children with disabilities, also mentioned my blog… then known as 10 Feet Tall. As time went on however, I realised the importance of streamlining my title to reference the fact this is all about us, our family and our love for Mikey ‘Danger’. Loving Danger!
I also learned this year, that despite having people around you, supporting you, you can still continue to feel isolated and overwhelmed. It’s a real conscious effort to keep going at times. But sooner or later, you will find your people and it will fall into place. It may be through a playgroup, school, new friends or just having people read your experiences and taking genuine interest that this is a unique path we are on, not for the faint hearted!
I also learned that sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want. There are no magical cures or quick fixes. Sometimes, no matter how much we love someone and they love us, they have to leave us. Losing my dad, before what I felt, was before his time, absolutely broke my heart. My heart will never be the same and I don’t think I will ever be the same again. In fact, the passion my dad had for life, has in a way been passed on to me, tenfold. I feel I have a lot to get on with that is so good, I will try to recognise bad days are just that, a bad day and not in fact, a bad life! It is a privilege to carry my dad in my heart, to watch his humour be played throughout Mikey D’s antics (let’s turn the hose on and squirt mum!) and also to hear my eldest Katrina, laugh how poppy drinks his tea. For the first time the other night we really laughed and spoke about Poppy without feeling sad. Katrina had a real cheeky glint in her eye, just like my dad did.
My dad was one of Mr D’s biggest supporters and cheerleaders. He was also one of mine. During his final few months, I had lots of conversations with him that I treasure. I have no regrets, I told him everything and vice versa. I feel very lucky and fortunate to have had that relationship with my dad. The only thing I would wish is to have more time. But when he discovered he had cancer, it was altready Stage IV – terminal, as it had already spread to his brain, which later gave him seizures and which resulted in a hemiplegia, not unlike Mr D’s.
The extra time we had with him was the 3 months from early August to early November. That was our time.
Now as 2016 comes to an end, 2017 is beaming at me with a “c’mon move your horses ass!” It feels strange and somewhat ‘not right’ to begin a new year without dad, without the kids beloved Poppy.
BUT having had the privilege of dad being my dad for as long as I did, begin is what we must.
For 2017, I see possibilities and new experiences for Mikey D, and all of us. I see us going on more family holidays, finding ‘all abilities’ friendly places, living life to the max!
We wish you all the same. Onwards & upwards, my friends.