I originally wrote this story for My Mummy Daze‘s “Stories of Me” writing challenge. It turns out the timing is impeccable as it is the 4 year “Annie”versary of me blowing the aneurysm (aka “ultimate brain-fart”). It happened the day before Black Saturday in 2009 and a friend of ours lost both his sisters in those fires. I would have completely forgotten about both the aneurysm and Black Saturday had it not been for him updating Facebook with a photo of his sisters. I never met the girls but my heart broke for him and his family.
If you are new to this blog, perhaps start with the story of “Hurricane Annie” then come back for a little chaser, like.
When my first daughter was born, I knew she was magical.
She was feisty, bossy and possessive. But her capacity for love was, is, enormous.
When I was in hospital in 2009, Scout had just turned 3. Too young to know what was really wrong with mummy. Too young to know that sometimes things go wrong inside our bodies. It’s not anyone’s fault, it just happens, sometimes when we least expect it. When she first saw me, the day after surgery, my head wound tightly in a bright white bandage, the right side of my face swollen and bruised like I’d had the sh*t kicked out of me, she said simply, “Who did that to mummy“?
She didn’t cry when she was by my bedside. She cried when she had to leave. I cried. Big, pointless tears. Sadness. Relief. Relief that I was still alive and around to see that beautiful girl crying for me.
When I came home, I spent 3 long months on the couch in a semi-permanent fog of Oxycontin and Panadeine Forte.
Scout was too young to know that my brain had literally exploded one steamy February day. But I think something inside her knew. Every day she would crawl up to me, stroke me on the cheek and nestle into me like she literally wanted to live inside me (yeah, did it once, don’t need to go back there thanks all the same). She seemed to understand I was in pain even though she was too young to know this kind of pain. She knew I needed her there, that with the simplest of gestures she could colour in the missing chunks of the vital mum she once knew.
And she was funny. I would laugh at her peculiar brand of off-the-wall humour even though my head hurt like a bastard each time my mouth cracked a drug-trembled smile. I knew she was doing it for me. I found in her comfort in a halo of hellish discomfort.
I knew I loved her, adored her, when she was born, but the love I felt from her during this time was the only clear thing for me in a flurry of pain chatter.
Love is looking into the eyes of something to live for.