Now on my flight having left the chaotic-ness (if that’s a word) behind and able to read your blog in peace and quiet for once! I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on life that was going on this time last year and still find it utterly surreal that what happened to you did and how afterwards life has not been the same for so many people. To think how many lives you touched so dramatically and how you continue to do so and probably always will. I just want to hug you and cry for joy at how much you have achieved in the last year since we all thought we might never speak and laugh with you again. At least one person asks me almost everyday ‘How’s ‘your friend’ [if they don’t know you] Russ doing?’ And I always slightly struggle for an answer that will be worthy of the complexity of the reality without making the answer last for half an hour! And the reality is, without any solid facts on this of course, that you have achieved more in one year than I’m sure anyone ever has with your level of paralysis. And yet reeling off all the physical boundaries you have miraculously crossed must not, in my mind when I answer them, gloss over the endurance you mentally and physically face everyday, which is only witnessed by those close to you including me of course. I’ve also been thinking back to the moment I received the first text from Dani saying briefly what had happened and that she was flying out to Toulon the next day. Which was then followed by numerous texts from her and other people as the enormity of the situation unfolded. The month that followed was a total blur, for many others too, I’m sure, and although I was lucky enough not to be working then, so I could drop everything to not only fly out to see you and be a support to Dani and Amber, but the flip side of that meant that I couldn’t focus on anything except thinking about you and I couldn’t help but to crumble inside. I guess it’s my closeness I felt/feel to you and Dani and then witnessing your initial physical weakness and Dani’s incredible mental strength, (only imagining how bloody hard that must have been) made me crumble even more. What is it about ‘a year on’ that helps to turn the corner of ‘moving on’. Are you feeling it more so this week? For what it’s worth that deep sadness I’ve felt as a result of your pain (that even stopped me wanting to sing!) is just starting to subside. Maybe it’s because I now see you starting to return to a sense of ‘normality’. Going back to work, driving a car, being at the school gates……even smiling behind the eyes (and not just for the sake of people around you) …now the thought of that is making me well up, as always…..uh oh, and now tears are falling down my cheeks!…..
Lots of love for now Action Man darling…..who would have ever thought you wld be able to get your physique back within a year!