What do you normally do with children at Easter? Chocolate, chicks, lambs, Easter Bonnet and egg competitions and a big Sunday lunch?
When he was small, Henry and I enjoyed Easter egg hunts. This invariably involved my planning a route (inside or out depending on the weather forecast) and creating a map for him to follow to find mini eggs or Cadbury’s Crème Eggs. As the route progressed, the eggs would become larger and would end with his main Easter chocfest.
His favourite was one which was held on a rainy day: it started in his bedroom, there was a trail down the stairs and he followed the pictures to find the chocolate. The reason for this was that I’d placed one egg (boxed!) on the top of the toilet cistern. For some reason this was hysterically funny. I enjoy memories such as this.
Henry’s Easter Egg Map
(scroll down for more)
By contrast, when he was ill, Henry frequently suffered from horrendous mouth and digestive tract infections which rendered him unable to speak. He couldn’t communicate his many needs verbally (move leg implant position/cream for itchy skin/needing the loo/move pillow/thirsty/too hot/too cold/blow nose/morphine mouthwash etc etc) and his eyes were confused by morphine (reading words was difficult). As a result I made a chart of his most frequently requested things so that he could point to them without having to speak. It’s a sadder picture….
It does however, show that we can become very creative in adversity and find ways around problems to make life a little easier. It’s amazing to see how parents become extremely resourceful during their children’s care. A sign of true love and determination to do whatever they can to help, whist feeling utterly powerless.
This Easter I’m taking part in ‘Floating Easter Eggs up to Heaven’: a countrywide balloon release by families who’ve lost children or siblings. Please spare a thought for them and the many families in hospital or at home struggling with sick children simply and just trying to get through the holidays as best they can.
I hope that you all have a restful and happy Easter weekend.
PS: Fear not, the Easter Bunny will be visiting the RVI Paediatric Oncology Ward with lots of Disney Toys for the children on Easter Sunday. Thanks to Jason Knights of Blue Kangaroo design for sourcing them and NO, I shan’t be wearing a rabbit outfit!!