Little pieces make a whole…

LEGO – every mum’s nightmare! Whether finding small pieces of plastic in the hoover or hurting your feet on those you missed when cleaning up, mums of boys will know this feeling.

I went into Henry’s room last night, intent on some well overdue cleaning, and looked at the models we made together on lazy afternoons which he proudly displayed on his windowsill: an aeroplane, a Star Wars something-or-other, weird unknown creations and a Millennium Falcon. All things he enjoyed and wanted to show off to anyone who might visit when he was here.

I well remember following LEGO instructions and sorting out the ‘bits’ Henry would need for each stage of the building process, piece by piece. He hated the organisation of ‘parts’ but was happy to make them into some semblance of order and I enjoyed finding the correct blocks for each stage. It was good to be doing something he liked and watch as he became absorbed in creating the ‘thing’ we worked on. On these rare (and expensive!) occasions, as each piece was made into a whole we both felt a sense of achievement.

As his illness developed, we grew to know each other inside out. His leg was a trial for him physically and for me mentally. Again we shared a feeling. This major piece of his body effected and affected us both radically. We learned to be totally honest with each other as Mum and Son and accept the bit by bit disintegration of his body.

As his body fell apart (and I tried to help build him back up, as I’d done with LEGO) we learned that life is a time of supporting each other with the skills we possess. Henry’s cheerful, honest and practical nature kept me going as I struggled with the reality of knowing I’d lose him. My ability to create an alternative world for him and I in the world of hospital wards helped him deal with the awful treatments he had to cope with. We made a world for we two which was more precious than anything I’ve ever known.

Enjoy the pain in your feet when you stand on small plastic things – without the other part of yourself, they’d not be there.

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