This was scheduled to go live on July 4th but something happened in the background. I am letting it go live now anyway.
This time eight year’s ago I was getting ready for July 4th which was the day I was to be admitted to hospital to begin the process of my transplant.
I was ready for it at that stage. I had read all the literature and felt I knew everything.
At home, I was about to collect my daughter Emma from her last day of school as her Summer holidays were about to begin. I had planned lots for us to do in the first few days of her holiday as after that I was going to be away for a few weeks at least.
I remember feeling pressure to try and pack in as much as I could in those few days before I was admitted.
While trying to make a fuss of Emma on her school holidays, I was also trying to make sure I had as much time as possible with Cathal who was approaching his third birthday and who was finding it quite difficult to get used to the idea of me being away even for a few hours – never mind a few weeks.
Emma and I had a few dates marked in the calendar:
She had marked the days she thought I would be away for based on what we had read from the transplant literature.
She had marked two dates which were to do with Harry Potter:
The first date was 12 July and that was the date of the release of the movie of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Emma and I always did the Harry Potter movies together and I was hoping that even if I could not make opening night that I would be home in time to see it with her while it was still in cinema.
The second date was 21 July and that was the date of the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We had arranged to be a special event in a local book shop where we had pre-ordered the book. There was a huge amount of hype around any new harry Potter book and the shops always went the extra mile and allowed people to queue so as they could open the door at midnight for people to get their copy of the book.
It was my target to be home for that.
I failed and missed both of those events. July 12 was just after my transplant so I wasn’t going anywhere and July 21 was when I was at peak chemo fallout and I was in a very bad way. I remember chatting to Emma on the phone after the first date came and went and we were both clinging on to the July 21 date as a possibility. I was disappointed that I couldn’t make the book launch with her and I know she was too.
Emma was well looked after on the Harry Potter front as she was able to go to the movie with her friend and she was taken along with everyone else to get the book. I was able to hear all about it from her on one of the occasions she sneaked into the hospital to see me.
One of the nurses who was looking after me was also reading the Harry Potter book and I used to get snippets from her each evening she came in to look after me. I wasn’t able to read it but I wanted to be able to chat to Emma about it as I knew she was powering through it at home.
Cathal’s birthday in August was the next date I was aiming to be at home for. Luckily I made it home in time for that and we had a small party for him and a few of his friends.
There have been many more book and movie releases and I have been free to attend all of them with Emma and now Cathal too as he is that bit older.
This year I got to see Emma graduate from school – she’s done with it, finished. She did her major State exams and we now wait for the results. I am very glad to have been fit and well so as I could be around for her for these times.
Cathal just had an advance birthday party with all his friends before they broke up for Summer holidays. We had a great day full of laughter, fun and snakes…..
It really is all about the little things and about simply being here for and with the kids as they grow up.