Last week the paed said yes to Ivy having her nasogastric tube out for the second week of the school holidays
while we escape to the beach, to do not much at all
except soak up the sun and each other
but Harry the dog had better ideas.
He was so happy to see the girl when she went over for a playdate with her best friend
that he high fived her in the face
and caught the tube with his beautiful big paw
and pulled it out.
Just like that.
Ivy flew out of the door in a mass of stricken panic
but there was nothing for it but to pull the thing off her cheek, along with the tapes that held it there.
Her lovely doctor emailed me when I queried the need for the replacement, saying she could have the whole of the school break tube free,
as long as she didn’t lose too much weight.
The small girl was ecstatic;
“wow, Harry really did me a big favour,” she said when I told her the good news.
He sure did.
I see them often – the magpies.
They choose to walk on long stalky legs, rather than fly.
They choose the ground and pick up shiny things,
interesting things ,
along the way.
It’s said that they mate for life and I admire that in them.
One of the saddest things I’ve ever seen is a lone magpie standing by his partner as she takes her last breath,
the life knocked from her fragile body by a speeding car,
his head cocked to the side, watching, watching -
knowing that he will be alone in the world but not daring to move from his impending loneliness.
His yellow eyes glistening and curious, yet sad.
I think if widowed magpies could cry they would.
They travel in groups – the magpies
and they keep each other safe, babies, juveniles, young and ageing adults alike.
They are all in it together.
It’s how I think of us.
Even the name magpie evokes the image of a patchwork, shabbiness – a mismatch of materials, that reminds me of our family.
A combination of characters and personalities, that, when combined, make a perfect unity somehow.
We are magpies, my family – my loves.
David and I have been married for twenty years tomorrow and I can no longer remember a life without him in it.
We have taken it in turns holding each other up when all the other birds were flying away,
when one of us was injured and bleeding,
when the other had wings clipped.
We have taken the longer path but we have enjoyed the journey
and found interesting things along the way – our home (nest) cluttered with inconsequentials that were meaningful at the time
but are now such a part of us, we could not let them go.
Even if we wanted to.
He is my shiny thing, along with my children
and together we stand on the side of the road as life speeds by and sometimes knocks the breath from our lungs.
He is my partner for life and I admire that about him.
Through everything he has been wholly mine
and I love him more because of it.
We are a part of a small, strong group.
Babies, juveniles, young and ageing adults alike
and as magpie parents we will protect that until we are no more.
We may swoop
and warble at times but that is what makes us…
Unique but not.
Two but one.
A few months ago we made a small DVD with Starlight for the Five Chefs dinners.
It was, to say at the very least, an amazing experience.
When I watched it for the first time I cried and probably teared up every time there after.
It is an emotional thing watching your family’s story on a big screen
but I do love this so much.
Now that the dinners are over I can share it with you.
Ivy’s endocrinologist came down to the ward, on the first Friday of our admission
and brought with her the most beautiful sunflower for the girl.
It seems that with a little luck,
a community of people sending good thoughts into the universe,
a doctor and a couple of politicians who are prepared to go out fighting for you
that you can change the world.
Our little piece of the world, anyhow
and yesterday we picked up our first prescription of human growth hormone – post appeal
and once again subsidised by the PBS.
just like the sunflower sitting in the corner of our hospital room,
a bright ray of sunshine pushing its way through the clouds of the last few months
and so it goes that the small girl can continue to grow.
Power to the people, I say!