If I gave you my love, would you know it?
Love is Daya wrapping her arms around me and snuggling under my neck.
Love is Anaya dancing with glee in the hallway when I come home late at night after days away.
It is Tom giving Daya a fist bump.
It is Jasmine smiling back at me and giving me a cheeky kiss on the cheek.
It is my friend dropping Anaya home.
Love is Jasmine calling out Daya’s name everyday even when she’s not here.
Love is Jasmine running to Nani and grabbing her leg and not letting go. Or climbing on to the sofa and cuddling under the blanket in her lap.
It is Deborah watching Jasmine go through her bag of toys. It’s the colouring pens and pad she’s bought just for her.
Love is right there in Uncle Tom’s Hey Duggee stickers. He went to buy them especially so he could play with Daya. Raj with his Duplo because ‘she likes building things’. And Aunty Gaby who beavered away quietly in the background and Nina’s sparkly cakes….and all the gifts that were received and given were because of acts of love.
Love is the look on the doctor’s face who marvels at Jasmine’s progress.
Richard’s tight hugs are love because words aren’t his thing in bad situations like this.
Love is the nurse that creeps in gently at night and gives your daughter her meds whilst she’s asleep in your arms.
It is the doctor that says I’m going to get to the bottom of this and checks in every day to listen and then carefully think.
It is the nurse who makes your bed whilst you’re out and the playworker who sets up a Christmas tree.
It is the friend that says I’m coming to see you or I’ve sent you a card.
The friend that says ‘you’ve got this’ or ‘I’m thinking of you’.
It is the nurse that worked a whole extra shift and donated it to charity and loves to sit with you during her lunch times just to be there so you’re not alone.
Love is the lady that monitors his coffee intake whilst supplying an exceptional amount of chocolate biscuits.
The medical team that try and make every decision the right decision.
It is the Teacher of the Deaf that listens and guides you when you’re broken and scared.
It is the social workers that beaver away everyday in the background to support families dealing with end-of-life or difficult situations.
It’s the play team who keep smiling all day and keep their energy up and and focus on developing new things to do.
It’s the consultant who holds himself together for you when he’s just given someone else awful news. Love is the dedication he shows by keeping on top of every detail.
Love is in the arms of the mother that smiles at you and gives you a hug when you’re both crying; the same mother who lost her child in the room your child is now playing in.
Love is John who always finds something supportive to say and who’s words have been my lighthouse and my anchor.
Love is the the friend who says I’m going to do everything I can to get this kid better, to get this kid to New York, to get this kid home.
Love is the nurse who invests in your child; who spends time playing with your child and making her feel at ease.
Love is the nurse who dances in front of your window when you’re in isolation.
Love is little cards that come through your door. The cards that someone has searched for and bought and written in and stamped, addressed and posted. That’s love.
Love is Jenny who’s loves my kids like her own. Jenny who raises Anaya when I’m not there, adores JJ and cant talk of her heartbreak for Daya. Jenny who saw no boundaries for JJ when I came home crying with the news. Jenny who sat there in silence when I told her of the cancer. Jenny who pretends everything is fine because Anaya cannot know that it is not.
Love is Nani who received a phone call 18 months ago and immediately dropped her world to help keep ours going. The same Nani who stood in the kitchen and told Daddy it was going to be ok when he stood there broken and unable to stop the tears. Love is Nani always being solid for everyone else when inside she’s heartbroken.
Love is the deaf signing teacher who beams with pride when she sees Jasmine and signs about how proud she is of little JJ who has overcome so much.
Love is Nunu who took Jasmine’s hand and walked her around the garden when she could not walk.
It is Esther who sends pictures of JJ messing around.
Love is the nurse who stays late to get the meds in because Daya needs them. Or plays around with her to do her observations in a fun way.
Love is the friend that checks in and says ‘I miss you’ and knows you can’t be the friend you were. And she doesn’t mind a bit.
Love is the mum who comes bouncing in with a toy unicorn and says you’re going to be just fine.
It is the neighbour who says just call me anytime. Anytime.
It’s the hospice team who come in happy and full of fun whilst never revealing their own sadness of losing a child the previous week.
Love is all the people that came together to help a little girl get to New York.
Love is in the strangers who became friends in New York.
Love is the teacher that kept a close eye on her when I couldn’t.
Love is my ‘mum friends’ who can’t imagine what it is like but still stick around instead of pretending I don’t exist.
Love is Daddy who works and rushes home to the girls and puts them to bed, reads a story then starts work again.
Love is the husband that turns up and say ‘go home and sleep’.
Love is the daughter that draws you a family portrait that you stick on the wall across from your bed so that you can see it every night before you go to sleep.
Love is the mother who lost her son and now works everyday to spread kindness and help others.
Love is the support we have received from the thousands of you that read this blog and have chosen to come along on this journey with us.
(This isn’t an exclusive list but the one that comes to mind before my eyelids give up their fight to stay open tonight).
Love is the connection we make with each other when we choose kindness and compassion over and above everything else.
It’s there, you don’t have to search for it. Its not in some other person who will ‘complete you’. Its not in the flowers or the ring. Its not in the restaurant or the food. It’s all around you with people who complement your life for the better.
It’s not in materialistic possessions or expensive experiences. It’s here in your heart. Kindness comes from within and the love you have is your greatest gift.
In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
As always, thank you for all the love that you have given over and over again at a time in our lives when things have been at their worst.
Happy Love Day, from my heart to yours.