Hello, Boobie Tuesday.

A friend recently remarked that you’re all so heavily invested in my story that it would be only fair to let you see a picture of the new knocker. She’s probably right. So, here’s the result of my trip to the Build-A-Boob Workshop back on that Tuesday in late February. I’m actually quite proud of it – and, simply from a surgical perspective, it IS pretty impressive (in comparison with the flat-chested butchery which was there before, anyway). Unless there’s a market for MastectomyPorn™ – which, to be fair, there probably is somewhere – I guess this is only interesting to those who really care. So, here you go.

This is the norkitecture. My DIEP/TRAM autologous breast reconstruction, should you care to Google it (though readers of a nervous disposition may wish to look away now). No implants whatsoever. What little tummy fat I had has now been re-sited into a brand spanking new boob, and the remains of my tummy have been sewn up so tightly that it took a couple of weeks for the skin to stretch sufficiently for me to be able to stand up straight. My tummy button has been relocated further up, and – joy of joys – my lower abdomen has been pulled up so far that my pubes practically reach my nipples. Er, nipple. The left one is still missing for now. There’s a reason for this.

Breast reconstruction isn’t an exact science, and – while my surgeon promised she’d get as much of my stomach fat to work with as she could – there were no guarantees that the new left side would match the existing right side. In the next six months, the new boob will drop into its natural place, and the left will be reduced (or boosted) to match. In my case, it looks like it’ll have to be boosted a cup size or two with fat taken from my bum (I feel that this is one of the few bonus prizes from the pain of these last few years) – at which point, they’ll tattoo my new nipple to match the other side. I can only hope they boost the remaining boob correctly the first time, otherwise I could end up being the proud owner of the Forth Road Bridge of tits, with one chest melon always being slightly more enlarged than the other, meaning that I’ll eventually have to transport them in front of me in a wheelbarrow.

So, as with all the cancer treatment I’ve either witnessed or received over the last five years, this breast reconstruction is a process rather than an event, and I’m still not quite in the clothes I want to wear. But, we’re getting there.

Arriving at the hospital was nerve-wracking. It felt like the last piece of a very complicated jigsaw, but despite the booblessness, I had been feeling better physically than I’ve felt for years. I was running regularly, eating well, my body was toned, and I was feeling perfectly able to take on the challenges that life was continuing to send my way. I knew I’d go in feeling well, and come out, a few days later, totally incapacitated for quite some time. After two years of waiting, I suddenly wasn’t sure if the new boob was going to be worth all the aggravation.

My surgeon put me in a hospital gown, along with paper knickers and compression stockings, and began to draw a huge lip-shaped outline on my abdomen in permanent marker, so she knew where to cut. It went from my left hip, to my right hip, and all the way up to my breastbone. I burst into tears. I’d never imagined they’d take so much of me. She said I didn’t have to go through with it. The New Chap said he’d love me whatever I decided to do, but reminded me that I’d been waiting for this day for two years, and the recovery – whatever it took – would be something we could cope with together. I decided that if he could see me in that outfit, and still love me, then he was probably a keeper, and/or deluded.

I remembered them drawing similar shapes on my husband, and how he was never quite the same after surgery, with half his stomach and oesophagus removed. In fact, his lung had collapsed in surgery and he didn’t wake up for an extra 24 agonising hours. Even though I knew it was a different type of surgery, I panicked in case the same thing should happen to me. But then, I also remembered the feeling I’d had when I was told that the waiting list for reconstruction was over a year long. I thought of all those women behind me in the queue, desperately waiting for the chance to feel like women again. Of my other half, having patiently waited for eighteen months, never being able to get his highly-anticipated soapy titwank. (Not from me, anyway.)

I took a deep breath, said “fuck it” on the exhale, and told them to crack on before I had a chance to run away and change my mind. They parted my gown and took a series of “before” photos, in what might possibly have been the shittest porno ever. (There’s probably a market for that somewhere, too.) New Chap and I embraced, kissed, and parted ways. I’m not sure if it was easier to go into ten hours’ worth of surgery knowing I was leaving him anxiously waiting, or whether it was easier to go into surgery all those months before, knowing that nobody was alive to care.

The surgical team were amazing. They knew I was petrified. They knew this reconstruction was coming at the end of a particularly long road, and were gentle and reassuring. They wiped my tears as they sent me to sleep, and I was totally unaware of everything until I woke up in recovery, unable to move my arms across my chest. Fortunately, it turns out that this was not because my new knocker was so enormous, but because I was lying under a hot inflatable blanket to promote healing. My nurse kept coming along to check my new boob’s blood vessel function with a Doppler. If there was no pulse, it would mean that the surgery hadn’t worked, and the boob would die. All the jelly and heartbeats reminded me of being pregnant again, except that the heartbeat they were listening out for wouldn’t turn out to leave all its wet towels on the floor, or constantly ask me for money and lifts in a few years’ time.

The New Chap came in with my boys. They all told me they loved me. The boys smiled out of sheer relief, and I smiled back, feeling the same. The New Chap wanted to know if I’d had a chance to take a gander under my blanket. For three days, I didn’t move much – my brain was switching between totally wired and totally wiped, and my blood pressure was so low that I couldn’t stand for a while. But, slowly, surely, we got there. I got up. I couldn’t stand up straight because I’d been sewn up so tightly, and once I was discharged a few days later, the pain in my back from being bent double was worse than the pain anywhere else. (Note to any readers about to undergo this very surgery: eat more cake.) It took me a long time to feel normal. I was told to take three months off, but – helloooo, I’m self-employed – I was sending emails from my hospital bed and was back at my desk in my home office within a week. Seven weeks on, I still don’t feel completely right, and I tire very easily, but I’m getting better and stronger by the day. I’ve even started to run again, but rather than knocking out 15K at a time, I’m stumbling along in 5K bursts, provided I use enough scaffolding to keep the new jubbly from bouncing out of my (still rather lopsided) sports bra.

It’ll take a while to feel completely well, and I’m frustrated by the amount of time it’s taking to get back to being me. Frankly, the only thing about me that’s remotely perky is my new left boob. I’m still not quite at the stage of being glad I had the surgery, but I’m sure I will be soon. Perhaps I shouldn’t try to return to whoever “me” is, though. At every crucial moment on this Godforsaken journey: every time we’ve had news which, once said, couldn’t be undone; every time we had to give more bad news to the children; every time one of us was put to sleep to have our body altered beyond all recognition; that moment when my husband took his last breath… those moments have stopped us from ever going back to the person we were before. I realise now that I shouldn’t try to go backwards. Seven weeks ago, I woke up to yet another version of myself – hacked to bits and physically back to square one, but ready to become even stronger, fitter, and more grateful for my life. And, for the first time in a long time, with a living, breathing, loving fella beside me, and a properly cracking set of knockers.

Love Fanny x

CHECK OUT THE NORKITECTURE

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A Picture of Denial.

I spoke to a friend the other day. A friend who was deeply upset, because one of his friends had left it too late to check himself out… and now has a cancer which can’t be cured. We don’t yet know how long he has. It’s heartbreaking, and more so because it could have been avoided.

In the meantime, I’ve been receiving – for two bloody years – requests to put a heart on my wall, or an eight ball as my status, or to accept the challenge of posting a black and white picture, or a no make-up selfie, to raise awareness for cancer. Well, challenge accepted. Here’s my black and white, no make-up selfie, no hair selfie, no boob selfie, and no husband selfie. Our most recent portrait together, a few weeks ahead of our fifteenth wedding anniversary. ❤️

You don’t raise awareness of cancer by putting little gimmicks on Facebook. You raise awareness of cancer by sharing links to websites which outline the signs of cancer, like this one. You raise awareness by talking about cancer, and not being frightened to tell your doctor, or your friend, or you partner, that you’ve got a lump in your boob or bollock, or that you’re pooing blood, or that you’re struggling to swallow. The earlier you catch a cancer, the easier it is to treat. It’s not going to stop growing just because you don’t want it to be there, but it might not kill you if you do something about it early enough. And guess what? The process of my husband’s death was far more undignified than any check-up or operation, and had we caught his cancer earlier, he would still be here now – healthy, happy, and bringing up his children.

I’ve had more people pummelling my boobs over the last few months than I’d ever thought would be appropriate only weeks after being widowed, but it’s been worth it, because our little boys won’t have to watch another parent die. My left breast is now dangling in formaldehyde in a lab somewhere, probably. My hair is in landfill. And my husband is ashes, in a box. We miss him every second of every day.

I hate the way I look at the moment, but I hate the way my husband looks more. He’s going to look like that for far longer than I’ll look like this. Anyway, he was always keen to make a point at any cost, so maybe, together, at our least glamorous, we could save a life.

What are you most frightened of? Looking like me? Or looking like him?

See your doctor if you’re worried. This is what denial looks like.

Love Fanny x

Fanny’s Family Portrait 2017

Warts and All.

I haven’t buried my husband’s ashes yet. I still can’t bring myself to do it, although there have been some conversations with the vicar, so we’re moving forward, slowly. The other day, our son – who had hitherto been quite reluctant to part with them – asked when his Dad would be buried. I said I wasn’t sure.

“Oh,” he said, with obvious disappointment. “I wanted to go and lay some flowers on his grave for Fathers’ Day.”

Those boys are hurting, badly. And it’s only now that I realise just how much, and how much twelve-year-old boys without a father, or even a father figure, struggle – because I can try to be Mum and Dad, but it’s always going to be a compromise. I’m stretched so thinly that I can’t give them everything they need, and I’m taking a lot of my own stress and anger out on them.

Our boys were lucky. For ten years, they had the very best dad in the world, and I don’t use that term lightly. They really did. Nobody adored their children the way he did. He wasn’t always soft with them, but they were exceptionally close and the boys knew just how much they were loved. I was looking through some family photos last night, and what struck me the most was that the same little boy who asked to lay some flowers on his Daddy’s grave was always – always – pictured nuzzling into his father. Not just standing there. Nuzzling him. They adored each other. Even as his mother, I can’t begin to comprehend that child’s loss.

One thing I’m beginning to notice, now I’m a double – not single – parent, is how jealous and angry the boys are with other children whose father is still alive. They are furious. It isn’t fair. These dads – great as they are – are not my children’s dads. They’re pretty good prototype dads, but our boys’ dad was the real deal. The best in the world. They don’t want their friends’ dads. They want their own. When kids complain about their dads being grumpy old arseholes, my boys are cross about it. But at least you’ve got one, they think. You don’t know how lucky you are, they think. They’ve chosen to forget what a grumpy old arsehole their own dad could be.

It’s easy to look back with rose tinted spectacles, and my two do. Of course they do. They are children, and they think like children, but it surprises me that many adults think that way, too. On the online forums, widows and widowers write with great bitterness about friends who turn to them to complain about their (still very much alive) spouse, expecting their widowed friend to listen with sympathy. They don’t. They listen with rage and regret, because they’d give anything to have their own spouse back. They are angry. Angry with anyone who still has their family.

I don’t feel quite like that. Much as I wish my own family was still complete, I actually love to hear my friends complain about their partners. It’s what we do, we women, and being confided in makes me feel as if I’m still valid as a wife, mother and confidante. That I’m still normal. One of the gang. Men are terminally idiotic, and rolling our eyes at how stupid they are is every woman’s favourite pastime. My husband was no exception. He was grumpy, untidy, and out of shape. He never got around to finishing odd jobs, or picking up his wet towels. Don’t get me started on how keen he was to share his opinions, or what a terrible back seat driver he was. I’ve stopped and thrown the car keys at him in the middle of a busy road and told him to drive the fucking car instead then on more than one occasion. He could be a complete twat at times. But, as a husband, and a father, he was the whole package – from wanker to wonderful – and the only person we wanted to fill those very special roles. He was OUR massive fucking annoying twatbastard, and we wouldn’t have changed him. Well, not completely.

As a grieving widow, I’m so desperate to have him back – warts and all – that it’s actually important to remember that there were warts. Plenty of them. My husband’s greatest fear, before he died, was that he’d be canonised in our minds and remembered as some remarkable and faultless being. I assured him that this would never happen. While I can accept that he had faults, and love him because of them – not in spite of them – our children don’t yet have the emotional intelligence or maturity to take anything other than offence at other children’s comments – both positive and negative – about their own fathers. They miss their own too much.

Since he died – actually, no. Since before he died, when we knew he’d never get better, the boys have begged me to provide them with a new stepdad. This seemed odd to me at first, and actually a little offensive, because I couldn’t understand why they would suddenly want someone to take their beloved father’s place. But, they tell me that they just want to be a foursome again. They hate having to divide me in two, and think that if someone made me happy then I would stop crying all the time. (I also think there’s another rather significant element, in that they could really do with someone else around to offer lifts.) In their imagination, their stepdad is a man just like their Daddy. In reality, if they ever do have a stepdad, he’ll have baggage – probably a few kids that they may or may not get along with – different opinions, and a whole new selection of funny little ways. He won’t love them the way their Daddy loved them, because – by definition – he will not be their Daddy. He will be, just like my husband, unique. Irreplaceable. Different. I’m not sure I’m ready for different. I’m not even ready to accept that there’s a vacancy.

When other women whinge to me about their stupid fucking husbands, it doesn’t bother me at all, partly because I like to remember how often I felt like punching my own, and partly because it reminds me that I really am in no hurry to meet another man. I pity my friends, because they never had the privilege of being married to my husband. (Well, a couple of people did, but we’re not really in touch with them any more.) And I pity anyone who one day thinks they could fill my husband’s shoes. The only thing that hurts me deeply is seeing other couples loved up, and their children behaving, as ours used to do. A few weeks ago, I stood with extended family on a beach – the rest of them cuddling their spouses and adoring their wonderful children – as I screamed at my two to stop twatting each other and drawing massive cocks in the sand. My little family was unravelling in front of my eyes and I’d never felt so alone or missed my husband more.

I don’t want a new one, though. Maybe because I’m approaching the end of my treatment, and beginning to see a new start in life ahead of me which I know my husband would want me to grab with both hands, I do occasionally wonder if it’s time to start thinking about dating – not because I need male attention, or rampant sex, but because I’m beyond knackered and could really do with someone to let the dog out early in the morning every now and again.

I can only imagine the internet profile: Bald, one-titted widow. Mediocre cook. Needs a bit of a hand with the kids. Struggling to put up some shelves.

No thank you. Yes, I’m exhausted. Yes, I’m beginning to realise just how desperately my children need a father figure. Yes, I’m finding being Mum and Dad very, very tough. But I’ve just spent Fathers’ Day with our boys, ignoring the significance of the day, mending some garden equipment and building a new drum kit. I even changed a lightbulb. There was no trip to a grave, because there still isn’t one, but I know that their real dad will have been with me all the way, watching me use the wrong bloody spanner, and desperate to jump in and criticise. But he can’t. And what I wouldn’t give to roll my eyes, throw the spanner at him, and tell him to fucking well get on with it himself then, one more time.

We miss you, Superdad. Warts and all.

Love Fanny x

 

 

Bastard Funeral

Not my husband’s funeral flowers. He’d have approved, though. Image from Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

 

The Life and Soul of the Party.

Hey, you!

Yes – you. With the husband.

I can see you sitting there, either with him, or maybe with other friends as he props up the bar with a merry band of dads. I can see your son come up to you and pester you for money for a fizzy drink, and watch as you direct him over to his dad because your handbag is empty, or because you’re deep in conversation with another of the wives, or because he’s just mildly pissing you off anyway because he’s a ghastly, sweaty, overexcited, pre-teen shitbag more interested in sliding along the grass outside than impressing the girls. Or because your daughter is taking her role on the dance floor far too seriously, and you’re quietly thinking to yourself (having spent the first part of this Godforsaken evening watching her apply glitter to her face and being forced to plait her hair,) to calm the fuck down and to stop obsessively doing every bloody dance move because you’re eleven for Christ’s sake and not about to try to get laid. It’s the Year 6 Leavers’ Party at the local golf club, not the bastard Hacienda. And anyway, all the boys are outside and only interested in getting mud on their knees.

You’re being really kind to me, as you always are. You were always happy to offer help while my husband was ill, and I guess I probably owe you. But these days I’m a bit aloof. No longer one of the MILFs. You say hello, and a few people shuffle their chairs along so I can sit down. You’re too polite to say that my make up is smudged, even though one of you saw me in the car having dropped off my own two excited, sweaty, pre-pubescent boys, and seeing that I didn’t follow them in straight away, peered through the window to see my head against the steering wheel, stifling a mental breakdown. Nobody tells anyone else that this happened, of course. Not in front of me, anyway. We all make the right noises about how time passes so quickly and how we never thought the day would come that they’d be leaving primary school. Is yours ready? we ask. Oh, yes! we agree. Little shits, aren’t they? Need a new challenge. Nice kids really, though. It’s been a lovely class.

And then your husband waves at you from the bar and asks you what you want to drink. Oh! And me, too. Yes, I’d love a drink, thanks. I’m getting properly shitfaced tonight, I think to myself.

It’s not your fault, you woman with the husband. He’s lovely, but he wouldn’t have been my type. My husband was fascinating. He never wore a suit. It made him look, and feel, like a twat. He would never have been comfortable in a safe, sensible job like your husband’s, but always respected your husband’s right to his, and liked him very much. Mine was, like your husband, a total pain in the arse at times. But, unlike yours, mine is dead.

He’s not here to see his beloved boys finish primary school. He was there at every open day, assembly, Christmas concert – in fact, if you could gain health and longevity from attending every bastard school event, he’d have outlived the lot of us. Your husband did his best but was often at work selling stuff, or accounting things, or quantity surveying, or whatever it is that he does, but mine was there every damn time. And now he’s not. And it isn’t bloody fair. Not that I wish it was your husband who’d died. Of course I don’t.

Like your marriage, ours had its ups and downs. Like yours, my husband also left his wet towels on the bed, never cleared away his coffee cups, and had an opinion on every fucking thing (whether it had been asked for or not.) He never shut up, or got off Facebook, and he died having apparently never discovered where we keep the Hoover. We didn’t argue often, but when we did it was monumental and one of us would slam the door with a dramatic flourish, although it never stayed shut for long. In fourteen years, we had three nights apart (once, I even booked a room at a Travelodge three miles down the road, because I was pregnant and hormonal, and he was a cunt. But then, by morning – and quite miraculously – he wasn’t.)

We even had a spell of marriage counselling when the boys were toddlers, because we were too pissed off and knackered to go near each other for months. The ethnic skirted counsellor lady was so worthy and unctuous that we almost died of boredom in the session, took the piss out of her in the car all the way home, got into bed, and bonked each other’s brains out. Our marriage was saved that day, but in the most unorthodox way, and we were proud of how hard we’d fought at times to get ourselves back on track. We always did. It was worth fighting for. We loved each other.

I suppose, like yours, ours was just a normal marriage, with its highs and lows, and, like yours, he was just a normal bloke, with all the revolting traits that blokes have – but balanced by fairness, kindness, and a wicked sense of humour to appease me when he needed to.

Before he died, my husband told me that he knew he was leaving his treasured boys in my very capable hands. I wonder if he is watching over us and shaking his celestial head as one kid screams in despair and the other kid holds us hostage in the porch, and if he realises he’s left too soon but it’s a bit fucking late now because he’s already been cremated. And anyway, all this shit has only started since he’s died. I wonder – no, assume – that you’re judging me too. That you think you know how hard it is to be a single mum, because you’ve got friends who are on their own, or because you’ve been there yourself, before your lovely new husband came along. Yes, I’m very bloody single. No, I don’t want a replacement model. My husband’s departure is a bit fucking permanent. He doesn’t pop back at weekends to feed them inappropriate numbers of sweets, or take them to the park while I go for lunch and bitch about what an arse he is. We didn’t choose this. As the boys are busy trying to twat each other over the head, I wonder why my husband doesn’t intervene right now, like he always eventually did. Why he can’t just show me what to do. Tip a whole sky full of white feathers over the boys, for fuck’s sake, if only so they can’t do each other any more harm. He always had all the answers, and just as we need them the most, he’s gone.

So, if you see me over the next few weeks as our kids join in with all the parties and meals and concerts which herald the end of their time at primary school, and you wonder if I’m being a bit monosyllabic (when for years I’d have been the life and soul of any PTA party,) just remember, it’s not me. It’s you. My feelings towards you transcend anger or jealousy, but I wouldn’t wish any of this on my worst enemy, and certainly not on you. Seven years ago, we all began a journey together. For reasons I simply can’t fathom, you and your kids have the privilege of moving on with the one travelling companion my boys and I so desperately wish we had, too.

Love Fanny x

 

First DayFirst Day 2

My Son, The Asshole.

My son, who I love beyond all measure, is being a bit of an asshole. He’s so much like I was as a child – a loud, articulate, attention-seeker extraordinaire, unable to quite know when to stop. Unlike me as a child, he has the added bonus feature of having spent the last two years watching his Daddy die, slowly, right in front of his eyes.

Until D-Day, the dickhead qualities were always visible, but in a fairly endearing way. People would be bowled over by his confidence around adults, and his engaging personality. What he lacked in his twin brother’s fierce academic prowess, he made up for in articulate expression, and we’d always had him marked out as a leader in whichever field he chose to pursue. He was also, most importantly, fairly kind (except to his brother, obviously.) Over the last couple of years, we’d noticed the signs of anger bubbling up inside him, and had had the occasional call from other parents whose child had been on the receiving end of some outburst or other, but it was never that big a deal. People knew me well enough to tell me straight, and never expected anything other than my full attention and an apology, if necessary, from my son. They also knew that the poor kid had a lot to deal with right now, and that all this was a bit out of character. I do not breed Perfect Peters. We deliberately raised our kids to have spirit, to ask questions, and to stand up for themselves (verbally, not violently,) and on the whole I think we had been doing a fairly good job in the face of some monumental challenges, not to mention running a business and working around several 40-mile round trips to the cancer hospital every sodding week.

I’ve always believed that the one favour you can do for your children, and for their peer group, is to be realistic about them. Don’t expect behaviour miracles to come overnight, but also let’s quickly lose the rose-tinted view of how perfect they are, no matter how much effort it took to propel them from your vagina, because I haven’t met a single child in the boys’ class who doesn’t have a strong propensity to be a little shitbag from time to time. Most parent freely admit this with a cynical eye-roll, and usually we laugh and pour each other another gin. A sense of perspective with children is vitally important, and the violent, sanctimonious, immature little fuckers are still learning. They all make mistakes. So do I.

And I feel lost. Completely out of my depth. My wonderful, funny, lively, intelligent son, who is moving up to a lovely CofE high school in September but who still goes to sleep with his thumby in, and who loves nothing more than a cuddle and to rub the tips of his fingers along my fingernails for comfort, tried to throw himself out of his bedroom window yesterday. After he’d trashed the garden. And after he’d raced towards me with a metal spike. And called his brother a twat. (I obviously show huge signs of disapproval at the swearing part, as well as everything else, because parenting is 99% hypocrisy, and anyway, the boys don’t know I write this shit down.) He then made a dramatic exit out of the front door, and I found him 20 minutes later, cowering in a bus stop, sobbing. The amateur psychologist in me – no, wait, let’s not big up my part – the former childhood attention-seeker in me, recognises that none of these things were done seriously, and were all a bit half-hearted. I am pretty confident he was not about to board the next bus into the big city, nor was his bottom ever going to leave that window ledge. But it’s still awful to watch, and worse when you feel powerless to help and are the only adult in authority. But I don’t feel like I am an adult, or in any kind of authority.

Hubby and I were the ultimate team. We never quite intended for it to happen this way after we got married, but before we knew it we were living and working together, and bringing up our two sons completely in tandem. It was so easy to share the load. If he was working, I’d cook, or vice versa. If they were being little bastards, he’d give them a verbal bollocking. We’d both be there at school drop-off, pickup, bathtime, story time, bed time, and he and I just loved parenting them. They were his joy, but like me, he was fully aware of their faults, and would hold up a mirror to them whenever it was necessary.

The bollockings. I never really did them. I wasn’t all that good at discipline, and it didn’t matter because my hubby was there to jump in, snap his fingers, and get things done. I was too soft, and I know I was, but it feels as if now, I’m paying the price.

I went into school. I begged for help. I guess it wasn’t particularly convenient that my husband died a couple of weeks before SATs and now all the teacher wants to do is freewheel to the end of term. But, to give her credit, she’s sent through a referral to Behaviour Support (although she did manage to fill in the form with enough spelling mistakes to make this Grammar Nazi wince, and quietly wonder what the fuck she’s been teaching them all year.)

It’s not her job to be a grief counsellor as well as a teacher. I know that. I’m also told that their behaviour at school is completely normal for their age group and for the time of year. “End of Year Six-itis” was her diagnosis. She said they were all being cocky and difficult little fuckers, or something along those lines. But one child in particular is desperately sad, angry, and so consumed by grief that he’s taking it all out on the people closest to him, and his twin brother is trying so hard to forget his grief that he won’t discuss it at all. I don’t know which is worse – loud-mouthed drama queen, or insular nerd. They’re both as heartbreaking as each other, but the noisy one has my full attention just for now. I don’t know how to throw him a lifebelt when I can’t see one anywhere, but I know I need to get hold of one quickly before he grabs our hands and pulls us all down to the depths with him.

Love Fanny x



My son’s Fathers’ Day card. His twin brother has made one too, but he wants to hide it in his memory box so I haven’t seen it. Neither of them are assholes – just very, very mixed up little boys who want their Daddy back. And so do I.