June, the sixth month of the year. Here in England, it marks the beginning of Summer. June has 30 days. In my mind, June, is a happy month full of birthdays, Fathers Day and with a bit of luck, some sunshine and picnics.
June, for me, for my family, started off sad, picked up a bit in the middle and ended with heartbreak. If I were to show you my Family Planner for the month of June. You would see many things written in the columns. We have one each; me, Gavin (hubby), Shannon (daughter) & Reece (Son), then I have a column for occasions, birthdays and the like.
Let’s start at the beginning, no better place to start. Right? June 2nd, marked the first year anniversary of my beautiful Auntie Adriennes passing. She fought a long battle with cancer and is the bravest woman, I know. She was such a delight to be around and everyone who met her, instantly fell in love with her. I can picture her, in her white skinny jeans and converse, styled with a top and fitted blazer. Ever the trendsetter, my Auntie Adrienne. “Still they shine in the evening skies, love like starlight never dies”.
June 3rd; 3 year since my niece and her school friends were involved in a bus crash. For the benefit of my family, I will keep details private. My niece, recovered from her injuries but not all scars are visible. She is still effected to this day.
Now we’re only a couple of days in, but June has to improve. Right? 6th June; Shannon’s resumed with her GCSE exams, after half term. I’ve written about Shannon before, her battles with depression and anxiety. I was so worried that she would crumble under the pressure. It was a difficult time, I could see that her attitude toward school had taken a nosedive. From what I could tell, little revision or preparation was undertaken. As hard as it was, I had to bite my tongue. I slipped up a few times, telling her to revise and to try to focus, just for a few weeks. I was scared I’d push her away.
Finally, something to be happy about. June 10th. My mams 70th Birthday. Between me, my Dad and brothers, we had organised a ‘surprise’ birthday tea for her, at her house. Bare with me, haha. My mam and dads place, seemed the easiest and best place for a venue. Me and Shannon had ordered decorations. Dad, had secretly ordered a buffet-style spread, for us to collect. My Sister-in-Law, made a birthday cake and my brother brought balloons. Dad had taken mam for a drive to the coast, one of their favourite places to go. While they were out, we all let ourselves in and decorated their home with pretty bunting and decorations and laid the table with the food. Everything, looked lovely. Mam, was thrilled on her return to see us all there waiting for her. It was a perfect afternoon, with family and some of my mams friends.
The week commencing 12th June, brought a week of exams for Shannon and an interview for an apprenticeship. It also marked my brother and sister-in-laws wedding anniversary, my brother’s birthday, my Uncle Ossies birthday (a day that would be difficult for him, without his beautiful wife. My Auntie Adrienne), my sister-in-laws birthday, also fell in this week and my mam and dad set of on their holidays, touring Scotland, in their caravan. Amidst, the birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, exams and interviews, the sixth member of our family became a little unwell.
Skye, our 4-year old Siberian Husky, was showing signs of a water infection. So a trip to the vet was called for. After a consultation and a shot of anti-inflammatory, the vet was happy for us to monitor her at home. She seemed to pick up and began eating again and acting more like Skye.
June 18th; Father’s Day. As my parents were away on holiday and as it turned out, my in-laws were, too on holiday, we did off on a mystery tour. With a picnic, a picnic blanket and a hand towel. This day was most definitely not planned, nor thought out. We ended up at the most beautiful beach cove. Me, Gavin, Shannon and Reece, it was hot, too hot for our liking. We are definitely not sun worshippers. The beach was packed. We laid out our blanket and had our picnic. Life was good. It was so beautiful and relaxing.
Week commencing 19th June; Shannon’s last three exams, my baby girl was almost there and she had shown little signs of being stressed or anxious. All in all, a pretty quiet week. With a busy weekend, in sight. 24th June, was the 2 year anniversary of my Uncle Arthur’s passing. Oh, if you could have met my Uncle Arthur. He would never greet you or leave you, without a cuddle and a kiss. A big bear hug, that made you feel safe and loved. He had the heartiest laugh and a smile that lit up the room. The life and soul of the party, that’s my Uncle Arthur, xx.
Now, Sunday 25th June, was meant to be a joyous day. We were invited to a family christening, Gavin’s cousin (who happens to be a good friend of mine) has three gorgeous daughters. Her youngest, Heidi-Rae, is 4-months old and today was her special day. We all got up and had quite a normal, lazy Sunday morning. Breakfast and watching Sunday Brunch, Gavin had disappeared upstairs to tie a few fishing flies. He came down, at about 10:30, shaking uncontrollably. Granted, this is usually Gavins reaction to pain or illness. He generally, felt unwell with aches and shivering. Now its a gut instinct to check his leg, due to previous operations, infections and issues. Everything seemed fine. We made the decision, that Gavin would go to bed and sweat out, whatever this was. Flu perhaps. Me, Shannon and Reece, went off to Heidi-Raes christening. It was a lovely service and Heidi-Rae, was an angel, she was wide awake throughout and never cried once. She looked adorable in her dress. Afterwards, we were invited to join them for a buffet, in a local function room.
Me and my kiddos, had left home at about 12 noon and we got back home at 4:45. I went up to check on Gavin. This is where things went a bit crazy. He was in bed when I got upstairs, shivering and shaking but burning up. I threw back the duvet, to discover his leg had become hot and inflamed. With it being Sunday and not being able to get a doctor, I rang NHS 111, to ask for advice. This soon escalated to them issuing an ambulance. My sister-in-law came and collected Shannon and Reece and paramedics arrived to asses Gavin. He was in so much pain, complaining a lot about his leg, hip and lower back. He told me that he believed he had, at some point blacked-out on the landing, while we were out, trying to get back from the bathroom. He ended up being admitted to hospital for 4 nights, with cellulitis in his leg. They did, at one point query an appendicitis and possible sepsis. It took a good few days to gain control of his fever and infection. My in-laws, took me and the kids in daily, to visit him. I felt lost without him at home. I’m used to going to bed without him some weeks, due to the shifts he works, but then I would see him laying there sleeping, when I get up the next morning. The days, were so long and quiet for me, so goodness knows how he was coping in hospital. Against, my better judgement, Gavin was discharged from hospital Thursday 29th June, with oral antibiotics. He was still in a lot of pain and still showing signs of infection, with inflammation still present, in his leg. He may have still been unwell, but he was home.
Friday 30th June, brace yourselves. A day as ordinary as the next. 7am alarm, for me to get Reece up for school. Skye, didn’t seem herself this morning. She appeared bloated and unsteady on her feet. Reece, went off to school. I went off to work, at 11am. Skye, become very poorly, very fast. I’m not sure how he managed, but Gavin and Shannon whisked her off to the vet, while I was at work. Just as my shift ended at 1pm, my phone rang. I knew by Gavin’s voice, it wasn’t good. The vet had performed an ultrasound on Skye, her abdomen was filling with fluid and there was signs of internal bleeding. Gavin, had been told that surgery wasn’t really an option, that opening her up could cause things to spiral out of control. We had a decision to make. Gavin and Shannon, met me at Reeces school, I went and pulled him out early and we made our way back to the veterinary practice. As soon as we got there, my husband and daughter, were recognised by the staff and they ushered us in to a small consultation room. The vet came in and relayed the same words Gavin had already told me, only she added, I’ll bring her in for you to spend some time with. My poor baby, when she came through the door, she knew it was us, but she was so so poorly. I sat on the floor, as she made her way over to me and lay down. She was struggling to manoeuver around the table, but found me, found my lap. I cuddled her and sobbed, neither of us could speak. My poor children, breaking their hearts. The vet looked at me and Gavin and said the words, Skye is a very very poorly doggie right now, have you made a decision? Four years old and we were making the decision, to end her life, to end her spontaneous suffering. I asked if I could stay with her and the vet was happy with that. I said to Gavin, for him to take the kids in to the waiting room. I’m not sure how Gavin was standing up, let alone how he managed to drive through to the vets, twice. I held her to the end, the vet had warned me that Skye might take a last final big breath, that can sometimes startle an owner, but she didn’t, she went peacefully. The vet, sorry I keep saying that, but in the fogginess of the day, I can’t remember her name, said she would leave me with her and for me to just exit the room, when I was done. When I was done? Leave her there, lying on the floor? Oh, no. Gavin, Shannon and Reece, came back in to say a final goodbye and we all left together, but not all. Not Skye.
So, that was my, no that was our June. Not what we had bargained for, when I turned over the page on my calendar. I’m struggling if I’m honest, Gavin still isn’t well and we’re in the second week of July. His infection subsided and he finished his antibiotics, but the pain in his back and hip, is no better. Whilst he was in hospital, the doctor put that pain down to the infection, in his leg. It would appear not. It would appear, that he has a split in his vertebrae, possibly caused, when he blacked-out on the landing. So it’s a waiting game. Wait and see if the pain eases, have a week off and return to the GP, if the pain persists. I’m no medic, but I don’t see something like that, improving on its own. Skyes absence, from our home, hits me when I least expect it, when Miya, curls up in her trademark husky donut and there’s an empty space beside her. They always lay together. I know there’s going to be people who think it’s ‘just a pet’, but Skye was far more than my pet. She was family. She always will be.