Sunday, 20 March 2011

Two Steps Forward .....

All going swimmingly!
The pace of life has built to a steady canter as we settle into this half term. Candice is practising for her Grade 3 piano exam, and seems to be on every sports team going, and was dancing on air as she had received a prized ‘Distinction’ in her recent tap exam. Both girls are busy rehearsing for the forthcoming dance show at Easter and Candice attended a recent National Youth Ballet audition, and although she was unsuccessful she really enjoyed the experience. Tilly continues to thrive at school, especially English and ‘Wii-hab’, and has played for County in a Chess Tournament – although she came second in all her matches, she really enjoyed the challenge.

Look!  No collar!
 In collaboration with an enlightened local Head Teacher, and an inspired swimming coach, Tilly is now swimming once a week in the warm pool of a local Special School. At the moment we are the only participants in this session so Tilly is thrilled to be able try out things in the in the calm waters that she finds difficult in the choppy, cold waters of the local leisure centre during her Saturday lesson. The highlights so far are being able to swim on her back without her buoyancy collar, and actually ‘stepping’ up the steps. The pool is just not quite big enough for her smile!

Suits You, Mi'Lady!
 Tilly had her birthday treat over the week-end which started with a girlie lunch and a whirl around the shops with her best friend, Becky. In one particular shop I was struck by their howls and shrieks of devilish delight, which could only mean one thing – they were trying on the posh hats! It took me immediately back to when I used to be helpless with laughter with my friends as we posed in exotic millinery. The extra joy for me is that because of Tilly’s amazing chair and sparkling outlook, she is able to just get on with all the stuff that being eleven is all about!

Poster Girls

The girls spent hours during the previous weeks with Allie, Tilly’s PA, creating posters to take to the X Factor Live Show. Once they’d put the finishing touches they had a fab sleepover with all the vital ingredients – pizza, pop, chocolate, and a DVD. We feel so blessed that Tilly has such a special mate who has been with her since pre-school. Rebecca just accepts all the ‘three act operas’ and isn’t fazed by all extra stuff and doesn’t seem to notice the noisy machines through the night. What a star!

Ready to Rock!

The girls spent most of the day getting ready for the evening show whilst I was in a meeting for Rudyard Sailability. The excitement was reaching fever pitch, with one of the driving forces being Harry Styles from One Direction! The show was a triumph! The girls squealed through every act (even Wagner). Each artist was faultless and a brilliant time was had by all. The hoot of the night, however, was that I was left a note on the windscreen by a kindly gentleman who’d helped us out with parking – he left his name and contact details in case he could be of any further assistance! The girls were howling that Mummy had ‘pulled’, and Rolf is keeping the note as ‘evidence’! Could it be that there must be life in the old dog yet!

Hooray for Harry!

Rebecca's First Concert!

The following morning, however, broke with sickening news. I was called outside at 0630 because Tilly’s PA had been knocked off her bicycle by a car doing 40 mph. She was propped up against our wall, shaking in a state of traumatic shock. The car’s windscreen was smashed in, and she’d been thrown at least 10 feet, before skidding to a halt at the kerb. The ambulance crew immediately treated her for a broken neck and back and were aware that her gravel burns would need urgent care. I held on to this beautiful, young, brave girl, who kept trying to smile, insisting that she was OK and urging me to go and look after Tilly. There was further anguish as her parents were away on holiday so I needed to stay by her side to reassure her that everything was going to be OK. Rolf took over the family’s needs and I prayed for a miracle. We got one! After many false dawns and deliberations it was eventually decided that there was no significant spinal injury, although the gravel burns would need to be treated in theatre under general anaesthetic. Family and friends who had now gathered at the bedside wept tears of joy and relief. 

I was further amazed when I got home to learn that Candice and Rebecca had taken charge of getting Tilly out of bed and dressed ready for school.  It is an absolute credit to them that they made it into lessons for 0920!  I imagined that Tilly would still be in bed watching a DVD waiting for me - I'm obviously not as indispensible as I thought!  What superstars!

The day had a very sad ending too. A late-night knock at the door revealed a couple asking to borrow a shovel as a cat had just been killed on the road. It seemed that the Grim Reaper had felt cheated earlier in the day and had come back to satisfy his need. Tilly immediately wailed, “Not my Vienna, Mummy?” On exactly the same spot as the early morning collision lay Tilly’s little pussycat, motionless. This beautiful, kind couple realised that I was unable to cope, so took matters into their own hands, and told me to tell Tilly that they would take Vienna home and bury her. I am completely in awe of such a considerate generous act.

Tilly said that the X Factor Concert was one of the best days of her life, and the next day was one of the worst. As the days have pulled away she has started to recover and has eventually stopped dissolving into uncontrollable sobs. This is one shocking day that I am sure we will all take time to come to terms with, but it is one result that we will forever be grateful for as it could have all been so very different.

Night Night Vienna


Bonnie said...

Poor you. RIP Vienna.

Tilly's House said...

Thanks, Bon, I keep seeing Vienna - every time we go out I think I catch a glimpse of her! I've even dreamt of Vienna a few times! It's amazing the impact a pet can have.

bon said...

aww. I know. It's horrible. But maybe one day you'll get another pet and feel that close to it. You never know.