come away with me.

I first “met” Gail almost six years ago. I was pregnant with Bear, our first, she was pregnant with her second little boy. Since then, we have become fast friends, laughing and chatting, as friends do. Until February last year, when Gail’s world stopped, stood on it’s head, and shattered into a million tiny pieces. Her beautiful eldest boy, not much older than my Bear is now, was unwell. Rushed to hospital with suspected appendicitis, a scan revealed the true horror, a parent’s worst nightmare. A tumour. Large and aggressive. Online friendship might not be real to some people, but for our small circle, it had never been more real. We all held out breath as we waited to hear “what next” for our dear friend and her sweet boy. We cried with her as the C word was declared. We waited anxiously as the family traveled for treatment, and jumped for joy at seeming success. And we wept with our hearts broken at the final pronouncement that it was back, worse than ever, and there was no option left. I was on a family holiday when Gail inboxed me the news, that the weeks or months they thought they would have had suddenly been slashed to days. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I sat in our cabin, alone save for the sleeping baby, the sounds of my family outside, happy, well, joyful. While inside I sobbed for a boy I had never met, but had known from a toddler. My husband came in, and saw my tears, brushed them away and held me. Then together, we waited. Prayed for a miracle. Hoped for a last minute change. But it was not to be, and we could do nothing but send useless messages as she farewelled her darling boy, entrusting him to The Doctor he loved so much. Even now, as I sit and watch Doctor Who (the man of the house is an addict, I’m a bit meh since the new doctor), I think of little James, and his mummy.

Back in January, I signed up to a handmade pay-it-forward. In exchange for handmade goodness in my mail box, I had to make and gift handmade pretties to five people. I actually ended up accepting six, with a couple of time overlaps. One of the people who signed up, was Gail. I thought for ages what to make her, but nothing seemed quite right. What do you make to express 18 months of thought and prayer, that says “this is crap, and I can’t make it better, but I’m thinking of you”. I thought of a bracelet, with a T.A.R.D.I.S. charm, but as I searched Etsy, I couldn’t find what I had in mind. And then I stumbled on some gorgeous handmade paper. And it scream DOCTOR at me. I can’t explain it in words, but it called me. It whispered in my ear, and stirred my creativity. With a few back and forths, and a very helpful and accommodating seller, I soon had the paper in my hands, and I set to work, binding a journal for Gail, to hold her memories and thoughts, to hopefully make her smile when she saw it, and remind her that she is very special, and not alone on this crappy road she walks.

A finishing touch – James’ favourite of the Doctor’s galpals was Rose (I’m not sure there are many Doctor fans who would disagree to be honest!), and so I finished off the binding with some decorative Rose coloured threading. Dearest Gail, I hope you like it. James was a very special little boy, and none of us that knew him will ever forget him. xxx

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