Mum shares a heartbreaking Eulogy for her “little cherub who had white blonde hair, with a curl that stood up on top of his head like something out of a Dr Seuss book.”
Nicholas Love passed away in the wee hours of Monday, 2nd May 2016, with his Daddy in bed snuggling beside him and his Mumma holding his hand, mum Annie writes. “It had been three weeks since we first arrived in the hospital, and we never got to take him home.”
“Nicholas lived every minute of his four years. He gave love and was loved more than some people are in their whole lives. We feel very honoured that we were chosen to be his family and we’re thankful for every second we got to spend with him.”
Annie shared yesterday on her Facebook page Mummalove – “Not a post I ever thought I’d have to write. The Impossible Task: writing a Eulogy for our four year old A tribute to our beautiful boy.”
“Nicholas Fenton Angus Love arrived into the world on 20th March 2012. He came highly anticipated, although not necessarily in all the best ways.
When we first discovered we were going to have our third child in under four years, we were somewhat nervous. When we discovered at 12 weeks that we had a 1 in 14 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome, we were fearful. When it was confirmed at 19 weeks that our baby definitely had Down syndrome, we were broken. We often talk about the following five months as a period of darkness. We were terrified about what this diagnosis would mean for our life and for our family. All we could do was to hope that when we were able to hold our littlest Love in our arms and get to know him, we would fall in love and begin to see the baby, rather than the disability.
And fall in love we did.
After Nicholas arrived rather speedily into the world at 2.55am, I remember holding him and watching him intently and thinking, “how could I not love YOU?”.
He was perfect.
Our little cherub had white blonde hair, with a curl that stood up on top of his head like something out of a Dr Seuss book. His blue eyes were marked with brushfield spots, which made it look like he had stars in his eyes. He soon started weaving his spell, and his Mum, Dad, two big brothers and extended family were besotted.
We may have felt quite alone after receiving a prenatal diagnosis, but it turns out the Down syndrome community is a pretty amazing place to hang out. We were welcomed into the T21 family from early days, but it was at music therapy we formed our first real friendships. From when he was about eight months old, we took Nicholas along to music with the lovely Kate each Monday and met so many wonderful families with kids who rocked their extra chromosomes. I’m sure you can imagine, over the course of a few years, Nicholas started to walk in like he owned the place. We treasured our weekly sessions and the friendships that grew along the way within the Brisbane community.
Whether locally or internationally, there is something so very powerful in that bond between families in the Down syndrome community.
On welcoming a child with a diagnosis into our family, we embarked into a world of therapies. However, far from it feeling like a burden, we enlisted a team of therapists who cheered us on and celebrated our beautiful boy with us each step of the way.
When he appeared on the cover of the ‘qweekend’ magazine at 12 months old and featured in an article regarding prenatal testing and Down syndrome, Nicholas became somewhat of a local celebrity. Years later, we still had people stopping us at the shops saying, “Is that Nicholas?” and many people tell us they still have their copies of the magazine.
Nicholas didn’t give away cuddles to just anyone, but he was happy to say hello to as many people as humanly possible. Even the man randomly buying toothpaste in the supermarket, not paying him any attention, would be the lucky recipient of Nicholas’ greetings. He weaved his magic and helped us make friends wherever we went. Nicholas was a ladies man, but he definitely had his favourites, especially Rosie, Ariana, Zara and Amorette.
It’s hard to know what we might miss the most about Nicholas. I’m sure we will each think of him a million times a day and remember something he did or the way he would say something in his unique dialect. We’ll miss the sound of his door handle rattling as he opened it in the mornings and the little “thump, thump, thump” of his feet as he came down the hallway into our room. We’d give each other a big smile and I’d move over a little, then he’d climb in beside me, fitting perfectly against me, and often fall back asleep. Or he’d climb over the top of me, squeeze in between Ben and I, with those pudgy arms around both our necks and take turns kissing each of our faces.
We will miss his requests for apples and frozen blueberries, and his hoorays when we said we were going to have avocado sushi. Sometimes he’d talk to me when I wasn’t paying attention and I’d hear a little, “Yay! Woohoo!” and realise I’d just agreed to something unintentionally. Our rubbish bin in the kitchen is a bit broken, so as the person who sits on the closest barstool at breakfast time, he considered it his personal job to open and close the bin for us on request with his toe. We will miss the way he told us to “um, um, um” when he wanted us to follow him.
As soon as we got into the car, he would request the Wiggles to be played. His song requests would change each day, though, and God help me if I didn’t get it right. He had a passionate love for the Wiggles, especially over the past six months, and I’m so glad I was able to take him to his first concert last month. His look of amazement when the show started was priceless.
We’ll miss the cheeky smiles, the mischievous giggles, the way he’d imitate his brothers and make them laugh. We’ll miss the way he did bottom jumps on the trampoline, pretended to write his name and said the word ‘blueberry’. I’m pretty sure he considered the little wooden car and the playground outside Charlie’s classroom his own private kingdom and it will be impossible to walk past it without remembering him there, surrounded by Preppies and telling them to get out of his face. In every minute of every day, I’ve no doubt we’ll think of him.
Nicholas has taught us so many things over the past four years. He showed us how to be present and live in the moment. He took everyone at face value, and hugged with his whole body and his whole heart. He radiated light with every smile. He loved his family unconditionally and beyond measure and made us feel like celebrities. He has fundamentally changed who we are and made us better people, and I’m pretty sure we’re not the only ones.
Nicholas Love, you filled every moment of your four short years with life and colour and joy. You gave and received more love in your life than many people do in their entire lifetimes. I still can’t believe you’re not here with us, but I am so so grateful for every single second we were able to spend with you. And we have no regrets. In our four years together, I’m pretty sure we fit in the maximum amount of laughter, snuggles, love and adventures that one family can muster. No words can do justice to all you managed to fit in to your life, and we are so incredibly proud of you. Thank you for choosing us, my little friend. We will never be the same.”
The Wiggles have also paid tribute to their biggest fan.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Nicholas’ army of loved ones, friends and supporters at this time.
Share your comments below.
Images via Facebook