We did it! Ken always promised we would only be in Toronto for 3 months and in the end, we came home after 3 months and 1 day. Not a bad prediction from the most determined man I know. Our friends and neighbors gathered to welcome us home with a surprise party and celebration. The perfect homecoming! The boys are back with us as life settles down and Ken is doing great. He is healing well and getting stronger all the time.
Every day we celebrate the normal things. Before his operation Ken stubbornly made breakfast for the kids even though it had become a challenge. He would use a chair situated right next to the stove to sit and catch his breath every couple of minutes while scrambling eggs or cooking bacon. Now he potters around the kitchen, relaxed and happy while rustling up food. I watch him cut the grass, or bring groceries in from the car, or fool around with Jocky D and a rugby ball – and I marvel! They are normal, every day things but they are new to us. The other day he came home from the grocery store and stopped to tell me he had helped an elderly lady return her shopping cart to the shop. He was happy just to be able to offer someone else help.
The boys have already stopped watching him to check everything is all right. It is nothing short of extraordinary how quickly they have adapted. Life for them is about school and friends (but perhaps not in that order) and all that everyday stuff.
It has been a unique journey and while the hospital chapter has come to a close Ken will go on getting stronger and healthier in the coming months. In the bigger scheme of things it is still early days but my message is simple. Ken is on his way.
I am going to make this my last post. In many ways the story is only just beginning but it was always my intention to use this forum as a way to carry us through the nucleus of the storm. Writing the blog has been life changing, cathartic and kind of friend to me. I shall miss writing to you.
The word ‘thank you’ has come to feel too small for me in all of this. It doesn’t seem nearly enough to give to you when I think of everything you did for Ken, the boys and I. Your generosity made all the difference to our experience in Toronto; your support, messages and calls pulled me through every day Ken was in the hospital and your humor and love shone through the countless photos. We have made new friends and reconnected with folk across the world. The GoKennyD campaign sped up Ken’s waking and coming back to us. From time to time I sit and meander through the 2 full albums of GoKennyD photos and reflect on what we did together. It was company and kept you all near us as it grew and became so much more than we could ever have imagined.
All of this has changed Ken and I. We have never been more affected by and grateful for the friends & family we share across the world. Never have we been more aware of how our lives interconnect and how a simple kindness can make all the difference to someone’s day. We promise to take that forward with us.
So many of you told us you’ve registered as donors, understanding how simple but vital this decision is. It is just the right thing to do and if the sharing of our experience proved provocative in your decision-making so much the better. Somewhere in the world a family was able to make a decision in the worst possible moment that gave Kenny D back to us. A profound gesture of unrivalled generosity, courage and love. In the midst of all the chaos and so many precious messages, one of you wrote to me and said:
“Kenny and you are very close to our hearts and we’re with you there in thought and in our talks to the sky. I am not by nature a religious man but nor am I so arrogant as to think there are no powers beyond us residing out in the universe or beyond. Please know that whatever they are, I am doing my best to summon them on Kenny’s and your behalves.”
This resonated with me so deeply and reflects my own views of life and the universe. But because of you all and what we have come through I do now believe in miracles too.
The last GoKennyD message that came in was from his regiment via Ken’s good friend, Nick Wight-Boycott – a short video of everyone in uniform on the parade ground with a huge GoKennyD sign in the middle of their crowd, complimented with a massive shout-out. It was wonderful and perfectly appropriate as the finishing line.
And then, the other day Kenny D posted a photo of himself with his friends back in the diner having breakfast. Back where the very first GoKennyD photo was taken in his absence on the day of his surgery. It felt wonderful to see that photo!
As every, we send our love to you all. For those of you not on social media please keep in touch by email or phone from time to time. We will continue to use Facebook and where the messages are relevant, we will make them public. That way you can catch up with us whether you subscribe or not. And in the meantime, take care of each other!
I thought it would be appropriate to finish as we began with a song we named the blog after – ‘Between Two Lungs’ by Florence and The Machine. Today however, the words have come to mean something very different.