Louise's Blog

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What does the end mean?

I wanted to blog, from a not so functional point of view….

Back in October 2010 when Tony went to Afghanistan I was of course upset but thought Madison and I would be just fine…we’d done this so many times before so it would be fine…right?…Wrong! It was by far the hardest few weeks to begin with and Madison being 7 years old this time really struggled and turned into a child I wasn’t sure I knew…why was she behaving like this? why was she so angry?

The trek was born out of searching and searching for coping strategies for Madison and failing… and it was if nothing else a great distraction in the beginning, it gave us a focus…then it completely absorbed us!!
From requesting kit, sending hundreds of emails…to all the press and of course our Daybreak appearence!! We were living and breathing this trek adventure…having friends involved and family coming forwards to help it gave us such a sense of community and belonging and all for a great cause too!

The practise trek in February was a turning point for me, I smiled which I hadn’t done in a long time, I felt at ease and Madison and the girls had a ball…even though this was without a doubt one of the hardest weekends I have ever experienced the true achievement of doing that walk makes my eyes prick with tears a little..read about it here: http://mydaddyisasoldiertrek.blogspot.com/2011/02/practise-trek-5th-february-moel-siabod.html
The togetherness, the challenge, the distraction, the lack of phone or internet!, the change of scenery all of these things made it a weekend none of us will forget!!!

…now we had the trek to complete!

The planning, all the people involved, all the build up I felt so much pressure for it to be a success, what if the girls didn’t want to do it? what if they didn’t make it? was this a silly thing to do?
We did do it and it was really hard and we had to overcome many, many hurdles on that mountain… a few times I wanted to cry, I mean really sob…as we got to the top I felt a bit funny, thankfully my big brother was on the trek, he took my hand and my babys hand and got us to the top.
Then at the summit I was overwhelmed, we had done it! all these months, all this planning…and I so wish for that second Tony could have been there, that he could have experienced the feeling, that he could have given me a hug…I was with all these people but he was missing and I will always be a bit sad about that…he’d have loved it!

I will admit I had a mixture of emotions coming down the mountain, relief, exhaustion, sadness lots of things running through my head and I was very emotional when we filmed with ITV at the bottom in a Cafe giving the girls’ their medals and showing them messages from their dads in Afghanistan…I think they caught a few of the tears but I tried to hold them in!!! Crying on TV is very uncool, this I have discovered…see: http://www.itv.com/daybreak/lifestyle/familiesandparenting/mydadsasoldier/

I absolutely loved doing the trek, I loved the challenge and I truely believe that it helped Madison deal with what we were faced with and I built and developed relationships that I knew I had and also ones I didnt know I had….it was a pleaure and it was also tough but I learnt alot…about myself, about being a forces family and about being a mummy.

I am thankful for everyone who was involved in everyway from supporting, to climbing the mountain, to shouting about what we were doing, to donating, to propping me up when it was too much!!!

And that is what the end means…it means many thank yous, it means looking back at what we achieved and its about seeing that setting a challenge really helped these forces children cope with having a parent in a war environment……who knows we may organise more adventures to bring more forces children with a daddy as a soldier together…

Would you be up for the challenge?!

Madison’s daddy returns in a week or so from Afghanistan and Victoria’s daddy next month. 

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About Louise

Louise herself served in the British Army and saw active service in Kosovo. Her husband is a serving soldier who has undertaken six operational tours of duty since their daughter was born in 2003. Louise is passionate about helping all the Little Troopers at home through the anxiety of deployment and also the stress of a long course or exercise having experienced first hand the impact it can have.

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