Without Jon



Jon has been taken into hospital via an ambulance. There’s nothing life threatening going on, but still, it’s been very traumatic and standing by, helpless, when he is in excruciating pain has got to be one of the worst things ever. 

He’s been gone for a few hours and I’m at home with three little girls fast asleep in their beds. I am lost. I am honestly lost without him here. I’m concerned and I wish I was in the hospital with him, making sure the right questions are asked and all of the answers are retained. I’d like to be there by his side, because that is where I truly feel I belong, with him. But instead I’m here, feeling so lost in an overwhelmingly quiet house. I’ve had a microwave ready meal for one for tea, even my food is depressing. I realised whilst eating it, that I was sat in the dark. 

When Martha was two years old Jon came into her life and for reasons never known or explained to us, she referred to him as ‘Jonny Rainbow’. She soon called him daddy, that’s who he is to Martha, daddy. She knows he isn’t her real dad, she knows all about Martin, we keep his memory very much alive - but Jon has been in her life longer than Martin ever was, Martha doesn’t have any of her own memories of her ‘real’ Dad. Martha’s happy memories are full of Jon. And Jon is daddy, a fantastic loving daddy at that. But ‘Jonny Rainbow’, what a perfect name to have given him. The rainbow after the storm. Our bright shining rainbow that filled our lives with colour again.

He lights up our lives, he honestly does. I’ve never known anybody so smiley and so happy, he is exactly what my children and I needed and what we still need. He’s good fun, he’s silly and he loves us. We all know that he loves us. He tells me every day, he hides notes for me to find, he tells me nearly every day that he’s proud of me. I can’t begin to describe how lovely that is, how those little notes and words of encouragement make me feel.

And when he’s not here, I’m lost. It feels so wrong, this house, empty of Jonny Rainbow’s colour. I feel pathetic knowing how much I need him and rely on him. And there’s a morbid sense of reality too, I could not cope if I lost him. I could not face a life without him in it. 

I may have struggled on through after Martin, I might have appeared to be made of strong stuff, to have been sensible and responsible. But it nearly broke me, so nearly, a lot of times. The torturous few seconds upon waking, when you don’t yet remember the cruelty of your current situation, and then you do. The moments, with your patience stretched to the absolute limit, when you think, I just can’t parent on my own. The restless sleepless nights, haunted by nightmares. The pain of hearing your children grieve. The loneliness. The stabbing pain you feel at a memory of a happy time, the anger and hurt you feel at a bad one. The nights you sob yourself to sleep muffling the sound with your pillow. The awkward moments when you tell people ‘your story’, never knowing who’s the most uncomfortable. The draining and exhausting feeling of trying to pretend that everything is ok. Listening to the constant voice in your head that says ‘I can’t do this’. All of that, it nearly broke me. 

Without Jon, it would be so much worse. I would, without doubt be broken.

So whilst Jon is in hospital, hopefully under a big cloud of pain relieving medication, I am sat here, with the light on now, thinking about how very lucky we are to have found him. And how close to me I’ll always keep him, our rainbow. I am lost without him, because he is a huge part of me now.

If I’ve learned one thing on my journey so far, it is to never take anything for granted. I will tell him that I love him, with every single opportunity I get, because I want that man to know how loved he is, every day of his life.


When he is back home from hospital, our little house will be home again and his laughter and smile will fill the room along with his bright shining colours. I can’t wait. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with my Jonny Rainbow next to me, right by my side.

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