One of my closest friends sent this letter to me a few weeks ago… to put things into context, we call each other “meis” and “stok” and she was one of only two people to call Hudson Turk. I have felt, since receiving it, that it is something to be shared. A girlfriend’s perspective on how this whole thing panned out.
Thank you for your letter, stok. I hope readers of this blog do it justice :-).
“Mr dearest Andrea and Nick,
I have made several fairly useless attempts to write a fitting eulogy to be delivered at your son’s funeral. I have sat until the early hours of the morning desperately scrambling for the words to describe Turk’s heroic life and somehow give you, if only a tiny ounce of comfort. I reach a certain point and I realize that I am not the girl for this job. I realize that his life was too big for me to even begin to describe. It needs to be perfect, perfectly written and perfectly delivered, I think of him, I see the pain in your eyes and I crumble. So hence the 2nd best thing – a letter to the two of you, to read when the time is right.
I was angry – I was so made when you told me that you were pregnant. I was even madder when it was a complete no brainer decision to keep him. I was mad becoz I knew MY life would have to change. Who gave you the right to change my world, my peace of mind, my uninterrupted slumber? Now I would be forced to worry about crap like whether this kid would have friends that would play with him. The pregnancy went on and then the second whammy – you were having a boy. For fucks sake – a girl was bad enough, but now a boy. I don’t know how to be with little boys – they horrid. You had a bumper bashing – I read the blog and I left the office and went home and wept. The girl that I knew, that knew me inside out, the girl that shared almost every one of my view points, every dream of mine, ever secret longing for the life I wanted was echoed in her thoughts, was gone. She had fallen in love with her unborn child. She was a mother.
Turk was born on a Monday. I was nervous and scared. I saw his photo on Nick’s bbm profile. I cried again. Not for the two of you, not for Turk, for me. I cried for my empty, barren womb. I cried for my own fears that prevented me from embarking on the journey that you two slid into so easily. Tuesday morning I looked at baby Turk’s photo with the caption, “He is really quite lovely” and fell HOPELESSLY in love.
So Saturday rolled around and I was coming to meet the little guy. I bought a new outfit and went and dyed my hair. Woke up on the Saturday and thought, well that’s fucking dumb the kid can’t see clearly yet, but he does have almost perfect olfactory senses. I decided on a classic – I wore Dolce and Gabana – I wanted this to be his Aunty Penny association. I wore it on my birthday and I wore it to his farewell. I rambled the whole way to your house. I was so nervous. I knew that this kid was going to change my life. I knew that there was no going back. I knew that once I had held him I would want to protect him for the rest of my life. I knew all of that, but had no idea how overwhelming that feeling would be. I loved him instantly. Equally important, I fell in love with my new best friend. Day 5 – and you were an old hand at being a mom. It was a role that you slipped into as easily as what I fell in love with Turk.
To talk about the trials and tribulations, now almost seems trivial. I am not eloquent enough to articulate the highs and lows I felt through Turks ops, through the hospital stays, through the screaming at God, “For goodness sake, just give him a fucking break, has he not been through enough”.
The day before he passed away. Jono and I found him a little Man U kit. Turk was largely responsible for making me love Jonathan more daily. The excitement in Jonathan’s eyes when he found that outfit for Turk. The love that was in his voice, when he phoned at least 4 of his mates (only one of which had met Turk), to tell them about the kit he found for his boy, broke my heart. The absolute joy and pride was audible.
“Meis ….? “
Who knew that word, those dots and that question mark could cause the pain it did. I knew. I knew my boy was gone, I don’t know how, I can’t explain. I knew, in the same way I knew before you told me that you were pregnant. The room was fuzzy. I sat on the floor and waited for Jonathan to get out of the shower. I knew I had to tell him before I left and I didn’t know how I was going to. He got out of the shower, he saw me on the floor. I looked up and said, “Its Turk”. We sat on the floor and cried. He didn’t go to work. His heart broke.
I went to work, too many people around me were crying for Turk. They had lived, every movement of your pregnancy – every one of MY stupid fears regarding said pregnancy. They had been to every doctor’s appointment. They had seen every photo of his scar, every update of his progress, every celebration of being sent home – they were there. I went home got into bed and didn’t get out until the next morning.
I know that this letter is addressed to the two of you, so round about now, you must be wondering why is this all about me. What I am trying to explain, in true Penny inarticulate fashion is that Turk was more than your son. He was the tiniest of lil guys, but his strength, his conviction, his fight, his spirit, his pure determination changed lives. I was admitted into hospital two weeks before Turk passed, I am petrified on needles. When they came to put the I.V. up Jonathan, in his patient, ever supporting tone, reminded me that if Baby Turk can handle it, then so could I. It helped, I cried less. The next night, I got a new neighbour in the bed next to me. The same male nurse who had put my I.V. up had come to put hers up – the nurse said, in a kind gentle voice (to a VERY Asian lady who could not understand a word of English), “If baby Turk can handle it, then so can you” J
Turk made us believe again. He reminded all of us what a miracle this thing that we call life, and all take for granted, truly is. He made us all love a little deeper. He made children, love their parents a little more and appreciate it what they went through to have and raise them. He made siblings look at each other and thank God for their mere existence. He made partners fall in love all over again.
Spiritualists believe that we are sent to this earth to right our wrongs. Once that process is complete, we leave and move on to the next level. Nelson Mandela / Mother Teresa – two of this world’s greatest humanitarians – they are / were still trying to achieve that well into their 90’s – how pure must Turk’s soul have been to rectify his wrongs within 4 months!
I am not sure how you move on from this. I am not sure if you ever even come back from this. What I am sure of though, is that Turk’s stay on earth was for a reason. We may never understand why he had to go, but I do know that having him made everything worthwhile.”