Meet me in the woods

This is my first post since reaching 30,000 views on my blog.

This blog is dedicated to my two brothers, Jake and Ben.

Last week I was diagnosed with a genetic, connective tissue disorder. It affects my musculoskeletal system, and most of all my heart.

It is thought that my brothers also have the condition. My youngest brother begins testing tomorrow, and my older brother will be tested after him.

This is a blog about my old journey meeting the new journey we share together.

Lyrics are from ‘The Woods’ by Daughter. It is a beautiful song, and I ask that you listen to it as you read.

Love Jess xxx


I asked Saint Christopher
To find your sister
And she ran out in the woods
And she ran out in the woods

girl woods

My baby brothers, I know you missed me so.

I know you did, for I missed me too.

He took me in the night, and he never even left a note. Of course, you searched for fingerprints, for broken windows, blood in my bed. But you never found it, for I was already gone. Slung over his shoulder, a bobbing shadow in the night we were all but out of reach.

Mummy and Daddy called everyone listed in the Yellow Pages. But they didn’t know where I was, they didn’t know how to get me back. Some of them pretended, of course. They handed over their life savings, so certain that the white coats would bring me back and we would go on as if nothing had ever happened.

But the days became weeks, and the weeks became months, and before we knew it had been seven years.

Sometimes my ghost would visit you. I would curl my white, spindly fingers around your wrists, and clutch at you sobbing. You would each form a tug of war, and try to pull me back. But we both know you were clutching at thin air. Instead, we would sit together and cry a little while.

And then I would go back to bed in the woods.

Oh it was certain then
And we were trying to stop the winter
Killing all it could
Killing all it could

see saw 2

It’s been seven years, my baby brothers.

We stopped needing a cure a long time ago. We found our happy medium, a delicate see saw between tragedy and triumph. I was a beautiful wreck, and peace wrapped us in it’s tentacles. An acceptance of sorts, our offering to the universe.

We get it now.

We get it now.

Cure, Remission, it was no longer forefront in our minds. Que sera sera, however the leaves may fall. But we never forgot.

Sometimes you would hear me howling from the pines, and you would each howl back, a trio pack lost in cold, gray land. And so we continued to hope, to pray, to wish. If each of us were to command one, surely something would eventuate and the forest would bloom to heaven.

You tried to stop it, I know you did. You each tried so, so fucking hard.

Do you remember when I was dying?

I know you do.

I know that you remember more than what I do. Morphine will do that to you.

hands hospital

Big brother, do you remember the day that Mummy and Daddy told you to hold my hand? We had a special bed, in the loungeroom. It was so that I could be close to you all. I was mere chicken bones laid upon the sheets. My eyes opened every now and again. You didn’t know what to do; you were only thirteen.

So you picked up the Dolly Magazine, the pages which I could no longer turn. And you read to me the ‘A to Z sex alphabet’ out aloud to me. I was dying and you were scared. But you still made us laugh, until I fell asleep once more.

You made me laugh when I had no reason to.

Baby brother, do you remember?


Do you remember when they took me away from you for a few months? You hated the hospital, you wouldn’t visit. Most of all, you hated me for leaving you. And so each night when you called, you would only speak to me in Spanish. I couldn’t speak Spanish, and until then neither could you.

We had found ourselves in a foreign land, and a foreign language was only appropriate. And just as countries have done so for years, we began to build bridges across our fears.

You would scream Burrito, and I would whisper Taco.

And then we would giggle until you forgot that you were mad at me.

You each tried so hard to stop the winter.

But we never saw this one coming.

And I pray a lot for you
And I look out for you


I’m not sure either of you believe in prayer, baby brother you especially. And I know this will make you laugh. I’m not sure if anyone is listening, and I’m not sure if they really care. But I pray for you both all the same.

I pray that you can live the adolescence that I never did.

I pray that you can be healthy, I pray that you can be free.

I pray that you will each be happy.

And most of all I pray that you won’t have to fight like me.

I guess I didn’t pray hard enough.

We are what we are
Don’t need no excuses
For the scars from our Mothers

And we know what we know
Cause we’re made of all the little bones
Of our fathers


Was it Mummy, or was it Daddy? They say that shooting stars are simply made of falling debris. Maybe their love is considered destruction.

I’m not sure we will ever know.

The truth is, I know that not one of us wants to know, because it doesn’t matter. They are us, and we are them. And any faults we were together, a family emblem tattooed across our chests.

I was tested first.

The surgeon, the radiographer, the cardiologist and my professor were the jurors in my trial. They reached a unanimous decision.

I wasn’t just tall, I wasn’t just skinny. I wasn’t just flexible, I wasn’t just unfit and out of breath.

I was positive.

Baby brother, your testing begins tomorrow.

And I know you are scared, and I know you are hurting.

Because you might not just be tall, you might not just be flexible, you might not just be dizzy. And you might not just be dislocating every week ‘just because’.


You will see the surgeon, they will run a camera over your heart, just as they did mine.

And then you will wait.

And I’ll be there when the jury reaches their decision.

Older brother, you are last, but not least although we joke about it often. You are not the golden child, the brains, the wit. You are the tradesman, the forgetful, The Wanderer. And we only love you the more for it.

No, you are last because you really are least. You are taller, but not quite as flexible. You break more readily and dislocate less.

Mummy and Daddy laugh. We complete one another. What one cannot do, the other can. We come a full genetic circle.

You are last, but that does not mean you will be left to bob out at sea. When your time comes for the same camera, the same doctors, the same tests, we will be there. Perhaps we will have paved the way, and will be waiting for you at the forests edge.

I pray a lot for you,
And I look out for you

I pray a lot for you,
And I look out for you

be okay

My prayers will be different now, my brothers.

I will pray that you can be free,
And I will pray that you can be happy

But most of all, I will pray that you can live happily being like me

I asked Saint Christopher
To find your sister
She ran out in the woods
Cause she ran out in the woods

three deer

My baby brothers, this is where I finish my page and you begin yours.

I once asked Saint Christopher to find me, as I was taken into the woods.

But we needn’t worry, for he is the patron of travels.

And now I will ask Saint Christopher to look after you both

As you begin your journey, and meet me in the woods.


6 thoughts on “Meet me in the woods

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s