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Emma's perfect storm

I was really pleased with the feedback of Emma’s light, the Carers had frequently updated me that Emma would love to gaze up at the ‘star light’ in the evenings. It had resulted in a calmer, happier night routine, and they had reduced her medication which was used to calm Emma when she became unsettled. This was better than I could ever have hoped, and it spurred me on to use the light in different ways.

I decided to buy a different CD — one of rainfall and thunderstorms. I considered bringing a spray too so I could use a fine mist so Emma could ‘feel’ the rain but was a bit unsure so decided to leave it for now. Sometimes I visit and Emma is asleep, but it is always useful bringing in things on the off chance! As it happened, on my last visit to see Emma it was gloomy and miserable outside, Emma was sitting up in bed and welcomed me into the room. I knelt next to her and held her hands, she cupped my face in her hands and giggled and asked how I was.

After our little chat I went over to the light and turned it on blue, I put on the cd. It was strange how much this transformed Emma’s little room, it almost felt like we were outside and that the sky was clouding over. The thunder rumbled with almost unearthly power, which made us both instinctively look up in anticipation. Our senses were completely fooled and heightened. I could almost feel the slight drop in temperature, the fresh earthy smell — like freshly picked stems, the prickly tingly feeling you get as static is filling the air, all these senses you feel just before a thunderstorm and the down pour that it brings. Emma raised her hands outstretched towards the ceiling, she was laughing, and a tear pooled in her eye as she started to cry. Then came the lightning strike, Emma gasped as it brought with it the thrill of the momentary chaos. Emma just laughed and cried at the same time, and we both stretched out our hands towards the ceiling ready to welcome the rain. We heard the rainfall; it was a strange sensation as I closed my eyes and my eyelids flickered as if they were sensing the rain falling and hitting my eyelashes. We laughed all the more, and I wished I had brought the misting bottle so Emma could really have felt the ‘rain’.

It was a wonderfully powerful experience to have with Emma, and I think I will always look back at this with a tear in my eye, as I do now I am writing this. It seemed for that moment Emma felt a part of something, a feeling of connection with the world and her place within it, a sense of belonging.

Emma has taught me that there are so many magical moments out there like this, the sunrise and set, the moon and stars, the comforting sound of the rain. She has taught me to appreciate every single one, to enjoy and to stay in childlike awe of their beauty — I have promised myself next time it rains, to stand outside and feel the rain on my face rather than hiding away inside! To wake a little earlier to feel the warmth of the sun as it rises, and to take time at night to gaze up at the stars and to never take these for granted, as in the end these are the things that I think we miss the most.

I feel that through all these sensory experiences, I can bring back so many of these magical moments to Emma and that our possibilities are endless. It has made it far easier for me to connect with her on a personal level, as even if she still has days where she does not remember me – it does not matter, as we can escape to a magical moment in time, where we can both find each other in the rain, the seaside, or underneath the stars.

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