Dear Paula, My Big Sister and Best Friend.

Dear Paula,

I know we didn't get off to a great start when we first met, you was laying on the bed with mum when her waters broke, you unfortunately got a little bit wet from the waters surrounding me.

It had been just you for a very long time, you was extremely close to Nan and Grandad, mum and auntie Donna, you was the first born grandchild and first born to make Donna a auntie.

I can't remember much from our childhoods, but I do know we argued and fought furiously with each other. I remember you being allowed a blue fizzy drink, whilst I was only allowed squash, oh how the little things made me "hate you".

When you was a teenager things only got worse, stay out of my room you would scream at me. Have you been going through my stuff again you would repeatedly ask? The amount of times mum told us to stop arguing must of been at least three billion.

There was a few years that I can hardly remember seeing you, you worked, and worked hard from the age of 15, spent your hard earned wages enjoying yourself on every opportunity, and rightly so.

In time, I become a rebellious teenager, and had a lot of anger issues, often starting and re-acting over the most stupidest of things. I remember I once went to hit mum, a decision I regret and live with for the rest of my life. You jumped in front of mum, and took a nasty punch to the nose.

I left that day, and done the most stupidest thing of my life. I took an overdose, fortunately my lovely friend Jemma sought help, and I was admitted to hospital. It was in the A&E waiting room, Jemma bumped into you, you was there to see if your nose was broken as it looked as though it was. You come rushing to my side and called our parents, that day was most probably the worse day of my life.

I soon fell pregnant with Spud, and I changed, long gone was the angry Jade, but here instead was a mother, a loving mother who cared for nothing more then her beautiful child and her loving and supportive family.

I remember you coming to see Spud when he was not even a day old with my your friend Stacey. Actually it was thanks to you that I even made it to the hospital to give birth to Spud.

I woke up at 3.02am on the 30th of March 2006 with a awful belly ache. I went to the toilet but nothing was happening, despite the most awful pain in my tummy. I did manage a wee though, and it was then I noticed blood.

From attending my pregnancy classes, I knew this wasn't right, I woke up Spud's dad, who was staying in Jamie's room, and asked him to get dad for me. Dad was working at least six 12 hour shifts a week bless him, and told me to go back to sleep, it wasn't time for the baby.

Spud's dad went back to Jamie's room, and I got back into my bed, I was laid there alone, scared and in pain. I waited a whole hour before I got the house phone and tried to call mums house phone, but no one answered, It was gone 4am, I imagined you all to be asleep and I started panicking.

I called mums mobile, the one time it was turned off was the one time I really needed some help. I called your phone, and you answered giggling, amazingly, you had been out to celebrate Stacey's birthday, you woke up mum for me, giggling and in a drunken state, but you done it!

Mum told me to call the hospital, who kept me on the phone for 10 minutes asking me to say whenever I had a contraction, every time I said now, they was amazed. The lady on the phone said you don't sound like your in labour, but come in for a check up. I asked about my bag and she told me to leave it at home.

I woke up dad, with mum waiting for him on the house phone, she told dad to call an ambulance but me and Spud's dad got a taxi instead. When I arrived at the hospital, shortly after 6am, I was 6cm dilated and Spud was born shortly after 9am, to what we now discovered was seven weeks premature at a very low weight.

You was never the maternal type, and even joked about before kissing him, asking if Spud had been washed before you kissed my juices, whereas no one else thought about that, and just kissed him anyway. You did end up kissing him, and my juices as he wasn't allowed to be bathed because of how early he was.

One Easter, either Spud, or our first born nephew big man, come towards you covered with a chocolate dribbling mouth, and you squealed, we all laughed and said we could never imagine you being a mum, the whole time none of us knowing you was pregnant with your first child!

You and nan came to visit me and Spud once at the flat. Whilst I was making us all a drink in the kitchen, I heard nan say to Spud, just think this time next year your have a cousin to play with, I run in the front room, armed with a tea spoon and repeated what I just heard. I then asked if you was pregnant, of which you and nan tried to get out of, but I wasn't having any of it! You ended up telling me and there was cheers all round!

You soon found out you was expecting a baby boy, and I left college early to go to town and buy you a balloon and other presents the day you had him. I fell in love all over again as I met little big man for the first time.

I didn't see much of little big man, but after the break up of my second relationship, I started to see mum more, she was living with you until her home was sorted, along with our little sister and mums partner of 15 years.

I can't remember how, I think when mum left she asked if I could help you for a day or something, and I come to your house alone for the very first time since you'd left home.

That day was the day our sisterhood bond started, and my new bestest, bestest friend role was made. I'd drop Spud off to school every morning, and take the short walk to your house, and would spend the day with you and little big man until it was time to collect Spud. We spent weekends apart, unless we met up as the whole family, but spoke a number of times each day on the phone.

We all started to notice things differently with little big man, like the way he couldn't talk, however he would make the most perfect animal noises. The way he would bang his ears with certain noises, how he didn't like loud noises what so ever, the way he lost his temper and the way he had to line things up in a rather OCD matter.

We was in town one day, stood outside the cake shop and you said to me that you think you might be pregnant, so we went and got you a pregnancy test, the next morning after dropping Spud off to school and arriving at your house, you said you was pregnant and I wasn't to tell anyone else! I was the second person to know and felt so so privileged!

In time, little big mans health visitor also noticed things in him, and then when he started nursery they did too. We still loved him, and still do now, it was just his way, that everyone soon got to know how to deal with.

I remember being at your house, and I asked him to say my name, and he said auntie Jade, I cried, I couldn't stop kissing him, oh how I love him! In time Baby Boo was born, another little boy, and oh my did he scream the house down!

In time Little Big Man was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, and you took it in your stride, being ever so maternal, that no one could of imagined you being.

Baby Boo got worse, and still continues to get worse, they're currently observing and testing him, but have already said what we all suspected, he may possibly have Aspergers or something else like ADHD, again, nothing would change, we all love them boys, and to us they're perfect!

A part of Little Big Mans condition means he had his eyes checked, he soon started wearing glasses and had regular appointments at the eye department. Earlier this year, the consultant looking after Little Big Man was concerned with something after looking at his eyes and referred LBM to Great Ormond Street Hospital for further test.

You picked up the results yesterday Paula, and we all cried with you. They 80% suspect LBM to have Ushers Syndrome, a syndrome that effects the eyes and ears, with some sufferers sadly loosing all their vision and hearing, becoming both blind and deaf.

They're now arranging brain scans for Little Big Man, and are pushing things forward so they can test Baby Boo for the same thing also. 

I just want you to know how proud I am of you Paula, you're already an amazing mother to two boys who have extra needs, I'm with you most days, and admire the strength you have.

Baby Boo is now three, and I hate to say it but is getting worse and worse, a simple journey to the shop is the biggest of dramas but you deal with it, in such a calm and collective way, as usual taking everything in your stride. Whereas me, I'm like Paula, how do you deal with it, thinking of having another fag the minute one has been put out.

You don't get stressed and smoke (and please never do start!), or bite your nails, or eat a whole bar of Galaxy chocolate, or even vent to Facebook. You just deal with it, and that's what I admire about you.

You live off a few hours sleep each night, with the boys, mainly Baby Boo continuously waking in the night. Your full attention has to be on them boys, but you still manage to run a home, be a chef, a cleaner, a house wife and a fantastic mother.

You're one of the most kindest woman I know, with a heart of gold, you're always helping me and you're Spud's favourite auntie as he's told us many of times.

I want you to know Paula, that we're all beside you, not behind you, but beside you. I love your boys like they're my second and third sons, I love the bond you allow me to have with my nephews, even though they can be hard work.

I love everything about them, their syndromes and disorders, their flaws and their bad behaviours, they're the most beautifulest little cheeky boys, and together they make your sons.

We will deal with anything life throws at us together, and we will arrange things differently if we have too. You and your sons will never be a burden to any of us, like you are always there for others, we're there for you, ALWAYS.

You're superwoman Paula, and never forget how much we all admire your strength and determination. We praise you all the time, and love you more than words can ever begin to explain.

You're more than just my big sister, you're also my best friend.

Love you forever and always, Jade xxx

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