It was two years ago that we spent our first and only Summer together. And I have spent alot of time over this passing month contemplating this. We had our moments that year, but I feel that spending those long, hot days with my head over a toliet bowl wasn’t how I’d intended on spending your pregnancy. And the following year whilst pregnant with your sister, I was so anxious I barely left the house unless it was for a hospital appointment.
Two Summer’s of my life have been erased and I didn’t even realise this until, back in May of this year when I was doing the school run, I felt the heat on my skin and I couldn’t even remember the last time I had felt it.
I told myself that I have spent far too long in the dark. Far too long in the cold. I told myself that this Summer, would – finally – be one to be enjoyed.
And so far, it has been. I have been making the most of the school holidays with Ieuan (whilst wondering how on earth your big brother will be moving up into Year 2 next term). I have been enjoying Iola’s first Summer and taking her places that I only wish I could have taken you too.
But you are always there.
You are there in the bedtime stories I tell to Iola. I tell her about a little girl who lives in the clouds, slides down rainbows and looks after her from above. You are there in conversations I have with Ieuan. He is understanding your loss on a more adult level every day, but I feel that your loss hurts him less than it does me. He loves you, of course he does. But he remembers you in the way I have painted in his mind. And, just like you, I made those memories beautiful. And even though she doesn’t understand yet, I mention you to Iola more than once a day. When no one is in the house, I even sing her True Colours, which I have come to think of as your song.
This Summer is teaching me more and more that I enjoy my life now on a much simpler basis. I enjoy the beauty in the smallest of things. Each morning when your sister wakes me up at 5am (I often wonder if you would have been the same!) I take a moment to sit out in the garden and watch the sun rising in the distance and I breathe in the possibilty of a new day ahead. That day used to be so scary to me. In fact, I used to wonder how I would even get through it. But now I face it head on and I look for the moments that will become happy memories to look back on.
Within my working life, I enjoy working for myself. I am forever thankful to you that your loss put me on the path to follow my dreams of photography (we both know that I would never have done it without the push that I needed). I just wish that it wasn’t our Goodbye that led me there. I have enjoyed my photoshoots this month, meeting families and capturing their special moments together. It used to hurt. As much as I enjoyed it, it used to hurt. Because, rather selfishly I know, I would always picture what you would have looked like in our family photo albums.
It doesn’t hurt as much anymore. I’m not sure if that’s because I’m used to it now or whether I have just become good at seperating you from my working environment? But I feel blessed to be able to go out with my camera capturing moments that don’t belong to me and giving them back to the families who they do belong to, all polished and edited to perfection.
It hurts that only your loss has led me here. But I am greatful for the gift that you gave me. You put me on this path. I guess it was mine to explore. . . .
You are there.
You are there.
Every day life.
You are there . . .
We were so blessed last week to meet with some lovely friends who, sadly, are loss parents too. We met them near the beautiful Hamble River, one of my favourite places, and we took it in turns to take the kayak out onto the water. . . .
It was early morning and the river was quiet. Peaceful. And as myself and my friend glided through the water, I turned to look back at the shore line where our husbands stood holding our ‘rainbow’ babies whilst our two older boys chased eachother through the water where the river met the stone. . . .
We paddled further out and we took in the scenery but most of all, we spoke about you. And we spoke about her little girl. And all of a sudden, you weren’t gone anymore. You were right there with us and I always feel blessed for the way in which any conversation about you brings you back to life. . . . .
And this is what this Summer has been to me. I’m catching up with myself. I’m catching up on the past two years that have somehow escaped my life. I’m starting to see the beauty that the world has to offer again, even if it’s in the smallest of details. . . .
And I’m missing you. I’m always missing you.
And I crave you and love you more than I ever thought possible.
But I’m smiling.
And I do it all for you.