Off to a slow start today, fresh from one of my recurrent nightmares. In it I am looking for Daughter Number One and becoming more and more frantic as I can’t find her. In days gone by I’d keep looking until I awoke with a start, mid panic attack, and it was only then that I’d remember. These days, eight years later, I usually remember someway through the dream and spend the rest of it trying to convince myself. ‘She’s dead Kate. You can’t find her, she’s dead’. I expect that’s progress. Perhaps. It still feels pretty shitty though and leaves a bit of a hangover of raw grief when I wake up. Much as it was for Nana when she went through a stage of asking ‘Where’s Daughter Number One?’ as the Alzheimer’s first took hold, and I had to tell her, again and again, that she had died; it is like hearing it for the first time. That is hard to shake off. 

Still, three kids to look after and all that. Soldier on. I’ve made bacon sandwiches for them all and the house smells fantastic. Son Number One has left for a social group for a few hours. Son Number Two has a friend over and some time and space in Number One’s absence to enjoy his company without being hassled.  Daughter Number Two is meant to be seeing Baby Daddy today, but I haven’t heard from him since our last conversation and it’s now past 11am, so we shall see. I am playing music and taking deep breaths in and out.

Daughter Number One gave the best hugs. She laughed often. She loved freely. She was tolerant and expressive and funny. She attended a selective performing arts high school and was talented in that regard, but also excelled academically. She loved learning Italian. She read for pleasure. She wanted to travel. She was heading for NIDA (http://www.nida.edu.au/) and I’ve no doubt she would have made it. She was passionate with a strong work ethic. She was a loving, compassionate and fiercely loyal friend. A champion of the underdog. She was all this and so much more. She was amazing, my daughter.

I miss her.

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