It was so early in the morning that dawn had not yet broken. Nine years since my Daughter Number One’s death. As I sat on the edge of the bed I felt The Incredible Hunk touch me with his hands and his lips; softly, gently before in silence we got up and began our morning routine. After dropping Son Number Two and The Incredible Hunk’s Daughter at school we made our way home. The Incredible Hunk pulled into a street that I knew a friend of ours lived on, although I’d never been to his house. I was confused, and as fond of our friend as I am I wasn’t really in the mood for socializing. The Incredible Hunk pulled up outside a house and looked at it a minute before pulling into the driveway. “Wave!” he said, raising both hands and waving like crazy with a maniacal grin on his face. “Wave?” I asked, a bit slow and confused on this day. “Yes, wave! At the cameras!” Finally the penny dropped. Our friend has security cameras outside his house and his birthday was the next day. The Incredible Hunk thought it would be a hilarious surprise to leave something for our friend to find when he checked the security camera footage. It was hilarious and such a cool idea! I laughed for ages and every time I thought about it for the rest of the day!
A couple of days before the anniversary The Incredible Hunk asked me what I thought Sam would be doing now, if she were still here. I said she could be doing anything she wanted to do. We talked about how, at 23 years old now, she would be making her way in the world, having adventures, leaving her mark. The Incredible Hunk said that he had been thinking I could let go of a balloon, set it free, and in a small way it would be like Daughter Number One out there, travelling, exploring, living. I thought this was an excellent idea, and so it came to pass that we went shopping for a helium filled balloon. The Incredible Hunk said that although plenty of florists would have balloons he wanted me to be spoilt for choice, so went out of his way to take me to a party supply shop. I thought the choice would be easy. I was thinking either purple or something Winnie the Pooh themed, and I actually had a heart-shaped Winnie themed one in my hand when I happened on a huge balloon in the shape of the mask of Dionysus, the symbol for drama and theatre. And I knew then that was the one. I attached a photo of Daughter Number One and a note asking the finder to email me to let me know where the balloon landed. I waited until Son Number Two arrived home from school, and with The Incredible Hunk’s Daughter as event photographer we sent the balloon on its way. Son Number Two and The Incredible Hunk’s Daughter watched it fly away until it drifted out of sight.
When the email from last post arrived The Incredible Hulk was great. He responded to the author and then talked me down with humour. He likened the use of the word ‘portal’ to a Doctor Who episode and theorised on how many people had been through the author’s portal. We decided the author’s mouth must be like the Tardis, bigger on the inside than it appeared on the outside. Clearly the author’s brain was NOTHING like the Tardis. We discussed how obedient the dead must be, to follow to author’s rules and wondered if they made any exceptions. Would it be “Right Heath, you’ve had your go. It’s one time only, you know my rules!” or would it be “Heath sweetie, for you I’ll bend the rules a little – you can come through my portal any old time you like!” ?
On a day of sadness The Incredible Hunk made me laugh. My Army mate, who has PTSD also, texted me the night before to say he’d call me if I felt up to it. I posted some photo’s on facebook of my Daughter and friends left comments. One of my longest standing friends left a couple of small comments then texted me to let me know she was glad I was being so brave on this day, sharing photo’s. I don’t know about brave, but I was happy to share my Daughter with people with knew and loved her, and people who know and love me.
And you guys, thank you all so much! Yesterday’s post smashed my previous views per day record, almost doubled it in fact, and todays views aren’t far behind. We are only talking hundreds, but still, for me that is HUGE! You helped me take the power back and put the focus of the day back where it belonged, on my beautiful Daughter. Some of you have left beautiful comments, here and on Twitter, a few of you are now following the blog and a few more are following me on Twitter. Yesterday’s post has gone across the globe, another small way in which my Daughter’s memory lives on. Thanks for being a part of that. I couldn’t have done it without you!