This time of year is always so rubbish in terms of trying not to feel the countdown between the day Isla was born (Christmas Eve 2011) and the day Col died (25th February 2012). Just nine short weeks and every year I feel them ticking. So this year I am sorting so many positive and proactive things to try to avoid the spiral. First up, Evie’s grand plan for walking up Daddy’s hill to raise money for a bench in Edinburgh. And we are nearly done! The girls are ecstatic and so chuffed that so many of the friends and family are helping them get there with the fundraising. Thank you everyone. Just less than £200 to go so any last donations are welcome – we are already thinking how we will word our plaque to thank you all.
Our other ‘beat the January/February D-day countdown blues’ scheme well it’s all about the wee poem I wrote one night shortly after Colin died. I used to say it out loud to Evie when she was little and I was putting her to bed. But she was barely two. The other night she was crying for daddy and wishing him back (it’s heartbreaking when she has these bedtimes but they are so much less often than they used to be). I remembered the poem and said would you like to hear a poem I wrote from you to daddy just after he died.
Once Upon A While Ago…
Once upon a while ago…
Someone told my daddy he had to go.
I don’t know where, I don’t know why,
We didn’t even say goodbye.
But once upon a while ago…someone told my daddy he had to go.
Now is now and here I am…
Wishing I could hold his hand.
But in my heart he is not far,
He’s in the air, he is a star.
But now is now and here I am…still wishing I could hold his hand.
Forever more, and even longer…
My love for Daddy gets ever stronger.
I know that he is near to me,
Wherever I am, there he’ll be.
And so it is forever more, and even longer…my love for daddy gets ever stronger.
I read it. She reread it. We hugged and wept together and she said she wanted a copy to keep in her pocket, forever. But most of all she wants it big on her wall. So that’s what I promised we would do. And yesterday we met a lovely paper cut artist called Ruth from Ellie and the Rubester. We asked to meet her to see if she can pour lots of our love for Col into our commission. She sat with her notebook while Isla and Evie got silly about talking about their daddy. They went absolutely mental. They had so much to say for two children that never really knew their daddy at all. ‘He was hairy. He had funny feet. I think of my bed when I think of daddy. He called me a chicken. He called me the monkey child. Mummy was an orang-utan. Feathers. Hearts. Tennis rackets. ” I was so proud of them and of me. We can chat about daddy without the sadness of his loss. He is effortlessly part of our daily life because we talk about him with ease and no pain. There is pain sometimes. Of course. But most of the time we have laughs and giggles about daddy and what he might be thinking of them as they grow up and up and up. And yesterday if there is a way he can see them…he would be beaming with such pride that they are dealing so, so well with his loss and they think of him with such love and real affection. They are amazing my kids. Amazing.