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.
These last few weeks of summer the girls have been catching wishes. You know those floaty, spindly spheres that dance away from you as soon as you reach out to grab one. Yes, those. If my five and three-year-old can’t catch them I run, jump and grab upwards or stamp down upon them like a slightly geriatric child just so my girls can have those eyes-tight-shut-with-hopeful-whisperings kind of moments that I remember doing too. Where I wished for hair as long as Claire Jenkins, my girls wishes are much more poignant but are just as likely to not happen.
Evie: “Mummy, if we wish really, really hard can we get daddy to come back.”
Me: “No, darling. A wish can’t ever bring daddy back. Remember I told you his body was broken and we said goodbye to it and daddy’s energy and spirit is all around us…”
Evie: “Yes I know but can Santa not even fix it so daddy can come back.”
Me: “I am so sorry honey. He can’t come back.”
Evie: “Well then can I wish for a new daddy.”
Me: “Well yes but you know Cameron is here not to be your daddy but he can be a bit like a daddy.”
Evie: “Yes that’s OK but can Isla and I have a daddy that doesn’t have any other children. A daddy just for us.”
Isla: “I miss daddy. I want him back.”
Me: “I know honey. I wish you could have him back but I’m here.”
Isla: “But I want his cuddles.”
Me: “I know me too. But you’re lucky. You’re daddy is special because other daddies only get to see their little girls after school or nursery or after work. Your daddy watches over you all the time. And while he was here your daddy gave me so many cuddles that I can pass some of them to you.”
Isla: “And his kisses?”
Me: “Yes darling. Kisses too.”
Our sweet girls, Col. If only those spindly floaty wish things could make wishes come true…I wish that these were not the types of conversations I shared with my little girls at bedtime and that you could kiss and cuddle them in the flesh. I just wish.
For the last two Junes I have wanted to scream very loudly, ‘hello world, not everyone has a bloody daddy anymore’, at every Father’s Day display I saw in shops. I wanted to shout at the tv ads, ‘don’t forget him this Father’s Day…ha fat chance’. More extreme though I wanted to go mad on Facebook with nasty ‘poor me’ comments on everyone’s lovely posts about days spent doing special things and pics of daddies and daughters and even daddies and sons. I was being a bereaved cow. I couldn’t really see beyond my own loss. I wanted the world to feel the same miserable way I was – a widow weeping over my babies’ efforts of Father’s Day cards made at nursery which were never going to go the real recipient but were made for me or grandad instead.
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