I want to say thank you to my family.
My husband and I went to see my son today at the cemetery.
Louis would have been 12 last Thursday; his headstone has obviously been there a long time, and as usual, we knew it would need cleaning up, flowers replacing etc.
We also had the sad job of adding our dog Molly’s ashes to the bit of land to the side of the headstone (are you even allowed to do that in cemeteries? Don’t tell anyone!). I got Molly a month before I fell pregnant with Louis, she was by my side through the greatest tragedy of my life, the aftermath and then the happier times that followed. She was loved by us all.
My husband packed the things we would need and my in-laws offered to have the girls over to play so we could just go together – we do take them to the cemetery sometimes. However, at 7 my eldest doesn’t like to stay long; and the toddler thinks the graves are just for a game of hide and seek, so not always a great-combo!
When we dropped off the girls, my eldest gave me a lovely cuddle goodbye, she lingered and then said she hoped Louis and Molly would like the flowers. She has such a kind heart and I know she feels it too.
My husband drove us to get a hot chocolate on the way, I didn’t even have to ask…a daily hot chocolate is my vice, not his but he indulged it anyway.
At the cemetery I was teary, my husband was teary too. It was so difficult to tend to Louis’s grave and settle Molly’s ashes. I clearly thought that I hope my daughter’s never know this pain as mothers themselves.
It was my husband who did the hard graft, even though he was feeling emotional too. He dug the hole for Molly’s ashes, we cleaned the headstone and arranged the flowers together; he held me when I cried and he listened to me talk about Louis.
You see, Steve isn’t Louis’s dad. Louis’s dad left me a year after he died. It was just Molly and I until I met Steve 9 years ago.
I thought I was too broken to love but he thought I was strong, he proved me wrong by loving me anyway. Together we have our two beautiful daughters – we have a lovely family.
Steve met my grief ‘after the fact'; he met me when I was grappling with a life I wasn’t sure I even wanted. He saw something in me that I thought was lost. He let me be myself and helped me to find the ‘new normal’ that would lead me to a happy life once more.
Although Steve isn’t Louis’s dad he cares for his memory as any parent would, he helps keep my memories alive and recognises the magnitude of my loss. We have been through two nerve wreaking pregnancies together and he carried all my fear and pain too. He is a wonderful Daddy to our girls and I couldn’t ask for a better step-father to my son’s memory.
So, I would like to say thank you:
To my in-laws who never forget my son’s birthday and remember that I’m a mother to 3 in my heart. To my girls, who understand they have a big brother and handle it with such child like grace. To my friends and family who take the time to remember my son’s birthday, even after all this time. Thank you to my family, for being there.
And thank you to my husband, Steve, for all that you do.