SO…This is my least favourite time of year. We lost Henry in early November and his Birthday is on January 10th. It’s dark, cold and, this year, very wet – to the point of terrible floods in Lanchester.
Henry would have been 18 on Sunday. (Where did that time go?!) I watch his lovely friends as they pass this milestone and feel bereft: I don’t know what my son would be like at this age. Harry, George, Cameron and Joe are all wonderful young men and give me some insight into how he’d be – they also make me see what a wonderful choice he had in mates – but it’s not my boy.
We’d probably have gone through the teenage years, with the associated angst and embarrassment (and that’s just me!) and he’d be preparing to make his own way into the world beyond school. I watch and listen as the ‘boys’ plan for University and think about the future. I also witness the understandable concern of their parents who whilst wishing the best for their offspring, fear letting them go.
I’d be the same but Henry won’t come back at Christmas with a bag full of stinky washing and a stomach which needs filling, nor will I be able to visit his choice of University town or new home with treats and meals out. This is all part of the loss and suppose I’m fortunate in that I don’t have to go through the dread of his cancer returning, which would have been part of our daily lives and which I’m aware some other families I know experience.
In preparation for his big day, I was able to let my hair down at Harry’s 18th party last weekend and Gary and I had a ball. I’m not sure my dancing was appreciated – the lads were laughing as I interpreted Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” (a favourite of Henry’s) but we were all in it together and I didn’t cramp their style for too long!
Happy Birthday, Big Guy – I love and miss you. Have a pint for me in Heaven and be glad that I won’t be cluttering up your dance floor. Your mates and their families will be enjoying pizzas and Greek food with us in your honour on Sunday evening.