I remember three years ago sitting in a chemist shop picking up Dad’s prescription of tinned gloop which was designed to stay in his stomach and keep him alive.
His body was being ravaged with pancreatic cancer and only the syringe driver continually pumping chemicals straight into his stomach enabled him to keep food down. And even then it was tinned food crammed with every vitamin and mineral known to humankind since his appetite was now the size of a yogurt a day.
I sat waiting. And there at the till was the ubiquitous Marie Curie daffodil appeal in jolly spring yellow. Had I ever noticed these badges before? Probably, but now I bought one. Pinned it on my cardigan. And waited. I don’t know why. It wouldn’t change anything for Dad, but for some reason I felt defiant and pinned that bloody daffodil on my lapel as a flipped bird to cancer.
Two weeks later Dad was dead. This year will mark three years of his death. And as horrific as having diagnosis-to-death of only 8 weeks it still will never equal the death of a child.
Merry over at Patch of Puddles should be making plans for a fourth birthday party for her first son, Freddie, next month. Instead she is honouring his memory by marking his birthday with the symbol of daffodils. A flower which seems so hopeful, so full of defiant life. I am contributing to this crafty vigil by offering my own crafty take on daffodils too.
So this post is for Freddie, and my Dad, Eddie, and for those everywhere whose passing seems to have left a hole larger than the life that filled it. For those who are starting to forget and want so desperately to remember; for those that remember and who want desperately to forget.
Let’s be gentle with one another; all of us are carrying invisible burdens.