In 2003, we finally did the thing I had been needing, even craving... to put to rest his ashes. We scattered them as a family into the ocean at a park he and my Mom had spent a lot of time at when he was little.Back to the earth from which he came. To hold these ashes and set them free was cathartic, healing. I had spent 10 years grieving without ever really coming to grips with it. In that moment, everything became clear and calm.
6 years later since we put him to rest, I have only good memories. The intense pain replaced with a calm remembrance. It doesn't hurt the same way, just a little sadness. I miss him.
We had our prenatal classes at the hospital where I'll deliver Bean. It's a part of this complex of hospitals that also includes our Children's Hospital. This is the hospital where David was. To get to the building where our class was I had to walk around the outside (before I discovered the shortcut) past Children's. On one of the last classes, I was walking past the side of the hospital and then I heard it... the sound of children playing. I paused and looked up. I smiled. Outside on the 3rd floor between the 3A and 3B wards is a playground. There's a playroom just inside too. My younger brother and I played in both these places when we were visiting D.
I was hit by a flood of memories. Some happy, some sad but always lovely memories of a time that not only was incredibly difficult for my family but also brought us together in the most amazing way.
As I listened to the kids playing I thought about how resilient they are. They could be going through the scariest disease but somehow remain optimistic about life. The laughter of those kids on the playground that day still rings in my head and makes me smile.
In honour of D, with love from your sister, may you always remind me to live each moment as it is and make the most of everything I'm given. A lesson I hope to pass on to Bean as well.