13th April 2012.
The alarm bounded out.
But we were already awake; sleep wasn’t one of the options.
We had been dreading this day.
The children were restless, chatting at breakfast eyes wide with wonder.
My husband and I paced silently.
What would this day bring?
Flowers were arriving, was this really all for us?
The sun was shining exactly as it did on the day she arrived; now it shone for the day she would be…leaving.
Set on auto pilot, we washed we dressed.
We remained calm, following the children’s examples. How were we going to get through this day? Any day really?
We made our way to our car hand in hand, brightly dressed so she could see us clearly, desperately hoped she could now open her eyes without pain.
We were still too early, clock watching to the last moment, the final second time stood still.
We arrived at the church to a small line of people, I can’t remember the order but there were people.
My legs felt like jelly, like my bones had been removed, my chest felt tight and heavy; yet somehow I managed to keep up right to keep breathing. I wasn’t sure if I needed to be sick or not.
Again we had no choice.
We followed the smartly dressed man into the church. Hands tightly held the four of us, too scared to let go unless we lost one another.
I could just recall the haunting sound of Bagpipes playing Amazing Grace,
I could feel myself detaching.
We were here for someone else. This wasn’t our story.
We continued to walk closer to the front of the church, when we looked forward, there she was a little pink box on another little table.
Only now we wanted more than anything for it to be the big clear box that she had been in 2 weeks before.
One last chance, one last hope that this had all been a horrible mistake, her final chance to let us know everyone was wrong.
The book “Dragonflies and Water bugs” was read to us all, the children concentrated on every word.
My son clung to every word.
My daughter nervously waited to do her part.
She wanted to do something for her sister.
A picture she had drawn, a story she had written. She had a love for her sister that would grow with her forever.
Another song was played, instead of hymns, she was far too young to have hymns, the song had far more meaning.
“My Love” By Sia
The tears hit, the pain knocked like waves smashing into my already broken self.
Would they ever stop?
Would I ever be able to stand from this seat again?
We blew her a kiss and followed her as the smartly dressed man carried her out of the church, to her final journey to the song of Every Breath You Take.
We felt too weak to carry her; we were still too scared we would hurt her.
The blessing was a private moment between my husband, the children and I.
A candle lit as the blessing took place, when all we could think of was her baptism should never have been like this.
We knelt beside her, and gave her a blanket of daffodils, some extra warmth because we didn’t want her to get cold.
The rest of our guests came forward so they could say good bye, and send her some pink balloons.
We had prepared 35 balloons and 35 daffodils.
One per day she was with us, never enough days.
A decision we could never change.
The chance had gone.
11am we released the balloons watching them fly high some together, some drifted; the drifters would be as Melody is now.
We thought this was going to be the worst day of our lives, but really how could it have been. We had already done that part on the 1st.
Flying solo, while we as a family carry her in our hearts.
People may wonder why we continue to remember and share these dates.
Can you remember the age your child said their first word?
Melody never did that.
Can you remember when your child first walked?
Melody never did that either.
The dates of final moments, final memories are all we have of her.
We had no choice in how happy the memories would be this is what we have; we shall continue to build a lasting memory.
Because that is all we have.
We never wanted to say goodbye.