Do you know what you were doing this time last year? Can you remember the days, hours, minutes and moments?
This time last year, here in Ireland, the weather was beautiful. A young boy was in the best form he had been in, since discovering six months earlier he had leukemia. We were filled with hope and, along with the good weather, spirits were high.
This time last year we were all waiting. Waiting for the day Daniel would have his bone marrow transplant. The day which would see the end of his leukemia. The day which would signal a new beginning. We were fearful, yes, but also excited. He would soon be well again.
This time last year I shared a final walk with my great friend, Dans mom. We walked and talked as usual, although inside the pain was enormous. I was saying Goodbye to my pal for up to three months, as it was anticipated that it could be that long before they got home again. As we walked along we didn’t speak of our fears, only of our dreams of success. The thought that this would not work was unimaginable, and somewhere we were not willing to go.
After our walk I briefly popped in to say Good luck to Daniel. I wanted to cry and hug him, but that would have been cruel and inappropriate. Instead I strolled in to him, and said a quick “See ya Sweetheart, best of luck”, and off I went. No hug, no fuss.
Outside, at my car, I hugged my friend and couldn’t help it as tears briefly overflowed. Then as quick as they began I stopped them. I smiled in apology and she laughed, then I said, “See you later”. A blatant lie, but a necessary one. Neither of us could cope with this being our final moment.
That night there was a family gathering for Daniel and his family in his aunts house. Everyone was wondering when would be the next time they would gather together like this, but no one would say it aloud.
When it was time to leave, Dan and his family drove away, hands waving, smiles all around. It was only after he left that those who were waving goodbye crumbled. Yet sad as they were, no one gathered together that night could have guessed, that this really was Goodbye.
This time last year Daniels clock was ticking. As the days and weeks went by we all began to hear it tick louder and louder.
Yes I clearly remember this time last year. Every single day of it.
Thinking of Daniel, and his family this week. xx