Do you remember this time last year?

Do you know what you were doing this time last year? Can you remember the days, hours, minutes and moments?

I can. For this time last year was the beginning of the long goodbye.small__9141239481

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

photo credit: Rick Payette via photopin cc

19 thoughts on “Do you remember this time last year?

    1. Thank you Carole. It’s the first year, and Dan was 13. It’s all still a bit raw.Thanks for reading, and your kind comment.

    1. Well it’s a year this week since he went for transplant. He didn’t actually die until November, but the months in between were horrific. The whole thing was such a nightmare. Its hard to forget.
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it. Writing certainly helps.

  1. It’s with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat that I write this. As we excitedly prepare for my little guy’s 5th birthday I can’t even fathom the heart break and sadness of losing a child, unimaginable yet all to real for Daniel’s family and you and all those close to him. Beautifully written.

    1. Thankfully as I have been at pains to point out to my own children, serious illness in a child is so rare and a poor outcome even rarer. Poor Dan was so so unlucky.
      I hope you little man has a wonderful birthday.
      Thanks so much for reading, and commenting.

  2. I still can’t get my head around how this happened to a gorgeous young boy.
    My perspectives have been altered since I heard about Daniel and they’ve shifted again since my Uncle died. I’m so grateful for my healthy family and will make the most of our precious time together.
    Big hugs Tric xx

    1. Thanks so much Olivia. Truth be told we cannot believe it still. From the moment I first heard this healthy child had leukemia, to the transplant, to the horrific infections, and disappointments, up to that last dreadful phone call telling us he was coming home, it is all still unbelievable, and deeply shocking. A real nightmare for his family beyond anyones imagining.
      Thanks again Olivia. It’s good of you to comment, and I know you care. Enjoy your little ones.
      I am sure you are still in the missing stage of your uncle. Condolences and hugs.

      1. I certainly can’t imagine it.. I do think about his parents and how they might ‘cope’ if that is the right word.
        My uncle was 77 and he was suffering, so his story was so different. We felt relief when he passed, but I desperately wanted to see my dad, to see if he was OK and he’s doing much better than I had anticipated. Having the kids there was a nice distraction for my dad. It was also the kids’ first experience of losing anyone, so that lead to lots of new questions and conversations.
        Thanks Tric.

  3. Oh, thinking of you all this week. I have a little (big) boy of 13, and I cannot for a second imagine the pain his family must be in 😦 love and blessings to you xxxxx

    1. Thank you Emily. Yes a boy of 13 is such a child, and a boy of 12 having to hear what Dan was told is beyond a nightmare.
      Don’t even try to imagine this families pain, just enjoy your big brood, and you newest arrival, and remember as I commented to Olivia, this is very rare.
      Thanks again for your kind thoughts. Much appreciated.

  4. Tric there are no words I can fling across the ocean to reach you with comfort. But I feel the ache and the longing and the love. That transcends all distance.

      1. It’s been a rough couple of years Tric. I once read, about loss, that the person who passes has left pain and suffering behind. And it is those left here who continue to carry it-and it is there that the difficult part to accept lies. If that makes sense.

    1. Thank you. Most days are difficult for them, but the memory of these weeks is particularly poignant.
      I will pass on your prayers and hugs.

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