Today is Daniels birthday, he would be seventeen years old.
As I typed that I had to pause. Seventeen is a world away from the young thirteen year old he was when he moved on to new adventures. Do we now think of him as seventeen, or will he forever be thirteen?
It is hard to imagine what he might look like, but it doesn’t stop us trying. His friends are now tall, young men with all manner of hair styles, but they have not forgotten the young pal they lost three years ago.
This day seventeen years ago I was driving home from our village, when for reasons I have never known, I changed direction and found myself outside his house. My friend of many years, Daniel’s mum, was due her third baby and as I sat outside I chastised myself, thinking she might be resting and I might be disturbing her. However, I thought as I was here anyway, I might as well give her the chance to turn me away, so I called in. When she opened the door I could see she had been crying. ‘I’m bleeding,’ she said and sure enough I could see she was in fact haemorrhaging.
I don’t remember much more of the detail after that, suffice to say she made it into the hospital accompanied by her husband and Daniel made a rather dramatic entrance into the world. This was to set the tone for Daniel’s future. In the short life he lived, there were many further incidents where he held centre stage surrounded by drama. He definitely ensured life for all around him was never dull and for his friends it was always filled with fun.
I will never know what it was that brought me to my friends door that day, but whatever it was, or who ever it was I’d like to believe that Daniel has joined their ranks. That he continues to watch over his family and will always be there for them in good times and bad.
So ‘Happy Birthday Daniel.’ It is indeed very sad to be writing this post, knowing your family and friends are missing you so much, but how much more dull would all their lives have been if you in all your wild, mischievous ways, had never been part of it.
(Also I have my fingers crossed, hoping, if their is some sort of afterlife club, Daniel doesn’t cause too much mayhem today as he celebrates the day he first met his family)