You were cremated at the hospital you were born on Monday 13th March 2018. We hoped to visit the hospital on this day with cards and gifts for the staff, and to be close to you for one last time. Sadly, Mummy was still too poorly with a migraine and sciatic pain. But I thought about you all day, and wondered if the sudden demise in my symptoms in the afternoon coincided with your beautiful little body leaving the hospital and this World as we know it?
What I do know, is that as I said goodbye to you on 4th March, the day after you were born, I made a promise to you, Arran. I promised to live your life for you, as you were physically unable to. I would be a vessel for you to enjoy and experience life as you should have, had you not have been taken from us so early. I promised to live a life that was full and meaningful so that your short existence would not have been in vain.
And here’s how I plan to do this…
Open my eyes and see life through the eyes of a child – What would you have seen upon opening your eyes? The wonders of the world and the love for those around you. You would have seen everything with rose tinted, innocent and grateful eyes. Where some would see dandelions as weeds, you would see them as wishes. Everything would be rich in radiant technicolour and bursting with beauty. That is how I will see the World now, my love. As you would have. And what a wonderful World it is.
Take baby steps – Childhood is rapidly tarnished by adult responsibility, fear and worry. Work, bills, debts, relationships, broken hearts, illness and death. We can dwell on the future or fret over yesteryears – but we have no control over them. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow may never come, We only have control of the now. I will free my mind of yesterdays regrets and tomorrows woes, and I will take full ownership of today. I will take baby steps through my life, as you would have done, my love, and I will cherish everything in the here and now, for that is all we really have.
Learn to walk before you run – As you would have, my love, I have had to learn to walk again in these past few weeks. It has been a slow and sometimes painful experience, but one that has ignited a fire in me to use this physical ability as best I can once I have mastered it. Just as you would have revelled in the freedom that walking would have provided you, and the opportunities it presented, I too will use this gift to explore, to take long walks, to roller skate with your big brothers and to take myself places I’ve never been before. I will run until I can run no more, just because I can, and what a blessing that is.
Wake up like every day is your 6th birthday – Instead of groaning when the alarm goes off and longing to stay in the comfort and safety of my bed, I will leap from my duvet with an excitement and anticipation of that felt by a 6 year old rising on his birthday. I will feel gratitude for the gift of another day, and the adventures and opportunities and gifts that day will bring with it. Every day will be the best day of my life.
Run barefoot in the garden – You would have loved playing in your garden, swinging from the trees and admiring the nature it is brimming with; just as your big brothers do. You would have run barefoot, as they do, because there is simply not enough time to put socks and shoes on, as Mummy keeps telling them to do. Those precious few minutes would be wasted, when they could be bouncing merrily over the soft green lawn, their soles tingling from the morning dew and their toes tickled by the grass and daisies. I will free my feet from the limitations of socks and shoes, and I too shall run barefoot as I chase your brothers through the garden, and I will feel at one with nature and the ground beneath my feet, just as you would have done, my love.
Do what makes you happy – When I was younger I wanted to be a writer, actress and singer songwriter. I had so many dreams but was made to feel that these desires in life were unachievable and slightly unrealistic. There was more ‘success’ and ‘money’ to be made elsewhere. Yet I have never felt truly satisfied with the ‘elsewhere’ and have made a huge point of stressing to your brothers that it doesn’t matter what they choose to do in life, so long as it makes them happy. You can make all the money in the World doing something you dont love, but you can’t put a price on true happiness. I promise to take my own medicine and start doing what makes me happy. As airy fairy and unrealistic as that may seem to others, you can not take money with you when you go, but the happiness and love you carry in your heart will stay with you for eternity.
Love yourself – Every time I look at your brothers I fall in love all over again. Just as I fell in love the minute I set eyes on you. You and your brothers should know just how perfect you are, and how proud of you all I am. And I would have encouraged you to recognise your own strengths and amazingness, and your deep inner beauty, so that you could see yourself through my eyes and love yourself unconditionally. I would have celebrated your uniqueness and applauded you for not following the crowd or crumbling under peer pressure, and for simply doing what makes you happy and what makes you – You. Amazing miraculous you. I will admit, my love, that this is one promise I will find the most challenging – but I will endeavour to stick to it and affirm it daily.
Learn – You would have gone to school and learnt new things. And I imagine you would have had a brilliant mind like that of your older brothers. As you are not here to learn for yourself, I will learn new things for you. Starting with the guitar which I have been talking about for such a long time, and forever procrastinating. I have already purchased a beautiful new guitar and have learnt a few chords on it. I am determined to expand my horizons and open my mind to learning, as you would have done, my love.
Play – I had a very vivid imagination as a child and would play from dawn until dusk, completely immersed in a dream World that filled my heart and head with magic. It was wonderful. But then I grew up… and became an adult… and that amazing dream like skill of escaping real life and surrounding myself in magic – was numbed. Play time was set aside for work, chores and other demands. What a shame. I promise you, my love, that I will dedicate myself to play. To really play. To slip into another dimension of fairies and witches and unicorns. To allow my creative alter ego to explode from its hidden cave within me and do the unimaginable. Because you would have played, I will play, and I will have the time of my life
Try new things – Children are on the whole – fearless. Courageous and daring and without limitation. Not afraid to try new things. When does that stop and why does it stop? As you would have explored and tried new things – I shall too. I will try new and exotic foods, I will take that unknown path on my regular walk and I will boldly go where I have never gone before. Because I can, my love, I will.
Switch off – Before technology and tablets and internet and phones, what did we do? We found other means of entertainment. We played, we listened to music, we went for walks, we spoke – face to face – with loved ones, we read books, we painted and we enjoyed just being. We lived. Your brothers technology time is very limited because we believe as children they should be out in nature, socialising, using their imagination and playing as children should, without the addiction of modern technology. So I promise you, my love, to switch off and to be a more hands on mum and human being.
Love unconditionally – As children, we have usually not been exposed to the pain of heart break. Therefore we are able to love without limitations, and what an exhilarating feeling that is. I have sadly experienced challenges which have made it difficult for me to allow myself to fully express my love for those who deserve it sometimes. Scared of having my heart hurt. But I promise you, my love, that I will show and tell those I love just how much I love them, every single day. I will not hold back, I will not refrain – because tomorrow may never come and to love and be loved is one of the best and most important things in the World.
This list of promises is ongoing, and I will add to it frequently, but I give you my word that I will strive to adhere to them and will love every minute of it. And should I waiver, I will be able to refer back to this post to re-ignite the passion and positivity engrained in each promise. And I hope that others who may read this, will also make a transition in their lives, to live a life that is as enriched and purposeful as possible.
And it will all be in memory of you, my love.