We are having a lovely few days. Comparing this year to last year is something I am trying hard not to do, because it seems unkind or disrespectful to be happy this year. But we are. Now is not the time to dwell or try to make sense of how unreal the last two years now feel. Now is for just living them moment. Freddie is in all our minds, he is, but I can’t quite make sense of it all, I don’t really want to look back. Somewhere in all this I just have to try and tie up his memory into a perfect and completed bundle and let it be what it is. It’s not forgetting. I think it is just possessing it somehow, turning it into the bundle tied on stick that I balance on my shoulder for the rest of the journey. Something I carry and keep my hand on, a balanced weight that I can always feel but that is just tucked out of sight for most of the time, unless I choose to put it down, open it up and inspect it. He’ll always be my boy, but he isn’t here and I can’t make him come back so somehow I have to make my peace with that.
Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of my friend being killed. I’ve made my peace with that too. I don’t think the date will ever pass without me remembering him, or acknowledging the terrible pain his brothers and parents felt or the foreboding it struck in me that one day I would experience the same loss, but it’s not something I can feel the same about any more. That way madness lies because that same date is also the one where a doctor told me Freddie would be very damaged and I can’t live every anniversary forever. I’m shaking off some of those burdens this year. It’s a choice I’m making.
Today we went up to see my sister. It’s only the second time I have met Kit, who was born 3 months after Freddie but I was ready to meet him and be his friend and auntie today. This meant of course that he had no intention of paying me the slightest attention, but fell instantly completely and totally in love with Max, who he climbed on hugged and cuddled for most of the day.
I don’t think I could have stood to see this if we hadn’t got Ben, but as it was, I just found it adorable and even though I worried all this last two years that Kit would be a huge illustration of the space Freddie is and all he should be, to be honest, it just didn’t happen. I think the feeling of unreality I have just now helps, but I don’t think it will restart now. Ben has moved me on from staring longingly at little boys of Freddie’s age. My brain just can’t doing the fixating required. I call that an improvement on my character. I just need to work on not feeling guilty about it.
In some ways this photo was a little harder, even though it was my idea to take it and I’m delighted we’ve got it.
However hard we try, neither of us can say that is all the cousins. It just isn’t. Present by his absence… again.
But what a delight to have the 9 of them together. A long overdue moment. (My word, my sister and I thought, we made a lot of children!)
Ben was a good boy again ( I must do a 10 week post, he’s changed loads!) He seems to be taking on a new face shape at times, I keep seeing glimmers of a little boy in there. I don’t know quite who he will be yet, but I can’t wait to find out. I’m really beginning to believe, finally, he might be here to stay.