Monday, 5 November 2012

M: On this day last year...

It's Bonfire Night 2012. This time last year it was a Saturday and my best friend and her husband had just come to stay with us for the night. When they arrived I was waddling round the kitchen with my nearly 30 week bump, making a pan full of toffee. I'd collected up the apple harvest from our tiny apple tree, and it turned out the ridiculous inch wide apples made for perfect toffee apples. I think my other half had made a chilli, whatever it was we scoffed bowls full of it before heading out. The exact order of things that night is a bit fuzzy, but we had a trip down to a local pub where some daft friends had pockets rammed with fireworks and were having a great time sneaking about behind the pub setting them off. We snuck around the town like kids with the bags of fireworks we'd bought, finding spots big enough to let them off as we couldn't fit them into our tiny garden. I broke the habit of my pregnancy and had a whole half of Belgian beer, which tasted gorgeous. I proudly wore an over tight top showing off my wonderful bump to the world. This was to be the last time we'd see my best friend before we were all grown ups – before we were parents and they were honorary aunt and uncle – so we were loving our childish fun. We just had a fabulous night.

Our local football club had a fireworks display, which we walked down to watch. I remember so distinctly cuddling my bump as the fireworks went off and we chomped toffee apples. By this time we knew that our baby had a very poorly heart. Our best case scenario for the next year was that he'd make it to 9 months or so before having the operation to save him, which itself had a hefty chance of killing him. As I watched the fireworks and he jiggled around at the bangs and the tasty toffee I wondered if he'd be around to see his first bonfire night outside next year. Maybe we'd be by his side in hospital, maybe he'd be better by then and sitting right here with us watching the fireworks with wide little eyes in which I'd see the reflections of the fireworks, or maybe he wouldn't have made it through his operation. I was pleased that he was getting the bonfire night he might not get to see next year, but I secretly shed a small tear under the cover of the dark.

What I never imagined is that 7 weeks later we'd find he'd passed away before they ever got a chance to mend him, before we'd even had the chance to meet him, or just once to see those twinkling little eyes.

Tonight is bonfire night, my partner and I will be off to watch the same firework display in a few hours. I am so grateful for the memories I have of last bonfire night, the one we got to spend with our little boy. This year we'll be on our own, except for the happy little presence that will always be with us, sitting on our shoulders and giggling.


  1. What a lovely post - thank you for sharing with us. All these times in the year when people are sharing such fun and excitement with their little families makes me miss my girls even more. But you're right, their happy little presences... always with us xx

  2. This is beautiful - thanks so much for sharing with us. xxx

  3. Oh what a beautiful post, how lovely to have such special memories to share and go back to despite your very sad loss. Much love to you xxx