I wonder what Harry would look like now, I wonder what he would have wanted for his birthday, I wonder what kind of cake he would have wanted, I wander what kind of party he would have had, I wonder............
That is all we can do, wonder.
Harry's much loved and cherished hamster - Joey, died the night before his birthday. How timely and poignant. When I broke the news to Callum he was very sad, we all felt sad, because Joey was such a link to Harry, but age just over 2 Joey had been struggling with life, his mobility was very poor, he lost interest in his food, just like Harry did.
Trying to put a positive spin on things I told Callum that Harry had the best birthday present ever, that Joey was now with him in heaven.
To celebrate Harry's birthday we bought 3 balloons, to take up to his tree on the Chevin and we had finally got a plaque to attach to his bench. The day started with heavy rain, but fortunately brightened up into a beautiful day and the view from The Chevin was awesome as always! We had lunch first in the cafe and being the heritage weekend there were activities going on up at The White House, which enhanced the day. We attached one ballon to the bench and let the other 2 go. A very moving and touching time, to see the balloons float away.
We returned home for cake, chosen by Callum and he blew out the candle with the number 8 on. Both sets of grandparents joined us.
We buried Joey in the garden. Callum wanted to cremate him, but burning a wee hamster, well decided it was just not appropriate! Harry was cremated so I understood where he was coming from. So Joey has a little cross, to mark his burial ground. Like Harry, Joey will never be forgotten and has his legacy too in the form of the book 'Runaway Joey!'
So here we are 18 months of living without Harry. Callum talks lots about Harry, gets upset from time to time, but, Harry remains a part of our family and always will.
Our holiday to North Wales was great and being on a smallish caravan site meant Callum could go off and play with the other 5 year olds on the site, which was lovely to see. Though Callum did exclaim during that holiday that he wanted Father Christmas to bring him another brother, called Harry! So the conversation then leads to the parameters of Father Christmas's powers to grant wishes!
A piece of our hearts will always be missing, till the day we die. We try and get on with life and by and large we do, but behind that smile is always a feeling of incompleteness.
I think keeping busy is what many grieving parents do, as the moment any of us stand still the overwhelming feelings of grief come, the flashbacks, the memories and ultimately the sadness.
I have just had 2 people from Look North here, to do an interview, to be shown tonight in conjunction with Candlelighters, to feature our journey and also focus on the statistics of childhood cancer. I know what I said will be edited into seconds and they will show footage of Harry too. But I hope it can raise awareness that childhood cancer exists, that it comes and invades your whole family, not just the child fighting to survive. The reason I do these things is because cancer affects the rest of our lives. The flashbacks will always be there, the grief, the pain of living without Harry. They don't go away, regardless of how hard we try. So I figure I might as well use our experience to educate and help others. Most of all it keeps Harry's memory alive. Harry though not on this earth anymore, through me, can still make a difference!