Tomorrow Robin would have been 41. But he will never grow old, get bald, wrinkly or face failing health. Forever frozen in time at 33, that's how I will always remember him. I do have lots of wonderful memories which I do share with my daughter as and when so she can build up a picture of her Dad. But it takes a fair old effort to not feel sad and dwell on what we've lost every time some memorable date arrives.
We have developed a bit of a tradition where we put on some of Daddies music and have a dance around the living room. We will also light a candle and have a quiet chat about it all. Last year, for Robin's 40th we met up with his mum and sister, and his best friend Matt and his family, and we launched a rocket I'd bought him many years ago that had never been used. It was a really warm day and we had a lovely pub lunch in the sunshine before heading to a quite spot. Thank goodness Matt was there as the rocket launch was definitely a boy thing - but the kids loved it too - and it went so high we could imagine that Daddy might well have seen it. This year it's still cold and wintry - no sitting outside pubs in the sunshine this year, but we will remember him in our own way.
When you loose someone - you don't just have Birthday's and Christmas to remember - there's that horrible day every year when you relive the loss. However much you try to ignore it, you can't. That date will always be there. There was a year I was so busy with toddler Sophie that I had missed the fact that it was that terrible anniversary. Until a friend texted to send her wishes. We were out at the shops and it felt like the floor fell away. I haven't forgotten since. In a way by paying attention to the dates you are better prepared for what's coming. Like the old adage - forewarned is forearmed! It helps to prepare - like taking a deep breath to prepare for any daunting task.
And it doesn't end there. There is Valentine's day, Mother's day, Father's day, school holiday's, family Birthday's and all sorts of other anniversaries. Then there's every time Sophie achieves something new - swimming badges, awards at school, learning to roller skate, ride a bike and all the rest. All of these dates and anniversaries bring home the fact that Robin is not with us, where he should be. It takes every ounce of control I have to get through a school play in one piece. Robin should be there to see all these things. Why should my lovely girl have to grow up without her Dad being there to watch her plays and help her ride her bike?
And why should I have to face every noteable date alone?
As hard as it is though, you have to try to remember the good times; to celebrate the life that was, rather than mourn the one that was lost. So tomorrow we will talk about Daddy and the things he liked. We will dance like idiots around the living room to The Cure. We will light a candle and say a prayer. We will celebrate the good man that Robin was, and who we miss so terribly.
It has been nearly 7.5 years since Robin died, sometimes it seems like yesterday, sometimes it feels like it was a different lifetime. But we will always remember him and send him our love as we celebrate his Birthday.
Happy Birthday Robin - 33 again xxx