Saturday, 1 June 2013

Balloons for Nanna

A few months ago Belle asked if we could send a message up to heaven attached to a balloon for Nanna. In that moment I caught my breath and swallowed back the lump that formed in my throat. “Of course we can sweetheart”. The loss of my Mum in Belle’s life has been huge. My Mum made a real effort to be an important part of her life. She wasn’t able to do the same for Tink, but Belle was the longed for grandchild as well as the longed for child. The hole that has been left for both Belle and I is therefore huge. It’s fair to say that when you lose someone so close the pain doesn’t get easier, you just learn to deal with their absence in your life. It’s the most surreal feeling at times. There really is a part of my brain that refuses to accept that she has gone forever. Maybe it’s nature’s way of protecting us; I don’t know.


The weather has been rubbish recently; rain, rain and more blooming rain ! So organising a message to heaven on a balloon has not been the best idea, until last Sunday. At last we knew we were in for some dry, if not sunny weather so I told Belle that the balloon for Nanna idea was happening. Her little face said it all. Excitement, shock that it was finally possible, and then the tears came. They catch me off guard when they come. They normally surface at bedtime. It’s obviously a time when many children feel the need to offload. We chatted about Nanna, how Belle was feeling and I promised her that her wish would happen that Sunday.


On Saturday I asked Belle to write her note to Nanna and whilst in town I bought 2 balloons; one for Nanna (with “Love and Hugs” on it) and one in pink for all those we know who have battled cancer and pulled through, those still battling and those who have sadly lost their fight. This balloon was also for the bloggers I have come to know recently who are going through difficult times right now; Jennie and her family from Edspire who recently lost their beautiful baby girl, Matilda Mae, for Emma of Crazy with Twins who is doing amazingly well coming through her radiation therapy for thyroid cancer, for Karen of Woman, Wife, Mum whose family are coping with homelessness as a family of 5 (one of their children also has learning difficulties) and also for Rachel of Mummy Glitzer and her family who are facing a similar situation. This balloon was for all of you too. It signified love, hope and future joy.

I brought the balloons home and Belle was very protective over hers for Nanna. We had to make sure it was kept very safe and away from Tink’s mischievous hands. We assured her that it wouldn’t pop but if it did I knew the shop was open first thing just in case.


So Sunday arrived and we went off to Nanna’s woods. Back in September last year we had kept some of my Mum’s ashes to scatter near to where we live. We found a lovely local wood and the perfect circle of trees where we laid those ashes to rest. It was a truly beautiful tribute to her. We revisited this place on Sunday with some frushias which were one of my Mum’s favourite flowers. The girls scattered them around one of the trees. It’s very interesting to see how differently children do things. As an adult I would have placed them down in one bunch. I suppose it’s my conditioning. The girls however, placed them in a circle around the tree. They looked beautiful. We also found the crystal we had left there for Nanna too. Some things do remain sacred. It made us all smile. 


It was then time to send Belle’s message up to Nanna. We decided to tie both balloons to the message and we were glad we did as it was the pink one that did the leg work and carried Nanna’s balloon and it’s message up to heaven. Love, hope and joy did the hard work so that Nanna could be honoured. Beautiful !

Belle got the giggles as we had several gusts of wind which almost made us lose our balloons. But once it had all died down we set them free and watched as they flew up, up and off to heaven. It was a magical moment and I could tell that Belle felt so much better for it.


We then carried on walking through our woods, we stopped at our special bench and the girls played happily in the dappled sun. It was a lovely morning. We went to the stream that runs through the wood and the girls were able to skim stones, or throw stones in Tink’s case ! It was lovely to be out as a family, in the sunshine, feeling close to Nanna and also thinking of all the special people we care about. It was a time for me to reflect on the past 19 months too.

We came back home with lighter hearts, clear heads from the fresh air and a lovely glow from the sunshine. What could be better? And in that moment I’d felt Mum close by, with us, smiling and watching her beautiful granddaughters playing in her woods. It was a special moment; one for the memory bank, our balloons for Nanna xx

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20 comments:

  1. A lovely mention for some wonderful people all at a difficult life stage. Those woods look so inviting and a great place for a country walk to release your balloons.

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    1. Hi Fiona - The woods are lovely and I thought about linking this one up to Country Kids however, I have another post for that which I'm posting today xx Hope you are well lovely xx

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  2. I am very touched by the mention. Xx

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    1. Aww Karen, I think of you and your beautiful family often. It was a way of us thinking, honouring and sending out hope for those we know and love. I truly hope you guys are ok. Much love xx

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  3. Oh thank you for thinking of me too.

    We often send balloons up for my mum, who sadly passed away before Harry was born but I talk to him lots about her and he recognises pictures of her.

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    1. Hi Rachel. You are so welcome xx I love the fact you send balloons up for your Mum too. Somehow it feels that we can get a message to her and feel closer to her. I always wish Tink had known her for longer than 8 months - I imagine you feel that with Harry too xx

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  4. Thankyou for thinking of me, that's very sweet. I wish I could put Cancer in a balloon and send it away from earth.

    A beautiful idea for your children to deal with their grief. I cannot imagine the pain of that grief you must be dealing with. I hope the balloon message helped. Big virtual hugs to you. Xxx

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    1. Hi Lovely Emma xx I hope you are feeling good and not too tired from your treatment. Cancer doesn't seem to have any rhyme or reason does it. We thought my Mum could fight hers but after 6 months she lost her fight. I'm just over the moon that you can cuddle your babies sooner than you thought. So happy for you. Much love xx

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  5. This is an absolutely gorgeous idea. What a lovely post - so good that you were able to celebrate Nanna's life in this way, and include others in your thoughts and memories, too. A truly generous-hearted gesture.

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    1. Hi Nell - It was all Belle's idea too. She worries about how Nanna is in heaven so this was a way that she could tell her and also tell her she loved her lots too. Her message for Nanna was really beautiful. And it felt so right to let the other balloon go up for others. We know so many people touched by cancer in some way and since blogging I have come to know and care about many fellow bloggers going through tough times. I know how I've felt these past couple of years, so it's a way of sending out love and hope for everyone xx

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  6. What a lovely post!! So touching!!

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    1. Hi Kim xx Thank you and so glad you enjoyed it. It was a beautiful day in more ways than one xx

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  7. Oh Charlie, what a beautiful post. Brought tears to my eyes. You Mum was there with you all every step I'm sure. Such a lovely idea and wonderful that you documented it for Belle later in life. You are a truly kind-hearted person including others in you special moment - the world need more people like you! xx

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    1. Hi Lovely Xandi xx Aww you are so sweet - thank you. I'm one of those people who wears her heart on her sleeve I suppose. And I mean every word I write too. It's not forced, it's truly heart-felt. Thanks for stopping by. Much love xx

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  8. This post really touched me, how lovely. I'm so sorry you have to go through this but you have some truly wonderful ways to remember a very special lady x

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    1. Hi Hannah xx She was indeed a very special lady and her absence is not easy to accept but I know that she is helping me to grow as a person as well as a parent to my girls. I'm sure she would be very proud xx

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  9. Charlie, this gave me goosebumps and brought tears to the eyes. What a wonderful, wonderful idea and how lovely that you thought of the other bloggers in difficulty too. If I ever need to deal with grief for Grace, I will certainly be doing this. Thank for linking to PoCoLo and S2S2D xx

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    1. Hey Gorgeous Vicky xx Dealing with Belle's grief over her Nanna has been very difficult for me at times. I've really not known how to help her at times. She did Play Therapy which helped hugely but just talking about her feelings has been the best thing. It was all her idea and came from no where really. She is such a deep soul and it truly was a beautiful thing for us all to do. Those woods now hold huge significance for us and if we need to be close to Mum, then that's where we go. Much love to you lovely xx

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  10. oh Charlie, this is truly truly beautiful and grabbed me right by the heart. Grief for me is definitely the hardest emotion to deal with and I still have occasions when I can just fall apart thinking about our son. It's near the surface for me at the moment, because I keep thinking that he should have been starting school in Sept. I agree with you wholeheartedly about loss leaving a hole, the hard part for us I guess is learning how to live with the hole xx

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    1. Hi Nichola - Thank you for your lovely message xx I know from reading your blog how hard losing your son was and I can only begin to understand the feelings you must have right now knowing he would have been starting school this September. I suppose the one thing we can hold onto is that some day we will all meet up again. I truly believe that. I can't believe there is nothing more beyond this veil. He watches over you I'm sure. Sending you a big hug and thanks for stopping by from #S2S2D xx

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