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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