How is it that one 80’s love song played on the radio, whilst I am driving in the car can make me burst into tears, taking me right back to the physical heart-break of losing Darrell. Peter Cetera I am looking at you here. I was driving happily along the M3 motorway watching the glorious waterfalls cascading down our Table Mountain when the said song brought buckets of tears falling from my eyes.
This week was always going to be a sad one. There are certain days of the year that I just dread. When you lose a loved one, days that used to be celebratory days become much dreaded marks on the calendar. I get really run down and stressed in the run up to them. On Saturday 17 June Darrell should have been turning 42. We were thinking of ways to celebrate his 40th birthday, as he was 8 weeks short of that monumental milestone when he tragically died. Darrell did not like a big thing made about his birthday, but as it was his 40th he had decided we must mark the occasion. And we were both quite excited about it. We were exactly where we wanted to be in life. We were more in love than ever, Darrell was at the top of his career, the chief pilot for a huge firm, we had moved into our dream home and had had a bonny baby boy. Our life was really good.
Darrell’s birthday is followed by Fathers Day on Sunday. As wrong as it is, I find it so hard to celebrate with my own dad, as I know what a special day this would have been for Darrell. We finally got our beautiful little miracle baby, the one we had been praying for and now Darrell will not be there to see him grow into the man we had hoped and dreamed he would become. A man just like his father, I hope. Darrell never got to lie in bed while Elijah and I serve him breakfast on a tray with home-made cards declaring our love for him. He never even got to hear Elijah say Daddy.
On Saturday I plan to celebrate Darrell’s life with Elijah, we will sing and eat cake. And I will take the time with Elijah to show him much cherished photos of his father and tell him what a good daddy he was and how much he loved his little boy. I want to start some kind of tradition that Elijah and I do each year but I honestly do not have a clear enough mind to think what that should be. I do not want to just pretend it is just another day. As hard as it is, I want to own the day, make a big deal about it. It is a day to celebrate. To celebrate Darrell. Elijah and Darrell’s close family deserve that. It is after all, the day this great hero of a man was born.
I am also doing a little bit of decorating in my house. Even though Darrell was such a manly man, hero, helicopter pilot who loved to build things he absolutely loved design and decorating! And so I am doing my room up in memory of him. Remaking a room we had done together in Tulbagh here in my Cape Town home. Trying to recreate a little of the style we had there and incorporating a few things Darrell had bought and we had not gotten around to using yet. Pushing my trolley down the aisle at Builders Warehouse (Darrell’s favorites shop next to Game) took me back to those moments of shopping excitedly with him while we were doing up one of our two homes. I really felt Darrell would be proud of me in that moment in such a manly environment getting on with it.
On Sunday I will probably just lie in bed with the covers over my head until all the Father’s Day hype dies down, well as much as a two-year old will allow me too! And then I shall feel privileged to be able to cook my lovely father a roast lunch.