“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”
– Washington Irving – Goodreads
From that moment on, things were never the same again. Our happy childhood, our wonderful memories in our perfect little bubble – shattered.
Dad was the fundamental thing in our lives. He was like the core that holds this fragile planet that we all live in, the central backbone of our family, like the roots that support a tree and its branches. You always hear the phrase, ‘You never know what you’ve got until its gone’. Truth is, we all knew what we had… we had a hero. Dad was our hero. Always there, no matter what.
I always remember a time when I was 10, where one of my goldfish in the tank had become trapped in a cracked pot feature which stood in the middle of the tank. I screamed and panicked and thought he was going to die. Dad rushed up the stairs and said, ‘Don’t worry love, I will get him out’. ‘Please hurry!’ I panicked. He emptied some of the water into a bowl and told me to run the bath with cold water. He carefully held the trapped fish in his hands and rushed to the bathroom and quickly placed him in the water. He then came back with a small hammer. ‘ Dad, what are you doing?’ He would never hurt any living creature – but the idea of a hammer even made me slightly nervous. He put it in the water and started to gently bang on the pot. The pressure of the water and the banging managed to crack open the pot with little effort and he finally got out! I hugged him so tightly. ‘ Thank you daddy!’ I cried. ‘You’re the best’.
I wasn’t a particularly strong person. But I suppose, thinking about it, maybe I didn’t need to be because I already had two strong people. By then, I realised even the most strongest people have their weaknesses. It was now my turn to be strong, to be there for our mum. Max, James and I sat down beside her and held her long into the night.
January 28th 2006, the nightmare will always haunt us..for the rest of our lives.