Here we are again another year gone and another year of creating memories that don't include a very special member of the family.
The 9th of February seems like such an innocuous date, a non date really and to most it is but not in our house. It's a day I would ideally like to pass me by but then that would mean forgetting and I'm afraid that will never happen.
If I ask anyone if they can remember the events of the 9th February 2007 I'll bet they cannot remember, like any of us really but for me that will never be the case. It's the day I want to have never happened. I can tell you in chilling detail the timeline of that day, it's etched on my memory forever.
This time of year I try not to be any different, I don't want to be a misery sinking into a black mood whenever February dawns its head and I think to all intents and purposes I don't do too bad really. It's things that catch me when I least expect it.
Last week Ian and me had a rarity in that we had the telly to ourselves and finding that there was little watch, typically, I told him to tune into 24 Hours in A&E.
A programme I have watched numerous times without a hitch...not this time.
It started with a shot of an ambulance pulling up to A&E and a paramedic climbing out the back with a toddler in her arms and that was me gone. Nothing prepares you for the stark reminder and the heartache that all comes flooding back at a snapshot that reminds you so much of your own experience on the worst day of your life. The little floppy leg hanging over the arm of a paramedic, that's an image that's in my head forever but sadly for us our ending wasn't the happy one of the family on the programme.
It's silly to say not to watch programmes like this, as my amazing friend always says it's like a scab you can't not pick at. It's not because I want to hurt myself, I merely want to know I'm not the only one, to see what it feels like for others and to know how I feel and react isn't out of the norm. I'm not sure that makes any sense really!
We don't make a big deal of the 9th we let it pass quietly in our own way, I don't want the boys to be cautious of the date. We go for tea together, light a candle, enjoy family time. The worst thing? Choosing flowers!
I hate it, a task I loathe with a passion, not because I hate flowers but because I want to buy him new shoes, loads of Lego, a video game, football boots, anything but bloody flowers!
We do our bit to celebrate Alexander at The Ball that's his day, not the day he left us because that's too sad and well it hurts too much if I'm honest. What better way to celebrate a life short lived than by having a massive party?
So light a candle, say a prayer, take a minute please to think of a life short lived and the legacy of a bright as a button baby boy ripped from his family far too soon. My heart aches for the boys who will never grow up but I hope wherever he may be he is proud of what we have achieved in his name.
8 years gone in the blink of an eye
8 years without a hug or a kiss
8 years not knowing why
8 years and counting ...
The sadness is unbearable
Alexander Robert Richardson
24/09/05 - 09/02/07