We have been invited to the Hospice's Children's Day! Or rather the Cherub has. Yes, the hospice has a memorial day each year, when they commemorate those who have passed through their doors, and onwards, leaving kids behind.
A fun event indeed.
I've checked that (i) there will be other teenagers there, and (ii) that yes, it was parent they lost**
And I've thought hard about this. On the one hand, why upset the the Cherub? Why not let him carry on as he is? not mentioning his dad, avoiding places they went together, and pretending it hasn't happened.... W himself specifically did not want me dragging the kid to visit his grave. Well sorry W, you didn't get a grave...
So we're off for a morning of making of commemorative picture frames, sand memory bottles and dream catchers.
Before leaving we have to choose a picture of W that the Cherub can use. This is the start of the tears. Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing? Hell's teeth, how am I supposed to know??? I'm on my own here.. I'm ad libbing you know. But the Cherub is emphatic that he doesn't want to remember his dad as "this old wheezing guy.. one of the NHS's failures..."
I reassure him that we're going to find a photo of him looking like the good-looking, cool guy he really was..
And that's just the start of it.
The event is being run by Wee Mary. Remember Wee Mary? The Social Worker that W hated? The one he walked out of meetings with??? The one.. well the one that I personally can't see the point of either....except well I had more time to suffer fools than he had.
Dealing with the living as opposed to the terminally ill, Wee Mary is in her element. As a dog, Ned is Not Admitted. Wee Mary has to put up with animals when they belong to patients; without this compassion problem, She can Make Her Own Rules.
As late arrivals the Cherub and I need to sit in our allotted seats, i.e. not the ones we were already sitting in. Can we make sure we are wearing our name badges, can we hurry and finish as we are starting the next activity; no the Cherub cannot have a second piece of shortbread..
Throughout the morning I am having trouble with the constant old lady fussiness of the woman. We are chemical opposites and there's nothing I can do about it. And yet, and yet, and yet, how else better to remember W's spirit? If he's here, he's feeling my exasperation.
Again the Cherub has his own unique take on the situation, "Maybe if we didn't have to be different all the time, we wouldn't have such bad luck"
Well he can talk the talk that boy - but he can't walk the wal. Check out his memory jar with the message "You never could beat me at Timesplitters LOL"
**Obviously a granny or grandpa can be no fun to lose either, but sorry, it's not the same as a parent.