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The balloon that smiled - Little Legacy 21

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Alexander Residence: The balloon that smiled - Little Legacy 21

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The balloon that smiled - Little Legacy 21

It was a few minutes before my son's pirate birthday party on Sunday.  It had been an emotional morning. In this 'year of firsts' I have normally found myself hit by the absence of my mum afterwards.  With Mr G's birthday though, it hit me first thing in the morning.

I think G's life has become interwoven with memories of mum in quite different ways.  I was pregnant with him when mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour, I will never forget that phone call.  My body sank like a lead weight, yet I was acutely aware of the life inside me.  On the day I went into labour, mum had a scan which seemed clear, although we knew it was an aggressive cancer that would always come back.  Mum was too ill to come to his first or second birthday parties.

My Dad had arrived shortly before the party, there's sometimes an awkward moment, just a spilt second, in the hallway, a pause in which we still half expect mum to pop up behind him.  But, Dad had hugs, presents, chocolate coins and balloons.  He quickly raised the excitement stakes.

It was in blowing up the balloons it happened.  Dad had found them in a drawer at home.  I pulled out a yellow one, with a face on it.  Drawn by mum.  I've written about her birthday card doodling here. We smiled, I'm not at all religious or superstitious, but these little signs become hugely significant.  It felt as if she was smiling at us, telling us to enjoy the party, just like she would.  And so we did.

Little legacy is a remembrance project , a positive and creative space, to celebrate small things handed down by inspiring people.  Feel free to link up a little legacy you've been thinking about this week, or to leave one in the comments.  Here's the code and here's more on Little Legacy


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At 1 December 2011 at 11:24 , Blogger TheMadHouse said...

I am almost envious of the fact that you are handling things so well. I am in pieces at the moment. really not coping. Do you think the fact that you knew about the brain tumor made you hold on to moments like these even more. I am just so shocked at the fact that one minute I was talking to my mum on the phone and yet the next minute she must have been dead. All on her own

At 1 December 2011 at 11:29 , Blogger BavarianSojourn said...

What a lovely Little Legacy, a reminder to show you that she is still with you all. A big hug for you and for you TheMadHouse, it must be so incredibly hard. Emma xxx

At 1 December 2011 at 11:30 , Anonymous Michelloui | The American Resident said...

I haven't seen the Little Legacy project before but this post was amazing. Stragely, it makes me think less of my own mum and more about my daughter and what I may leave behind for her one day. x

At 1 December 2011 at 11:43 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Jen, I am coming to find you now x I cried as I wrote it, I certainly wasn't coping on Saturday morning either. But it is hugely therapeutic to write.
Someone told me once to keep cancer in a box, to let it out for short periods, and then return it so life can go on, little legacy is similar for me I think.
Some bits are so much harder to reconcile than others aren't they? I realised how painful the limit to which my son was involved in mum's life has been this week.
Living with a terminal illness does give you time to grieve I think, versus the shock you describe, both so very painful in different ways. I am so glad you got to speak to your mum minutes before. I read, and know, these things are hugely important to both people x

At 1 December 2011 at 11:43 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Bavarian Sojourn
Thanks for the hug x

At 1 December 2011 at 11:45 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

Thanks, I am glad, for me it is all about all the little clues, lessons and ideas mum left me. It makes me appreciate the little things, and want to keep the traditions going too :)

At 1 December 2011 at 12:24 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know my thoughts on little messages so how lovely, again made me cry. Had just left a message on twitter for you, re my next post and popped over here for some reason knowing Little Legacy on Thursday usually and it hadn't pop in my inbox yet.

Big hugs for you and Jenn too xxx

At 1 December 2011 at 14:40 , Anonymous Kez Bratt said...

I love you Penny! What a wonderful gift. xxx Better pull myself together now as year 5 need to go to the circus!!! XXX

At 1 December 2011 at 15:17 , Anonymous kate said...

You got me there with that moment with your Dad, that bit when you have to make a choice between discussing feelings or just getting on with things. Your Mum is playing lovely tricks from afar. My Mum could make a party out of nothing and you reminded me of a post I wrote in her last year when it felt like all the parties were over. May share it again later but the nice thing is the show must go on and we must make our own legacies.
Lovely post that brought tears of recognition and empathy

At 1 December 2011 at 16:28 , Blogger Kelly AKA Muuuuummy AKA The Wiffey said...

What a moving post. I can't imagine going though what you have, but I think you are so brave to draw out these little moments of comfort and write about them x

At 1 December 2011 at 21:54 , Blogger jazzygal said...

A sad, moving yet happy post. It's good to see those little messages seen in such positive light so they give comfort. Hope your boy had a lovely birthday, one that your mum would have loved :-)

xx Jazzy

At 2 December 2011 at 08:54 , Anonymous HonestMum said...

Brought me to tears. Sending you lots of love xxx

At 2 December 2011 at 14:23 , Blogger Here come the girls said...

Absolutely brilliant heartbreaking, post. Can't imagine what you have been through. Your mum sounds amazing and so wonderful to find the balloon on your sons birthday. It sounds like a film. Just shows life can be as amazing as the films sometimes.
Right off to have a little cry.

At 2 December 2011 at 14:31 , Blogger multiplemummy said...

Beautiful. You will have to make smiley balloons every birthday now and think of her. I sounds like your Mum was a lover of life and this is her reminding you that you still have your to live. She wants you to enjoy it. x


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