Two life changing events have occurred for me, during July. Every year, as July approaches, I feel my mood darkening. I can’t explain it really, but I feel the need to focus on remembering, as the month approaches. Usually, when I feel overwhelmed with memories, I’m able to compartmentalise them, and pop them to the side. But that’s just not possible for me in July, regardless of how hard I try. The sad memories of July are also entwined with happy memories, which I try my hardest to focus on.
My son, who passed away in 1995 was born on 14 July, 1977. Craig was my Bastille Day baby, born at 1.50 pm, on a very dark, stormy Friday, during a power outage. The hospital had a generator, but it wasn’t able to supply enough power to heat the entire hospital. As a result, it was freezing cold in the delivery room, and Craig turned blue immediately after being born. He was quickly sent to the premmie’s room and popped into a humidicrib. I really wish I had a photo today, of my 9lbs 12oz baby filling up every inch of that humidicrib.
My memories of Craig are very bittersweet. I feel happy and so very fortunate to have been able to have had my son for eighteen years, but then my mind turns to the sadness of losing him. It’s a very overwhelming and confusing feeling.
Unfortunately, due to our house fire, I have very few photos of Craig to show butthe photo below is one of my favourites.
My father passed away on 4 July, 2014, aged 88. At this great age, it’s not an unexpected death, but when it comes, it’s still very shocking and very sad.
My father was in hospital when I said goodbye to him, a few days before I left for the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I would be away for six weeks and I was hoping that he would recover, but I think I knew that this was my final goodbye. He was very weak when I left, but he insisted that I go, as I’d planned, and didn’t change my plans because he was ill.
Every day while I was walking the Camino, I was getting updates about Dad. It was never good news, and it came to the point about mid way, that I had to decide. If I was going to come home, I had to go immediately.
I thought long and hard, and decided to take the risk, and keep going, with fingers crossed that I would arrive home in time. I almost made it. Dad passed away just two days before the end. I arrived home two days before his funeral.
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