This is a delicious raspberry and white chocolate cake. I made it for a friend of mine, another bereaved mother on the occasion of her daughter’s 2nd anniversary. Loaf cakes are much more transportable than sandwich cakes and this cake needed to travel in hand luggage on a warm day. Raspberries and white chocolate are a winning combination. It’s a fabulous summertime bake. This very simple recipe was taken from a wonderful food blog; http://www.kitchenfeasts.com. Do take the time to read this blogger’s story (hers isn’t for me to tell) and marvel at the recipes.
Summertime is now a season of remembrance in my new life. My dear Dad & Conor’s anniversaries fall just 10 days apart. I have been anticipating these days since the temperatures increased and the days got longer. While others are planning holidays I’m wondering how to mark these two events and anxious about the impact they will have on my wellbeing.
Dad’s first anniversary was yesterday. He died peacefully at home aged 70. It’s not just a 70 year man old I miss. There’s a 30 something man rescuing me from the top of the climbing frame I wasn’t supposed to climb. There’s a 40 something man driving a nervous me and my bags off to University. There’s a 50 something man letting me drive his car for the first time. There’s a 60 something man coming to stay for DIY holidays. I am grateful for every memory I have of Dad and I. Yesterday I decided to spend the day doing what Dad might do if he was still here. When staying with me Dad liked to take off for the day with a train ticket and the Irish Times newspaper. He would complete the crossword over a pint. So this is how Conor’s Daddy and I spent the day remembering and celebrating Dad. I only wish I had inherited Dad’s crossword ability.
Conor’s 2nd anniversary is just days away. While it’s a baby we buried, I now miss the two year old who should be playing around my feet. Conor is ageing with me and I will forever miss the boy, the teenager and the man who should be. The circumstances around Conor’s death make his anniversary more complicated. Conor died 3 days before he was born. Everything about it is upside down. Are we marking a birthday or an anniversary? I find myself using both words to mean the same thing. Conor’s life was short but it’s impact on our lives is as big as the universe. A Mother’s love for her child lives on even after death. By marking Conor’s anniversary we get the chance to extend Conor’s presence in our lives and create new memories. This year my amazing sister (Conor’s Fairy Godmother) is coming to stay. We will join other close family members (Conor’s grandparents, Aunties and Uncles) at his grave to reflect. We will visit the beach where we brought him in his little coffin on the day of his funeral. We will write his name in the sand, a tradition his family and others have followed (thank you to all of you who continue to send us photos). Then, like at any birthday, we’ll have cake.
Conor and my Dear Dad are in my thoughts every day. Conor’s life and death has changed me forever. Anniversaries occur just once a year but the build up to them is difficult. There’s a fear that time is slipping further away from the days spent with our loved ones. There’s a repeat of “this time 1 year/2 years ago” thoughts. There’s a sense of injustice. It should be a kiddies party being planned for Conor. I sometimes feel a pressure from others that I should have moved on by now. I will continue to keep moving forward (accepting there will be times when I feel like I’m going backwards) but I will never move on. I will embrace these days as the chance to remember and celebrate those who live on in our hearts.