Its been a year today since we lost Shanean. The intensity and frantic pace of looking after someone when they were so sick instantly goes away and then there is little left to do but shake your head and wonder how this could have happened.
The kids are doing fine - from a practical perspective anyway - but no matter how much you are told of children's resilience and that "they will be fine" - they lost their mother and that will be something that is missing for the rest of their lives. Shanean spoke of the "label" that they will wear forever and I now know what she meant. Celeste still cries for her mummy to this day and Joel still asks to go to the hospital to visit mummy, but the frequency and intensity is less so as it becomes part of their life and who they are
Celeste started school this year, Joel is finally out of nappies (but still doesnt eat anything), they are learning to swim and Celeste has broken all the rules of the Salter genetic code and come second place at her school athletics carnival. The little things where you dont feel sorry for yourself for their mummy not being here - you just feel sorry for mummy for not being there
The sad, traumatic memories eventually give way to happy memories and routine kicks in and life goes on. The panic of the thought of raising a teenage girl as a single daddy and wondering if the kids will run off the rails gives way to learning how to braid hair, ironing school uniforms and going to mothers day morning teas at school.
At the end of the day, these anniversaries are just another day. The one year today is the same as her birthday, the kids birthdays, my birthday, mothers day, fathers day and every other day. We miss Shanean every day, we miss mummy every day and so do all the friends and family around the world. There has to soon be a connection made by science to discover why is it all the beautiful, strong, caring, brave, considerate, positive, calm and just lovely people have to die so young
So on this day, as me and the kids sit in Shanean's house where she grew up in South Africa, awake since 4.00am from jetlag surrounded by her family that are the reason why she was the person she was, we will raise a beer, apple juice and bottle and toast our mummy.
And knowing this household there will be muuuch more than one toast to mummy today
Nee, I am just trying to make you proud everyday, I will only do half as good a job as you, but its a million times better than I would have been able to do without your mentoring. So thankyou