Today is your 30th birthday, Sally, and we should be planning to celebrate it with you. We so wish that you were here with us and as on previous birthdays, we could share the enjoyment of opening your presents, having planned the theme for your cake. Your 21st Birthday challenge was the “boxing ring”, not easy, admittedly, but a poignant memory.
I reflect back to the day you were born, a freezing cold January day, when your arrival was briefly delayed due to the weather and the fact that the anaesthetist’s car had broken down. I remember waking up from the anaesthetic and seeing a cot containing a small pink bundle. No words can describe my utter delight to discover that I did indeed have a daughter. A son and a daughter, was more than we could ever have hoped for. It was just perfect!
I look back at your life and all the pleasure you gave us watching you grow and develop. Your determination was apparent from a very early age and reflected in the measure of what you achieved, academically, musically, in badminton, ice hockey and boxing and so much more. I think your love of sport and gritty determination were evident at a very early age and were reflected in the indignation you conveyed to your head teacher having been told that girls could not join the cricket team. Needless to say you were the first and only girl member of the team that year. Similarly, you were undeterred years later when your desire to join an ice hockey team had the potential to be scuppered by your limited skating skills. Months and much practice later, predictably, you joined a team.
So many precious memories, Sal, and so much that I miss about you every single day. I miss your sense of humour, the laughter we shared, the disagreements, good times, bad times and those unremarkable times in between. All of them precious in their own way, those memories linger on.
The years cycle round, Sally, but the pain of losing you and the gaping chasm left behind can never be assuaged. Grief is the price of love and our love for you will never falter.