October 6, 2006 also fell on a Friday eleven years ago. It was an overcast day, scattered showers cloaked with deep grey cloud covering the mountain and stretching down her winding roads.
I didn’t know it. He didn’t know it. Our little boy didn’t know it but the day before would be the last time we ever spoke. Words which might have at the time, seemed routine, insignificant, normal…the same ones we so often use…words that will forever be etched in my mind.
If only we knew those would be our Last Words. We’d cram everything we possibly could into one last call. Years and years of words tightly bound into one last conversation where you’d say the most significant thing you could ever say to anyone. You’d hope and love and be grateful for all you’ve had together.
You’d say remember the time we did this, you’d say thank you for giving me a lifetime of memories to keep in my heart forever. You’d say I don’t want to do this without you. You’d say don’t go. Please don’t go…
We’d been at a restaurant in Noosa that evening, the one before blackness. Before grief. Before the end of that life. I called just like I always did. Asked him about his day, how qualifying went, how he felt about the car. Maybe we spoke about something quite mundane that I wouldn’t remember eleven years later. Then I handed the phone to our little boy. His face lit up. He so loved his daddy. ‘Hello my daddy, you go fast in the racecars? I did lots of unders in the pool today,’ he said excitedly.
Our almost-three-year-old had just mastered the art of confidently being able to jump off the side of the pool and swim under water. And he was pretty darn proud of his efforts. He chatterboxed his way through a few more possibly indistinguishable sentences before signing off with ‘loveoo my daddy’ just as he did every day. Just like he’d done the night before. Just like we thought he’d do the night after…
It’s a rule in our family, no matter what, how you’re feeling, if you’re going away for a short time or a long while. Pissed off or happy as a lizard in the sun, you tell the person on the other end that you love them. Always.
I don’t know what words were said on the other end of the phone that night and I know the 13 y o would so love with every bit of his heart to hear that last conversation, his dad’s Last Words one more time but I know what he said to his boy would almost certainly have been ‘I love you too, buddy’ because there was truly nothing he loved more.
It would be a gift, one of the most treasured, to know but we don’t. We get no warning when those we love are ripped right out from our lives so suddenly, so tragically there is no time before, only after.
Never am I reminded more of how important it is to love and to tell the people in your life how much you love them than this time of year. These three days – today, yesterday and the day before eleven years ago, I said those words so many times beside his hospital bed as he began to fade out of this world.
Today my heart is heavy with the ache of loss. I know he misses him. We all miss him. We wish we could hear those Last Words again and again and again. If only. Fly high, most beautiful soul, Didley you will be in our hearts forevermore. Lov’n’ hugs Lady MamaG xox.