By ADRIENNE PORTER
I remember exactly where I was on Friday, October 6 2006. I could tell you everything about that day piece-by-piece. Painting my toenails Chanel ‘coral’. Reading a gossip magazine. My pink and white bikini strapped under my shoulders so I wouldn’t get strap marks….
This picture was taken on that very same day.
My now eight-year-old was just two-and-a-half in that photo. Look how happy he is. Look at that cheeky little smile. Look at the chocolate smeared all over his face. He is a typical toddler.
Chubby little squishy arms, rounded cheeks and his too-long fringe tickling at his eyelashes. He is young, innocent and sweet. Just like a little boy should be. He is also utterly oblivious to the world of horror unfolding thousands of kilometers away in Sydney’s Blue Mountains.
This week will mark the sixth anniversary since we tragically lost his Daddy. So I get shivers when I look at this picture. Why? Because I wish I could protect him from a world of pain and sorrow that comes next. And yet, I am glad that on the worst day of both of our lives…he was happy.
My little boy is not in the ICU unit of the RPA hospital watching his Daddy hooked up to machines helping his heart to beat, his lungs to breathe. He is not surrounded by people we know and love, all praying that his Daddy will come out of his coma. He doesn’t have to watch as his Mummy keeps a bedside vigil, hoping and praying with each passing hour that the broken man beside her will open his eyes. He won’t have to hear the screams and cries as the doctor’s tell Mummy it’s just no good; he’s not coming back.
My boy was too young to remember that day. Not even old enough to go to school, or to ride a bike. And sure not old enough to understand that his Daddy was never coming home. Ever. It was my job to protect him from harm, from grief and from sadness.