by KAT PLINT
It’s that time of year again, shitty December.
I really do loathe December.
We used to call it the party month.
My beautiful daughter Hannah’s birthday on the tenth, leading into a massive swell of parties for her little friends, and for us, then of course came Christmas.
Hannah was the Party Queen. Her very first party was on the 26th December 2004, only three weeks old and she was awake the WHOLE time and never took her eyes off Uncle Damien.
As she grew older, Hannah’s attitude to parties was: eat lots of smarties, drink lots of bubbles and crash out on mum and dad’s bed in a state of deliriously happy exhaustion.
“Imagine” wrote John Lennon. I do. I often try and imagine what Hannah would look like now, what she would be like at a party, how she would act, how much she would have learned.
We lost Hannah on 4 October 2007 to drowning, in our deck built enclosed pool. Even though the pool was fenced and the fence was locked, our clever little bugger opened it whilst standing on a chair.
She drowned silently, whilst I changed a nappy on her baby brother; ending her life with one fateful decision to be a big girl and swim alone. Left to die alone because I failed to supervise her properly for those few short minutes. My eyes failed her, my CPR failed her and her newly learned swimming skills failed her too.
I read her death certificate often, just in case it’s a dream.
That downhill screamer. Kind of like a hangover that won’t go away but you haven’t touched a drop of alcohol. The constant pain in my head, the loneliness in my aching heart. Every shop I enter – filled with its Christmas cheer – I just want to yell and scream. December, is the month that brings my usual feeling of being One Less Than Whole, solidly to the surface and I am unable to ignore it.