As we departed for our fully catered, family holiday provided for us by the NI Cancer Fund For Children, my eldest was reading through our confirmation letter and said “It’s for a party of five.”
I got really worried and said “But there’s six of us.”
She corrected me and said “No mum, there’s only five.”
I said again, getting more stressed “No, there’s six of us.”
Very patiently she repeated “Mum, there’s only five of us.”
Sadly and slowly I realised that she was right – we used to be six, but since Thursday 16th January 2014, we’ve become a “party of five“.
Oddly enough, we had this debate sitting strapped into a 5 seater car – the mind is a strange thing – especially in times of grief.
I’ve been really looking forward to our family holiday at Daisy Lodge in Newcastle, Co Down. It’s been completely rebuilt and I knew that it would be absolutely beautiful and located in stunning surroundings.
In my naivety I didn’t anticipate the emotional affect of being in such a place though. As soon as we arrived and I saw how well the whole place was kitted out to make our stay as pleasant as possible, it hit me like a ton of bricks – the only reason we were in this incredible accommodation was because we’ve had a child with a cancer diagnosis.
We had somehow joined that exclusive club that nobody ever wants to belong to. Right in that moment I knew I wanted to resign.
But it was too late, the diagnosis train that we had boarded in 2013 had already carried us to it’s final destination, without ever giving us the option of disembarking.
Many kind people have fundraised and worked hard, to build this amazing place, to sweeten this journey, for those of us who have no choice, but to travel this road.
For that I am truly thankful.