It came at me like a roller coaster but it only felt like a whisper.

One year with out my dad. One year of not having the man who taught me about the ocean, the reason I love Jackson Browne, where I got my curls from, where my sense of humour came from, why I nickname everyone, the reason I know lord of the rings so well, the person I ask about gardening. One year with out him.

I woke early on Tuesday, like the wind had slapped me. I literally woke coughing. The sun was creeping in and I could feel the tears weighing behind my eyes. Indi woke early too, only minutes later. Which (luckily for me) is unusual. Not being at home, I went in and picked her up. She snuggled in straight away. As I brought her back to bed, Aidan woke too. Despite the heavy feeling with in, I was surrounded by love exactly when I needed it. The heavy moved back into the shadows.

It wasn’t a day for tears, for that I am thankful. It wasn’t a day for dredging up dark wet piles of grief either. It was just a day. A day that made us think fondly of a man who was our world. So I did. I smiled and loved, I lived and I was still in my moment. I was still enough to absorb the memories, to cherish what I once had.

I was determined to take dads paddle board out. The weather was looking pretty crappy though, and it Aidan was trying to convince me otherwise. Quoting disgraceful 90’s songs I told him ‘Aint nothing gonna break my stride’ I was going paddle boarding. It was happening.

My dad always said that you can always find a beach that fits the purpose, you just gotta look. He was a surfer who knew more about swell and tides and waves and wind than anyone I know (although I don’t know any weather men personally, I’m told my dad was a bit if a whiz at this stuff). True to his word, Albany handed me that beach on a silver platter.

Aidan carried the board down to the beach (have you seen the size if a paddle board? They are huge. I can’t even reach the top of the car to touch the board let alone get it down). I was totally prepared to fall off and make a giant idiot of myself. A few of the other people on the beach must have thought so too because they decided to call out a few non encouraging words. Just to make them feel bad, I didn’t fall off. And had I not been focusing hard on balancing I would have yelled back some if their not so nice things and pulled fingers as I did it. Up your bum old bitter beach goers, I totally got this shit!

Indi crawled into the water, fully clothed. Not really what we were prepared for. She also climbed up on to the board and then proceeded to dive in to the water head first off the board. All this was unassisted mind you. The kid is part mermaid. She loved the water, crawling and splashing about. Not too impressed with her salt rash though, but easily pleased once more by sitting under the tap as I washed the sand off my feet.

I feel whole again after taking the board out. Feel like I spent time with my dad. It was nice to do something that we would have done together, had he been here. Comforting almost.

So the day didn’t suck. It was nice, good, normal even. Which in itself feels weird and brings a wave of guilt. But for now that is enough. Just enough so I can hang up my big winter grief coat until I need it next.

Thank you for your kind thoughts, all received with a grateful heart.

Much love peeps xxx

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