Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Remembering Paula

It hardly seems possible that ten whole years have passed since my dear childhood friend Paula lost her fight with cancer, just months after giving birth to miracle baby, David. Today is the 10th anniversary of her death, and I have been honouring her memory in my own way - thinking about times we shared, playing music we liked and talking to other people who knew and loved her. Last night, reading my sad diary entries from that terrible time in 1999, all the grief and heartache came flooding back. Even up to the very end, she was such a forceful presence; sometimes I still can't really believe that she's gone.

Today I have been trying to focus on happy memories, as I know she would have wanted. Some of my fondest childhood recollections are of being with Paula and Natalie - at Guides and in St Philip's church choir together, running around playing games of (and swooning over) Robin Hood (Michael Praed* era of course), making up stupid stories, giggling in the cinema and generally perpetuating The Madness. One time I particularly remember was when Paula and I camped out in her back garden and were terrified by rustling noises outside the tent in the middle of the night. Taking various kitchen implements as weapons for self defence on the second night, we later disovered that our tormentors were nothing more than a couple of inquisitive hedgehogs. It became a longstanding joke between us ever after.

In what was otherwise a retrospective and somewhat melancholy day, I was delighted to receive from baby David's father some recent photos of his and Paula's now strapping 10 year old boy this evening. Seeing her unique spark twinkling on in his eyes brings immense comfort - she would have been so proud to have seen how wonderfully her little boy turned out, against all the odds.

*The copy on this website is genius

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