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Aaron’s memorial was on a Tuesday, the following Sunday happened to be Mother’s Day. Since all our family was together for the first time in years we decided to get together and celebrate mum’s day in a local park for a BBQ.
The weather was perfect and we had a 100% attendance. The mood was light and cheery, a big weight had been taken off all our shoulders as the memorial and burial weighed heavily on our hearts.
It was nice to be outdoors in the sunshine, the little ones feeding the ducks by the pond. Plenty of food and drink and more happy faces and laughing than what I expected. It had been so long since I have witnessed all my children together of all ages the eldest being about thirty-six and the youngest eleven. The grandchildren mingling with their aunts and uncles some of who were the same age gave me a feeling of joy and pride I hadn’t experienced for such a long time. It was a great day.
A regular occurrence at our past family gatherings was full on sport or games. Touch football, cricket, baseball, soccer, capture the flag etc,with all getting involved. This day was no different.
I was right in the thick of it pushing, shoving, yelping, hollering, shouting, cheering. I usually had to relinquish my competitive sportsman like in your face hands on participation for the referees whistle keeping the peace and making sure that everyone went home in one piece. An overly competitive family thanks to me.
The only wave of sadness came on me when everyone was running around laughing, yelling, arguing, teasing, pushing and high fives going every which way.
This is where Aaron thrived. In the middle of all the action. Actually he was the one who instigated getting us all out of our lounge chairs and on the playing field no matter where we were or how many we had. He usually started most arguments too.
I was never so proud of my family watching from the sidelines each one touched by Aaron’s death in their own special way but putting aside their grief to just have fun. Soon we would all return to our respective homes and have to deal more personally on the events of the week.
But not this day. This day was special.
As the “games” and pent-up energy was released on the playing fields and as the sun was about to set, Before packing up one of my girls suggested to everyone, “why don’t we make this our annual family day. We don’t get together like this too often any more, most of us have our own families now and Christmas is no longer our family get together. Why don’t we make this time each year our Special Family Day, Aaron’s day.”
Hence the beginning our yearly get together. It has become our special day. We get together, we eat, we drink we play games. We talk, we catch up, we hug and laugh together. We shed a tear or two, maybe more but very rarely mention Aaron. We don’t have too. We know why we get together each year. We’re family and Aaron is here with us each time we get together because he lives in our hearts forever.