Then she would help me with Poppy's birthday party two days later, blowing up balloons, making marshmallow Top Hats, clearing up exhuberant princess spills and smiling at the mess a bunch of toddlers can make. Poppy will be four, and tomorrow's Princess Party (very important distinction!) will be her first without Nanna. Every 'first' cuts like the first cut - her stroke. A body blow, painful and bruising. The memory of last year so sharp, it cuts into the wound afresh.
But. Among all the firsts, there is also a comforting constant. The next day after Poppy, it's my Hubby's birthday. (May is the triple wammy!). He may be the one celebrating, blowing out candles and getting birthday cuddles, but I am the one that is lucky. I am the one with the best present of all....him. He looks after me, quietly, dilligently, without fuss. I've noticed him staying an extra 5 minutes in the morning even though I know he is so pressured at work, just to help me out because I'm struggling. He holds my hand in the dark of the night. He tells me dinner is gorgeous even if it looks like a bowl of cat food (lentil roast is not my forte). He doesn't take lunch so he can come home early on Monday to let me out to pilates, and never complains. He loves me. Simply and beautifully.
So I'd like to add a bit to my previous post - the sandwich filling. I am the filling. My girls and my mum are the bread. But he is the relish. He is the flavour. He is the part that makes it all worth while. Happy birthday hubby.