A very little figure on the screen but such a massive number. Well a massive number if you put it in the context of life experience.
*****WARNING: THIS IS NOT A COMEDY POST*****
You see, this is the thing with life. You sort of go along and you know what you know and don't think too much about what you don't, and you kind of hope you sort of know where you're going and then..... And then? KABOOM it may just all take a very different turn and before you know it you're lying staring at the polystyrene ceiling tiles of the local hospital, listening to the beeps that are keeping you alive and wondering where on earth your baby is.
Death really is the last taboo but however you imagine (or try not to imagine) it, you kind of don't really suspect that it will over take you at 2.30pm on a random rainy Tuesday afternoon.
In THEORY we all know that 'anything' could be around the corner. We say that we are so lucky for what we have and that we must be grateful for what we've got and that 'life is so fragile' but (and it's a big but) it is one thing to acknowledge these things - it is another to live the reality. If you live the reality (as some of you have) then you have to realise that it is Ok not to be brave some times. It is OK to say 'this bloody hurts' and it is Ok to have a damn good cry. It is OK to get angry and to get upset and to get pretty bloody pissed off about it all. I'm not sure if it's OK to stand in the middle of Tesco's and cry very hard - but I've done it, and I doubt I'm the first (or the last).
Because if we didn't feel it then we would be denying it and if we deny it then we don't really give it the magnitude it deserves. And if you touch death - if you touch it so closely that you can feel it and you feel like you know what it would be like to leave all this behind - then you also touch life. And if you touch life then you know that it is here for the living and for all the ghosts and shadows that haunt you, you will live it in a different way. A way which, eventually, is bigger, brighter and, in my humble opinion, richer.
It just kind of sucks when the day that brings it all home, in the sharpest aspect possible, is your little boy's birthday.
But I want this to be a celebration - a celebration that encompasses the very spirit of this blog (i.e. my life) in that, however hard it gets, there is still funny stuff in there and it all just knits together to form the tapestry of a truly wonderful life.
If you have hope and you have courage then you have a future.
So I ask you to raise a glass of whatever you've got to hand and be thankful for the good stuff, however hard it is to find. Tomorrow is one more day I nearly never had and it's a day I get to spend with the baby I nearly never got to hold (just remind me of that the next time he's throwing cucumbers at old men in Tesco and screeching DOWN DOWN DOWN......).
I love you son No. 2. You were nearly the end but in fact you were the very beginning.
(Sorry about all that - I think I needed a bit of therapy - normal service resumes shortly when I tell you what happens when a 4 year old drops a maxi-size bottle of Lambrini on your foot in the middle of Tesco...... best go now, I've got to ice an Iggle Piggle cake......).