RIP Enrico

Today was such weird one.  It was, once again, the best of times and the worst of times.

This morning I phoned the party shop where I usually get balloons from (Birthdays in Cape Gate mall).  They know me because

1.  I am the only one of their customers who need balloons for funerals and

2.  The owner’s daughter had leukemia and we onco-parents keep a look out for each other.

I ordered 66 balloons for Enrico in assorted party colours.  One for each month of his life.  With assorted party colour strings.  Because for Enrico life was a party.  He was only 5 years old after all. 

The service was good.  Sad, but good.  I have to admit that I don’t remember much – I was too emotional.  The sight of his tiny coffin did me in completely. 

I saw Duran, the other member of the three musketeers at the service.  They drove through from Lutzville for the memorial.  He is looking so good.  It was good to see him and his family.

During the after-service tea we released the balloons.  Chris and Johanetta both chose green balloons – Enrico’s favourite colour.  A group of about 40 mourners helped with releasing the balloons.  It was a perfect, cloudless, near windless day and we could see the balloons flocking together all the way up.  The sun was glinting off the balloons and the strings.  It was a beautiful sight.  In the end we were staring at it for about 20 minutes.  It was a good 20 minutes of reminiscing. 

Deirdre (Ethan’s mom), Tania (Justin’s mom), Sylvia (Vanja’s mom) and I joined up with Iola and Sharon, the paediatric sisters that have been so good to us.  Iola has such a mother-feel about her.  We then went to visit Tania, Connor’s mom.  We had a good time laughing and chatting.  It is a strange phenomenon – when onco-people get together we rarely discuss cancer.  We have “normal” conversations.  We act normal.  We know that the cancer is there.  But it is like having a really big elephant in the room.  We know it is there.  It is taking up a lot of space after all.  But we don’t have to acknowledge it and spend time talking about it.  Talking won’t make it go away, so let’s get on with it.  It is a strange thing.

And so in one day we had sadness and rejoicing.  Good memories and sad realities.  Another day in the life of onco-living.

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3 Responses

  1. Wat ‘n pragtige gebaar. Ek sal Enrico onthou as ek nou na ‘n ballon kyk.

  2. Seems Enrico got a beautiful farewell. It cant be helped that we have to say goodbye, often too early, but it helps when you have peaceful and serene memories of the parting.

  3. What a beautiful idea. I am sure it was much appreciated.

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