It has been ridiculously busy here for the past little while. Sick children, celebrations, painful legal bits and pieces and stressed out small child begging "Mummy not go more meetings". Today I sent both girls to school secure in the knowledge that I, and only I, will be here when they get home. This is needed. This afternoon I shall be up to my elbows in puzzle pieces, dealing with bogeys, encouraging a reluctant one to eat. But for now, just for now, I have a two hour window of peace. Time to process the last few days.
And with the time comes thoughts - and now I need to remember Goldie. I need to remember the girl I knew, the child I loved, bring back memories of the years she lived with me, concentrate on the joy not the atrocities of her last few days.
I remember the first time I met her. She was living in a Children's Home, and as I sat in a formal meeting room she was wheeled in to me. I had been caring for much smaller children, so at 11 she looked huge to me. She sat in her wheelchair, grabbed my hand, and asked me to "Sing a Rainbow".
I am remembering
Little Arabella Millar
Found a hairy caterpillar
First it crawled upon her mother,
Then upon her baby brother.
"Oh," said Arabella Millar
"Take away that caterpillar".
And I remember "What day is it today, what day, what day what day?".
And "Bum bum BUMPING"
And being woken in the night by Goldie shouting for me, walking into her bedroom and asking why she needed me, to be told "You put your left leg in, left leg out, in out out out shake it all about, OOOOOhhhhhhhh oh the Hokey Cokey!" and then watch as she rolled over and pulled the duvet back over her head happy to have shared her song.
I remember that she could spot a chocolate button on a brown table at 100 paces, but she couldn't see her face in a photograph.
I remember the feel of her fingers as she grabbed out whenever I walked past her, and walked her hands up my arm to feel my lips.
I remember "she's um pooorly" when she would refuse to get out of bed, and I remember night after night when she was far too happy to go to sleep.
I remember lying in a tent listening to her fizz with excitement as the wind made the canvas flap. And I remember her being totally unmoved by the splendours of some of our holidays, preferring to focus on her musical ball and her Elmo. And I remember the wonder on her face when we went to Disney World, and Pooh and Piglet and Tigger came to say hello as we were eating.
I remember her ability to punt herself up and down the shower bench, and her ability to send tidal waves over the edge of the bathtub. I remember the weight of her when I lifted her into bed, and the feel of her when she bounced on my knees, and the cold wetness of her fingers when she shared her dribble and the loving kindness of her search for contact.
I remember her anarchic ability to tell stories in silent spaces, to shout "come on AMEN" in church and demand to go home. I remember her squeaks and her shrieks and have echoes of her voice playing over in my mind.
Goldie didn't do anything especially amazing with her life. She didn't acheive anything heroic with her death. She just lived a fairly good but ultimately boringly ordinary life and then died in a mundane and unnecessary accident.
But I remember.