A very merry unbirthday 

I started this blog on the day the alien came. Well yesterday the alien left. My mam, like the intergalactic warrior she has always been, took care of that; she took the alien on, fought a fight we couldn’t have and took it with her, and sent it to a galaxy far far away.

Now I will be trudging into new uncharted territory. We are now into ‘the day the alien left, but never let go’ phase (but that’s too long for a website domain). I have been tipped upside down and dropped right back to square one, at the start of a long road, and yesterday was day 1. Day 1 of who knows how many. It just so happens that day 1 was also my 28th birthday. 

As you can probably imagine there was not much merriment or birthday cheer, instead I have stayed in my pyjamas, drank too much tea and coffee, cried those tears that sting your cheeks, talked funerals, hugged, zoned out, cried some more, ate takeaway, watched crap TV and shrugged a lot. 
However there was small celebrations of my mam’s life and that made me somewhat pick this sack of a mess up and very tentatively take a small step onto the new road. Although I did not mark my birthday yesterday she had left me some unconventional and unexpected gifts.

When my mam first went into hospital in June she wrote us (her ‘three musketeers’) a letter for when the worst should happen. So we sat down and read it. It was in her beautiful and distinct handwriting, complete with jobs, instructions, advice and a goodnight blessing. I am to remember that she is watching everything I do, just ‘from another theatre seat’ and to always be myself. A wonderful present to cherish.

We  also had literally hundreds of messages from friends and family relaying their favourite memories and her unforgettable characteristics. It made me so proud to be Lorraine Harper’s son. A sincere thank you to everyone for these. 

Finally a kept promise wrapped up in the shape of a robin. Mam has always said she’d come back as a robin, and that once she got to wherever it was after this world she’d find a way of letting us know she was safe. Once we all came downstairs and sat in the living room, a robin flew into our back garden and looked through our patio window; it darted around the garden and inspected all the flowers my mam loved so much. I’m not attributing this to anything, but it did make my heart smile.

So on one of the worst days of my life and definitely the worst birthday ever, mam still managed to pull out those thoughtful, surprise gifts she always has done.

I’m changing the date of my birthday next year to the 29th October (put it in your diary). And as my friend pointed out, this will make me a Scorpio/Libra hybrid, meaning I will be adding fire and strength to my existing libran quest for balance. Here’s hoping…ask me next year. But for now I’ll just focus on getting out of bed, into grown up clothes and opening yesterday’s birthday presents.

…and the robin is back in the garden 


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