Traveler Digital Camera

On this day twelve years ago, I woke up to a ‘normal’ day where Juliette was in hospital, like countless other mornings over the previous nineteen months of treatment. We had little warning of the nightmare that descended a few hours later.

Last week I saw an old friend who remembered an afternoon in a garden during that final summer. She described Juliette sitting on my lap playing with a tube of Smarties. Somehow the tube burst, sending a shower of sweets onto the lawn.

“Oh look, a rainbow!” M remembers me saying. She told me the other night that it had made such an impression on her, because of how relaxed a mother I seemed. I have no memory of the afternoon, nor of being anything than utterly uptight in the midst of Juliette’s treatment. I’ve looked back with regret at what I imagine to have been Juliette’s experience of my stress and unhappiness during her illness, so it’s an incredibly precious thing to have seen through another’s eyes a snapshot of Juliette’s contentment and the image of me encircling her with love.

It made me wonder whether friends and family around those of us who have lost children have any idea of how much of a gift it is to be handed these ‘forgotten’ memories, when we’ve been robbed of everything else. Thank you, my lovely friend.

Today I will be at work, while the rest of my family will be at home preparing for a barbecue to celebrate Celeste’s final day of primary school. It’s the end of an era for us and it was a deliberate choice to host a party today of all days, just as I have chosen to preoccupy myself with the routine of a job I love. Juliette arranged some thunder and lightning to start the day. I just hope she’s organised some sunshine, and perhaps even a rainbow, for later.

8 thoughts on “Rainbow

  1. Hi Geves. It was so lovely to see all of your wonderful children today. They are so lovely. I can’t believe there are no more Lafosses at school. Elodie and the boys came and found me today. She said the most beautiful thankyou to me for looking after all five of your children. She is truly a credit to you. I was very emotional when she thanked me but I would like to say it has been a pleasure to be part of all your children’s primary school life and hope Elodie Pierre Raphie and Celeste all enjoy their new stages in life and I am sure they will do you and their papa and Juliette very proud xxxx love Pauline xxxx

  2. You said, “Oh look, a rainbow.” You saw a rainbow in the shower of Smarties. You held your daughter and told her it was a rainbow, of Smarties. Of course, inside you’re a mess, but that’s how it is with moms, we hide our fear because we don’t our children to see it, and also become afraid. Instead, we show them rainbows.

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