Ever since I can remember, the sight of the first spring blossoms was something that always filled me with joy.
I’m sure I’m not alone as it is one of those simple signs that winter is gone and lovely summer days are waiting for us, enabling us to open windows, and get outdoors.
Of everything that symbolises spring – lambs, chicks, daffodils and bunnies, blossoms are always the thing that most lifts me. I think it’s because when I was a child, I would walk everywhere, being without a car in the family, so I was used to walking across Cheltenham to get to school or college. It would be like walking in a magical land when the blossoms came out, making the often dull journey more cheerful and interesting.
Last year, Abi had just died and as spring was springing, my head remained in the dark place of my grief. I wasn’t surprised by this at all. So the blossoms passed me by and the sunlight hurt my eyes. But it’s this year that I realised the lifelong pleasure I took from seeing the spring blossoms has gone for good.
Perhaps it’s because it reminds me of the time of year that Abi died? Perhaps I’m irritated by the new life, new hope that is all around me when a part of me feels such bleakness? Perhaps it’s because I know Abi will never see another spring or sunny day again? She has no tomorrow.
There are two cherry blossoms planted locally in Abi’s memory; one at her primary school, the other by her memorial at the cemetery. Last weekend, we visited her and noticed her young tree has started to blossom. It’s not an early flowering tree, the main flowers come out in May, but to see it starting to come out now I found both pleasing and despairing. I was pleased that she will look pretty again, as the blossom somehow reflects her lust for life, yet I felt heartache to be reminded that that is all we have to look forward to when it comes to remembering Abi. It’s not a ‘lovely thing’ anymore… it reminds me of the terrible reality that she’s gone.
So, for now, the only blossom I’m interested in is Abi’s. And as the pretty petals are blown around, I won’t look at them and think of the sunshine and flowers, I’ll be thinking of Abi and her carefree way.