As we pulled up to the car park, a vision flashed through my mind. I saw him. In his chair being wheeled up the ramp inside, his beautiful auburn hair glistening in the sunlight.
I wondered what the memorial stone would look like.
After a warm welcome from one of the carers, she led us through the maze of rooms and out into the garden. Equipment adorned the playground and I imagined the little ones rolling and swinging and laughing.
And on we journeyed into the gardens. There was a stillness as we entered. The water that flowed down a gulley splashed gently into the rippling pond below. And that's when I noticed all the other stones, engraved with a name and birthday - the children somewhere else, always loved, never forgotten. As it was placed carefully into my hands, I felt its coolness, smooth and heavy in my palms. I wondered briefly if he was here with us standing next to the pond, watching, smiling.
A lump made its way up into my throat as I felt my eyes begin to well up. I watched the cradled stone enter the shallow water and find its way gently to the bottom. And there it would remain for years to come. Suddenly the light hit the water and reflected off the surface. I could see his engraved name shining through the reflection.
Then, in amongst the silence and quiet contemplation, I realised that letting go wasn't the same as losing. Sometimes in life we have to let go of people we love. But we never lose them. Their presence in our life makes us the person we are today and they will live forever in our hearts every step of the way...
In every sunset and every snowfall.