One thing that will always stop me in tracks is when my phone beeps to alert me to a message and there on my phone is picture someone has sent me, of somewhere they have ‘taken’ Gabriel. I just love to see his name and the thought that someone, someone where has thought of him whilst in some of the most beautiful places is so comforting. My little boy is remembered, his name is spoken and it now is in places all over the world.
From the very beginning the support I received from people I had never met was something which I will never forget. The outreaching of support, love and kindness from people all over the country, and in some parts of the world, has been at times so overwhelming.
Gabriel will never have the ‘firsts’ which I thought he would have; I’ll never hear his first word or see his first smile, but he has had lots of different kind of firsts and many of them because of the kindness of others.
Earlier this year, Kathryn (Always Looking Up) walked an incredible 23.3 miles, from Glasgow to Loch Lomond, in memory of her son Reuben, along with many of her friends and family. I had been in contact with Kathryn in the days before and she had so kindly offered to ‘take’ Gabriel along with them-to have his name carried on their journey and be remembered on that day, along with many other babies.
All of that day, I thought about someone who I had never met-I didn’t even know their name, carrying a balloon with Gabriel’s name attached to it; he would be part of that person’s day as they covered all those miles, hundreds of miles away from home-he hadn’t just taken his first steps…he had walked for miles!
A few days later I received some photos from Kathryn and I found out that Gabriel had walked with her mother in law, Bernadette. As soon as she saw his name, she wanted to take him with her. It’s overwhelming and I’m not sure I would ever be able to do the emotions justice by trying to explain in words how much this photo touched me.
Kathryn walked to raise money for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, the link to her fundraising page can be found here, where you can also read about her precious little Reuben.
In the same week, back in May, I also received this picture…
This little frame now sits thousands of miles away, in a villa in Sri Lanka; a place where many people will visit and when they do, they will find out a little bit about my son. It is just an incredible thing to think about. And when you then consider that the wonderful lady who owns this villa and took this, along with a doodle which she commissioned me to make for her home in the tropics, is someone who I have never met but was so touched by my precious little boy that she wanted to share his name and his existence and take his story to such a beautiful island. Whilst in Sri Lanka, Lesley also visited a beautiful temple which sits high on a hill and is where the monkeys live. Whist there, she light a candle for Gabriel. Again, there aren’t many words-it’s just incredible. I love the thought that some part of him will be monkeying around, King Louie style, having his first cheeky dance.
A little closer to home and Gabriel ‘attended’ his first wedding. I was honoured to be asked to make the gifts for the most loveliest bride’s bridesmaids. Not only did Lindsey commission me to make a gift for each of them but she asked if I wouldn’t mind writing a little something about Gabriel to go on the back. Of course I didn’t mind, I love talking about Gabriel, and I felt so honoured to be asked to make something for such a special day and with my little one being a special part of those gifts.
One of the many ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ is the best friend Gabriel should have been with one of my closest friend’s son, Elijah. We had plans for them, they were going to be besties and have the best little adventures together.
So when I was sent this photo, all the way from Barbados it was so bitter sweet. Our little boys were together and I love that in some way they were, but so heartbreakingly sad that they will never get to build sandcastles together or paddle in the sea. But Gabriel was there, with his little pal and I know they just would have always had the best time.
Back to closer shores, Gabriel’s name has been carried into the tides from beaches at:
Abersoch, North Wales
Isle of Gigha, Hebridean Island
Dunstaburgh Castle in Northumberland and Seahouses where Gabriel’s name was taken out to sea to play amongst the bubbles, his first little swim.
Then further afield again, I’ve been so touched to receive these pictures from different corners of the world…
Puerto Del Carmen
Greenland Gap, Grant County-West Virgina
Sanibel Beach, Florida
I’m not sure I’ll every really be able to explain what all these pictures mean to me; to see Gabriel’s name being taken all over the world, to know it is said, written and that he is spoken about is all I’ll ever want. To know there are so many beautiful people out there who help to celebrate his little life and all the wonder which comes with him being here is just incredible and I thank you all from the very bottom of my heart.