As the years have gone by I thought I was "coming to terms", "learning to live" with what happened on 18th July 1995 at approximately 5pm on a sunny Tuesday evening, but each year I am finding I am more emotional, weepy and even irritable.
I remember every moment of each of my children's lives, that I spent with them. I have regrets and wish I could have done things better or been different, but there is nothing I can do now to change the past, all I can do is live in the present and be here now.
I remember almost in vivid details those last few weeks and days we spent with Justin. How he would get up each morning for a month or so before the accident and go to work in the Garden Center he took summer work in. How some mornings we would sit together as he ate breakfast and we'd chat. I remember him telling me he did not like working in the Garden Center but would stick with it until he had received his pay.
I remember wanting to go to the garden center and tell him to just leave because I knew he was unhappy.
I am not normally the type of person to dwell on the negative or "what if's" but this year I find myself wondering "What if I had gone and told him it was ok to leave if he was unhappy by the way he was being treated.
I sit and look at his picture and cry
because I miss him so much.
I question myself and the things that have happened in my life. I feel isolated from family and miss my other children also as they have grown and have their own lives. Don't get me wrong, I am happy for them and I do see them but life will never be the same.
The happiest time in my life was when I was with my children, even though I was not the most patient of mothers and we had out arguments but I loved being with them.
The last two summers have been wet and a bit miserable and just today with the light misty rain falling I thought back to when Justin was only about 4 years old, his younger brother was only 2 and his older sister was 7. It was a day just like today, with misty rain.
Justin was bored and he wanted to go for a picnic. All morning we told him that as soon as the rain cleared we'd go, but by afternoon it had not cleared. So we just got ready, I packed some food and some refreshments in a bag and we all headed towards the mountains overlooking Tallaght to The Hell Fire Club.
It was still pouring rain when we arrived at our destination, although we did not go all the way to the club, we sheltered in the forest and ate some sandwiches and had a drink. Once the stand up picnic was finished we headed back home. The rain was warm but wet (grin). As we reached the outskirts of the village the rain stopped. At this stage we were so wet there was no point in avoiding the puddles, so we danced through them.
We walked to the chipper in the village and bought burgers, fish and chips and sat on the wall eating them before heading home.
This is just one of my many memories with Justin, his sister and brother. In time I will write more.