This morning my son rolled down a hill and, naturally, I had to take a few photos. And tonight I have looked at these photos and my breath has caught in my throat. It is sitting there now like a feather ball… tickling, niggling, nudging. It’s the sky. The sky.
When we walked for Matilda last month, the sky was a murky grey and the rain was cool, unrelenting and partner to a chilly wind. But later, on speaking to Jennie, the sky became a comfort, because she told me that enough time had passed for Tilda’s ashes to become part of the water cycle. Each raindrop that plopped onto the ground and onto our heads contained a little bit of the special little girl we were walking for. And if she was in the rain, and forever will be, she is in the sky. And so the sky has taken on a new meaning for me.
And more so since the reality of leaping from a plane has become so much more vivid.
We are scaling up the fundraising. We are really going to do this. And why? Why am I jumping from a plane? Why?
I never had the honour of meeting Matilda Mae. I think this is my one and only true regret. I had one or two opportunities to meet her, but did not manage it. And so how can a baby I never met be my motivation for such drastic actions? For the walks, for the auction and now for the skydive? How can it be that a baby I never- oh how I am sorry that I never!- met has made such a huge impact on my life?
Matilda’s mother is an amazing person. It turns out that she and I have lots in common. Despite such sadness and such awful, almost unspeakable horror, we have become friends. Within the tears, heartache and extreme sorrow, a friendship has grown, much like a daffodil as it pushes it’s way through the cold, hard snow. Much like a glimmer of rainbow hope after the mother of all storms. And though I know that nothing I can ever say or do will change what has happened, perhaps there can be small ways for me to help.
On the day that I discovered Matilda Mae had died, I cried. Hot, salty tears onto Ghostwriterdaddy’s chest. I sobbed for a baby who’s life had been cut short. I sobbed for a mother who was never ever going to be whole again. And I spoke to my health visitor, who told me that nothing I do from now on can ever make things worse for Jennie. She urged me to get in touch, to reach out and to tell her I was sorry. And I am. And I did. And the rest is history.
I still cannot explain why I am leaping from a plane. Is it enough to tell you that, at first, I felt an overwhelming need to do something. To show Jennie that I cared. That I wanted to help raise funds to ensure an answer is found for all those babies yet to fall foul of SIDS. And now? And now.
And now I am proud to call Jennie a friend. A lovely, amazing and wonderful friend. And now I am jumping for her. Because Tilda is within her, always. Next month I will conquer my fears (and believe me, I am terrified) and I will jump. I will allow that sky to hold me and to carry me back to earth. I will feel the air scream past my ears and the blood in my veins and I will do that because I promised my friend. I promised her I would do what I could to make Matilda Mae’s legacy mean something. Because Jennie means something- a lot- to me.
I don’t know if my motivations for jumping have really been explained in this post. I’ve been trying to write this for a week. I am jumping for Jennie. I am jumping because Tilda should not have died. I am jumping because friendship is important. I am jumping because I want to help. I am jumping.
If you would like to help us to reach our team target, please donate as much or as little as you can. There are nine jumpers- one for each month of Matilda’s life- and we each need £395 to be able to jump. Please visit our Just Giving page. All funds raised go to The Lullaby Trust. Thank you.