I can’t believe it has been a year already. Where has the time gone? In a way it still feels so fresh and raw, but on the other hand like a distant memory.
We celebrated Freddie Leigh Bromley, our beautiful son, on his first birthday on Saturday 16th August. It was a gorgeous day and probably one of the best days of our lives. We were so lucky with the weather as it was a warm and sunny day making everything so much brighter and easier.
The day started off with being delivered our local newspaper, within which Rik and I had written a piece in honour of Freddie. Rik and I then visited Freddie’s plaque at Vale Church, Guernsey. We visit his plaque every week or every other week but it had more meaning on this day. Rik and I were all dressed up and Grammie (my mother) had visited the night before and filled his vases with beautiful hydrangeas, a flower we had at Freddie’s funeral. When the sun shines the plaque gets lovely and warm. We brush our hands over the stone and take in the warmth of it when our lips touch it as we give it a gentle kiss.
We then went on to Bordeaux Nature Reserve where Freddie’s bench is. It’s a lovely open space with trees, a rope swing and a stunning view out to Herm island. We spent an hour preparing the area with flowers, colourful ribbons, blankets, Freddie’s baby shower bunting and candles. It was hard to decide where everything went but once we had finished the area looked stunning.
Two of our friends had kindly agreed to play some instrumental music whilst people arrived. People later told me that it was so lovely arriving at the car park and following the music to guide them to our location. Mikey and Sarah were amazing playing some beautiful songs on their guitar and violin. I then welcomed everyone to the event with the following words I had written:
Thank you for joining us in celebrating our son Freddie’s first birthday. And yes it is his birthday. He was born and so he has a birth day. Freddie may not be here to celebrate being one year’s old today but WE are celebrating him, his nine month life growing inside me and that a year ago today at 10.27pm, he was born earth side.
When celebrating birthdays we can sometimes forget that our mothers gave birth to us on that day and they are also remembering that day. We will always celebrate his birthday and so we are very blessed to have so many of our friends and family here to celebrate his first birthday.
You may think we wish to forget that day but it was one of the best days of our lives. We met our son, held him, introduced him to our family and kissed him goodnight.
A year on and we are stronger as a couple and stronger as a family. We have learnt what is, and isn’t, important about life, why every moment counts and that having fun, love and laughter is key. So today whilst honouring our son Freddie, we want you to smile and laugh after all he was born with a smile on his face.
Rik then explained the order for the event:
To celebrate Freddie’s birthday we have asked some good friends of ours to perform some music for our gathering today. Firstly we would like to say a huge thanks to Mike and Sarah, for playing some beautiful music whilst you all arrived.
At the start of 2014 Nicole joined a special group of ladies called the Johnny’s Angels choir. A few members of the choir have kindly agreed to sing four beautiful songs picked by Nicole from their summer repertoire. Nicole and I thank you for agreeing to be a part of today. I will now hand you over to Kate Woodcock who will introduce the first two songs which will be followed by a balloon release and then two other songs.
Mike and Sarah will then kindly play again whilst we invite anyone who would like to write a message to Freddie on a tag and attach it to his tree.
Please feel free to hang around afterwards and make the most of this beautiful area. This gathering is a very easy going affair so relax, enjoy and join us in celebrating our cherished button-nosed Freddie Leigh Bromley!
Johnny’s Angels choir sang ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ and then ‘Amazing Grace’. I had wondered whether I should sing with the choir or not, but it was actually really lovely to step back and listen to them as their audience. I was definitely touched by their singing and had to get a hanky out pretty much as soon as they started singing their first song!
Rik and I then released a balloon with our tag tied to the bottom. We counted to three and then got everyone to shout ‘FREDDIE’ as we released the balloon into the sky. We were so lucky with the wind as it took the balloon out and across to Herm so everyone got to watch it go off into the distance.
Here are some pictures from the release…