I remember when Megan was pregnant with Bradley and how she stayed with us for a brief time in Kingston. Alan was away for a week or so and we were sprawled out on my couch one night having a "girls night in" watching a Steven King mini series (I can't for the life of me remember which one...I just know that's what we were watching. **After cheating and looking it up...it was "The Stand"). I remember her saying that he was kicking. That was the first time I have a vivid memory of Brad. And even from the inside Brad was NOT one of those kids who would (when kicking) be gentle. That kid left a foot indent. It was crazy.
When he passed away in October I was rocked to my core. He was my nephew after all, and out of all of my nieces and nephews he was the one I'd had the most exposure to even with our moving around with Alan's military career. I love them all the same, but he was the one that I had spent the most time with. I had not been out to the crash site, I wasn't ready to go. I didn't want to see it. I didn't want to put myself in that place. So I didn't go. Not until today.
When I was told that we were going to go and release balloons in celebration of Brad from the church that is just up the road from the crash site, I was hesitant. Did I want to put myself that close to where he had passed 6 months ago? Could I? But yes, it was time. I had to go. For him and for Megan.
We were running behind, and it was pouring rain today. Of course. Never fails. It wasn't for lack of trying to get out the door. But people were dragging their feet (including myself) and we were about 10 minutes behind heading out the door. I texted Mary saying we were getting the balloons and on our way at 1:15 (we were meeting at 1:30). She phoned me at 1:35 asking where we were (rightfully so), we literally screeched to a stop in the church parking lot. Climbed out of the car, said a quick hello to Megan (Alan's sister - Brad's Mom), listened to Mary's speech and released the balloons. Brad (for unknown reasons) had dyed his usually bright ginger hair to a bright green colour the night (or a few nights prior) of his passing. Thoughts are that he had done it for Halloween, but no one really knows for sure. I thought Megan was going to fall over however when she saw is she started laughing so hard. Alan, Lexi, Adam and I had all used coloured hair spray and sprayed green in our hair like Brad had green in his hair the night he had passed. She was overjoyed and laughed saying "OH MY GOD I LOVE IT!!". I was elated. She; as I had when I conceived the idea; thought it was a perfect memorial to Brad and his memory.
Balloons to heaven (the ones in the foreground middle are the ones Alan, the kids and I released)
Happy Birthday Bman! Peace, yo!