Well, time continues to fly by and it is only on key dates and memory triggering moments that we realize it has been 448 days since we lost our daughter Supatra to this ugly cancer called DIPG. Since 16 July 2013 we have been living in our new city of Kingston Ontario and in our new house. We are finally starting to settle in and finish up redecorating and doing some minor renovations with this house. We are also starting to feel like a family again although our hearts remain broken and Supatra's little brother Jason still feels the pain of being alone. Since returning from England we never felt at home in our temporary rental accommodations in Ottawa and it always felt like we didn't belong or that somehow we were in transition. It was not the people, as we made some good friends there and we remained in touch with those Canadians that we met in England but it was the house that we were occupying. Now that we are settling in to our home in Kingston we feel much better although there is still something that is missing - Supatra. I think she would love our new home and she would be so happy here. We just hope that her spirit has followed us from England to Ottawa and now on to Kingston and that she is not missing us too much. I have yet to really dream of my little girl and I don't know why she does not visit me. Sometimes I think that maybe she is still in England joyfully watching her friends play and grow up.
We have recreated Supatra's room almost the way she left it and light a candle for her nightly. Her room will stay as is until her baby sister is old enough to take it over. Then all of Supatra's toys and other stuff will belong to Surina except for a few cherished things that we will keep safely stored until our children are old enough to appreciate the significance of them.
Surina is growing up fast. At five months old she is now happily screeching, laughing and trying to make various sounds. She smiles at everyone she sees and her eyes sparkle. She is also beginning to teeth and she tries to role over and push herself up on her elbows when she wants to be picked up. We think she looks very much like Supatra, except Supatra had slightly more chubbier cheeks. We also think she will start walking at an early age and skip the crawling part just like her bigger sister did.
Jason has been a little handful but deserves our empathy as he continues to struggle without his big sister. He lost his sister and then the following month lost his friends when we moved back to Canada. He was just starting to get to know a few kids on our street in Ottawa when we were forced to move again. So this has been a very difficult 2 and a half years for him. He has already made a friend with a boy next door and we hope that once he starts junior kindergarten this September he will make more friends. There are two great parks near our house so that is another venue for him to meet other kids.
I continue to follow some DIPG groups but find it more and more difficult to deal with the knowledge that everyday new kids are being diagnosed with DIPG. So many parents going through this terrible journey and reading about their status, especially those whose kids only have weeks to live is hard on me. I wanted to start a charity here in Canada to honor Supatra and help fund research for this particular type of tumour but I have yet to find the energy nor time to do this. I still hope that one day I will have the time to put some energy into this project and help in some small way.
My work at the Ottawa Buddhist temple gardens continues although at a slower pace now that I am in Kingston. I managed to plant 14 pink blossom trees along the side of the driveway on either side of the garden entrance and dig out about 300metres of pathway. It is starting to look really nice and next year the plan is to rework the bridge over the pond and emplace several memorial park benches. I will try to post some pictures next time. Speaking of park benches, our close knit community of friends in Milton, Cambridgeshire England finally received Supatra's memorial bench. The bench has been placed next to the playground she often played at just outside of Cygnets. I am sure she is resting her angel behind on it right now watching the children play. Thank you to our friends in Milton who raised the funds and made it happen. We hope to be able to come for a visit in a few years to see Supatra's memorial tree at her school and sit on her bench.
So, we are home now and hope to live here for at least 4-6 years, if not longer. I will also be retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces in the next 3-4 years and it looks like we may stay in the Kingston area. We have a home, we have two wonderful children, our great friends but there is always something missing, always something quite not right. And what is not quite right is that we are living without our precious little girl Supatra who we love and miss so much.