Today I want to share with you a very special and proud day for me and that is Hannah's year 11 school prom which took place on Thursday 23rd June 2016. I am sure most of you will already know who Hannah is but if not I will introduce you to her and tell you a bit about her before speaking about her prom and sharing some photographs with you.
On October 11th 2007 I lost my beautiful friend Donna to cancer, she had fought hard from diagnosis just 22 months earlier and tried her best to live for her to gorgeous children Rhys who was then 16 and Hannah just 8 years old, during those 22 months myself and Donna had many conversations, we laughed and we cried and when Donna was first diagnosed she tried to remain optimistic and often spoke about how she would be around for a good few years to come, tragically it soon became evident that that wasn't going to be the case and just 2 weeks after Donna was told there was nothing else that could be done for her, she very sadly passed away. In those final 2 weeks Donna went through a lot of emotions but the one thing she spoke about more than anything were her beloved children, it broke her heart that she wouldn't see them marry or be a grandma to their children but she also spoke of other things such as explaining to Hannah what periods were or how boys shouldn't treat her, how to shave her legs and lots of other things that a mother does for her daughter, during one of these conversations she said "what about Hannah's prom? Who will help her choose a dress and be there for her at prom when all the other mums are there for her friends?" and I said "I will" I promised Donna I would always be there for Hannah (and Rhys) and that I would be there for her prom, her wedding, when she has babies, shaving legs, periods, sex talks, throwing up from being drunk, telling her the dangers of drugs to random things like if she got chewing gum stuck in her hair and lots and lots of other things too, and she smiled, squeezed my hand and simply said "thank you".
Since Donna died Hannah and I have become extremely close, she is like my own daughter and I love her as if she is, she says I am her adopted mamma and calls me mamma, she is also very close to my girls calling Lissy big sis and Cole bigger sis, Simon does the usual dad thing of winding her up and making her laugh, and she is a huge part of our family.
When it came time for Hannah to look for prom dresses earlier this year, her dad had noticed a village boutique which sold prom style dresses and is about a 20 minute drive from us, so back in February, her dad, his partner, myself and Hannah all went to see what the shop had on offer and after Hannah trying on several dresses Hannah chose her prom dress, it was beautiful and she looked so lovely in it and I felt so proud and honoured to be with her when she chose it and pleased that I had also kept my promise to Donna. Over the following months I ordered Hannah her prom shoes and prom bag online, we went for silver sparkly for both the bag and shoes, and both were perfect with her dress. You can't actually see her shoes on the photographs I have but if you would like to see the shoes or if you are looking for prom or occasion shoes, you can find the ones Hannah had HERE and the bag she had HERE.
Hannah's prom was a real family affair starting with me helping her choose her dress and then helping her choose her shoes and bag and then ordering them online for her, Lissy did Hannah's false tan for her, Lissy is a real pro at false tan application and with Hannah being so pale naturally we worried a spray tan may be too dark for her so Lissy offered to do her false tan and it looked lovely, just a nice healthy natural glow that suited her colouring perfectly, they had had a practice run a couple of weeks before so we knew it would be ok and Cole of course did Hannah's makeup for her on the big day.
The preparations for prom started 2 days before on the Tuesday afternoon with Lissy applying Hannah's false tan, she used the Vita Liberata 2-3 week tan in the shade medium, leaving it on for 4 hours before showering it off this left a gorgeous glow and Hannah looked like she had been away on holiday, really nice and natural, Vita Liberata is Lissy's favourite tan and can be found HERE. On the Wednesday, the day before prom, Hannah had her nails done, she chose acrylic nails with an ombre french manicure and glitter finish and they looked perfect.
On the day of Hannah's prom she had her hair done at 2pm then came to our house for makeup, she left her makeup entirely up to Cole, Cole asked her what she wanted and she said "I'm leaving it up to you" and it looked stunning, Cole chose to do a smoky eye but not too dark and added a pigment which looked blue in some lights so looked stunning with her dress, she chose a peachy/nude blush and nude lip and they complimented her eyes perfectly, her makeup looked stunning.
Once Hannah's makeup was done it was time for her to get dressed, I was so so pleased and also proud that Hannah chose to get ready for her prom at our house, myself and Lissy helped her into her dress and strategically placed lingerie tape in all the right places, a quick spritz of perfume and my baby girl was ready, she looked absolutely stunning and I felt so very proud of her and I know Donna would have been looking down and bursting with pride, Hannah is the image of her mum and more so when she wears makeup, it breaks my heart but is comforting at the same time.
Once Hannah was ready it was time for her to go to her friends as their transport was picking them up from there, we all went to her friends and Hannah and her 3 best friends all had photographs there and some in front of the car before they headed off to their prom venue in their car, a lovely white Bentley which had a pearlescent finish to the paintwork, it was perfect. My friend who is also one of Hannah's best friends mum took me, Cole and Lissy to the venue, we set off just after the girls so we could park close to the venue and we arrived in plenty of time to see them arrive, their car pulled up and the driver let them out and then a photographer came from nowhere and took them off for a photograph, we wondered who he was and thought he was from school but he was actually from a local newspaper so they were all really pleased about that.
Lots more photographs were taken outside the venue and it was nice to see Hannah look so happy chatting and laughing with her peers and having lots of photographs taken too, there were hundreds of people outside milling around watching, it was lovely.
Just before Hannah went inside she came to say goodbye to me and gave me a big hug and kiss and told me she loved me and I looked down and there on the floor between us was a big feather, Cole picked it up and gave it to Hannah and myself, Hannah and Cole all burst into tears, I knew Donna would be there for Hannah and I think the feather proved it, Hannah put the feather into her handbag and off she went into her prom.
Once Hannah had gone in it was time for us to go home so my friend, myself, Cole and Lissy started to walk back to my friends car which was on the car park belonging to the venue, we were walking back slowly and all together walking closely and all of a sudden Cole shouted "mum" and my friend said "Zoe" and Lissy said "Oh my God Mum, stand still" I thought a car was coming and was going to knock us over or something so I stood still and Cole, Helen and Lissy started touching my hair, and looking up, and there out of nowhere were the purest white feathers twirling down on me, they were so white and fluffy it was surreal, none of them landed on anyone else even though we were all walking closely together and I was holding onto Lissy, they were just on me, they were in my hair and on my shoulder it was so so surreal and we all agreed that had I been alone nobody would have believed me. I don't really know what those feathers meant but when Donna was dying we had a conversation about me not being able to cope without her and she said she would always look down on me and always be there, so I said "but how will I know?" and Donna told me how she had seen it on the TV that when people died they left white feathers for their loved ones so they would know they were around, so I like to think that my feathers on Thursday were some sort of message from Donna for me.
The feathers that fell on me.
My 3 gorgeous girls.
My 3 beautiful girls.
Hannah & her best friends.
I'm sure you'll agree that Hannah looked incredible, her friends also looked stunning and they all had a wonderful night, on Friday Hannah and one of her friends came to see me at 1pm and stayed until 7.30pm telling me all about prom and I told Hannah about the feathers and showed her them, I have kept them in a little bag and Hannah has kept the big one we found and put it in her memory box that her mum made for her.
It was an absolute honour and a pleasure to be there for Hannah throughout the whole process of her prom and on the day/night too, and I wouldn't have had it any other way, I wish more than anything that my beautiful Donna was here to see Hannah, she would have loved everything about prom, the shoes, the bags the makeup and hair, Donna was a real girly girl and she would have revelled in it all and I know wherever she is she will have been looking down and loving every minute and she would have been extremely proud of her little girl, and although she couldn't be with Hannah in person she was definitely there with her, watching over her and feeling so so proud of her.
Life is very cruel sometimes and I wish more than anything Donna was still here, I miss her so much but if any good can come out of a horrible and heartbreaking situation it is that I have the most incredible relationship with Hannah as do my girls and Simon. I lost my best friend in 2007 but gained a little girl, another member of our family and I will always be there for Hannah no matter what, I love her very much and I hope that wherever Donna is she is pleased with the relationship we have and she thinks I'm doing the right thing for Hannah and looking after her the way she would have wanted me to.
I hope you enjoyed seeing some photographs of my beautiful Hannah from her prom, she looked incredible and I am so very proud, she is growing up into a beautiful young lady both inside and out, just like her wonderful mum.
Thank you for reading, much love as always