Carnival Of My Dream

In the carnival of my dream I was standing on a carousal. It was one especially for mothers and small children. Around me were beautiful happy people, fancy dressed in colours and stars. Faces were painted and the little girls had long hair streaked with purple, pink and blue decorating their sweetness.

I heard the familiar melodies of nursery rhymes while we turned around, going up and down. The mothers laughed and sang along holding little ones in laughter and love. Tears were streaming down my face and for a moment I wondered why, just for a second or two before I remembered that I had lost my Daniel.

Next to me were a mother and her daughter. The little girl had pink in her hair and purple hearts painted on her cheeks. I reached out to stroke the girl's hair and she looked back at me, confused then pulled away into her mother's arms. It was the wrong carousel, a place where there was no place for me.

Our ride ended and I went looking for a quiet spot to sit.

The girl from the carousel holding her mother's hand later found me there where I was sitting against a wall hugging my knees to my chest.

The girl asked me why I was crying, her mother said that they had seen me before being so sad. I told them about Daniel. The girl took my hand while her mother handed her a bracelet. It was their special gift to me, a beautiful bracelet made from seashells.

I felt love as they walked away and I looked at the pretty charms around my wrist. I knew.

I knew in my dream just as I know now that Daniel will never be lost. He is with me. Every moment. Close to my heart, not only in my dreams but also in my world.

Daniel was born under a Piscean sun and seashells were one of his strongest and most prominent personal symbols. Seashells symbolise deep religious content and have ancestral mystical tradition.

Ancient Mexican philosophy explains the shell as a symbol of birth, generation and origins, that is to say, of life itself.

Just Daniel

Random memories:

I remember his eyes, dark like melted chocolate- sometimes like quiet pools of soulful dreams, sometimes starry and sparkling and often locked in love with me – ice blue and warm brown sharing more love than words can express.

I also tried to remember what went into the gift box that I put on top of the little white coffin that sad sad day in January.

Hendri’s dragon from his bookshelf
Mickey Mouse club house DVD
Sponge Bob Squarepants cap
One of the My Little Ponies
Blue Thomas Train truck
A framed photo of me
Alien spray

I remember how Daniel would come looking for our belly buttons to bore his little finger in our tummy’s. It was such a tickly, itchy, funny feeling.

I remember the exquisite closeness to pick him up, hugging him, holding him close to my heart.
Dearest Daniel
I think of you every second of every day and night and my tears haven’t stop flowing. I just miss you more and more. I see all the pleasures that you haven’t lived to experience and I wish with every bit of my entire being that you were still here with me. You are so precious to me and my sense of loss is so severe. I love my Angel child, as much as always.


My dearest Daniel

My darling, I miss you. Some days my longing for you is a dull numb pain that fills by body. It is sore but somehow bearable. Then some days are like today, where the pain ripps through my being, cutting through my soul like a burning fire. It creates an unbearable pain, so much that I just want to die. I curl up and cry and call your name.

Daniel, my Danieltjie, my Baby, Pikkeman, Pikkewyntjie.

My little Angel. I love you. Every second. Every day. Every long dark night. I wish for you. I want you back with all my heart. Dearest Daniel.



The email was sent to me by Alecia, my older daughter after reading this blog. My heart aches for her as I know how deeply she loved Daniel and how devastated she still is. I wish I could have taken her pain on me. I wish that with all my heart.
From : Alecia
To : Mom

just read dannys blog it so beautiful thank u so much for doing that blog for us.

i miss him so much nd that blog helps so much to remember the sound of his voice and all the beautiful things he did an said im so grateful for the time we spent together and the way he brought our family together but that was just the type of amazing baby he was.

i remember the one time when we were in the bath and all of a sudden he threw me with the dippy dolphin bubble bottel and he laughed loudly and said "ek jou gooi sha" (i am throwing at you sha) and that the sound of his laughter would make you forget about the pain of where you got hit with a bottel of bubbels and just start laughing with him.

that one baby had a huge impact on the way i live my life now and on the person i am today without him i would be just a sister but thanks to him i am a sister who was lucky enough to know that amazing baby and be able to spend the best 3 years and 10 months of my life with him because those 3 years and 10 months made gave the definition of love.

10 years 3 months and 3 days i waited 2 be the lukiest big sister there ever was

Even Though Your Gone

Dearest Danny

I found us another song. My baby, I miss you and wish I had some understanding why you were killed by people who professed to love you. Why couldn't I see through the facade? I am so sorry for what has been done to you. You would not in a million years deserve any neglect, let alone to a degree that would cost your life. My precious, precious little Pikkewyntjie.

The world is so strange. You were so innocent, sweet, perfect when your life was put on the gambling stake while the odds against your survival were high. You were far too young and vulnerable to take care of yourself. What they did to you was no accident - an accident happens when we have done everything we possibly can to minimise or eliminate any known risks. You were willingly and wantonly left in a life threatening environment without any protection but for your father's arrogant hope and false assurance that "nothing will happen to you". He left your life in the shaky, unsteady hands of lady luck.

You were let down big time by one of the person's you trusted most, your Dada Charles.

The world is a strange place dear Danny. Look at me. I am old, broken, without purpose, a burden to my family and friends. You were young, beautiful, healthy and much needed. You wanted life and you die while I want death but have to live. All mixed up, isn't it?

I wish the time for us be mammadaniel again comes soon. This Mamma and Daniel so separated from each other is not how we are. We are mammadaniel.

My lovely child, I kiss you all over, tickling you with love until you beg me in between our carefree laughter to please stop the "hieeer kom die soentjie masjien" (heeeere comes the kissing machine).

Be well my angel. I can hear your voice.
Words are not enough
For me to say how much I miss you
You, flew away too soon
I feel so alone not with you

But when I close my eyes
Every night
I hear your voice like an angel
And you're here again by my side
I swear I hear your words
They sing through me
And I'm back where I belong
You are here even though you are gone

You're here, everywhere I go
Deep inside my heart forever
And one, one sweet day I know
We will be back together

But until we are, here in the dark
I hear your voice like an angel
And I know inside you're there
And I know that inside you'll live on


Mike was the first one of my friends that I called to tell the dreaded news that Daniel had died.

He was one of Daniel’s most favourite persons outside our family and Daniel could never get enough of talking to Mike on the phone. About Barney, amongst things, I understand.

Danny died in Johannesburg, same city as where Mike lives. The letter below is from Mike, who is a Civil Engineer, following a press release by the Johannesburg City Council asking for public submission regarding proposed new swimming pool regulations.
To: The City of Johannesburg

I am pleased that the Johannesburg Council is considering amending the by laws and increasing the safety so far as swimming pools are concerned. I have for some time now been listening to the well publicised incidence of drowning on radio 94.7 This public awareness campaign in conjunction with Netcare 911 seems to have emphasized the extreme risk that toddlers are exposed to. All too often the victims were the children of domestic servants ending in pools where the house owners had not secured the pool against children falling in. With each reported tragedy I felt more strongly that these needless deaths can and should be prevented. However being removed and not affected directly one tends to forget the feeling not long after the news bulletin.

On the sixth of January this year a dear little friend of mine fell into the unprotected pool at his father’s house. Daniel Starbuck’s life was cut short two months before his fourth birthday. His mother accepted a request that he spend the last days of the holiday’s with his father in Johannesburg. The parents stayed apart and Daniel lived with his mother Alison.

I have now seen first hand how these senseless deaths rip family’s hearts apart. His mother, sister and brother are broken people and I am not sure they will ever recover. The little man is dearly missed by all who know the family. May he rest in peace.

I write thus for Daniel and all the other little lives lost to the inability of home owners to take simple steps to secure swimming pools. Precautions along the lines of fences, sprung gates, nets and alarms are not expensive when compared even to the upfront or running costs of a pool. These precautions are however priceless when just one toddler is saved.

Unfortunately most South Africans don’t value lives sufficiently to voluntarily install foolproof safety equipment. The proposed permit should thus increase home owner’s awareness of this issue and I hope stiff penalties await people who flout the proposed regulations. This legislation could also open the door to more successful criminal and civil lawsuits when deaths occur after owners have not taken all precautions.

I recommend that at least two independent safety systems be installed. A combination of fence/gate & alarm, fence/gate & net or net & alarm.

Yours faithfully.
Mike Hull Pr.Eng.
This blog was started with an unspoken wish to carry a message strong enough to possibly prevent another toddler from drowning.
If you are a parent with small children, please don’t let your baby become the next statistic. Remember Daniel and let him help you never to look away. Not even for a second.