A few days after we met and said goodbye to Ianto, Scott's facebook status read something like "My son Ianto was, is, and always will be an inflatable person!" No-one really got it, but they seemed to just go "well, he's a grieving dad, he's bound to say some weird things." But I knew what he meant. And I agreed.
In 2009, Scott and I saw Adam Hills perform for the first time. We saw his show "Inflatable" during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Yesterday we bought and watched the DVD, and we were reminded of just why Ianto was "inflatable." During the show, Adam talks of what he likes to call inflating and deflating people. A deflating person is someone who makes your shoulders slump and your head droop. An inflating person does the opposite. They fill your chest with joy and confidence, and make you hold your head high.
He gave an example - a few years ago, a friend of his died. He described this friend as an inflator. She was the kind of person who brought bunny ears for everyone for a night on the town - just because. When she died, Adam and some other comedians put on a show in her memory. On the way home, he was walking along, dejected and introspective, yet the people he was passing kept smiling at him, and "inflating" just a little from the sight of him. Obviously, he found this odd. It wasn't until the fifth person smiled that he realised - he was still wearing his bunny ears. His friend, although gone, was still inflating people she didn't even know. Adam says people like his friend are the best kind of inflators - it's one thing to do so while you're still here, it's another to do it after you're gone.
And that's why Scott instinctively knew Ianto was an inflator, even then. Even before this blog was started and Ianto's story was told, we knew. And in the year since, it's been proven time and time again. People telling us that his story has touched them, helped them come to terms with their own losses, touched their hearts. My son, my tiny son who no-one ever really knew, is the most inflating person I've ever had the fortune of meeting. He didn't do it with bunny ears, but he did it. He's given us, and quite a lot of you, the strength to face life as it comes.
And he's been doing it for a whole year now. Happy "birthday" to my blog!