A TRAGIC dad has revealed plans for a lantern tribute to his wife and daughter who died in a road accident.
Hartlepool businessman Ian Richardson will release a Chinese lantern into the sky at 9.30pm on Monday, August 8.
It will be his way of marking the first anniversary of the deaths of his wife Joanne, 40, and eldest daughter Mya, aged six, at exactly the time when the accident happened.
Today, he called on friends who knew Joanne and Mya – as well as anyone else who has followed his family’s story – to join him in “remembering two beautiful people who were tragically taken from us way too early”.
“It is a very simple tribute, but one which will mean so much,” he said.
Ian added: “It would be nice to look out across Teesside as a family and see little lanterns of red and yellow, and know that people were remembering the girls.”
Joanne and Mya died after an accident on the A1 in Newcastle when their car was hit by another vehicle travelling the wrong way on the road.
Today Ian, 38, told how the approaching anniversary was “daunting and scary. It is a whole raft of emotions”.
He said the accident was “still as vivid as if it was yesterday. When you think of a year, you think of it as a long time, but to me it is no time at all. I still expect them to walk through the door. Every day is as hard as any other.”
Ian, who runs a marketing and communications firm on the Queens Meadow Business Park, Hartlepool, and who also won an Award For Inspiration in the Mail’s first Pride of Hartlepool Awards in March, said: “I have been asked by friends, and the people who have heard about our story, how we and they can remember Joanne and Mya.
“I am asking all our friends, who either knew Joanne and Mya, or have heard about our story to join my family and me in remembering Joanne and Mya.
“At exactly 9.30pm on Monday, August 8, it will be exactly one year since our family was destroyed. I would ask that each person lets off a Chinese lantern into the sky, maybe even two if you feel like it in your own home or garden.”
He called on people to take photos and post them online to mark the occasion.
He has formed a charity called the Jo and Mya Memorial Fund, to help children who have lost loved ones. To support the memorial fund or to find out more, visit www.joandmya.co.uk
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