Little Ianto Jenkins should have celebrated his fourth birthday on September 18.
The occasion didn’t go unnoticed – his mum and two sisters sang him Happy Birthday at his graveside and they even had a cake.
It’s two weeks later and the helium foil birthday balloon is still tied to the front door of the family home in west Wales.
Inside the house is brimming with pictures of Ianto, with his striking blue eyes and wide grin stretching from cheek to cheek.
His toys are still piled in the corner of the living room, as reported by Wales Online.
Chloe Picton, Ianto’s mum, can still hardly believe her son has gone.
His inquest, opened on September 24, heard how the three-year-old was hit by a pick-up vehicle as he was playing with his sister and cousin at a farm at Rhosfach, Efailwen on August 3.
Eight weeks have passed since Ianto tragically died and Chloe is still in a state of shock, anger, and disbelief: “It will never go away,” she said.
“I close my eyes and all I see is Ianto. I see him everywhere, always smiling.”
The weekend just gone she’d had a “lovely” dream, Chloe said.
“I’d asked my friends: ‘Why can’t I just have one more chance to see him and hug him?’.
“That night I dreamt that I was with him and he wanted a cuddle with me – it was like my one last chance to have my wish.
“But then [my daughter] Seren woke me up and that chance just faded away.”
Chloe, a 27-year-old mum to Seren, six, and Daisy-Mae, 19 months, is home alone with her youngest while Seren is at school.
Seren has been suffering with anxiety ever since she watched her brother killed instantaneously when he was hit by the pick-up.
Chloe’s partner, Martin, is out at work as a labourer.
Ever since Chloe lost Ianto she has barely left the house, she said sadly.
Ianto and Seren, whom she had with Guto when they were together, lived with Chloe and spent two days a week with their dad on his family farm where he lived with his parents.
Chloe and Guto were teenagers when they met and split up after 10 years as a couple.
Police and the Health and Safety Executive are still investigating what happened in the incident that saw Ianto lose his life but Chloe knows enough to say her son, who was playing on his bike, was killed almost instantaneously in the collision.
The last words she had said to her son were over a FaceTime chat two days before his death while he stayed with his dad for the week.
“He was crying because he wanted to speak to Mummy,” she said.
“He said to me: ‘I miss you, I love you, I’ll be home soon’ and I said: ‘I’ll see you on Friday’.”
But she never did.
Instead, on that Tuesday, enjoying a day out in Tenby with Martin, she had a call from Guto saying Ianto was dead.
She could hear six-year-old Seren, who’d seen the tragedy unfold, crying in the background.
“He said: ‘It’s Ianto, Chloe, he’s been killed’,” Chloe said simply.
“I just fell to the floor.”
She immediately rushed back to the farm with Martin but wasn’t allowed into the farmyard to see her son while police carried out their investigations, she said.
Chloe recounts the chain of events almost in shock: “’I want to be with my son’, I told them. ‘He’s on his own.’ But they only let me see him in the hospital when he was in a better environment.”
Ianto had been taken to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen.
“Seeing him lying there, dead, was heartbreaking,” she continued.
“Seeing your child so cold and lifeless is hard. I started tucking him in because I was concerned he was cold.”
She takes next to no comfort from knowing that her son died instantly and unlikely suffered.
She spends a lot of time indoors, curtains drawn, unable to face the world without her happy-go-lucky son.
“He would’ve started school this term,” she said, sadly, adding the first day back was hard.
“I walked to school with Seren, without Ianto.
“He was a happy little soul, such a happy little boy, always playing with his toy and tractors.
“We’d all go for walks between Wisemans Bridge and Saundersfoot. He was just always happy.”
He was inseparable from his big sister, Seren, and while Daisy-Mae is too young to really understand what’s happened, Chloe has noticed the two girls stick a lot closer together than they did before.
Seren has really struggled to come to terms with not just losing her sidekick but also seeing it happen before her eyes, Chloe said.
“I don’t think she realises he’s not here,” she said about Daisy: “She was attached to Ianto but now it’s Seren.”
Upstairs she’s set aside a bedroom as a place to remember Ianto complete with his bed just as he left it: “His smell is there,” she said.
She can’t bear to be in the house at Christmas and the family have booked a trip to Butlin’s in Minehead instead just to get away.
She explained: “It’s not a day I want to be celebrating without Ianto, waking up in the morning without him running into the room saying: ‘It’s Christmas’.”
Her grief is still raw, still etched across her face, and she struggles to articulate exactly how hard life is.
It’s her two girls that really keep her going, she said.
There have been, and still are, days when she’d rather not be here. Perhaps the hardest thing of all is that Chloe keeps replaying what happened the day her son died and wondering if there could’ve been a different outcome.
“I have these visions quite often,” she added.
“I just can’t get over it,” she said, looking out of the window.
“I just can’t get over the fact that it’s happened. My head goes round and round trying to piece together what happened and trying to work it out.”
The young mum, who works as a care assistant, added: “The pain I’m going through is just unbearable.”
On what would’ve been his birthday weekend the local community came together and held a tractor run in Ianto’s memory.
He was tractor-mad, Chloe said, and he would’ve loved it.
“They went past his grave and tooted their horns,” she said with a half-smile.
“He loved farming and he was going to follow his dad’s footsteps.”
She added: “He will always be in our hearts forever. We mention him every day because he’s part of the family. I will always be a mother of three. They will know who their brother was – he was a beautiful character.”
As if to prove a point she opens a small heart-shaped locket hanging around her neck on a delicate silver chain.
Inside is a tiny picture of Ianto.
Daisy-Mae, sitting quietly on her mum’s knee, breaks into a wide innocent smile that only a child can make.
She knows it’s Ianto, her mum said, and she always will. “He is kept by mummy’s heart,” she tells Daisy-Mae.
And Daisy-Mae giggles in agreement as Ianto’s picture looks down from the windowsill.