AS MARIE Hartley, a mum-of-two from Oswaldtwistle, sat on the number 30 bus in Tavistock Square, London, at 9.45am a year ago today (7th July), the sun was shining, the flowers were blooming and she was laughing and joking with a close friend.
Today her husband, parents, brother and eldest son will return to the scene at exactly the same time to celebrate the 34-year-old's life, cruelly cut short when she was killed instantly as a bomb carried by Hasib Hussain ripped the bus apart.
The image of the mangled bus, the scene of the only above-ground attack of the four 7/7 bombings, has haunted her family for a year.
Dad John Targett, of Dill Hall Lane, Church, told the Observer that the close family had made it through the last year by supporting each other, and had been helped by the fact that Marie's close friend, Camille Scott-Bradshaw, who was also on the bus, had been able to tell them about the final moments of her life.
On the tragic morning of 7 July 2005, Marie and Camille, works colleagues at Hambledon Studios, had travelled to London together. They boarded a number 30 bus and after finding out that there had been explosions on the Tube Marie sent a text message to her family to let them know that she was safe.
Her family waited six days after the bombings before they received confirmation she was dead.
Mr Targett said: "It was six days of having hope.
"We have a large close-knit family and we have all leaned on each other. One of the hardest things has been that the image of the bus is the only image people have, because the other bombs went off underground, so it is used all the time, which brings it all back.
"Camille was on the bus with Marie. At first she couldn't talk to us because she felt guilty about having survived, but it has really helped us to be able to know that Marie was laughing and joking when it happened and to be able to fill in information. I know a lot of other families won't have had that.
"The trauma feels like it was yesterday. People talk about compensation but, as I said when we went to the memorial service at St Paul's, I would have given everything I had not to be there. No amount of money could alleviate this family's suffering, it should go to the people who have been injured, the walking wounded who need it to carry on their lives.
"We wanted to treat Friday as a celebration of Marie's life, because even though she was only 34 she had crammed a lot into her time. Naively I thought we could just go on our own but there will be lots of people there. I felt the service at St Paul's was hijacked and made into a political statement, and I hope that won't happen again.
"Little Liam knew what was happening from the start and he will be coming to London with us. We had to keep him informed. The little one was too young to understand but when he's older we can tell him what happened.
"Marie used to say to me, jokingly, you will look after these kids if anything happens to me. But you never think anything like that will happen. Husband David is brilliant with those kids. We give him all the help we can but he has really taken on the mantle. They were such a close family and did everything together.
"I can never forgive the bombers and it's made me very bitter. What they did was barbaric.
"I think you have more chance of winning the lottery than of ending up in Marie's position. There's no way to explain it. Camille was sitting closer to the bomber than Marie and she's still alive.
"Marie was devoted to her family and was a bright and cheerful person. I said to my wife the other day that this is the only grief she ever caused us."