The girls are growing up nicely, I think you would be proud of them. We talk of you often and although Ashley has faint memories now there's lots for her to use as memory joggers, we keep the airplane that we gave you that final Christmas front and center. The books with the little messages you wrote in the front cover are a lovely reminder of your love of reading and how you wanted so badly to share that love with them. Sydney still has the First Day cover of the Rudyard Kipling stamps in her room on her notice board, the copy of Just So Stories in her bookcase. Little reminders that are kept just so we can look at them when we need to and remember the kindhearted man who was Grandpa, beloved and missed.
We all have our own versions of that horrible day when you were so quickly ripped from our lives, but one thing is for sure, we all know just what it was we lost and however it plays out to each of us, the result is the same, a loss, a terrible gaping hole never to be filled. Sometimes when we're having a bad day one of us might say "this is the worst day of my life" and then we are quickly reminded that no, it's not, not by a long shot. That's what we tell each other and guess what... it keeps it all in perspective.
Your voice still sounds so clear in my head, your memory still so alive. I have no idea why this year is so hard for me to get through, I just assumed time would heal all pain but it really doesn't. It just dulls the ache for a little while until it breaks through again and takes me hostage one more time. While all around me people are being thankful and looking forward to Christmas I can only think of your birthday, another one you're missing, and another Christmas reminding me of your very last couple of weeks. Thank God you spent those last weeks with us, selfish of me I know but thank God!! We found the video that we took that last Christmas morning, and watched it with tear filled eyes and heavy hearts. I know deep down you don't want us to mourn; but to celebrate the times we had. We try, we really do.
The tree we planted for you is growing, how, I have no idea! and the potted plant I received from a friend is still alive and well. We feel like we have you here watching over us and so in an odd kind of way it's fortunate for us, sad for those missing you in England though. Sad for Mum, missing you so much every day, God only knows how she goes on without you, I am sure she's praying for when she will be with you again. I pray for that too sometimes and imagine you guys back together and happy for eternity, maybe that would give me peace. Knowing the unit is whole again.
Well... dear sweet man... Happy Birthday! We will remember you and love you always.