Dear Darling Col,
It’s unbelievable to think it is four years today that I last looked at you and saw those twinkly eyes of yours. Four years since you raced out the door, with a quick and happy goodbye over your shoulder, to never come back. Never. I still find that so unreal. So full of life and so full of love. So much to live for. So completely unaware that your heart was a ticking time bomb. It’s just bloody unfair, on everyone.
Why do you not to have all the great times you should be having right now with our little girls? They are so funny and sharp and much fun to spend time with. I laugh out loud so often but every time I do I wish you were there right beside me so I could catch your eye and share/revel in them. Isla was so tiny when you disappeared but I have always said that she had your cheekiness. It grows and grows. In the car a few weeks ago. It was just her and I. From the back I heard the most massive fart. I looked up into my rear view mirror to see her wee face beaming and her eyes twinkling just like yours used to and then she said: “It wasn’t me Mummy. It was Daddy.” Now it’s our thing every time she trumps and pumps there is a performance where she looks up to the sky and merrily blames you with a shake of her head and her finger and a cheeky ‘Naughty Daddy’. She doesn’t even know how similar this is to your, sometimes childish, sense of humour.
Evie continues to look more like you but she always carries a sadness that Isla doesn’t have. A sadness that you’re not here. She wept herself to sleep again last night. She wept and just kept repeating “I want my Daddy back, I want my daddy back”. It’s heartbreaking. She goes through spates of needing things of yours to sleep with. For about a month she slept in your jumper. The same one I slept in in those early weeks after you died. Then she slept beside your photo for a time. Last night it was the photo as well as a memory scrapbook I have started for her in one of the photo-albums we bought together on our honeymoon. She is a pretty happy little girl mostly but I think there would less of this darkness if you were here. I do thank you for sending me Cameron because as every day goes by she and Isla are forming a lovely bond with him. He can never replace you but he is trying to a good job of being a father figure.
As for me, I have my dark moments too. Last weekend I drove to your mums. The car broke down five minutes from the house when I was loading it up with petrol for the journey. Of course, you’d have been useless at the practical part of working out how to get it going again so it would still have been me untangling the jump leads and popping the boot open to jump start it. But sorting these things all on my own with two kids in the back without being able to snipe at you for being ridiculously stupid…well it got my goat. It also got my goat that you weren’t the one driving us all to your mum’s. My glasses are not so rose-tinted to think it would have been a journey of complete family harmony but I hate how driving those four hours seemed to highlight my single-handedness in this parenting thing. I am the driver, the entertainment provider, the peace-keeper and the snack supplier and I think about how things might have been. How I would have been sitting on the left and not always the right.
Before kids, car journeys with you…well we had some bad times and some great times. The time you nearly threw me out because I was so angry with the map for being wrong was a bad time. But the sunny summers days in your beat up little Peugeot singing along to Islands In the Stream and doing our make-it-up-as-you-go-along Trivia Quiz? Great times. I wonder would you still remember the year the Peace of Westphalia was signed? I can still never remember the endless capital cities you seemed to. But you did admit to many an hour pouring over an atlas as a child. I liked that geekness in you. Anyway back to my poor me moment. In desperation to entertain the troops on the way to Leeds I stopped at some services. I did count my blessings as I did so and thanked the sky that gone are the days that I had to carry a carseat and a toddler across a motorway carpark to sit in a dingy cafe to breastfeed my newly fatherless baby. But anyway, back on point. For safety reasons I needed something that would keep the peace on the backseat. Pinging sweets backwards was having limited success so in WH Smith I had a brainwave. Didn’t you and I love a talking book for our retro car cassette player? I was disappointed in the offering. I couldn’t opt for our favourite thriller genre of our heady youth so James Patterson was out. But Fairy Tales? Yes indeed and it was a success. So thank you for that honey. I do like to think you send me your solutions. I just wish you here in the flesh for me to pooh pooh them or hug you in delight dependent on the outcome, obviously.
Gosh hon this is just a rambling but I just wanted to say we miss you so, so much. The girls too even though they don’t remember you really. But all of us work hard to keep your memories vivid in their wee minds. Evie did this drawing of you and I at your mums. I think we look pretty fine on what is supposed to be our wedding day. Don’t you?
I will always love you darling. I will always miss you. Forever my love. Yours, Lamba (with a silent b of course)
Oh and by the way Col…the Peace of Westphalia…it was signed in 1648.