Tomorrow, the 25th, is my Dad’s birthday - he’s a sprightly pensioner now, his life more full of activity than when he was gainfully employed and he has a great time chasing around after his two grandchildren. We’ll visit him tonight, to give him his cards and gifts and wish him all the best.
Tomorrow, the 25th, my kid sister Sarah & I will go up to the cemetery, just on the edge of town and put flowers on our sister Tracy’s grave. It’ll be the eighth anniversary of her passing, which doesn’t feel like any time at all, until you think about everything that has happened since.
When Tracy passed away in 2003, Alison & I were trying for a baby and now we’re the exceptionally proud parents of Matthew, who’s 6 years old and as bright as a button. He’s the best thing I’ve ever created in my life and I’m sure Tracy would have loved him. He knows all about her, he’s seen her pictures, watched her in the wedding video, we talk about her, but there’s a constant nagging sadness that neither of them got to meet. I’m sure they’d have got on brilliantly - I’m convinced of it, in fact - but it wasn’t to be. Likewise, Tracy never got to meet Lucy, my god-daughter and niece, who is a beautiful and lovely two-year-old. Nor did see get to see Sarah graduate from university, meet Chris and get married. Worse, she never got to see how well my parents coped (in a situation that is almost unfathomable in its horror), how strong they were and how determined to keep moving forward - to remain as wonderful parents to me & Sarah and superb grandparents for Matthew & Lucy.
Time does ease pain and scars do heal over, but at certain points of the year, that time is rolled back and those scars are re-exposed. Tomorrow is that day for us.
It’s been eight years, but I remember that awful phone call as if it was yesterday. I wish I didn’t have to hear it, I wish my Mum hadn’t had to make it.
RIP, Tracy, never forgotten.