What do you think of when you think of the British High Street? For me it evokes memories of shopping trips with my Mum, of Saturdays spent with friends and of shops that you think will always be there. It brings back happy memories, but will today’s teenagers have those sorts of memories when they look back?
Recently I’ve been feeling a little bit lost in the blogging world. I’ve not had much motivation to post or even take photographs which is not like me at all. A lot of thinking has been going on as to whether my heart is in this anymore. I don’t have a definitive answer, but I do still have a love and passion for what I do.
Valentine’s Day is almost here and I’m going to bet there’s still some men who don’t have a clue what to buy their better half. Thankfully, I have the John Lewis Partner’s Guide To Buying Lingerie. Yep, those clever folk over at John Lewis have put together a little guide to help the men in our lives surprise us with some gorgeous lingerie on Valentine’s Day.
Well Mum, it’s been 9 years. 9 whole years since you went. I’ll be honest with you, it’s been shit. We miss you more than I think we even realise. There’s a hole – a big Mum shaped hole that never closes. Every single day I think of something I should tell you, or go to ring you. I still remember your mobile number … but you’re not there.
The weekend you died runs through my mind a lot. From seeing you on the Saturday when you were just a shell to watching you slip away at 4am the next morning. It runs on a loop some days – every last detail. Your ashes are still at the funeral directors – we’re sticking to your wish to scatter them when Dad passes. I hate that you’re probably just on a dusty shelf somewhere but you’ll get why I don’t want them here. I just hate that you’re there.
It’s odd because it feels so long since you went but then it all still seems so fresh. At the same time, things are starting to slip away. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been ill over the past year but it’s like there’s a mental block on some of the memories. The sound of your voice is starting to fade … I only ever had one video of you speaking and I can’t find it anywhere. I miss your voice. How you smelt is becoming a distant memory … I’ll have to go and smell a bottle of Poison from Dior, but that’s not enough. Who forgets what their Mum smelt like? I don’t remember the sound of your laugh at all – did we not laugh enough together or are these memories so painful that my brain has blocked them? All of the photos albums are still packed in boxes in the garage from when we moved, so I only have the few I posted on Facebook to look at. We didn’t take enough pictures together. It’s not enough.
You’ve missed so much Mum. You have 4 grandchildren now – 3 boys and a girl. We’ve never met them and I doubt we ever will, but you know what the boys are like. You’d hate to see how much your family has fallen apart – clearly you were the glue that kept us together. We have our reasons, so trust us that we’ve done what we had to do. No kids from me – I followed in your footsteps and had a hysterectomy. Sorry for all the times I laughed at you having hot flushes … I now know just how much you needed to stand in front of that freezer in Tesco to cool down.
I do have animals though – I really do not know what you’d think of them. You always loved our cats Sugar and Spice and after they’d gone we got Pickle. He’s not the friendliest cat and you’d lose your mind seeing how he scratches the furniture or thinks that it is funny to walk all over the kitchen but he’s a character. As for Alfie … I don’t ever remember you being that into dogs, but I think you’d like him. Ok, so his barking at the slightest little thing would piss you off and the fact that he’s a stubborn little devil would frustrate you, but you’d like him. He’s cute and funny and the best hysterectomy present a girl could wish for.
I’m still with Mick and I know that will make you happy. I wish you’d had time to get to know him better, but right from the start you said he was the one for me. As usual you were right. We’ve had rocky times and we’ve had amazing times and I can’t be without him. You’d love how he cares for me and he seems to have taken over your job of spoiling me at Christmas … he’s a good man Mum. I know you were worried about me when I had to move back home and as soon as I met Mick you faded fast. It’s almost like you knew that he’d look after me so that you could go. You were either psychic, a bit spooky or a bloody good judge of character … I’m sorry you didn’t get more time with him. You share a love of power tools (odd people) and the same impatience for when things need doing … if you were still here I know you two would have ganged up on me!
As for Dad … well he’s more annoying than ever lol. He misses you and has seemed so lost since you went. His health still isn’t great and he seems so old these days … there’s a walking stick now. I can imagine the look on your face if you’d been here the day that came home with him. He’s retired now but has a good little group of friends who make sure he gets out and about. I’ve been a shit to him and I’m sorry for that. Don’t hate me Mum – I’m trying to fix it.
The morning you died was the most surreal time of my life. I was numb and that numbness has stayed. There are times when I break down and cry but then I stop myself. I guess I get that from you … showing emotions doesn’t seem to be something either of us excel at, but I’m working on it. I can’t say that we’ve done that well without you but life has continued for us and we’ve had to try and make the best of it. In some aspects, things have gone great (Mick, the blog, Alfie), but I can’t help thinking that if you’d been here then the bad parts might not have happened.
You were the one who fixed everything, you made it all better and maybe we relied on you too much. Both Dad and I have had to grow up (finally) other the past 9 years. There are tears streaming down my face as I write this and I know that if you were here you’d roll your eyes and tell me to toughen up. In some ways I think I am quite tough, but there’s nothing I wouldn’t give for one more of your (rare) hugs.
I hope that you’re not too disappointed in how we’ve turned out. Wherever you are (is there a Heaven?), I hope that you’re at peace. Cancer may have taken you away from us physically, but you’re in our thoughts and our hearts constantly. There’s so much more I could say … so many apologies for how I was as a teenager, or for the mean words we exchanged at times, but you already know. Mum knows everything.
So until I see you again one day, just know that I love you and I miss you.