9 Months Too Long

Dear Mum,

It’s been 9 months since you left and to be honest, it’s about time you came back. I’ve definitely learned the lesson of how fab you are and how much I need you in my life; I promise to never forget that ever again. I just need you to come back.

Sometimes I think it’s all maybe getting a little easier, but then I’m hit with another huge whallop of grief – determined to knock me down and keep me there. I have to do whatever I can to find some air again and claw my way out of the grief vacuum. It would be far too easy to drown in it.

It’s sunny now. Summer is here (in true British form of ‘is it going to rain today? 1186773_429236453855696_2130074871_nI better take a coat just in case’). Last summer you hardly left the house – it was too painful and tiring. The summer before I barely remember, I think you must have been working, and I was too. The summer before that we all went away as a family, climbing up mountains in France and mountain biking down them. It was boiling hot but there was snow at the top of the mountains. There are photos of us standing in snow in t-shirts.

You loved summer. You would come home on time to watch Wimbledon (unlike the rest of the year when you would often work late), then would finish your work later that evening, after ‘Today at Wimbledon’ had finished. We’d play table tennis in the garden, or actual tennis down at the local tennis club. We’d go to places on weekends sometimes; Yorkshire Sculpture Park or Harewood House, or even just have a potter around Wetherby. 166 (2016_04_23 16_52_32 UTC)You would normally take a couple of weeks annual leave and we would go somewhere – France for many years, but Spain once or twice, or different places in the UK.

I remember one day last summer really clearly. It must have been summer because I was wearing the dress I’m wearing today (I hadn’t realised that until I thought about it just now!). Dad was at the cottage so I offered to come home and be with you. You woke up mid-morning. I helped you to the bathroom and found your medication that Dad had left out for me. You thanked me for looking after you – you had kept insisting that friends could come over or carers could come round – but that morning you told me you appreciated it being a family member. In that moment I wished more than anything that I had my life more ‘together’. I wished I’d passed my driving test so I could have come over more and done more. I wished I was more sorted, more settled, more able to help. I wished I could have spent more time with you.

I miss you.

My driving test is coming up – I’ve finally almost reached that point (let’s hope I pass…). I’m settling down. I’ve got a better work-life balance. I might have been more able to help this year. But it’s a year too late.

Nine months is no time at all, yet in my head it stretches on forever. It’s not even a year. In the grand scheme of things it’s nothing, but it’s a nine months which have perhaps been harder than any previous nine months that I’ve ever lived through.

So, it’s about time you came back now, you’ve been gone long enough. We’ve learned to do a few things without you – we’ve learned to make a decent Christmas cake, we’ve learned which suncream to buy, we’re learning how to have fun again. E managed to get off on a school trip with all documentation intact, J has finished a year of work without killing or maiming any children, Dad’s kept the house going and the boys alive. We miss you, though.

I miss you, Mum, it’s been nine months too long and the sun is screaming out for you to bustle through the house and throw us all outside.

Lots of love,
Xxx

155 (2016_04_23 16_52_32 UTC)

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