Dear Dad,

It’s 3 am. I just realised. I forgot. Again. But I need to write this down for you. So you know it’s not you I forgot but it’s just I have an aversion to late April. I always do forget that is. But I was with them, we were nearly altogether and no one mentioned it. Maybe they have the same forgetfulness.

So I woke up tonight with a lump in my throat and I couldn’t figure out why. I laughed at May 4th and Stars Wars day and then it crashed down around my ankles. I still know your mobile number and sometimes I think to phone it, but I know you are not there anymore.

I was thinking about what I would tell you. Twelve years apart. Lots has changed, lots has remained the same. I still miss you, there is still a void, a dad shaped imprint that will never feel anything less than empty. I remember I have your hands. Giant man hands as I call them. Funny, I also remember a few of your jokes which stay the same and still make me cry with laughter. I guess you would describe my sense of humour just like yours.

The oldest sister seems to be the oldest but not so much the wisest. I am not so sure I should explain but the boys are pretty settled in a straight line and mine continues to duck and dive and twist and turn. There are funny things that have happened in twelve years and things you will never get to see. I will be an auntie in August which is exciting not least as Matty and I have plans to cause disruption, chaos and general bedlam. Just because he is the youngest.

The world is quite different now. I even noticed that when I came back from the sea. It’s changed its so fast with so many sharp edges. You know how we find it hard sometimes for the words, well that’s quite important these days. The words. Expression, verbalisation. Remember the days of laughing because of course we were “only joking!” Well now they invented a smiley face for text messages for just that purpose. Phew!!!! It’s quiet sometimes without you around. Before everyday felt different knowing you would never be back from that day. That you will always be fifty. Which is pretty cool. I am nearly 31 now. Just in case you forgot.

Now it’s different. I am really not sure how or why it’s different and I am not sure anyone could ever explain. Twelve years has helped to heal the pain. Eight years it was still so raw. But April 30th still makes me feel sick. And I still forget it. Like I am not allowed to remember it. I hope you read my blog, I hope you check out the chaos that follows me around, I hope you share in all the moments that remind of us how beautiful the world is. I know you shake your finger when the three of us are unruly, and up to usual tricks. I know you smile when we catch each other’s fall, I guess I think I know you are proud of us – maybe that’s a work in progress. Most importantly of all though is I trust you will forgive my forgetfulness.

Ro xx

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