All I’ve wanted to do today is listen to The Fureys’ song The Old Man. That, and bury myself under the duvet. Alone. Well, Frodo’s allowed to join me because he sits on my feet keeping them warm, but today has just been one of those days.
Whenever the house is quiet and still, it’s hard not to think of you and wait for you to walk through the door. But I know you’re not coming. You left us over a year and a half ago and despite what people say, it sure as hell doesn’t get any easier.
I miss your hugs and you asking me to pat you on the head. I miss us walking up the road together and I’d link my arm in yours, only to try and sneak my hand into your pocket to nick your loose change and chewing gum. It was only in the last few years that you’d cottoned on and put your stuff in the other pocket. Little did you know that Mam walked on that side of you and was worse than me!
I miss you hiding pound notes in books around the house. You were probably trying to hide the money away from us kids but I like to think you did that to make us feel like we’d found treasure. You did something similar once when we were younger.
We’d spend hot days in the garden playing games and digging around pretending we had a metal detector with something silly like a stick. One day when out digging, the shovel hit something hard, something made out of tin.
We dug further with our hands, scrambling in the soot and dirt – not caring that we were getting dirty or that Mam was calling us for dinner. Whether it was an antique piece of history or an old boot, we wanted that treasure. We eventually pulled out a small dirty tin, almost falling apart in our hands. We all sat down, staring at the tin in awe. Katey pried it open, and to our amazement, lying inside were a couple of old coins.
You said the look on our faces was incredible. It meant so much to us to have found something in that dump of a garden. Not knowing anything about coins, we ran to the first person we knew who was an expert on them, which was of course you. We found out years later that it was in fact you who had planted the tin in the back garden. Thank you for that. It made our day.
I miss the smell of your aftershave. I miss choking on it walking into the bathroom after you’d got ready for work. I miss bath times when we were really little when the three of us shared a bath. I remember all of the games we’d play, particularly the rhyming game where you’d give us a word and we’d have to think of as many words that rhymed with it. Thanks for the day you said “duck”, my ass didn’t appreciate the slap it got from Mam when I said “f…”
I remember when us three tried to cook you and Mam dinner one year for your anniversary…note the emphasis on the word “tried”. We barely cooked the mushroom starter, burnt the stuffed peppers, and who knows what we did with the poached pear dessert. We set up the table all nice and romantic in the front room – you know, the room with all the fancy stuff, the room we’re not allowed in apart from at Christmas. Between your fits of giggles, you and Mam never once complained about the quality of the food, or ate it (!) …so I wanted to thank you for that. Oh and for ordering the Chinese that evening. You saved us.
Thank you for getting me the post-it note pen when I told you I liked post-it notes. Thank you for taking me to buy a leather Matrix-style coat when I told you I wanted to be a goth. Thank you for driving me to Portsmouth with all of my crap ready for uni, and for sending me a text later that day telling me my secret stash of diet coke cans were under the bed. You knew how much I liked diet coke.
I miss the size of your glasses. If you have a look at photos of anyone in the ’60s and ’70s it was fashionable to have such big glasses …back then. But these days glasses tend to be a lot smaller. But you didn’t care, you loved the fact they were different.
You went out of your way to be a little different. And your humour certainly made you stand out. I started writing this post with tears in my eyes. Now I’m smiling. I’m actually laughing out loud thinking of the things you used to do or say to make people laugh. You told us you used to have a dog called ‘Go Away’, and how the dog would get confused when you used to say “Come here Go Away” …oh dear. That’s not even one of your worst ones 🙂
The house and garden aren’t filled with the sound of animals like they used to be. And it’s sad. You hung bells and chimes on some of the doors and even on the trees in the garden, so it’s nice to hear them in the wind. It’s comforting.
We weren’t prepared for you leaving us when you did. We miss you more than you’ll ever know.