You came into our lives in 1975. Mum had put in so much time and work to make sure everything was perfect. Dad was so very proud, and fell in love with you more or less straight away.
Over the years you were included in many outings and family celebrations, and I have a smashing photo of you with Mum and Dad on the mantle. You were so fresh and bright, smart too and at your very best.
It wasn’t until 1997 that you truly became mine and I grew to realise just how important you were in my life. Admittedly, there were times, even months, when I didn’t see you, but I knew you were always there and would continue to be there for me when I needed you.
The comfort I felt in your arms as you wrapped yourself around me, bringing me warmth and a closeness I have never felt with anything else. As the years have gone by, you have grown tired and become so thin, that the wind blows right through you, yet still that special warmth remains.
You have seen me through some lonely and unhappy moments, but when I am with you, many of my worries seem to disappear, as if you have some magical power to banish my concerns, enclosing me in your embrace and protecting me from the coldness of life.
The years have not really been kind to you. I have unwittingly abused and mistreated you, putting you into incredible situations of extreme temperatures that no-one should be expected to tolerate. I have pulled you through the mires of my life, twisted you into almost impossible positions, and then discarded you unceremoniously in a chair.
It’s 2013 now, and the time to say goodbye is fast approaching. I don’t want to do it, as so much will be lost, never to be regained or experienced. Nothing can ever replace you. Nothing. Nothing at all. All I will be left with are memories of something so very special, produced with such love at the onset, a symbol of lasting care and security.
I will always have that photograph. I can look at it every day for the rest of my life, and you will always be pristine, new, perfect in every way.
This is my Dad’s cardigan. My mother knitted it for their 25th Wedding Anniversary and had their photograph professionally taken for the occasion. When he died, she asked me if I’d like it. I have so very little in the way of things that were once Dad’s. This is so very precious, but is now almost paper thin, worn at the elbows, baggy in the body and cuffs, but when I wear it, I can still feel my Dad’s presence. I miss him terribly.