I lit a candle for you today, the anniversary of your leaving us.
I sat in the church and cried because after eighteen years, I miss you so very much, and it’s not getting any easier.
As the flame flickered gently, I thought of your smile, your laughter, your comfort.
And your amusement at our DIY .
Do you remember Little Bedrock, the back step we built when we put in a back door and had misjudged the drop from the house to the drive? Your words were ‘I wouldn’t have done it quite that way myself, but it works.’
You were never one to knock anyone’s efforts. If asked, you would offer advice and guidance, and if we didn’t do it right or it all went belly up because we didn’t listen, you never ridiculed us.
I bet you were in hysterics watching us ‘having a go’ here, especially last year when we revamped the kitchen and decided to paper the ceiling. With just the two of us, a roll of soggy pasted paper, a step-ladder and a broom, we hadn’t a clue but managed. A bit unorthodox in our methods, but the following morning it was still up, and not an air bubble in sight. It still is.
I remember another eighteenth anniversary. My birthday.
You were experimenting with home-made wines, and had cracked the perfect recipe for elderflower champagne. You gave me a half demi-john and a straw as I sat cross-legged on my perch in the dining room. It was heady stuff, and I slept like a baby!
Three years later you were giving me away at my wedding, your home-made wines being served with our sit down meal, every bit as good, if not better, than some of the varieties for sale at extortionate prices. For the official toast, you’d purchased what you called ‘Proper Bubbly’ and we had the first dance at the evening reception.
I’m sorry I married the wrong guy that day.
In 1981 when I said over dinner I intended to move away, your fork stopped half way to your mouth, then resumed its journey. You told me that if it was what I wanted, that was OK, but I was always welcome home.
I made so many mistakes Dad, but you never judged me.
When I was at rock bottom, you were there with Bro to pick me up, give me support, and help me rebuild my collapsed world.
You were so glad for me when I met Hubby. You could see I was on to a winner and had found someone who would never let me down. It was important to me that you and Mum were there when we got married. You both said you had never seen me so serious.
I guess your little girl had finally grown up.
So I sat in the church today having lit a candle for you and cried.
But you are always with me. You are remembered every day with love, respect and a lifetime of memories.
We are hoping to move on, so I’m giving you fair notice that more amusement is on the cards. You can watch over us with Father-in-Law, and compare notes, make bets and laugh together as we have yet another go at making a house into a home.
A home with laughter and love in it. A home with both of your pictures in it. A home where you are in both our hearts.