Dear Mummie (2017)

George and I weren’t even 19 when you left us, and yet here we are 19 years later. That’s 6941 days without your laugh, your smile, and your voice which was described as being like a full bodied red wine.

I was so angry with you for such a long time for leaving us. I know you cherished us and yet you went. One minute you were there and the next, the bleep of the heart monitor flatlined and you were gone.

I’d give anything to be able to pick up the phone to you, although I know you’d have been all over WhatsApp and a Queen of a subtle emoji. I’d give anything to be able to sit down and share a bottle of wine with you and just talk. I’d give anything for you to be able to see what a wonderful man George has become, he managed to leave behind the miserable teenage ball of hormones and has blossomed into a man you’d be so proud of. I’d give anything for you to be able to spend time with Sam and Ben. They are such a delight and you’d adore them. More than anything, even though I’m 35 and like to think of myself as being independent, I’d give anything to hear you trill “see you in the morning when the sunshine comes again” as we headed up to bed.

My life isn’t easy, nobody’s is, but in the main I’m happy, in the main I’m content, and I’m blessed with the fiercest loving caring friends you could wish for.

I found your makeup bag the other day. Preserved since the day you last used it, your smell captured within. I sat for a long time looking at the contents remembering those happy times in the makeup hall in Bentalls – I can blame you for having drawers crammed full of cosmetics really can’t I.

I’m not sure I believe in heaven. I like to imagine you somewhere in the ether wearing a fabulous pair of earrings, calling everyone darling, and holding court as usual. I know the older I get the more I’m turning into you (we’re almost at the stage that there’s no turning, there’s only turned) and it’s given me a greater understanding of the woman you were inside.

Always a smile, always an open door, and nothing was too much for the people you loved. Yet inside was a world of pain, a sense of turmoil and lack of inner peace. Your way of dealing was to smile, smile, smile, and deal with the pain in private. I learned this from you and it’s only now that I’m starting to realise how toxic that can be and how actually it’s okay to ask for help, and it’s okay to struggle sometimes. I just wish you could have let your friends in like I have.

You’re still spoken of so fondly – even if young Ben is convinced you were murdered in some gangland shootout (boys eh!) and I wish you could see just how many lives you touched, how many people were so glad to know you, or so sad they never got the chance.

Wherever you are I hope you’re smiling.

See you in the morning, when the sunshine comes again.

Love you, love you, mean it, mean it.

Your Ally Weasel x

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