I know, I know, midnight is sort of being cheeky about ‘Mum Day’, but it’s sort of become a tradition. Time will do that for you. And that’s what this year’s letter is all about. Time; the passage thereof.
December 10th 2010. There’s a lot of tens in there, which is sort of fitting as this will be the tenth anniversary of the day you died. And so, so much has happened in those ten years. The biggest thing of course has been Jamie and how he’s grown. He wasn’t even two years old when you died and he will soon be twelve. He’s at secondary school now – top set for Maths, you’ll be glad to know. Perhaps he can teach me how to do long division some day.
So… time and the passage thereof. Here is the last ten years in notable (and occasionally pointless) events.
2001 was spent in a confused blur. You’d died in the December, then Nanny died in the March. Going to the crematorium so soon after your funeral felt downright odd. In some ways, the proximity of those two deaths hit me harder than the deaths themselves. I spent so long worrying about Dad and Stephen that I didn’t stop to think about me. That came about four years later.
Also in 2001 I met Viv and Crys… and was introduced to LRP. I went to my first event in August 2001 and was confused beyond all belief. No idea what was going on.
By December, the first anniversary of your death rolled around and I still found myself calling at weekends when I knew Dad would be out… just so I could hear your voice on the answering machine. On 10/12/01, I am amused to note that everyone in the office played the Poddington Peas theme tune, just to cheer me up.
So 2002. A very busy, strange sort of year, 2002 was. In summary, this was 2002. Jamie turned three. My marriage broke up. I moved into a house in Middlesbrough. I met Dearly Beloved towards the latter half of the year. I went back to LRP just to see if it really was as odd as I remembered and I was hooked. On 10/12/02, I was still pretty much the same as I had been in 2001, only with slightly less weirdness. I was starting to get used to it. The thing that made me laugh that day was one of Weebl’s cartoons. And the link no longer works, so I don’t even known which one it was.
2003. I left Onyx and went to work for Clickhere, discovering I was actually really good at being a teacher and regretting not ever going into that line of work. We bought a hamster, on a complete whim. He turned out to be insane and addicted to toast. Finzilla got married. That was fun! Jamie appeared in his first nativity play ever. He just sort of stood there, but he was in it, nonetheless. On 10/12/03, I didn’t post up anything that made me laugh. Clearly not such a good year, really. Although evidently on your birthday, I was less depressed and more reflective.
2004. Final Fantasy X2 came out. This made me angry. It’s a dreadful game. Dearly Beloved and I had an unexpected wodge of cash come our way and took a holiday to St. Lucia. That was awesome. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban came out at the cinema. We sold the house in Middlesbrough and moved back to Fishburn. Much easier for the whole Jamie-at-school thing. Colossus came back into the X-Men, despite allegedly being dead. Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends first showed up on TV. We acquired two kittens. Rikku and Yuna. On 10/12/04 I again didn’t post up anything that made me laugh – but I suspect moving house 4 days before the anniversary helped distract me some.
2005. Jamie Oliver started his school dinners campaign. Bloody good idea, much harder to get through to the chavvy population of the UK. Dad took us all on holiday to Florida. Jamie liked the mini golf more than anything else in Orlando. Jamie broke his arm and I had to drive all the way back from Bristol to be with him. I quit working for Clickhere and went temping until the end of the year when I got a job with the NHS. Other than that, a generally peaceful year. 10/12/05… didn’t post up anything funny. This was because Dad was visiting over that weekend.
2006. Mike and Sarah got married. Enjoyed David Tennant’s first year as Doctor Who. X-Men 3 came out, which in turn led to Panacea, which in turn led to Reineke and Lazarus and Katie and all those other wonderful people. I got my second tattoo. Had a week away with Suse and Theo at Center Parcs Nottingham, where we heckled the Robin Hood show. It was great. Ex re-married. This was all good. I was, and remain, happy for them both. 10/12/06 I posted up a bunch of memories of you, proving yet again that I’ve never forgotten you. I also amused myself with the Irn Bru Snowman advert.
2007. This was a great year. The last Harry Potter book was launched. I bought it at midnight and finished it at 2am. Dearly Beloved and I holidayed to Las Vegas, where we met up with Reineke and Lazarus and spent the week experiencing nindgets and post-industrial revolution Hobbiton. And the Holy Rings of Betazed. Discovered that in Terminal 3 at Manchester Airport, there’s a luggage shop ‘for all your travelling needs’ that you can visit after security control! How handy! David Eddings accidentally burned down his office. Wound up on the Viper faction plot team. Oh yeah. Dearly Beloved and I got married and went to Rome. I finally got to see the Colosseum. On 10/12/07 I posted up the lyrics to the song ‘Search For the Hero’ by M-People, because you loved it. I also revealed that much of the ache had gone out of missing you and that I was no longer afraid to cry when I thought about you. I amused myself with a LOLcat.
2008. Getting down to it now. Life suddenly started to be overrun by faction plot writing. I raged at Orange broadband for being so utterly incompetent. Eva was born. Don S. Davis, General Hammond from Stargate died. I escaped my awful Evil Colleague From Hell-dominated job and moved to a new one, where I remain. Darling Crys died and I miss him dreadfully. On 10/12/08 I posted a much more light-hearted entry about mums and how awesome they are.
2009. Barack Obama became President of the United States and everyone promptly forgot about him. Being Human was on TV and was awesome. You’d have loved that. Jamie passed his cycling proficiency test. I started writing stories in the 40k-verse. We went to see Tim Minchin at the City Hall. I switched from using LJ to mostly using WordPress. On 10/12/09 I posted you a letter.
So here we are, into 2010. And it’s been a hell of a year. My first short story was accepted for publication with the Black Library. This has led to me being let loose to write a novel. It’s the most amazing, amazing thing – and I can’t share it with you. You always told me that if I put my mind to it, I could do it. I wish you were here to say ‘I told you so’.
I wish you were here to laugh at Jamie and his continually outstanding comments. I wish you were here to see what a great little character he’s become. I wish you were here to laugh at the thousands of silly things that have come and gone in ten years. I wish you were here so I could pick up the phone and ring you just because you’re there. I wish you were here so you could meet Ben. I wish you were here so you could meet the cats, see our house, have been at our wedding, complained about the snow with me, seen the four different cars I’ve had in the ten years you’ve been gone…
Most of all, I just wish you were here.
After ten years, I’d have thought the worst of the pain would have gone. In some ways it has, but in others, it’s different. It’s more real. That probably makes no sense. But today, when I was talking about you – because I do that at least once a day – I felt such a terrible ache of loss that I cried. Crying’s good, though. It’s cathartic and cleansing and reminds me that I’ve not forgotten just how much I loved you and still love the memory of you.
2011 will be a fantastic year, I hope. There’s so much on the cards that by the time 10/12/11 rolls around, there will be so, so many things to tell you.
Love you, mum.
Always and forever.