Well, it’s just gone midnight (or it will have done by the time I finish writing this) and it’s time for the annual update. Eleven years ago was the very last time I ever spoke to you in person. I remember the conversation perfectly. I remember a lot of things that you said to me in the time you were stil with us and I’m surprised how much of it actually sank in over the years.
So what did 2011 bring? I told you last year that I was in the middle of writing my first novel. Well, I’ve finished both that and a second and have written several more short stories. The writing has been amazing. The people who’ve come into my life through the writing are great and so incredibly encouraging. It seems to be going OK. I’m loving it and it’s always nice to get good feedback.
Still working in the same job; it’s not the greatest in the world, but it pays the bills. Mustn’t grumble and all that.
Jamie… ah, now there’s a thing. Can you believe he’ll be thirteen in February? He’s almost as tall as I am now, which is more than a little unnerving. He still comes out with the greatest comments and I still harbour deep suspicions than he’s been here before. He’s a good kid, though… people always comment on it when we’re out. A waitress stopped me on the way out of a restaurant to say as much and that was great. I reckon you’d be proud of him.
Dad’s here this weekend. It sort of seems right to get him to come up. I know he appreciates the company at this time of the year. Also, as much as I reckon you’d be proud of Jamie, dad seems confident in saying that you’d be proud of me for all that’s happened this year.
It’s been an incredible year one way or the other but the thing that’s lingered in the back of my mind is how much I wish you were here to hear about it. You always told me that if I put my mind to it I could write the novel I always wanted to. Well, you were right. Why aren’t you here to say ‘I told you so’? I still get annoyed about it, but hey. The old adage is very true. Time is a great healer. I still get tears in my eyes at times, but the sting isn’t so sharp. Not now. Quiet regrets, really and an entirely selfish sense of having been cheated of the pleasure of telling you all this news in person.
But… well. Here we are. It’s the way things are and I’m not exactly stupid enough to realise that there’s anything I can do about it. What I can do about it is carry on remembering you in my own way… through writing you these annual letters, through remembering you in little ways when I see a TV show or a film you loved.
You’re always with me, mum. I miss you and always will. And as I said to someone the other day, the one bright light in the eternal gloom of loss is that nothing was left unsaid. Not everyone has that luxury.
It’s definitely gone midnight now and I’ve stayed up to write this, because I wanted to. Now, though… I’m off to bed. Sometimes I have dreams about you and I treasure those. I don’t often remember my dreams when I wake up, but I always remember the ones you were in and I am grateful beyond words that I get to spend time – however fleeting and ethereal it may be – with you.
Love you, mum. Always.