It’s 81 years ago since you came into the world. In May, it was 8 years since you left us. Missing you still, but relieved you were spared further suffering. I know Dad did a fantastic job all those years, but the time was nearly there that he could do no more. So that’s where you left us.
It’s 12 years ago since I last saw you, on that platform
in Darlington. When the train moved off, you moved out of sight. I could see
the worry in your face. We never met again. At least not face to face. I did
speak to you on the phone the next year, you were pleased to hear my voice
again. It was the last time I heard yours, although neither of us was to know
I know you’re not around anymore, and I would not have wanted to you to linger any more than you had to, between ’98 and ’08. You are there nonetheless, in all three of us, and my sister’s children. We can’t go back to Shiney Row in Hurst. You enjoyed the owl swooping low and the pheasants in the tall grass. Just before I left you, you could only look at the hills, where you had walked the year before.
We were back in Vlieland a month ago, and I think you would have been pleased that all four of us were there. Your picture, of your visit in ’93, sat beside the TV in the ‘Boeier’. We could not come to the viewpoint outside Bomenland, Dad is now getting out of breath when walking up hills. It was cycling each day. But you were there, with us, the whole time. Not in the flesh, and not in any ordinary sense.
I have to carry on, you would not like me to dwell on the past. That’s, well, the past and nothing can be done about that anymore.