Thursday, 29 April 2010

Very Special Cards

My Dearest, Darling Eileen

Since we first met, fifty years ago this year, you never ever forgot my birthday - or me yours.

Well tomorrow is May 1st, my birthday.   It will be the first one without you - or your cards.  

For the life of me I cannot remember when 'our tradition' started, but birthdays always meant two cards.

Luckily, I've kept many of the ones you gave me in recent years. 

This is one of the cards you gave me on my birthday, two years ago in 2008.

This is the other one ...


As you will recall, 1 May 2008 was not a good day - or a great birthday.

We had agreed to hold off celebrating it until you kept your appointment at the hospital.  

By the time we returned home that evening, you had had your scan and we knew the diagnosis was not a good one.  If the uncertainty before had been bad, the knowing was so much worse.  

Re-reading that message on the front of that first card and the personal messages you wrote inside both, I have questions I know will never be answered.

Knowing you as I did, you will have chosen both cards with infinite care, well before my birthday.  It was so you.  Something you never failed to do.    

Did you have a premonition?  Or, like me, were you just really really scared and frightened.

All I know is that long into the evening we held each other tight. We didn't  say too many words.  What could we say.  Birthdays became unimportant.

By my next birthday, 1 May 2009, you had achieved so much in recovering from your cancer and your stroke.  You had been so determined and brave all the way through.  We hoped we were winning, but we could not be sure.

Charlotte, Caitlin and Reuben came over to help us celebrate on the day.

You were in good spirits, sitting out in the sun, watching the twins.  


You looked really good.

Your speech was improving.  Your walking too.  It really made my day to see you like this.  It was the best present I could have asked for.  But I did love the wallet you gave me.  It will always be precious to me.  

Your birthday card to me was one you picked yourself. 


The message inside you wrote yourself, without any help.

Your birthday cards have always meant a lot to me.

I now treasure all the ones I had the foresight or was lucky enough to keep.

The two you gave me before you became ill are extra special to me, because of the sincere sentiments they contain - and of what happened that day.

If you thought you could not be without me, it is just as difficult for me being without you. 

But it is the one you gave me last year that is closest to my heart.  I cannot imagine the effort it took you to write it.  I could never fail to be touched by that. 

Sadly, I now know it's the last birthday card I will ever receive from you, my Love 

Tomorrow, Saturday, as I said is May the first. 

I am looking forward to being with Charlotte and Ivan, Adrian and Nikki, and Darcy, Caitlin, Reuben and Harriet.

It will be an enjoyable day, but it will be a tough one too.  Not just for me but for everyone else

I know you would wish us to have fun.
I promise we will do our best - but it won't be the same without you.  It never, ever will.
I love and miss you so much.    
Ever Yours,