My Darling Eileen
Early January can be a bleak, cold grey month at any time.
But never more so than this year.
Wasn't looking forward to the 12th in particular - the first anniversary of the day you left us.
But life has to go on...
As you can imagine it was a sad and emotional day - with miserable weather to match my mood.
Got some nice cards with lovely messages in the post, and some phone calls too, underlining just how much you are missed by so many people.
A sad and emotional day - with miserable weather to match.
After the rain had eased a little I headed out and drove to Hanningfield.
Hadn't been back there since the last time we were there together in September 2009.
The last time, in fact, you were able to leave the house, so I felt it was a good place as any to go and sit and remember, on this day of days.
I drove into the car park, switched the engine off and sat there, totally alone, while the rain fell and heavy grey clouds hung low over the surface of the reservoir.
A few bedraggled geese and ducks came around the car but then gave up and waddled off when they realised there was nothing for them.
They looked as miserable as I felt.
I would have been miserable company for anybody that day.
Only one person could have lifted the gloom - and my mood.
And she wasn't around.
No other cars came, just a few vans heading down the lane to the cafe.
I remained there until it was almost dark and it was only when I was leaving that I noticed the sign saying the car park closed at 3.30pm.
A good twenty minutes earlier.
Luckily they hadn't closed the gates.
So I drove slowly up the lane and turned for home along those once-familiar roads.
And spent the evening alone with my thoughts, a glass or two of wine, some of our favourite music and a host of precious memories.
Will love and miss you