Heyy, how you doing? It's been a while!! I miss you so much, more and more every day.
Still wearing that B necklace you picked out for me, only ever taking it off for PE (health and safety shenanigans & what not). The necklace is my little memoir of you, helps me get through the days. I don't get upset as much anymore, I just remember you.
It hurts me so much that you didn't get to see me grow up. You didn't even get to see me hit my teens. We didn't even get to go to the sea. You've never seen me surf. It's the little things like these that really make me sad. We never got to go on holiday with you, at least not to my memory. I don't blame you though, I never will. It's not your fault, it's no ones. PD is a nasty disease, you fought it well and powerfully and you will forever be my inspiration.
I'm sorry I haven't really been to see you. It's just still sore. I came last Christmas, but it got a bit awkward when we found a card supposedly for you from another woman. Turns out it was for someone else nearby, but the card had blown across!! That got a bit awkward!!
I've grown up quite a bit since you last properly saw me, physically and mentally. I'm not tall like you though, I wish. No, I've got nanna's genes. I'm not as short as her but I'm not exactly model material...
Anyway, I've changed quite a bit, a lot has happened to make that though. I met someone, well, I met a few people. They look after me. It's not the same as what you did for me, but it helps. These people, they understand me. I feel like I can be stronger and more independent.. I had to have counselling a couple of years after you left, but that wasn't really very helpful. I've dealt with it by myself in my own way. I'm grateful for the network that I have now. I have the most amazing friends who never fail to cheer me up, and also I have inspirational women in my life. Not big famous celebrities or whatever, I know you wouldn't approve of that, no. I have some normal people who live their own normal lives, but still take the time to look after me and make sure I'm okay, just like you. Not instead of you, but as well as.
I guess I just wanted to say what I never got to say to you. I just want to say thank you. Thank you for listening to me and just listening. Thank you for holding my hand even when you were tired and drained. Thank you for letting me sit on your lap as you read me Elmer books. Thank you for letting me play you flute music even though I'd only just started and was actually terrible! (I have greatly improved now, you'll be glad to know) Thank you for squeezing me tight when I was feeling down, even when you really struggled to. Thank you for letting me be me. I hadn't quite found myself when I was eleven (and before) but you made me feel comfortable in what I was and how I was. Thank you for loving me.
I'm not going to lie, it's been a struggle, and continues to be one. I'm better than I have been. I think when you're 11 you're more aware than a little child, but you're not exactly sure how to deal with a loss. It wasn't until I was thirteen that I think I actually started to grieve properly. Losing you so close to Christmas, we tried as a family, to get on with every day life as quick as possible. I think maybe too quickly, at least for me.
As of last Sunday, it has been five years since we lost you. Five years since I saw you. Five years since you left us. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you, remember you. I still cry sometimes. I'll talk about you to someone and I'll go and cry. It's still difficult, but I'm hoping this letter will give me a bit of closure in itself. I need it.
Love you forever Gramps
Your little ginger granddaughter