My darling Aimee
It’s hard to believe it’s 19 long years since you left us. 19 long years since our hearts broke. 19 long years with millions of tears. Yet it seems like just yesterday. If I allow myself to think about it, the pain is still so raw that it seems like just yesterday, so I try to remember only the good times and leave that dreadful night in the far recesses of my mind where it can’t hurt me.
So much has happened in those 19 years and the last few years especially have been a whirlwind. A good whirlwind I should add. It’s funny but if anyone had told me 19 years ago that I would ever be happy again I would have been so angry I would have torn shreds off them… But I am happy again. Don’t get me wrong, there will never be a day for the rest of my life where I don’t miss you or long for just one more hug or one more kiss but life is good again. There has been so much happening and I hate the fact that you’ve missed it all but I know in my heart you have been there every step of the way.
Your baby brother got married last year. Oh Aimee, you would have been so proud, as I was, to watch his face as his beautiful bride walked down the aisle to become his wife. Sarah is gorgeous. She reminds me a lot of you. She’s exceptionally smart, she’s very strong, she’s quite sassy at times but behind all that, she hides that same vulnerability that you had. She is a good and kind person. You would have loved her. In fact I’m sure you do. I often think how Stuart wouldn’t have got a look in with the two of you. You loved stirring him up and I’ve no doubt you would have found a partner in crime in your sister in law. She gets that same mischievous gleam in her eye that you used to get then the wicked grin starts. Oh yes, you two would get on perfectly. I know that for sure. Stuart is a lot like you too. I often look into his eyes and see you. He has the same loyalty, compassion and soft heart that you had. I know you two would have ended up best friends. He and Sarah are overseas at the moment but when he gets back, he starts a new job straight away. You’d be so proud of him. I remember that look of pride you had when you met him. The smug smile as you nestled him to you and noone was allowed near your baby brother. He was your baby. You were allowed to tease him.. but noone else was… well unless it was you and Lachlan together.
Speaking of Lachlan, he started a new job yesterday. His dream job. We always knew he’d go far in his chosen field, he’s always been so focussed. He met his partner a year ago. I went away for a few weeks and when I came back, Jenna was a permanent fixture. She’s a sweetheart too. She brings out the protector in Lachlan which is beautiful to see. And they laugh. After years of seeing him so sad and heartbroken after you left, to hear his laughter warms my once stone cold heart. I used to wonder if he’d ever really heal after you died. You were his best friend. You were inseparable since the day he was born. So to see him in love and happy has made me feel so much happier. You’d get on great with Jenna too. She is sweet and gentle and caring. I have the feeling you’d lead both the girls astray with hijinx if you were here. I feel so very blessed to have two beautiful girls in our family again.
I’ve adopted a new daughter too. I met her through the course I’m doing and what can I say. Kirsty is a daughter without her mum.. I’m a mum without her daughter. We’re the perfect fit. I have no doubt you sent her to me to see me through. She’s quiet and shy till you get to know her.. but she’s loyal and has such a sweet soul. I feel very blessed. The girls outnumber the boys in the family again… It’s a good thing.
Both boys carry you in their heart. They will always talk about you. They will always miss you. But they had to be happy again. I know it’s what you would have wanted. You adored them both. You’d be proud of them and love both your sisters in law. They have each others backs.. Oh they still fight when they are together but they would walk over hot coals for each other. They are lovely, good men and I never cease to be amazed at how they have overcome the odds to be the sort of men I always dreamed of raising. They are chalk and cheese in so many ways, yet together they are a combination to be reckoned with. I’m filled with awe at both of them. I know you would be too.
I’m only a few weeks away from finishing my Diploma of Photography. After you died, I regretted the photos I didn’t have of you. I would look at some of the lousy quality photos and not be able to see your face clearly enough. I only have one photo of you and me together as I was always the one taking the photos. It’s not a good photo but I treasure it. I don’t have any adult photos of Grandma and I together either. I knew I had to build the archives up so the boys never had to regret not having enough photos. I started to take as many photos of them as possible after that and got more and more intent on taking photos of everybody and everything. I can now call myself a photographer I guess. I just wish I had more photos of your beautiful smile but I have to make do with what I have.
I finally got to Ireland too. It was more than I ever dreamed it would be and my heart is yearning to go back again. I felt one with the earth over there. I could never leave Australia permanently as I never want to be that far away from the boys but I could spend a few months every year in Ireland. I would love to spend time there, writing, taking photographs and feeding my soul. I’ll work my way towards that somehow.. I know my first visit to the Emerald Isle won’t be my last.
I have some of your friends from school on Facebook. They’ve grown from lovely kids into lovely adults. When I see the things they are doing, I always wonder whether you’d be doing the same things. I love hearing about their lives. It helps me in understanding what age you really are. It’s hard to remember you’re not that 10 year old anymore but you’re 29. I get random messages occasionally from others that you went to school with. They write just to let me know that you mattered. I only get the one message from them usually. But it’s always the same thing. They wanted me to know that your death affected them deeply because your life mattered to them. They were only 10 too when you left us, but you left an impression on their lives as you did on ours. You mattered.
Next year on May 1st, you’ll be turning 30. I can’t believe that you’d be that age. You wanted to work for the Disney Corporation. You were as crazy about Disney movies as your Grandma, brothers and me. The passion in your eyes when you’d talk about working as an animator used to inspire me. It was so important to you. You were so creative and imaginative. So to celebrate your 30th birthday next year, Lachlan, Jenna, Stuart, Sarah and I are all going to Disneyland. I have no idea how I’m going to get there yet but I have no doubt it will happen. The boys and I always said we’d celebrate this big milestone in the happiest kingdom on earth to honour your dream of working there and we will somehow keep our promise.
I wish I was celebrating it with you instead. I wish I knew what you would have been. I never got to see the dreams lived out. When you have a baby, you have big dreams. They’ll be incredible people who work in their chosen field and love what they do. They won’t make the same mistakes as you have yourself. They’ll fall in love, get married, have babies and live happily ever after. That’s the dream. That’s the potential. I never got to see the potential eventuate. I will never walk you down the aisle. I’ll never see the radiant bride you would have been. I’ll never hold your babies. I’ll never grow old, safe in the knowledge that you’ll be there to care for me. But one day, hopefully a long way away, I will get to be with you again. I love my life and your brothers too much to want to leave too quickly but it keeps me going to know that one day, you and I will be together again.
When you came into my life, I finally knew what love was. I never understood love fully until you. I messed so much up in my life. I wasn’t the mother you deserved. But I loved you and I knew without a shadow of a doubt that that love was returned completely. My heart can never be fully whole again but the cracks aren’t quite so obvious anymore. I have no doubt you watch over us all and orchestrate things in our lives. We have been so blessed with many good things and I can feel your hand in so many of them. If I could wipe one day out of my life it would be the 27th May 1995. The blackest day in my life. Then you’d still be here with us and we’d all be whole. If only…………………..
Keep watching over us my darling. It makes us feel safe to know you’re there. Protect your brothers. They are the glue that has helped stick my heart back together again. Give those with you in heaven a big kiss for me and tell them how much I miss them. Loving makes us so susceptible to hurt but every tear is worth having loved so deeply. I love you more than life itself. You and the boys are the best of me.
I love you Blossom..