by Wendy Pike
a cup of hot tea
I love you, despite you making me eat Corned Beef Hash, your signature dish. That dreaded midweek staple you knew I hated. And bitter-tasting Brussels sprouts which my mature tastebuds have since grown to appreciate. Regardless of your insistence my hair must be cut sensibly short, giving me a boy-like appearance instead of the long, feminine locks I longed for, I love you.
Aside from these few nitpicking disagreements, there’s nothing about my childhood I’d wish to change. I am blessed. As I grew into adulthood, unwaveringly, you remained my living guardian angel, biggest fan and friend. The best listener on the planet. I really could tell you anything.
It’s been seven years since you physically left this world. I now have to make do with the infrequent chances we get to chat - in my dreams. In waking hours I realise there’ll be no restorative, reassuring hug. I won’t hear you say, ‘love you lots,’ as you always did when we parted. But I still feel the force of your nurturing, encouraging, encompassing love, enveloping me like a protective force field. It’s depth, warmth and power, along with your imparted wisdom, continue to help me through life’s minefields, deflecting much of the bad stuff whenever it heads my way.
Whilst I miss you every day, I’m simultaneously reminded of the most valuable and generous gifts anyone can give and receive. Time and love. And of how lucky I was to have you. Hero and role model, advising, supporting, influencing and inspiring me. I miss us just hanging out together, when we had nothing in particular to do.
I keep talking to you without any expectation of response. If I’m alone, these one-sided conversations are held aloud. So, notwithstanding the Corned Beef Hash, soggy sprouts and dreadful boy’s hairdo, which I complained about endlessly at the time, you must know by now Mum, you did a fabulous job and with all my heart I love you lots.
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