Don’t go.

It’s nearly your 81st birthday, and it’s nearly my 21st birthday – we should be celebrating together, except the world has us in different places at the same time. I don’t remember you being sick enough for you to leave me, I just remember you sitting on the couch with oxygen. But that doesn’t always mean it’s someone’s time to go, does it? I know Pop, he survived a long time on oxygen, but why did they want you more? Did I see you sick often or did I just choose to forget those moments? Were they too painful to relive over and over again? I have one memory that I remember so vividly, and every time I tell it I laugh until I cry and I can’t spit out the words. I don’t know if it was actually that funny, but it seems it now, after all of these years no matter how many times I’ve told it, it’s most definitely always funnier than the last.

I didn’t want you to leave. I wanted you to stay.

I used to have a lot of memories at your house, except 13 years have passed and I only remember a few small glimpses of things. Like your chicken coop in the back yard and how we would collect the eggs, and how you told me they were called Bantams. Or how the birds used to always come in your front yard in the bird bath. I remember the girls next door Keiralee and Jade ( I forget how to spell her name, it was very similar to my mum’s, except different) they used to only come in the holidays, which was a shame, I’m sure I remember it being one of my many favourite times.

I just wanted you to stay.

I remember your little dog, vaguely but surely, I know that I loved him. You and him would collect me from the bus stop at that big bommy knocker tree every afternoon – it was my favourite part of the day. It has all changed now. It looks completely different. That big tree which would change with the seasons, well it disappeared. And your house, it doesn’t look the same as before. You have left it and so has the dog. Pop was there for a long while before he got sick too. When I went back I showed Aarron that house, and the memories poured out. I remember cabinets upon cabinets of porcelin dolls (you gave me some) and the tennis on the tv. The couch was by the door and the air con rattled in the opposite corner. I remember you wore fake earrings because you said you were too scared it would hurt. I used to wear them all of the time. I’d have so much fun.

I didn’t want you to leave. I wanted you to stay.

I wonder do you think of me while I think of you? What is it that you remember about me? Would things be different now? I remember your funeral, again only in glimpses, I remember how sad everybody was and that I had the biggest lump in my throat and everybody was crying but I didn’t want too. I’m not sure why. I don’t think I understood completely what was happening or how much everything would change. I just sat there unable to move, struggling to breathe. Maybe that’s how you felt.

I still wish you’d have stayed.

It was 8 days after my birthday 18th birthday, I didn’t expect you to be there and so I had no idea what you were trying to say. Nan didn’t even tell me at first, but that day I cried and cried and cried some more. Maybe I finally was able to grieve you properly, but I couldn’t stop.  I didn’t understand the stuff I was told, because I forgot the little things like how feisty you were or how competitive and impatient, I forgot the foods that you loved and your favourite meals that you cooked. I didn’t know your favourite flower or the way you smelt of an evening. I don’t remember your favourite colour or your favourite outfit to wear. But I know that Pop wanted to give me a red rose, because he said it was your favourite and he knew it would’ve been perfect. I wish you could see me, have I made you proud?

I didn’t want you to leave.

I’m glad that Pop stayed, I’m surprised he stayed so long without you, but I was lucky, we all were lucky. And when I lived there I got to see him healthy before he left. I think that’s what he wanted. To be remembered for who he was, not what he was in the end.Or maybe you wanted him to stay. He even met my boyfriend. I wish you did too. But I’m sure you’ve heard about him. ‘What a nice young chap he was.’ Maybe you knew his family, Pop said ‘Oh son, that was back when I was a young boy, a long time ago now,’ in that voice – you know how he talks. I hope you can meet him one day.

I really wish you could’ve stayed.

I miss you a lot. But I hope you’re still there when I am too – catch up on lost time and memories we share. I still don’t know about Pop or your wedding day. I hope you visit me again soon because there’s so much more I want to say.

I didn’t want you to leave. I wanted you to stay.

One thought

  1. She adored you Chloe & I am certain she watches over you & is incredibly proud of YOU. Mar didn’t want anyone to see her sick, she hid it from us all. She feared that we would ‘take’ you kids away from her if we knew she was so ill (she used to watch over you both for the hour before I got home from work), she begged us to not make other arrangements so Pop stepped in & made sure he was always with her during that hour each day. Family was everything to Mar, that’s how I know she is still by your side. You were Mar’s girl and that will never change. xoxo

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