I've had a week of past years coming back to haunt me. A neighbour passing me in the supermarket with another grandchild in tow and telling me about the next one about to be born.
"And how are yours?"
"I don't know. No word, no photographs in twelve months."
Home to another email from another neighbour to let me know that a girl my son grew up with had given birth to a baby boy. She already has two girls, the eldest a year younger than my granddaughter. I haven't seen her for 10 or 12 years but it sounds as though she's happy and going well. And I swear and tear up because she's here and he's not.
I give myself a mental shake and remind myself that thinking like that is not fair to her. She's 35 and made it through anorexia, drug addiction, being pimped out by a boyfriend and getting Hep C but not HIV through good fortune. She's here because I helped her throughout her life.
I helped her on the day of the funeral when she wept in my arms. When she cried, "I'm nothing. I'm no use to anyone so it should be me that's dead. It should be me." But it wasn't and I want for her to be a wonderful mother with her life full of laughter.
So I dragged out the box of mementos and read the notice she'd put in for Euan.
Euan (tragically) died aged 24. I've know you since I can remember, and to think of all the things we got up to when we were kids and young teenagers. There's a never ending list; Pavlovas in the face, swimming lessons with you and all our birthday parties when we were young. I could go on forever. I'm just thankful I was the one who had the privilege to have grown up all my life with such a fine young man who was taken far too soon, and will live on forever in my heart and mind and memories over the past 24 years that can never be taken away. Rest in peace my little matey. All my love forever.
Iwant her to live in happiness forever, the bubbly blonde with the blue eyes who laughed and fought with him and loved him.