Category Archives: Letter for…

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.

Today I should be singing ‘Happy birthday’ to my youngest sibling, my second brother. I still could I guess but standing by a grave and singing ‘Happy birthday’ always feels a bit odd. On the day he would have turned 22 I will remember him as always and the memories will, albeit briefly, bring me solace. We had precious little time together but I will always remember my brother and love him deeply.

Dear Davy boy,

Today is your birthday. If you were still here you would be 22 today. I don’t know what you would have been doing because in the two weeks we had there was no time to get to know you. We’re left with the memories of a little baby boy and the tears we still shed because you had so little time to live.

When Daddy came to Grandma’s to tell us you had been born I imagined being your big sister, helping to look after you while you were still a baby, reading to you and teaching you our games as you got older and being there for you to talk to every day of your life. When I met you the following day I knew that I would do all I could to always protect you and keep you safe. You were my baby brother and at eight I thought myself grown up enough to protect you from all the bad things in the world. I would love you the way a mother loves her baby and protect you the same way. You filled me with pride and joy and I would never let anything take that away.

When you came home I helped Mummy with you. I decided you should have a teddy so I stood by your pram one afternoon with Sister beside me and cut the whiskers off Nurse Cat so she could go into your pram with you. I made that sacrifice for you and it was a sacrifice as Nurse Cat was one of my favourite toys, I never got her back. I loved being your big sister and having you there. It was the most amazing thing ever. I had loved you and wanted you from the day Mummy told us she was pregnant and I suggested calling you David Michael. Mummy and Daddy didn’t like Michael so Brother suggested Martin and there you were, David Martin, from that day on.

I often think of you and I wonder what you would be like. Would you have been clever like me? Would you have been the one that actually went to university and really made something of his life? When I was younger I used to imagine what you would look like. I think you might have kept those beautiful blues eyes and had the dark hair that the rest of us have, even if you had gone through a blond phase like Brother did. I was always sure you would be handsome and would never be short of a girl or two to ask out. I hope you would have been friendly and popular and never felt alone.

Twenty-two is a great age, you would have loved being twenty-two I’m sure. I watch young men I know who are around that age and I wonder where you would have fitted in. I guess you would have been fairly easy-going and probably a bit of a joker as Daddy is a complete wind-up merchant. Brother is quite like Daddy in some ways and I think you probably would have been too. I know that Brother would have liked being able to take you down the pub for a few drinks and last year, being at Conversations on your 21st birthday, was difficult for us as we could imagine having you there.

I still remember the day you died, but this is your birthday and I don’t want to dwell on the memories of the heartache that came that night. I will say that we had a chance to show you off that day and I could not have been a more proud sister.

I will always remember the two weeks when we had you, you will always be in my heart. I love you always David Martin.


Two of the three pictures we have. One taken before David was born, the other after he had died. We unfortunately have no photos from the two weeks he was with us.



1 Comment

Filed under Letter for...

I am always with you. Even when you can’t see me, I’m here.

Today is the 17th anniversary of the day my Grandma did not wake up. I wrote this post 8 days ago and scheduled it to publish today because I don’t think I could have written it today. The quote is from the sequel to Grandma’s favourite Disney film, a sequel she did not see. The rest of this post is a letter to my Grandma, but one I don’t mind sharing with you as it tells a little more of my story.

Dear Grandma,

How is Heaven? I hope it is still lovely and that you are with Nancy, David and Granddad.

I know time does not pass there and you must think you have only been gone for the blink of an eye. Here today is the 17th anniversary of the day you left us. I still feel sad when I think about it.

I can still remember, even now, how I sat on the manhole cover by the sports field and prayed you were in Norwich for Pukey’s 7th birthday 17 Novembers ago. I even wondered what my gift from that trip would be. I didn’t want there to be a reason for the doctors to keep you in. The next time I saw you was in the hospital. You didn’t look like my Grandma, or feel like her when I hugged you. The spark had gone, that ‘something special’ we had was broken. I guess, deep down, I knew I had lost you that day, especially as I screamed inside when you said you would not have treatment. I hated hearing those words. I thought you would at least try to fight the cancer for Brother, Sister, Soppy and Pukey, but especially for me. I did not understand how my Grandma could give up so easily.

When Aunt LC arrived you got her to take me to get my ears pierced (piercings that have since closed up). It was a long promised thirteenth birthday present but you thought you might not make my thirteenth birthday. I hated that day. It should have been you with me, I hardly ever knew LC. I had to paint a smile on my face when I showed you gold studs. I cried myself to sleep that night, my ears stung and kept reminding me those holes and studs might be all I got from you for my thirteenth birthday. All of a sudden I didn’t want them, I wanted the old Grandma back.

You lived to see me reluctantly become a teenager. As I hugged you in floods of tears as we left that night I already wanted to turn back time and live in another era of ours. I wanted to go back to the glorious days when cancer was something that killed Nancy years ago when you were young but had never darkened your door since. To a time before I ever felt the need to ask God to let you live longer, a time before I dreaded Granddad’s knock on the door.

We had six months between you laying in the hospital bed accepting the last chapter of your book was being played out and the wet Thursday June 1st when we laid you in the ground. We had time together, just you and me and shared time with the others. We even took Sister when we went to Coltishall for Easter with LC, Soppy and Pukey. We made memories.

I have walked through life for so long now not able to see you but carrying you with me; the memories, the dreams we had, the love yo left. I’m not 13 any more, on my last birthday I turned 30. I have been engaged for nearly six months, his name is not Cuthbert but I know you would like him. I’m trying to convince him that those 4 letters need to start the name, first or middle, of one  of our children and my middle name should be our daughter’s first name. We’re trying to plan our wedding, at Newton of course. I couldn’t get married anywhere else.

I love you Grandma, I always will.

Your little pet xxxxx

Leave a comment

Filed under Letter for...