“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you… I could walk through my garden forever.”
~ Alfred Tennyson
Yesterday was July 4. It’s our niece’s birthday. It was our first dog Charlie’s birthday, Charlie who is now Harry. And it was Kate’s birthday.
Kate was such a dear friend. I met her hanging over the fence at my Auntie Doff’s when I was a kid – both of us in primary school. I was a goody-two-shoes. Kate was a foster child, a tough kid and ‘bad girl’ who secretly had a heart of gold, a wicked sense of humour and a shared love of books. She became my penpal at a time when people used to write letters to stay in touch and we became entwined in each other’s lives, using each other like a ‘Dear Diary’ and witnessing each other’s trials, tribulations and wobbly successes.
She died in 2010 and yesterday, July 4, she would have been 49 years old.
Kate was a crap cook, and a lover of junk food, a killer musician, circus and aerial artist and street performer. She was famous for her cupcake kebabs and Horses Doovers Towers – her only two and best dishes!
It’s been nearly ten years since she passed. Still, sometimes I find myself thinking that I’ll call Kate or send her some stupid Facebook thing I know she’d love. Sometimes the grief I feel and the still-missing-her is ferocious. I never knew it could continue to take my breath away at unexpected moments after all this time.
My friend Carls (none other than THE Carly-Jay Metcalfe) was a mate of Kate’s too and we always remember Kate on her birthday, message each other and make sure to eat cake. Kate would have been all for that. She was a girl who loved life and lived it hard.
The older I get the more my heart is marked by those strange unhealable wounds that are created when a loved one has left this life. I’m glad for those wounds, and for my dinged-up battered heart. I feel these departed loved ones around me still and they live on inside me. I still talk to them. I still think about them. I still hold them close.
And sometimes, just sometimes, I miss them so much I can hardly breathe.
That’s okay. That’s just what love does to you.
Hugs and love, Nicole xx