25 years ago I was just a helpless bundle of pudgy skin, unable to do anything other than cry, eat and poop. You cared for me, fed me, taught me to speak, to run, to explore. I remember holding on to the pushchair containing the next mini you, walking around supermarkets that no longer exist, to be treated to one of those 200ml cans of lemonade. I remember baking cupcakes during the school holidays and begging to lick the bowl or getting apple turnovers from the corner shop. I remember the Polo game at the bus stop, you always won. I remember going to book week at school and you buying me a book from those huge, black cases when we couldn’t really afford it.
You taught me to be independent and responsible by trusting me to look after my sister as we ventured around the caravan site. I remember coming to visit you while you were at work just before we would cycle down to the golf course to watch the ducklings. You taught me the best way to win at the 2p machines in the arcade (it’s all about timing!). I remember you told my new teacher that I could sing (you liar!) and so I entered the school talent show and sang a made up song about a Chinese dragon. I was terrified but I did it because you believed in me. I remember all the little day trips you took us on. Days at the beach, into the city, cinema trips, your first drive to Boston.
You taught me to be brave, self-worth. We’ve faced so many challenges, more than anyone should face in a single life time but we adapted and grew, to become who we are today. You taught me to never give up, no matter how easy it would have been. You taught me that its OK to cry, to let the wall come down sometimes. I remember getting Louie the hamster, when Sophie appeared and when I set the burgers on fire. You taught me the importance of family and though the timelines have been fractured, we now have everyone we need in one place.
You taught me to be confident. I have grown up watching you interact with people and I find myself using so many of your mannerisms. Now 25 and I am turning into my own version of you but I wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for everything you taught me.
I love you. xxx