I may be approaching 30 but I can still very much assure you that I’ll always be your little girl. Even just 10 minutes in your presence and I feel 5 again, ready and waiting for fun and laughter.
When I was little, I completely idolised you. Now that I’m older, nothing much has changed. You may think that we’re no longer close or that our lives have taken us in different directions but in my heart, you’ll always be my home. In my thoughts, you’ll always be that fun loving man with whom I cherish so many memories. I want to let you know that you may think I’ve forgotten but I haven’t, I still remember.
I remember that as a little girl, you were the most handsome man I’d ever met. There was a time I was convinced that I would marry you when I grew up. In the end, the men that I dated had a very tall order. It took me a long time to find someone even half as good as you.
I still remember the way you held me and danced with me as I clung to your thumb. We’d dance to Simply Red in the back room and my whole body would tingle with love for you. I always felt safest in your embrace, your warmth made me feel confident and our time spent dancing together were my happiest moments as a child. I would play with your CD player but only as a hint for you to come in and dance with me. You always did, you never let me down.
I remember the year you recorded me and Chris fast asleep on Christmas Eve, played it to us the next morning and told us that Santa has done it. Naïve at the time, we were completely fooled – and completely ecstatic. You were forever doing little things to please us, it worked because our childhood was filled full of happy moments.
I remember the time you woke us late at night (it felt late, it was probably only 9pm) because it had snowed. A thick blanket covered the ground and you were so excited. We got dressed and raced outside, threw snowballs at each other and made a snow man. Even as a 30 year old woman, I look back at memories like these with utter fondness.
I remember coming to meet you at Carlisle as you cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats. I felt so proud of you for achieving something great. I also remember how scared I was when you left, it felt like you weren’t home for ages. I didn’t want to ever miss you. I remember waiting anxiously for you to come home, seeing your car pull into the drive and racing outside to meet you. I loved the salty smell of your sweat (how awful of me) because it reminded me that you were home. I couldn’t wait to hear your stories, listen to your adventures. I also remember feeling insanely jealous each year as you’d go to France cycling with Chris. I wanted to be the one you took, I wanted that private time together but of course, I was too small or too weak. I could ride for myself but I’d enjoyed too much time on the back of our tandem. I remember the time we cycled up Houghton Cut, you told me I’d done all the work and I believed you. You always found a way to make me feel proud of myself.
I remember sitting and reading in the sitting room each Thursday as you had your French lesson. I would sit there and listen to you speaking French and feel so proud of you. You’ve always pushed yourself to succeed, to be the best at everything. I want you to know that to me, you really are!
I remember our holiday to Annecy and Chamonix, places you’d told me about and I was desperate to see. I loved sharing in things that you loved. I remember standing listening to a band play ‘Jump Around’ in Chamonix centre. The heat of the night still keeping us warm, looking out onto the snow peaked mountains. I told you that it was one of my favourite moments and it still is. For all I didn’t say, I cherished each view, cherished each moment because it was spent with you. Your baguette and jam sandwiches for breakfast will always taste better than any other.
I remember the way you looked at me the 1st time you saw me on my wedding day. The tears in your eyes were real and it was you who made me feel special, it was you who made me feel perfect. I could see the pride in your eyes (maybe not so much later on when I became too drunk and silly) and the love you had for me.
So even as we grow up, I want you to know that we don’t grow further apart in my eyes. I’ve too many memories to share in a blog, some that are special so I’ll keep just for me.
You’re now not only a great dad, you’re an amazing Grandpa and I can’t wait for our children to share so many fun memories with you.