It’s now been 4 years (and a day) since you died. It’s crazy that you would now be 20 (and a half) as it still seems like yesterday that it happened, yet knowing at the same time that it isn’t.
Other people who knew you and were affected have most likely moved on. The 24th July no longer is the day that you died to them, it’s just another day. If they’re friends with me on Facebook, then it’s my birthday. I don’t mind getting messages saying ‘Happy Birthday’, after all, it is the day that I was born, even if I celebrate it a week later (and yes, on Harry Potter’s birthday). I think you’ll be smiling at that, if a little annoyed that I now get to share my birthday with Harry Potter.
Yesterday, I just spent the day with mum at home. We went to Conkers on Sunday as initially I wasn’t supposed to be off work yesterday. Conkers was enjoyable. Although Mum and I natter as we walk around, we do remember the reason why we’re there. Conkers now has other memories – mine and Alex’s wedding reception was there, as it was a place that has so many childhood memories of us.
Since the weddings last year, life has calmed down a lot more. This past year, I’ve been doing my teacher training at the University of Birmingham, and for the last four weeks I’ve been working in the school that I shall start properly in September. Despite some difficult times during the training year and on placements, I feel like I’m now going to be in a really supportive department where I can thrive.
Last year, Dad and I did the 26-mile walk in honour of your memory. Whereas Mum and Aidan had chosen to raise money for The Children’s Society, we opted to fundraise for the RNLI. Although it wasn’t the RNLI that helped us that day on the beach, I have always wanted to raise money for them so that there is the possibility of saving more lives at sea. The walk was based around Monopoly, so we walked past all of the places that are on the Monopoly board. That brought back memories of us all playing it as a family – the first time, you had all 4 railway stations and won! From then on, you wanted all of the stations because you believed it would make you win – however, Aidan and I exploited your naivety so that for King’s Cross Station, you would give us Mayfair, Oxford Street and £400!
Mum is currently undergoing her training to become a vicar. Your death has played a part in this journey, but in no way does it define any of us. Whilst it makes up a part of each of our lives, we do not simply cease to exist. God has worked in so many ways, to make good of the tragic event that took place, and I can see it in all of our lives. In a couple more years, Mum will be ordained and start her job as a curate in a church somewhere within the Diocese of Derby. It’s interesting and inspiring to witness her journey with God.
Alex and I also have a cat!! His name is Alistair and he is adorable. Sometimes Alex gets a little frustrated with him because he likes to scratch at the carpets but we both love him lots!
In other news, the Harry Potter series is now 20 years old! It makes me feel really old as I’m only 3 years older than the whole series. Alongside that, on the 21st July it was 10 years ago that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released. I can remember that Mum had to buy three copies of the book so that we wouldn’t argue over who got to read it first. I’m glad that you loved the series just as much as I did, it meant that I could send you random texts whilst I was at university, reminding you that it was the whatever-year anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts or other important facts.
Peter Capaldi, who became Doctor Who just after you died, is now going to be leaving after the Christmas special. For the first time, there is going to be a female Doctor. I don’t quite know what to make of it – I understand the whole notion of gender equality but I suppose when 12 Doctors have already been male, you just sort of just presume that the next Doctor would be male as well.
There’s the possibility of us all going back to France next year on holiday. If we’re in an area that is reasonably close to Messanges, then I would like to go back to the beach again. It’ll be five years and, for me, I feel like it would be the right thing to do. We shall see though, as it will be a joint decision.
Everyday, we are all thinking of you. There are things that occur in daily life that I would love to tell you about, and then it’s remembering that you’re not here for me to phone, or send a text to.
Lots of love always,
Your BIG sister,