One of the things I can’t yet face up to is clearing away lots of cards. I have 2017 Christmas cards received in one pile: I used them as the guide to sending my 2018 cards.
Then there are the 2018 cards received.
In yet another pile are the sympathy cards and letters that I received in September.
The saddest pile is the Get Well Soon collection - Eileen’s heart op on 31 August was apparently successful, but she died on 8th September just three days after discharge from hospital. One of those cards arrived late and is still unopened. I can tell that it is not a sympathy card from the postmark. Should I open it ?
On cards given between ourselves, Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Eileen and I usually wrote a little made-up rhyme, and maybe a little sketch, affectionate and funny (because I told you - We Used to Laugh a Lot). And, of course, we used to send each other cards from the dogs. It really upsets me to read them all now.
Our rhymes weren’t normally the things you’d remember for long, being just a bit of fun, and yet, and yet . . .
. . . In summer 1967 we were on the train from London Euston to Manchester, eating those Lyons Fruit Pies that came in individual cardboard boxes, the one thing almost indistinguishable from the other, and drinking British Railways coffee. To pass the time we were writing little rhymes to each other, passing them across the table that those old carriages had.
I have never, ever forgotten this one that Eileen wrote to me on that occasion over 51 years ago:
“Your eyes are blue,
Your hair is brown,
Your forehead always wears a frown.
Your ears are big,
Your nose is too.
Oh why oh why
Do I love you ?”
Why did she, indeed ?
Oh God, I miss her so very much.