Most of the time my memory is awful, but I can remember in great detail what I did exactly 10 years ago tonight:
I played netball after work, as part of our “Mini-Olympics”. It was fun and I wondered why I’d not played for 10 years. I went home and ate dinner that D had made. He was upstairs practicing songs with his bandmate. The food had olive stones in it, which I wasn’t expecting and I didn’t realise what they were until I was halfway through. I watched the notebook on DVD. I’d seen half of it on a plane the year before and thought it would be good for D’s Mum’s birthday. Luckily I watched it all before giving it to her – seconds after it had stopped on the plane was quite a rude scene. It would have been a really bad birthday present for her!
You know what I didn’t do that night? I didn’t phone my gran. I thought about it, but I was due to see her the following day and by the time I’d finished sobbing at the film it was late. I remember thinking of her and I planned to give her the DVD instead.
She died in hospital the following morning.
I don’t have many regrets. Not calling one last time is one of the big ones.
In the beginning I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Nothing was as much fun anymore. The best thing about having good news used to be phoning her up to tell her about it – the delighted squeal of my name when she realised it was me on the phone and knowing that she would relay all my news to complete strangers the next day.
These days we still talk about her a lot and I’ve started telling A about her. I still think about her every day. At the very least I think about her every time I make a cup of tea…
It was only a tiny moment. She was making tea and put her manfriend’s cup (she objected to the word boyfriend) on the left and told me “his is on the left; left for love”.
I don’t know if this was something that she did all the time, or just that once, but I adopted it. Whoever I’m making tea for has their cup on the left. This is more important now with D, because mine is always decaf and if I mix them up I can’t sleep!
In a way it feels like she’s been gone forever, but often it feels like we’ve just spoken recently.
Left for love.
After 10 years there’s plenty of love left.