So, today would have been your 48th birthday. I’ve always been rubbish at remembering birthdays and ages, though yours was always slightly easier. Possibly from all those times I used to recite it for you when I was making your appointments, but now that your no longer here it’s like your birthday and age have become ingrained. It’s easier to remember because you’re not here to celebrate it with you, it’s another year around the sun that you didn’t get to witness. I think it’s something to do with that old adage of ‘you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.’
Now your birthday is a time when I let myself think about you, remember the good times and the happy memories. Drink a bit of decent whiskey or beer in your memory. I never used to like whiskey you know? But after you died I started drinking it, for me it was a small think, but a way to feel closer to you. Now it’s grown on me and I actually like it (only the decent stuff though, like Jura).
Last year I marked your birthday by ziplining across the River Tyne to raise money for the Stroke Association. This year I’m not doing anything that awesome to mark your birthday (which is honestly tragic, because I’ve turned in to a proper adrenaline junkie). In fact this year I just worked. Though I can’t say I’m complaining, I just quit one of my jobs, so I’ll take all the extra hours where I can.
Whilst I haven’t done anything specific to mark your birthday, I did do something to remember you. After saying I was going to do it for months I finally got around to getting a steam train tattoo in your memory. It’s not fully completed yet, in fact I’m getting the rest of it done towards the end of March, however so far it looks like this:
I got the train because I’m pretty sure it was you that got me into steam trains in the first place. Most of my fondest childhood memories with you revolve around steam trains in some way shape or form, from building model train sets, to days out on the Keighley and Worth Valley railway, to visiting the National Railway Museum in York, to playing Railroad Tycoon 2 on the old mac. In fact, all this talking about it is making me very nostalgic. I think a trip to York may just be in order.
York will probably be my nearest travel adventure this year. I’ve decided to go to Barcelona in April, so I’m busy saving for that. Next year I hope to finally do the travelling that I want to do and take a round the world trip. I haven’t worked out where exactly I want to go yet, but I know Australia is on the list. You went to Australia didn’t you as a scout? I actually found some kind of project you did for school or something about gardens in Australia. You always loved gardening as well didn’t you?
It’s strange, the more I think about it the more things I find that are hobbies or interests that I definitely inherited from you. I’ve developed a bit of a fascination with a motorbike in one of the bike shops I pass on my way to work, it’s a beautiful blue beast. I used to love going out on your motorbike with you, now I’m hoping that I can learn to ride a motorbike and go out by myself. Maybe go see some of those viaducts you used to love so much. If I learnt anything from you it’s that life is short, so we should grab it by both hands and make the most of it.
Love Sophie x
P.s. I’ll make sure I have a drink for you