It feels like so long since you went away. We said we would do this together. Why did you have to leave?
I don’t feel strong enough to do this alone. I hide from it. I mask it. I wear a costume to be someone else. Someone happy. Like if no one can see the sadness then maybe I won’t feel it. But it stays. Someone said you must have been needed somewhere else. But who could need you more than we do.
She wants to know why you had to leave. I don’t know what to say. She wants to know when you’re coming home. I don’t have the words. She wants me to brush her hair the way you do. She wants me to do plaits but I don’t know how. She cuddles your teddy bear every night. We both do. She draws pictures of you. Pictures of our little family. We put them on the fridge and it breaks my heart. Why did you have to leave?
It feels like so long since you went away. It’s been almost twenty years. I was angry then. It was never your fault. If you hadn’t left I wouldn’t have this strength. I wouldn’t be this man that I am. I am the lucky one. I don’t hide anymore. I’m not afraid of being hurt anymore. I’m not afraid to love wholeheartedly.
She’s no longer our little girl. She grew up so fast. I wish you could see her. She’s the most beautiful woman. A loving big sister. She reminds me of you. She has your smile. Your laugh. She’s not much older than you were when you left. You would be so proud of her.
I still remember the day you left. I sat in the chair beside your bed and stroked your head. I told you I loved you but you had already gone. I’m sorry you had to go. I’m so happy our paths crossed. Our time seems so short but I will always be grateful for you. I love you.