Dear Jacob and George
I didn’t get to see you in your school nativity – George, such a serious Innkeeper, and Jacob fidgety in a scratchy shepherd’s costume. I chose Christmas presents for you – I popped them in the Salvation Army collection box.
I can’t believe you are five already. Izzie and Poppy sang Happy Birthday and blew out your candles. You sent me a double rainbow, soaring high above my neighbours rooftops.
Last June, when my buddleia came into bloom, I watched as you played tag around the bush, tumbling and frolicking in the sunshine. Every summer I gather pebbles and shells for your sandcastles, and each autumn I fill my pockets with conkers – burnished brown like grandad’s polished brogues
Jacob, I see you when Cousin Josh kicks a ball, and I glimpse you in Poppy’s cheeky grin. George, I hear you in Izzie’s giggle, and see you in Cousin Eloise’s funny frown. I feel you both as the sun warms my face, but when my other grandkids are chasing around the garden, two of the gang are missing.
Izzie tells me you are stars in the sky, but she wishes you’d come down and play. I wish that too.
Jacob, in one breathe we said hello and goodbye. I watched your little face – eyes tightly closed. A flutter of life as an angel tickled your nose – I wish my gentle breath could have filled your lungs with oxygen… I rocked you gently, and told you how much we all love you – Mummy, Daddy, your brother George – such a big loving family. You left us with an ache in our arms, and a gaping hole in our hearts.
George, as I cradled you, you reminded me of my dad – arms folded and slightly irritated as if someone had disturbed you – long fingers and your mummy’s rosebud lips. Poor little soldier, you’d been through such a battle… You are Jacob’s big little brother – now you must look after each other.
My darling grandsons, I wish you’d had more time with your mummy and daddy, because your mummy and daddy are truly amazing. I won’t ever forget you – I carry you with me always and forever. I’m so grateful I had the chance to hold you and tell you how much you mean to me.
All my love.