On family: Hey big sis

Hey big sis,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot this Christmas as I have done every year since you left. You know how crazy life gets, but I should’ve  written to you sooner. So much has happened in the past six years I don’t know where to start. Of course the children are no longer children (and John and I no longer in our thirties). Barney boy is in his first year at university studying philosophy and loving it. You’ll not be surprised to hear Ashley went on a gap year after finishing her A-levels – volunteering and travelling in Central America. She took your battered rucksack and your attitude. I spent the year going even greyer, but John and I did ‘man up’ and fly to Honduras for a week in March. Shock, horror, I know. Ashley rightly attributes her wanderlust to you. Well it was hardly me was it hon.

She was fourteen when you spent all that time together – an impressionable age as it turns out (she also wants a daisy tattoo!) I wish you could see her now. She is incredible; confident, natural and beautiful – and I mean seriously beautiful. When people tell me we look alike I always say she is a better version of me, but truth is she is in a different league (just like you were). She is also funny and dramatic and bossy and loves cooking. Oh and she loves to shop for makeup and beautiful clothes and always fits in coffee and cake. You and she would have made a formidable MK team.

If only you could have been here for Christmas. Ashley, just like you, homebaked her presents (you should’ve seen the state of the kitchen). You two would have cooked mince pies and shared Christmas recipes. You would have gone Christmas shopping with her and giggled over illicit purchases. On Christmas day, we would have played board games and drunk Baileys. You would have told her things about me as a teenager that I had forgotten or tried to forget. We would have squabbled about something stupid and she would have taken your side. At times we would have laughed so hard our stomachs ached deep inside. The three of us would’ve got tipsy and you would’ve given her advice about life and men and moisturising. We would’ve eaten chocolates until we felt sick and beaten the ‘boys’ at charades because of our sisterpathy. I would’ve done a Doo-Doo impression, pulling my top lip over my bottom one, and Ashley would have announced she had disowned me. We’d have sung ‘Doo-Doo on a jet plane’ really badly and collapsed on the sofa laughing.

In our pyjamas we would’ve snuggled up with an Irish coffee and watched a Christmas film. Your bony elbow would’ve dug into my side and we would’ve bickered and Ashley would’ve told us to be nice to each other. I would’ve lain my head on your shoulder. Your cheek would’ve smelt of lily of the valley and roses. I would’ve linked my stubby fingers through your piano playing ones and you would’ve kissed my forehead and said

I so love you JueyAndy candlelight

and I would have smiled from the inside out and told you the same…

I so love you too Pandy, and I miss you so very, very much.

Until we meet again,

Your little sis xx

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