Jess & Daniel_0364

It’s been three years now. It never gets easier. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, whoever said ‘time heals all wounds’ was talking complete and utter bullshit. Nothing heals the wound of losing a loved one. Time just ensures you become a bit more capable of managing the wound; allowing the wound to weep and then stitching it back up to face another day.

Today I had a distraction. I had two beautiful distractions this morning actually. Your two little grandsons. The third arrived in the afternoon, oblivious to how tough the day was. Bounding in and tackling his little brother, who himself, just hours before had been tackling his little cousin to the floor. Oh, what fun we’re going to have with the three of them. Already they’re shaping up to be a pretty formidable and absolutely hilarious little trio, who despite being so young still, have each other’s backs.

Let me tell you a bit about your youngest. He’s named after you, but I’m still waiting to see whether he shares any personality traits of yours.

He’s a little quiet achiever… or as we like to call him, a silent menace. While Rocky will tell the world when he does something cheeky, Rafael will silently complete his task and then sneak away, waiting for someone to notice that he has done something naughty.

He has his daddy’s eyes and his mummy’s nose. And some of the expressions he makes, I swear, we have the same photos of me as a baby.

He is inquisitive like his daddy. Just like we used to lose Daniel in Fiji, only to find him on the other side of the pool doing backflips and somersaults, I lose Rafael in the apartment all the time. He explores his surroundings. At times ‘rearranging’ his books in his room, other times pulling all of his bath toys to the floor creating puddle after puddle in the bathroom. And sometimes I find him playing with the vacuum cleaner, despite being petrified of it when it’s on.

But it’s me he takes after in the sunny personality stakes. He has the brightest smile. And no matter how cranky or tired he is, he always seems to flash it. He’s cheeky and funny, and friendly as anything, happily chatting away to whoever is in his vicinity.

He also has boundless energy and is bloody determined. Don’t you dare get in his way when he wants something. He knows what he wants and he’ll stop at nothing until he gets it.

But there’s no doubt about it, he’s absolutely exhausting. He never stops and at times it’s absolutely relentless.

If I didn’t say it to you enough (and I really don’t think I did), thank you for everything you did for me. I now understand what it takes to be a mum.

Since becoming a mum myself, I have realised all the sacrifices you and dad made for us as kids (and continue to do so). I’ve also realised just how easy it is to love someone so unconditionally that it feels completely like second nature. He is my whole world. And no matter how tired I am, how sick I feel or how much I just want a moment to myself, the moment he smiles, my heart melts and I am 100% his again.

I just wish you were here to meet him. Because I know you’d love him just as much as I do.

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