Nineteen

Nineteen. Nineteen years today.

If I had had children, you would not have seen them grow up. They would have been a twinkle, a gentle belly swelling, an arrival with tears and cries of joy, school and scabs and scars and almost good enough for the football teams and the ukelele band.

The clothes you knitted they would have worn with love then exasperation and then with a retro swing of the scarf. You would have wiped their eyes when they fell, their noses when they fell ill, their eyes again when they fell in love. You would have been Nan, then Bet for a dare, then Nan to hear the secrets they would not have told me.

And now, nineteen years later, they would have been grown, and away alone, and always on the phone to hear your voice. I miss you mum, for me and for the children I never had.

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