I can’t believe it’s been five years since you left us. I guess when you’re larger than life, it takes a long time for the holes you left behind to fill in. It still feels like yesterday that we were sat in the kitchen and you were laughing your crazy laugh because I was telling you off for putting mango chutney on your steak.
I wish you were still here. I wish you could see the person that I’ve become, the person that losing you went a long way towards making me. I wish you could see the things I’ve done and be proud of me. I wish you were able to meet Macsen and Charlie. You’d have torn up the fields with them and had so much fun doing it. I wish I could find comfort in knowing that heaven probably has the best kept dairy herd since time began, but I can’t. I miss you too much.
Other people have come into my life. Everything has changed. I moved a whole world away, a new stepdad came into our lives and I love him something fierce, but still I come back to you sometimes. When things go wrong, my first urge is still to call you. The moment when I realise you can’t help is still so sharp. Five years hasn’t blunted it at all.
You were such a difficult man to love. Even now I’m not sure I entirely understood you. That said, nothing worth having is ever easy and you were never easy. I guess that’s part of what made you a great stepfather. When you loved, you loved fiercely and it was all the more valuable for being so hard to earn.
I hope they have tractors in heaven. I hope they feed you steak with chips and mango chutney every night for dinner. I hope they have cute little dogs that you can refer to as ‘the rat’ and then spoil rotten when you think no-one is looking. I hope they let you look in on us from time to time so you can watch the boys growing up. I hope they let you blow things up in the back garden.
God I miss you. There’s a small part of Scotland that still mourns your death after all this time, but I’ll always be grateful that you lived.