Dearest Nita

IMG_3711  Promonade Des Anglais, Nice.

Today it is a year since you left me.  And I am happy.

Beside me, between the railings of the balcony, the tiniest of spiders is weaving her web.  She could be a Charlotte, but I will give her another name, busy little thing that she is.  It is still light outside, the smell of spring about.  Little spider has a plan, and so do I.

The last twelve months have been ferocious and ugly, no more, nor less than we mortals all endure, and I thought it would never end, perhaps I did not want it to end. It seemed more comfortable to mourn and martyr than dig the way up from the dark.  In all that though, in the terrible missing, I never missed you as you crumpled, wanting to stay, wanting to go.  The moment you did though, all I could think of was you as a young girl.  The image stays with me still and in that, the curiosity of you emerged.

For twelve months I adopted the curator role of your life.  Re-discovering the notebooks you hid in a shoebox.  Letters from your family in Amsterdam, our school reports, locks of hair, collars of dogs.  Faded train tickets took me on your trips through youth, marriage and our postcards from the places you wanted us to see.  At night, when the world was quiet, I would walk about in your favourite raincoat, your turquoise suede jacket and put on the clip on earrings you bought along the Amalfi coast. Dressing up in mummy’s things gave me the freedom to let them go and now someone in need has a coat and some pretty earrings.

And so I let you go, not with the anguish of gnarled fingers, but with the flight of a fanciful dreamer who loved nothing more than being our mom.  Loved creating a home we could come home to, infused our hearts with a longing to travel and have the religious afternoon tea, just like your mother did for you.

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A drawing of my mother and me by Madison

Through the tears this orphan learnt more about the woman that was Nita.  That is Nita and I am so very glad I met her.

I am happy you are safe.  I am happy you are with the one’s you want to be with.  I am happy that you will always be here for me and I see you, in me.

Little Spider, watching you – and you should keep an eye on me – we are kindred spirits I think.