Happy birthday Joey

Today is Joseph’s birthday. He’s six years old. In some ways he behaves exactly the way a six year old should. He’s cheeky, messy, doesn’t do as he’s told, fights with his sister and is generally a little boy. But he’s also amazing, clever, very well behaved, adores his sister and is the sort of son that makes me intensely proud.

As was the case last year, Joey had a birthday card from Rosie waiting for him. She had written it just days before she died. Last year he opened the card, smiled and put it to one side. This year he went very quiet, then asked where it had come from. When I told him that mummy had written it before she had died he started to cry. Not gushing, just tears in his eyes. Talking to him later I asked what he was thinking or feeling when he saw the card. All he would say was that he was nervous.

The stab of sadness that comes out of nowhere for me as an adult is bad enough. What it must be like for a little six year old I have no idea. It reminds me, as if I need reminding, that Rosie’s absence is with us every single day, especially on days like today. But, and this is the big but, I know that despite her physical absence she is in his mind constantly. And although I worry about him and his sister from dawn to dusk and from dusk to dawn I can see that they’re both growing up incredibly well adjusted. After all they’re Rosie’s children…