To my boys,
You can barely remember life with your Dad and I together under one roof and yet, I see that the loss of that unit is affecting your perception of love as you grow so there are some things I want you to know.
I loved your Dad very much and we made some memories in our many years together that I will always cherish. He knew my lovely Grandad before he died and my Dad before he left my life. There are some parts of my history that only your Dad knew and that is very special to me.
The most important thing your Dad gave me of course, was you two!
When I was pregnant I can remember your Dad kissing my belly and saying “we are a team now” and I felt so proud. For a while we were a great team but there were issues between us that neither of us spoke about and that meant that our relationship began to corrode just like rust on a car.
No-one was to blame, it just happened and maybe one day when you are older and experiencing a relationship of your own (even though you say now you’ll never have a girlfriend or get married) I can explain a little better but for now I want you to know that you were brought into this world by two people who loved you both, and each other, very much. I have never ever regretted loving your Dad.
I want you to know that love leaves a trace. I want you to understand that loving someone changes and shapes you – sometimes in great ways and sometimes in hard ways. Every girlfriend you love will teach you something different about the sort of partner you want to have, and more importantly, the sort of partner you want to be. Don’t ever think any relationship is a waste. It’s only a waste if you fail to see the lessons.
I want you to know that when a love that you have treasured ends, the memories can still make you smile, even if you have found love elsewhere.
I visited Ibiza many years ago and sat with hundreds of people as we watched the sun set in utter silence. As it disappeared, everyone applauded and drank their cocktails. For that moment we were all united in awe, appreciation and happiness. It felt a little bit magical. I have seen hundreds of sunsets and enjoyed many of them since but that one stays with me even now -over twenty years later.
So, when you see me enjoying my relationship with my partner now, when you hear us laughing and see us cuddled on the sofa I want you to know that my love for him now doesn’t erase what I felt for your Dad and for us as a family. My love for Andrew does not dilute my love for you both. You are, and always will be, my world. In many ways I am a happier person now and hopefully a better mum than I was when I was in the sad place where I decided to leave my marriage and so if anything, I have even more love to give!
I am excited to marry Andrew and become his wife but I know you will struggle with that. I know you want our names to be the same because you worry that our relationship will change when my surname does but I want you to know that’s not true. You will see that soon when Auntie Emily marries John. You will see how she is still the same crazy auntie you adore and that the wonderful bond you both share will be as precious as ever. A change of name doesn’t change a heart.
I know you wonder if my displays of affection for Andrew mean that I love you less now that I have found happiness again but please know that could never happen. I owe you so much. You created a mum from a woman who had never experienced the indescribable, incredible love as a parent before. You two are the gifts that changed my life like nothing before you had, and nothing after ever will. But, you are at that age now where kissing your mum isn’t cool and doing it in the car outside of school is positively reputation suicide so I simply get your cheek. You cuddle up to me on your terms but when I want a hug you squirm away so that I have to chase you to have a moment with you in my arms. I love it all and I wouldn’t change a minute of it but please know that in the moments when you push me away I still love you as fiercely as I do when we are laughing and cuddling on the sofa.
Out of sight doesn’t always mean out of mind and I want you to know that on the days you are with your Dad and I am spending time with Andrew you are never far from my thoughts and you live in my heart constantly. I want you to know that I mean every word when I say you are “my sunshine boy” and “the greatest thing I ever did”.
One day you will experience the very different ways that love touches your life. For your children, for your partner, for your friends and family. Equally valid and wonderful, each way unique and special.
And when a relationship ends I want you to remember that the best ones leave you with an incredible memento (like two wonderful children) and a mark on your soul like the applause for a descending sunset.
I want you to know that love is always a gift, often a lesson and never a waste.
I want you to know that yes, falling is love is a risk but if it gives you anything near as precious as you two are you to me then it’s worth every moment.
I want you to know that my love for you is unconditional and eternal and nothing, or no one will ever change that.
I want you to know that and remember it because one day, life may alter the path you had planned and your own child may need to hear a tale about a fleeting moment that touched you forever and reminding that they too, are the greatest thing you ever did.
All my love,