This is it. The reason,

This is it. The reason, I've decided, i've been weird lately. Well, to you I've been weird. You can stop telling me to smile or cheer up. You can stop noticing I am in a *mood* and you can stop worrying about me. The reason, I know, in my heart of hearts, that I haven't been myself, my usual cheery self, if, in fact, that's me, is because of tomorrow. It's Alan's birthday - or it would have been, had Alan still been alive today, or tomorrow. Or any day.

I miss him.

Plain and simple. driving home last night in tears - not the safest mode of transport - realising what I've known that tomorrow is his birthday and how much I miss that bloody man. And now i'm leaking again. And remembering him. And .. you know what? he liked me. no truly liked ME. Not because he had to because I was his sisterinlaw or because he was polite.. but because he felt comfortable with me and because he liked my company. I remember him taking the midnight bus. yes BUS from Auckland to New Plymouth to come to my 21st party. and he bought me a present.. and LP.. remember those? Men Without Hats. He liked me. And I miss him. every single day I miss him like I miss my father. They shared the same name, you know. and died at the same age. and that's just too much for one michelle to bare. And thats the reason there can't BE a god to do that to a person twice. in one lifetime. To force a lesson on a girl is just plain mean.

So its his birthday tomorrow.. and Alan's worst fear was to be forgotten.. and I promised him he wouldn't be. I promised him that i'd love him forever and that I would go to his grave and remember him every year, and that 's what I'm doing tomorrow. I'm going to sit on the grass of his grave and talk to him with tears streaming down my face, cos he always tolerated that from me. And tell him all the things that have happened since the last time I sat there. All by myself. Because he liked me and was the one, and only reason, I stayed in that family so long. Without him, there wasn't any point.

He asked me, with his last breaths.. not when he was dying,.. but, if you know cancer you know.. the strength to speak goes long before you die. He asked me over and over "what are you going to do" and i thought.. does he mean me and greg? does he mean just me? wendy said he worried about my spirituality. I don't know.. I told him.. no matter what, i would be okay and he wasn't to worry.. that I would try and do things as well as I could and I would look after Greg and he wasn't to worry - but he did.. and kept on asking what was I going to do. I don't think I understood. and i miss him.

But he worried. because he liked me. me. just me being me. one of the few people who ever did. really truly liked me all my faults and all.. and lord knows he say plenty of my faults.. i was never at my prettiest when I was with his family. And he loved my children. Loved them like they were his own. He was the best Uncle in the world and he left us all too soon.

And I miss him.

And the night he died.. when his parents felt it wasn't a proper place for his nephews and nieces to be... and they made me send them home. I was bundling them into the car outside on the street on such a still quiet evening.. and I stopped.. and looked up at the moon and the night sky in a moment held in time for no good reason and I felt joy in my heart. The spell was broken by a voice saying I ought to go inside, because something was happening and i rushed inside not even aware of the small feet that crowded around mine and followed me in from the car. To find the wailing and the facing away from people.. and the body on the bed that didn't even look like him anymore because in those brief moments he had gone.

And how proud I was of him.

And how much.. how much.. how much I missed him.

I wasn't his wife. I wasn't his friend, I dont' think he would have said I was his friend. I was his sister by marriage. And I loved him dearly. And I could tell him everything and nothing. And he loved me back. And.. I miss him.