Me: I can’t believe Chris is 35 today. He’s my baby.
Nell: Talking of babies, do you like the photos?
Me: They’re lovely. Baby Marvin and Baby Dave.
Nell: Not to mention Harriet, Young Poppy and our dear Mutley.
Me: I miss him so much.
Nell: We all do. Marvin has written a poem for Chris. Would you like to hear it?
Me: I would.
Nell: ‘Dear Dad, I know it’s your birthday today
And even though I am far far away
I still want to wish you
Lots of fun and cake.
But when you come home,
Make no mistake,
We will be having
A serious chat
About you leaving me here.
Cos I’m telling you that
It was naughty
And not at all funny
Cos worst of all
You took away Mummy.
So have a nice day
Full of cuddles and joy
But remember I’m waiting
And I am your Boy.’
Me: He’s going to love that.
Nell: Yes, there’s nothing like a guilt trip on your birthday.
Me: He’ll be back with Marvin very soon.
Nell: Now, we have some serious news.
Me: We do.
Nell: Yesterday your little sister Alex was rushed into hospital with pneumonia and Covid.
Nell: And now she’s fighting for her life in intensive care.
Nell: We’re going to need all your prayers and good wishes to get her through this.
Me: We are.
Nell: So, please send them Alex’s way.
Me: What kept me going at the hospital yesterday was knowing I had my wonderful family waiting for me and the support of you all.
Nell: What will be will be, but you can be sure we’re all thinking of Alex and willing her to pull through.
Me: Yes. Sorry.
Nell: No sorries. Not today.