21 and Counting?

So today is Izzy’s 21st birthday.

Or would have been. She didn’t make it past 19. That’s 2 years ago. 2 years to count or to lose count. But who’s counting?

I for one still count. And every now and then, I get confused. Do I measure time lapsed between now and when they died differently – time Before and After, or simply ignore it, as though they’re still alive?

I lose track of time after 2 years. When Facebook reminds me of something 7 years ago (me and Iz and the family skiing the Chamossiere hill in Morzine) and I think, is that 7 years ago or is it 5 years ago plus 2? And I know, as time moves on, I’ll get more and more confused, as February 2016 locks frozen into the past, etched into Before, when my counting had to restart somehow.

I remember quite early After having a conversation with a friend about the future that would have been. I had this notion to buy a University of Sheffield Geography Dept hoodie – she was due to start her degree in September. My friend said no. No point. You can’t measure the future time that won’t happen. You can’t linger on the future lost. Hard enough persisting on the past.

So today Izzy would have been 21.

Maybe we’d have arranged a party. Maybe hired somewhere to avoid the house getting turned over. Maybe combined it with a close family gathering too, perhaps. Stretched it out for her. Friends would have taken her out for sure. But who knows, who’s counting?

So today, January 8th 2018, we’ll be skiing. And I’ll be on Chamossiere, caning it down the hill, my lenses masking my tears and remembering the moments of powder run and falling over together.

Happy Birthday Iz. xx

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