Bridgend, South Wales
23rd, April 2021

Dear Ziggy,

Another trip around the sun, another year further away from you. You should be 8 today. I don’t have a picture of you in my mind anymore, I’ve tried, it simply won’t come and anything I picture feels badly drawn, a sketch on which I have spilled something – coffee, probably.

Last year, the world had gone mad, and we were all locked at home, hiding from a hidden threat. We were trying to keep your brother and sister safe from the collective anxiety that was gripping us all and unable to do much of what we would do at this time of year. The pandemic has continued for longer than most envisaged though we are currently in a period of easing of restrictions and so are able to get to the beach as is our tradition.

Your mum and I have been able to carve out a bit more time this year to pause which has helped. I had a bit of a time of it last year. So it goes. Your mum is still painting in between all the other things we have going on, still doing what she can in the garden and we’re all getting outside as much as we can.

Your brother misses you still, though he is a happy boy most of the time and turning into quite the gamer (more your mother’s influence than mine). He loves to play with words, making up stories and rhymes, and has discovered a flair for drawing that is nice to see, an unexpected gift of lockdown. Your sister remains a wild one that loves to paint and sing and run around with your brother, occasionally winding him up, but always going back for a hug. We haven’t told her about you yet, but we will. Soon.

In my time of it last year, there was a lot of work done to deal with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and, for good or ill, I find those moments where I felt you were near* that used to come so frequently are now much farther apart. I think about that a lot.

Happy birthday my beautiful boy, miss you. I have sent you a story as is my tradition and I hope you enjoy it.

Mammy and Daddy love you very much.

Penblwydd hapus, cariad. Taith ddiogel.

Love you, cariad,
Dad
xxx

*I realise this is in my own head. However. Still a feeling.