I know I normally talk to you in my thoughts but today I felt like writing you a letter. I hope it still makes its way to you;
I was sat in Kate’s conservatory the other day and we were brainstorming ideas for a joint art project we are doing to accompany my album. To help us with our creation we were listening to my half finished, almost ready, pretty much there, I just need to let go and stop picking at it, album and my song ‘Four Weeks’ came on. This is a song I wrote with Rhys about 7 or 8 years ago. It’s about the moment that Mum sat Gemma and I down to tell us that we were going to have to say goodbye to you. That the man who had loved us unconditionally, with his whole heart and always made us smile was going to be taken away very shortly. You were laying down in the bedroom and we ran in and gave you the biggest hug in the world.
Now, at 31 years of age I understand the true gravity of the task that mum had to undertake. I cannot imagine how she must have felt having to say those words to her two daughters. To this day I am so proud of her for being so strong and being able to put her fears and sadness to one side and support Gemma and I in what felt like the end of our world… Let me tell you she devoted her life to doing just that, always putting our happiness before her own, words do not do it justice; she is an amazing mum and a wonderful friend and everyday I feel lucky to have her.
So, as I was telling you; we we’re in Kate’s conservatory being all creative and it was scorching hot! I think judging by the weather now, it was actually our last day of summer. Had we known that we might’ve got our bikini’s on and sat in the garden, instead we were doing our best not to be uber British and complain about the heat so we simply sat and suffered, inappropriately dressed, drinking copious amounts of tea, chasing the shaded area around the room as the sun moved across the sky (I guess that’s still pretty British!). As ‘Four Weeks’ played, Kate turned to me and said; “This song gets me every time, I don’t know how you do it.” And as she spoke her eyes filled with tears. “Now I am a mother I just cannot imagine how…” She didn’t finish her sentence but I knew what she meant. I wandered over to her and hugged her tightly. “This is silly” she said “I can’t believe you are comforting me about this song”.
But that’s just it Dad, that moment right there is why I do it.
Music has such an indescribable power that we all know and understand no matter where we are from. I have had so many powerful responses to this song and still it amazes me. It has taken on a life of its own and has a power beyond anything both Rhys and I had ever hoped for. It became the inspiration for me to write my album the way I have.
I decided to redo the vocal for Four Weeks and put it on the album. It has never really been given the light it deserves and it just felt right to give it the opportunity to be heard especially as without it I would not be making this album this way. I like to think that in someway it’s you, still in my heart and mind, guiding me as I grow. Should the album be a complete flop with no radio play or record sales/downloads at all (after I have cried my own body weight in tears) I will look back at this moment and remember that that really isn’t what it’s all about.
Yesterday when Mum came over for lunch she dropped off an old cd wallet she had found. It was full of my old cd collection. I had a long drive today so I decided to spend the time listening to them all and I can tell you I have been on a journey; from old boyfriends (some you would’ve approved of and some you wouldn’t) to old friends, from college years to uni, from nights out to nights in, from old best friends to… Well I still have the same best friends! It’s funny how a song can take you right back to a moment; you can experience every detail of that past moment captured right there in the song: the sounds, smells, people, thoughts and feelings. I don’t know how it does it but it does. I know it’s something we all experience for both happy memories and sad and it’s one of the many things I love about music!
After my cd marathon I was feeling pretty nostalgic so on the train home I had the urge to listen to Four Weeks. Sometimes without my control you come into my head and I have to listen to a song and remember a moment just to be close to you again. Often when I listen to Four Weeks and especially when I sing it, I have found a way to disconnect a little, almost like I am watching the story unfold rather than being a part of it, I think I do it without realising just to get through the song… But sat on the train with no distractions I closed my eyes and just allowed myself to really listen to my words; There I was… right there… 11years old, sat down next to mum with Gem sat the other side of her, about to hear the words we knew were coming but we hoped with all our hearts would never come true… Maybe a public train was not the best place for this but nonetheless I just had to write you a letter. I miss you Dad. I want you to hear me sing, I want to sit down next to you and play you my album and see the pride in your eyes. I want to tell you how amazing mum has been and how proud you should be of her. I want you to see how close and inseparable me and Gem are and how much support and love all three of us have for our little family. I want to introduce you to my nephew, your wonderful grandson and have you play silly jokes on him like you did with us. I want you to wake me up each morning singing at the top of your voice as you pull the covers off me and drag me out of bed to get up and make the most of my day; “oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I’ve got a beautiful feeling, everything’s going my way…”! But most of all I just want you to sweep mum up in your arms and tell her she’s doing great!
It never gets easier to miss you but I promise with all my heart each morning I will throw my bed covers off, drag myself out of bed and make the most of my day!
Lots of love and hugs,
P.S. I got so engrossed in writing this letter to you that I missed my connection back to Bristol! But you know what, it doesn’t matter because an hour alone with you was worth it.