Today is six years, 2,191 days, since you left us.
In four days I will be 50 years old, 18,250 days old.
Only 2,370 of those days were lived with you, yet by some trick of mathematics, or unknown law of nature, the sum of those days is more than that of all the ones before or since.
I miss your slightly raspy voice, your old soul wisdom, your thoughts as you encountered the world and came to your own unique view of it, your gummy smile, which I suspect was quite like mine.
I miss all the small things any mother can name, fleeting moments in the everyday. some noticed and seized on as they pass, some remembered only later, a touch, a phrase in passing, a moment just the two of us shared, the Zoeisms.
I miss all the moments and milestones you didn’t get. I see the ghosts of them in your friends as they grow up.
Lately I realise I miss me. The me that only ever existed through your eyes. The me you believed in unwaveringly. Who you loved fierce and true and believed was good and capable. That me left with you, maybe you needed her where you were going.
Maybe she would be gone by now anyway, you would be on the cusp of teenagerhood, your job would be growing up and away from me. “Mum’s a good mum,” you told your Nan “even if she does say bad words sometimes” (guilty).
I’m a different me now, without you. And I wonder, how many more days without you?
Postscript: I am a different me, but I’m still here and I’m still wearing the sparkly shoes. Today we will be doing a few things to remember Zoe. First up is her Nan and I are going out for her favourite breakfast.