Estelle Aline Stawman

My Dearest Myles,
Something I want you to know is how precious to me your friendship with Dom has been. In my mind, it made him safe and not alone. That proved to be so true in time, as I learned how he trusted you implicitly.

It was through that loving friendship that I met Estelle Aline and I think she felt the same about Dom’s friendship with you. Although we only met fleetingly several times, I knew and heard how much Dom loved and respected Estelle and how he enjoyed her company. It was a deep comfort to me that Estelle so loved Dom.

As mothers, we have watched each other recognise the beautiful qualities we love so much in our respective sons.

As women, I don’t think motherhood has been the central role in our lives, but we have been players – and Estelle Aline was an original woman of great curiosity and integrity. I know very little of her younger days, but I feel we have shared similar experiences and beliefs. Something to do with our post-war, northern generation and education? I have thought of Estelle Aline so much over the past weeks – and I will always hold her close.

I don’t know Felix, but how she must have loved him! What a photograph!

I love you dearly,
Leigh x

Eric and Ella

Eric and Ella will come today,
Bringing backpacks and smiles
winging into this room
and filling each corner
with love and play.

The boy and the girl will
lift spirits and see all
the small things that matter
in waiting and longing
and dreaming and tea.

The doorbell will ring
so they’ll jump to their feet
and race to see who’s
knocking lockdown
and come here to meet.

Baby birds in my head
huddled close in their nest –
sensing feathers arriving
beaks stir from their rest
and open in trust, to greet and to eat.

Leigh Cook