Though I'm still no style icon, back in my teens and twenties (and, er, thirties) I really had no idea how to dress. I tried, but I constantly got it wrong - you know, the right pants with the wrong top, or the right dress with the wrong shoes, or the right shoes with the wrong everything else.
My sister, on the other hand, always looked great. She had a very particular style - sort of casual, just-thrown-together cool. She wore a lot of cargo pants and brightly coloured singlets and little skirts and the occasional gorgeous patterned dress or top. She loved purple. She had so many purple singlets we all lost count.
Tanya laughed at my fashion choices. She laughed at a lot of my choices. I recall her once going through my CD collection which, admittedly, was rather woeful - lots of Michael Jackson and Madonna and Smiths and Kate Bush (to represent both my upbeat and contemplative sides). And then she noticed one rogue, totally hip album, and pointed and cried out, "Oh look! You have some Massive Attack by mistake!"
Anyhow... every now and then she would let me go through her extensive wardrobe and pick out things I liked that she no longer needed. It was the best fun. I know she was the younger sister but it felt very much like a kid raiding her mother's wardrobe. Tanya bought a lot of stuff and discarded a lot of stuff and so I always came away with some new things to wear. Sometimes I'd want one of her newer outfits and she'd protest, but I nearly always got what I wanted. I'm persuasive that way.
And the thing about Tanya was.... She loved giving me her clothes. She loved it when I looked nice. She genuinely wanted the best for me.
She would have been so proud of all I've achieved, and she would have loved my youngest daughter so much. SO much. My baby turns eight on the 26th of November, three weeks to the day after Tanya will have been dead for eight years.
Today. The 5th of November. It's been eight years.
She was awesome. You would have liked her. All of you. You would have liked her. Most everyone did.
Eight years today. I miss her. And I miss her wardrobe.
I have nothing to wear.