My father loved parties. He enjoyed bringing people together. He was so very generous.
On the 23rd of January this year, he would have been 80. When the day came, I started imagining his ‘birthday party’, what it would have been like, who would have been there.
But it is the quiet, unremarkable moments I miss most. Him getting ready. Us gently recommending he unwrap the new cologne, because today is not a day for Old Spice.
He is not a fan of cake. But there is a large one for everyone else. He might have a few pieces of chocolate. He asks me to top up his glass. Whiskey – a generous pour, two ice-cubes, a splash of water.
It is easy to slip into the present tense. It is less painful than saying would have been. I treasure every memory, however faint, and every moment, however tiny, for these help me imagine.