You are eighty.

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.

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