We buried my mother’s partner on the morning of my birthday.
The evening was glorious. We sat outside, me, my mother and my partner, eating chips and drinking champagne. There was sadness, but also happiness in having a ceremony we thought would have pleased him. I’d got through my poem, just. You could hear the emotion in my voice; I never completely lost it, though almost. Overall an exhausted relief that everything had gone smoothly. An emotional marathon successfully run, and now me and the people I love most in the evening sun.
And then my present. It’s a big box wrapped in shiny, shiny metallic gold paper. It’s so full of perfect present promise I’m hesitant to open it. And inside? My beautiful, beloved yellow Custard mat.
It’s my birthday today.