Today has been a day of looking after the girls – taking Rosemary to nursery school, pushing Eleanor round town while doing the shopping, cleaning the kitchen and making dinner (and pudding), going to breast-feeding group, having a coffee in Costa with Eleanor, picking Rosemary up from nursery school, having friends round for a playdate, having dinner, giving the girls a bath, reading bedtime stories, and breast-feeding. With a bit of time at the computer doing some work after the girls were asleep.
What would it have been like if you were still with us? Probably quite similar, during the day, though I probably would have squeezed in a pint with you in the Vic. Or maybe just brought the girls round to visit you for tea and cake, like we did 3 years ago, though there was only one girl then. The evening would probably have included a family meal, a few beers and we might have talked you into playing a game. But it would have been one of the ones that you secretly liked, like Trivial Pursuits or Articulate.
Or maybe we’d be throwing you a big surprise party, like we did on your 60th. Gathering together many of your friends, old and new to meet up in one of your favourite drinking holes. Perhaps we would have organised it more in advance this time so that relatives could have come from afar to wish you well.
Whatever it would be, you would have wanted to spend it with all your girls – including the newest one, who you never got to meet.
Know this. You will always live on in our hearts and in our heads. You will always be loved. And, though she never got to meet you, Eleanor will know you as much as it is in my power for her to do so.
Happy 65th Birthday, Papa.