My father turned 87 the other day, a happy occasion I felt quite fortunate to be able to celebrate with him, and yet it was also, on that very same day, the 10 year anniversary of my mother’s death. Yes, my mother died on my father’s birthday, which I used to joke was either the greatest romantic act, the world’s biggest fuck you or perhaps, knowing my mother, a little bit of both. But the reality is that my mother dying on my father’s birthday was more like a Christian dying on Christmas — the unintended consequence of a person using all their strength to live for a date that’s very important to them, and then that day arriving and them not having any strength left. “Did you buy him a cake?” It was one of the last things my mother ever said. Yes, I’d like to tell her, we did and we do.