Arrivals and Departures

It was my Dad's birthday in July, or at least it would have been if he was alive.

I knew it was coming up, as I have done every year since he died, just without consciously thinking about it. I guess having had the date celebrated for so many years that somehow it is built into my psyche.

This year the day sort of snuck up on me. I'd been thinking about my Dad a lot in the week leading up to his birthday without realising why and then when I woke up on the Saturday my first thought was that it would be my Dad's birthday.

It was the first year that it really hurt. It was the first year that I wanted to do something to celebrate his life.

The Milton Keynes International Festival was on, and Flyfour knew what I needed to do.

We put his name on the Arrivals board. A piece of art, using something that everyone is familiar with and being a way to celebrate in what is becoming an increasingly secular society.

We celebrated that he was born.

That he lived and loved and was a mighty fine Dad.

We celebrated that he loved cycling and running.

We celebrated the memories that we had of him.

And then we sent his departure of this world to the board too.

We laughed about how terrible his funeral was and about the celebration we had afterwards that seemed more in keeping with his personality.

We laughed about how he hated Lasange.

We laughed about how everyone got him golf gifts the year he started playing golf, despite not really having any interest in it.

We laughed until I stopped crying.

Today is the anniversary of my Dad's death and I know that I will be sad, but I'll also be happy knowing that I have memories of the him that I knew and loved.