Today it is nine years since my father died. Year after year I find that the simple fact of the repeated date has the disconcerting effect of snapping me back in time. The intervening years seem to compress and fade and I am back in the day, the moment, the shock, the grief.
I guess we are programmed by date from a very early age - birthdays, Christmas, Friday the 13th. I heard a terrible story recently of someone who found out at 16 that his parents had got the date wrong all these years and he had been celebrating his birthday a day late. It makes a mockery of the whole thing if you do all the rituals on the wrong day, doesn't it?
Today was sad but it was also a chance to stop and remember without shying away from the pain and some dear friends remembered too and made an effort to tell us they were thinking of us. That helps. It's nice not having to explain why today, particularly, I feel sad. Such anniversaries are public license for emotion and faltering a little as you 'get on' with the stuff of life that fills all the other days.
And my Mum and I made a small but rich celebration of it. Linguine marinara for me, 'coin' pasta (large, round discs, homemade) with a rich, red sauce for her, rucola and parmesan salad in the middle and some sharp, clean pinot grigio. Then coffee and a shared pistachio tart with pear poached in rose`. It went perfectly with the 'remember when?' and 'remember how?' and the love for a very good man. It was sad, but lovely.