I’m trying very hard not to think how today I should be hearing my mother’s delighted voice, so happy with the flowers I always got her for her birthday. What mum doesn’t like getting flowers from her wee boy, even if that wee boy is a little larger these days? Passage of time doesn’t really make it any easier – the old addage of time healing all wounds is a fiction. You find yourself distracted increasingly by the day to day of mundane life but you never forget and the pain never really leaves you, especially when you didn’t just lose someone but had them taken from you so suddenly. And of course certain dates are harder to bear than others – like the birthday of a loved one you lost, anniversaries, the date you lost them on. And Christmas doesn’t bloody help either. It should be mum’s birthday today, then Christmas, then my birthday, then New Year and each of those dates hammers in the fact that she isn’t here with us where she should be and it’s oh so bloody hard for me and I know even harder for my dear dad. Happy birthday, mum, we love you so much and miss you more than I can put into words.