It hit me at 2am last year. Prior to that I’d been singing The Artic Monkeys – Mardy Bum at the top of my lungs out on the decking in our back garden, surrounded by many of my nearest and dearest. The wind had got up and the last of my guests had started to call taxis, but I could have carried on singing all night.
My brother and his girlfriend helped me load the dishwasher, wished me Happy Birthday and went to bed, and it was just me, the wind and the stars.
There had been a tough moment earlier in the day, when I saw just Dad’s name on my birthday card. That moment was about missing her, I still wasn’t ‘getting’ the day’s bigger significance. At 2am it hit me. The anniversary of my birth. The day my mum gave birth to me. Being born. Sounds daft, but whenever the wind blows it always makes me think of her, and it was really howling then. It reminded me how she showed me the stars, my first ever little legacy.
Birthdays will never be quite the same without her. This year I’ve found the anniversaries are hitting me ahead of the day, instead of on or after. But I have the best people looking out for me tomorrow, and that makes me feel very lucky to have been born.
Earlier I stepped out the door into sunshine, just as a clapped out primula yellow Mini Metro chundered past. It was exactly like the one mum used to drive, right down to the eighties hounds tooth pattern interior. It looked completely out of place on the road, like it had travelled through time, like the Ford Cortina from Life on Mars. I watched it disappear in disbelief, a little blast from the past, and it made me laugh out loud.