A friend just posted on Twitter "Remember, remember the 5th of November" and I immediately felt crushingly depressed.
He doesn't know of course - why would he? - that 5th November 2012 was the day my Dad died.
I remember clearly waking up at 7am as per usual (it was a Monday morning) and seeing missed calls from my Mum timed at around 4am. I knew then that he was gone, and the first feeling I experienced was a huge rush of relief. He'd been ill for a long time - he was diagnosed with lymphoma (my memory refuses to recall whether it was non-Hodgkins or not - at this point it doesn't matter) two years previously and given six months to live, but the doctors hadn't taken into account what tough old bugger Tom was.
After the initial wave of relief there was just numbness - shock, I suppose - and I began the process of calling work and telling them I wouldn't be in for a while, then packing a bag and heading down to Eastbourne. I'd already done the crying and the grief two years previously. If I recall correctly when I heard the original diagnosis I crawled inside a Scotch bottle and stayed there for a few days. My employers at the time were an understanding bunch, thankfully.
Today, a year later, I'm sitting here at work trying to give a toss and honestly not really doing very well at it. Later I shall raise a glass or two to the old fella, though within sensible limits.
I will always remember the 5th of November with mixed feelings. I just need to learn to nod and smile when people invoke the poem.
Miss you Dad, you silly sod.
RIP Tom Murray, 13/7/1926 - 5/11/2012.