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Birthdays and bewilderment

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Each year, on the eve of my birthday, some very dear and thoughtful friends arrive.

We go through the rather moving charade of my leaving them in the bedroom, whilst I busy myself in the kitchen. They produce, for Robert, a beautiful card, just the sort that he himself would have chosen. They enclose his fingers round a pen, and guide it in order for him to “sign” his name. They then “hide” the card, in a drawer which they know I will need to open the first thing in the morning.

In the morning, I fake surprise, pass the card to my dearest, saying “What’s this”, which prompts him to wish me a happy birthday.

When I read the beautiful words printed on the card, when I see his scrawled mark, and the kisses which could have been done by a three year old, I break my heart.

I am doing so now, just writing this.

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