It is eighteen weeks since my wonderful stepdad passed away - I can still not write the word 'died' beside him, in the same sentence. The raw shock and awfulness has faded, but I miss him terribly and still find myself in tears unexpectedly. I found some writing from three years ago, when I was visiting him and my mother:
A seagull shat on me today, I thought, at first, it was a giant raindrop on the back of my hand. I looked up, the sky was empty and blue. My stepdad said he'd seen the shadows of *two* seagulls. Hard to know if he had as he is retreating more and more into his own world (he puts the olive oil in the fridge, I take it back out, he puts it back in, I take it back out). Then he hung the bath mats on the garden gate to dry, they had been on the clothes horse, but for his own - perfectly valid, I'm sure - reasons, he wanted the clothes horse back in the garage, and the mats on the garden gate.
I remember him hanging the bath mats on the garden gate: a chemical engineer with a head full of equations and science, hanging the bath mats on the back gate.
So, to mark eighteen weeks without this lovely man, here he is with his identical twin in their beloved Greenland, probably 1933.