When I was young, there were only a handful of special days each year; Christmas and my birthday stood proud at the top of the list, with the months in between punctuated by other family birthdays. Holidays were special, but never on the same days and never certain. Bonfire night had its own rhyme to help us - remember, remember the 5th of November, but the dates for Easter, and for Mothers' day and Fathers' day danced around each year, so you could never be sure when they'd fall.
As I got older, friends' birthdays were circled on the calendar and each time I started a new relationship, the date became significant for a while. Eventually there was a wedding date and then each year its anniversary, a husband's birthday, then all his family's, and in no time at all, four special days for the children.
As they grew up, it seemed like the calendar was always full; birthday parties, dancing lessons, football matches, school terms starting and ending. Then when I met Philip there came a whole new set of dates to remember, a walk in the snow, a wedding in the sun, the day we came to Shoreham and the day we left. The day, just eight weeks ago, that we came back again.
As our lives have unfolded, the dates have kept coming, people have got older, grandchildren have arrived, but amongst all those dates, all those circles on the calendar, the reminders, the anniversaries, the significant events, February 27th has never been a special day.
Annie Elizabeth Longworth. A daughter for my handsome son Ged and his lovely partner Natalie, a baby sister to Oliver, a new granddaughter for me. February 27th will never be a something and nothing date again.