Sunday 11 December 2016

Sacred day when a spear of longing pierced my world

Dear Son,

Published 14/02/2010 | 05:00

VALENTINE'S Day can be a pain when you're young: a purgatory of false expectations. It probably doesn't matter as much as it used to in the past, but back when I was a kid, in the late 13th Century, the postman was waited for anxiously. You might think it strange that it's a day when I always think of you -- and yet it is, for it was on the feast-day of old Val, the patron saint of petrol-station flowers, that I first got to see your face.

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We were living in London then, your mother and I. We'd been married a couple of years.

But for most of my adult life, I'd been sure I would never be a father. I don't know why. Fear, I suppose. It wasn't until my early thirties that I met someone who gave me cause to question my certainty. Your mother was so brave herself. It rubbed off on me.

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