Wednesday, January 21, 2015
My parents separated when I was twelve, my brother fifteen. My father got a one bedroom apartment on Tunlaw Road which was walnut spelled backwards. He would sleep on the sofa when I came to stay overnight once every other week. I would arrive just before bedtime and so nighttime was mundane, but morning brought exquisite joy. Freed from my mother's sensible constraints for my adolescent complexion, he would prepare waffles topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries spilling over the whole thing, alongside a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows. It was my father's way of serving up love on a plate at every available opportunity, and I was grateful then and remain so now, eight and a half years after his death. The divorce broke our family in many, many ways, but in its wake I became acutely aware of my father's bottomless capacity for love and married a man with that exact quality as soon as I found him.