It's an odd word, isn't it? Twelfth? The "lfth" is rather awkward falling off the tongue... I think it rather trips up and flounders a bit.
But the 12th of January is a day of mixed emotions for me.
A dear friend with whom I work celebrates her birthday on that day, as does my lovely Auntie Peggy.
Peggy turned 81 this year, and she threw herself a bit of a party. Why not? No point in surprises, and because the whole extended family tends to just carry on and forget these occasions, she phoned everyone up, saying she was making a big pot of vegetarian chili, with a pot of meat stewed up that could be added in for those so inclined to be carnivorous, and had a birthday cake ready to go as well.
So it became a family gathering with people coming and going, Happy Birthday being sung numerous times as it was also around the time of my cousin Sandie's 64th birthday, and my stepcousin Joyce's 48th. So the large (store bought) slab cake was festooned with numbers and names and little Jude got to blow all the candles out, assisting the birthday girls as each took their turn. He's 3 and a half. That half is important, you know, especially when you are three.
But it is also, this twelfth day of January, the anniversary of my mother's death. She passed away in 2003, just 2 1/2 months after my paternal grandmother (who was 95 and sharp as a tack to the end). My mum was a smoker and an alcoholic. She loved her scotch and her Camels. So her end was a long drawn out affair with addiction and emphysema... a very nasty way to go, judging from the length of time I watched her huff and puff, lose weight and become increasingly anxious. Being hypoxic and always slightly tippled isn't such a good mix.
So I was very happy to spend the afternoon and part of the evening visiting with family, rather than wandering around the house with Mum on my mind. Although I was glad her suffering was ended when she died, I still miss her very much. But I guess that is pretty much the case for anyone you love who has been afflicted with a debilitating illness.