It is my mother’s birthday today. This time last year, Dad was still able – just – to take my brother and I out for tea and raise his glass in a toast, although he barely ate a thing.

I shall mark the occasion with a story.

The day before my Mum died, she took her school choir to a rehearsal of the Combined Schools Choir. At the rehearsal, there was some suggestion that during the public performance certain children should not sing.

In the days after she died, a little boy – and I wish I knew which little boy it was – sent us a card and in the card he described the choir’s bus trip back to school when my outraged mother told them not to worry that everyone would sing.

The little boy wrote: ‘…and Mrs Crisp told us, “Stick to your guns kids”‘.

And a few days after that, we went to the Combined Schools Choir performance and everybody sang.