I’m really privileged that my son and I occasionally go out together for a drink or a meal. Every one of those meetings is incredibly special. I always enjoy his company, and it’s particularly important to me because I never really had the opportunity to do that with my Dad. My Dad died several years before my son was born, so he never met his Grandad.
My father died around 40 years ago. If he had still been alive, tomorrow would have been his 100th birthday. A few days ago I was able to visit the Church yard where there is a small memorial to him. Years ago, I planted a small euonymous bush behind his memorial. It was important at the time because it was actually a cutting which I took from a plant which my Mum and Dad had given me when my wife and I moved into our first home. It was a special visit. It was worth the trip.
There were three special surprises. Firstly, the euonymous was still there, and it is flourishing. Second, the memorial is still there, looking pretty much as it did around 40 years ago. Thirdly, I realised that I still miss my Dad.
It turns out that there is no protocol to direct how we deal with a significant birthday for someone special who died so long time ago. Tomorrow, there won’t be a 100th birthday party. No celebration. I will remember him quietly. I suppose nowdays we might say I’ll be mindful of him.
Tonight happens to be one of those nights when I’m meeting my son for a drink. The timing has never been more special. I’m going to cherish this moment. Father and son. And probably, I’ll raise a glass to my Dad.