Milestone Birthdays

From Journal 2 – 6th June 1988

The Saturday before last, 28 May 1988, was my Dad’s 60th Birthday. Mum gave him a surprise party which I’m sure was probably no surprise, every milestone birthday in our family has been celebrated with a birthday.

I guess the fact that my father is now 60 means I too must be getting older. I remember Dad’s fortieth birthday, not with any great clarity I’ll admit, but I distinctly remember thinking that he had reached middle age. Those twenty years at once seem both long, and n some ways, feel as if they have passed in the blinking of an eye. Much has happened, myself and my two sisters have married, both Karen and I have two children whilst Debra is due to have her first in September.

And whilst we have welcomed those new lives we have bid farewell to froends and family. All of my grandparents have died, Nana Smith only six weeks ago. Uncle Arthur Brown, Dad’s oldest and probably his only friend outside family died about five years ago.

So Dad’s birthday, although a time for celebaration, has made me wonder what the next twenty years will bring forth. Sadly, my parents and Lyns may well have died in that time. My children will have grown and may well have families of their own and Lyn and I will be passing from middle age to old age. Twenty years suddenly seems a short time.

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Post script
In 1988 I was 30 years old and whilst we are not yet at the twenty year mark I mentioned in that post I thought it was worth postin here because another milestone birthday is approaching for me. On Bastille Day this year, I turn 50. Oddly I no longer worry about aging like I seemed to be doing in that post. Certainly, 50 no longer seems old, and I am betting when I get to my 60th like I described my Dad’s in that post, I will not feel any older than I do now.

I have four children now, my sister Karen also has four, and my other sister Debra has three. Many more family members have passed on and the extended family has continued to grow with my cousins having children and in some cases grandchildren of their own.

My career has changed several times in the ensuing years- both within the police force, in which I was to serve for 16 years until 1997, and beyond where I have had three further major chanes of direction.

The other thing that struck me on reading this post in my old journal was the comment about Uncle Arthur possibly being Dad’s only friend. That was very true and I had forgotten that about him. Dad was gregarious and always the life of the party, people enjoyed his company, but he had few friends. Maybe that was because his mates were drinking buddies and when Dad drank, he got drunk and that caused all sorts of issues. Maybe he chose to give those mates up, or maybe Mum forced it, all I know is that he didn’t seem to have any mates visit, nor did he go out with any that I knew of. Perhaps the loner in me is more of a reflection of my Dad than I realised.

Finally, whilst I said that we always celebrated milestone birthdays with a party, that also was something that has gone by the by since I wrote it. I chose not to have a 40th birthday party, although we did go out for dinner with a handful of people, and I certainly won’t be choosing to have a 50th birthday either.

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