And hup, two, three, four
Hup, two, three, four…
March. A month of four birthdays. Four family members. Four special dates to remember, one of them being my own so I’m not inclined to forget.
But there is one of these March birthdays which is the most important one of all.
The Original Birthday. The one without which the three others would fade into oblivion and cease to exist à la Back to the Future.
Today, the 8th of March 1935.
James, Jimmy, Jim, Hamish, Seamus, Sean (don’t ask where those last three came from), Daddy, Dad, now mostly known as Grampa, Gramps, sometimes unfairly as Grumps.
You turn 28 today. Our long-standing birthday quip which still makes us laugh and which we use whenever the numbers are right. They are right today. And will be right for nearly this whole decade until you reach 88. And they are especially right because you really are still that young man. That Young man. Young by name. Young by nature.
When we talk, your voice is the same as the one I have known for fifty years. Calm, kind and gentle, broken up with laughter. That laughter is the same too, hearty and true. Sometimes I forget they are coming from within a much older man’s body. I can still be surprised by that reality.
But I am never surprised by who you are, who you have always been and who you undoubtedly always will be because I have known you to be this unwavering person for my whole life. A good man. A decent and honest man. A steady, fair and clever man. Above all, a real family man who loves all of us beyond words and who is loved to bits right back.
You are a wonderful father, exceptional grandfather and extraordinary great-grandfather.
Happy, Happy, very, very, very Happy Birthday to you today Dad.
Here’s to many more happy and healthy birthdays to come!