At the beginning of January I was at my Dad's 80th birthday party, back in my home town of South Shields.
It was a great time to be with my brothers and sisters again, see relatives I haven't seen for years and to discover relatives I didn't even know existed! Most of all it was great to be in some small way part of a great crowd who were there to say, "We love you" to my Dad.
One particular aspect of that evening is still with me. I took my Dad there early so he could be at the club to welcome people as they arrived. All of the early arrivals where his friends from the club, they were arriving early so they could get their bingo tickets - don't ever get between people and the bingo!
As Dad welcomed them he would then introduce me with phrase, "This is my Son". That description and the words of my Dad saying it again and again have stayed with me, I can hear it in my mind now as clear as day.
I felt and feel proud that Dad was happy and proud to introduce me as his son. I know I was right next to him when he was saying it to people, but that is just it, he was saying it to other people and I was getting to hear it. It was then usually followed by a hearty handshake, a warm smile and kind words. It was like having my own mini affirmation session!
To know my Dad not only acknowledges me as his son but is proud to do so has been a wonderful present at the start of this year.