I turned fifty on Sunday. And, to stem off prospects of somebody throwing a surprise party and in recognition of the expectation that this will be my last birthday of significance, I invited the kids, nephews and a couple of friends to a lunch at the Milan Bar in Lees.

A bit of private dining. Welcomed by a VIP lane. A bit like flying business class.

The food was great. It was lovely to get this group of people who mean so much to me together in one room and also to introduce them to Rachel. And, of course, to extract presents from them. Wine and whisky well received ahead of a winter escape to Anglesey for a week of rest and hot tub.

Seeing the three kids together again was moving. Admiring how they broke the ice with younger cousins that they may not have seen in a decade. The outrageous cake from my sister. But all in all an informal gathering that just made me feel loved.

In 1900 the average age at death was 47. So I’ve outdone them. And while I’d like to enjoy more moments like Sunday, the fact they all made the time to come made me happy. I think it was the dessert list on the menu that tipped the balance on a 100% invite to attendance ratio.

It all meant a lot to me. They all mean a lot to me. And while I know my illness affects them all, I hope they all know how loved they are and I hope that helps them handle things.

I Don’t Want to Deal With Stuff