The last month has seen its usual busy round of birthdays and celebrations, the main one being the 6th birthday of our little George, my nephew’s son, who this time last year underwent an SDR operation in St Louis, and what a difference that year has made! The grand plan was to have a celebratory picnic at the beautiful Savill Gardens in Windsor Great Park, where for the past 5 years we have held our annual Walk for George to raise funds for his ongoing therapy and treatment. We were all so looking forward to seeing George being able to take part and walk his own walk, even if just a short way. Alas, the weather let us down with rain forecast, so we decided to have a family party at his grandmother’s bungalow.
George thoroughly enjoyed himself, as did we, and it’s delightful to see him able to now play outside with his cousins, kicking a football, chasing after them, even though he still needs his walker or wheelchair to get about. He’s now toilet trained and asks for the bathroom if he needs help, especially when away from home. In his own house, he just goes off when needed. He walks to school instead of having to be driven, plays in the playground and even has girls fighting over who sits next to him in class; they all adore him. Because I don’t see George that often, I can see the amazing changes, the continued verbal skills, the ability to sit unaided whereas before he would have toppled over, and he’s still such a happy and cheeky fellow. After we had eaten, he turned to his grandmother – my sister Ursula – and said, “Can I have my cake now, Nanny!” It brought tears to my eyes.
The second other major celebration took place a fortnight ago for my other sister, Lydia, and her husband Richard’s 40th wedding anniversary – another excuse for a family get-together, not that we need one – any reason will do. For weeks beforehand my two nieces had been busy getting in touch with as many people as possible that were at their wedding, inviting them to come along, as well as close friends and even their ex-neighbours they hadn’t seen for some years. The hardest part was keeping it all secret. We’d decided to hold a Sunday afternoon tea party at a country mansion hotel, complete with finger sandwiches and lots of cakes and scones. The look on Lydia and Richard’s face as they came into the room, on the ploy of being taken out for a late lunch as a birthday treat (it was Lydia and Ursula’s birthday the day before), was sheer magic. They had no idea, and a few tears were shed as they saw who was there.
Dave and I live some 80 miles away from the location so decided to set out early and have a long, leisurely drive across country, avoiding the motorways, as the weather was gorgeous. A beautiful drive there, and back by a different route, but equally delightful enjoying the scenery in its changing autumnal splendour.
I can honestly say on both occasions, a very good time was had by all!