We have just celebrated Bec’s 21st birthday. It feels a little strange to have both children over the age of 21. I don’t know where all the years went. One minute I had two small children and the next they are full grown adults. How did that happen?
Twenty-firsts are becoming a thing of the past in some places. Times have changed. The 21st once signified a major milestone in a young person’s life, a coming of age, a time when they would take on the expectations, responsibilities and privileges of the adult life. Today the 18th is often seen as marking that milestone, however it still is a joyous occasion to gather together to celebrate a birthday and always provides a good excuse for a party.
Bec is not the raging, partying kind. She loves her family and close friends and prefers intimate gatherings where friends and family can get together, enjoy a meal, and celebrate in a relaxed, low-key manner. So a group of family and friends gathered at the local Golf Club for a lovely evening together in a private room. It was exactly what Bec wanted.
Of course, it is still hard to believe that she has reached this milestone. It is hard to believe she is no longer that tiny little baby with the long blond hair. And yes, when Bec was born she did indeed have long blond hair, long enough that we could have tied it up with a ribbon.
Bec’s life hasn’t been an easy journey. She has been surrounded by loving family and friends. She has known the challenge of having a special brother like Dan, who I know she really does love, even though he drives her mad. But she has also known the heartbreak, pain and grief of losing her beloved Dad, Rob. It is a grief she will carry forever in her heart.
Bec was only four when her Dad died, yet she has memories that are crystal clear. She is very much like her Dad in so many ways – the way she smiles, the interests she pursues, the way that she never puts anything away in the same place twice. But she is especially like her Dad in the ways that count: in her compassion for others, her attention to detail and dedication to excellence, her love for music, the natural world, and the written word.
Through the hard times Bec has endured. She has grown deeper and stronger, and having experienced both the pain and joy of life, she can look into her future with hope, knowing that she has the inner strength to face whatever comes her way. She has grown into a beautiful young woman and I know that her Dad would be very proud of her.
We are all very proud of Bec too and long after the tea lights and flowers have faded, and the music themed cake has been devoured, we will continue to wish her joy, hope and love as her journey in life goes on.