We made it through Daniel's 13th birthday. I tried to make it as special for him as I could, and I think we survived it by keeping very busy. Julie's parents stayed here overnight on the night before his birthday, so they were here when he woke on his birthday. Pam stayed for lunch, and Julie's brother Steve came for lunch too. Just as they were leaving at four o'clock, the Bryants came for about three-quarters of an hour. And then Mum and Dad came over to share our Birthday Dinner of roast lamb followed by apricot pie.
On the day after Daniel's birthday, we had afternoon tea with extended family on my side and Julie's side as well as his best friend Edward, and I read out the poem I'd written for him for his birthday. At the end of the weekend, Daniel gave me an extra big hug to thank me for making his birthday so special. That made a huge difference to how I felt.
During the first week of July, we had a holiday in Melbourne. We stayed with Julieís Aunty Kerrie and spent a couple of days riding trams and trains, and we also had day trips to the Great Ocean Road and Mount Buller, where we also skied.
The joyous thing about previous holidays was that they allowed me to spend so many hours a day in the presence of my beloved wife. This was the first holiday where that didn't apply. It was constantly in the back of my mind during the holiday. My aim was just to concentrate on making the holiday enjoyable for Daniel in the hope that some of his enjoyment may rub off on me. And thatís what happened. There were various aspects of the holiday that we enjoyed.
Now my birthday is approaching, and I am anticipating an emotional event on par with my twentieth wedding anniversary back in March. I would like to think that I will be able to cope better now that so many more months have passed. But I'm not so sure that that will be the case.
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