We have celebrated with one of my brothers this weekend, he had a birthday a significant one. His lovely partner managed to get us all together in the delightful village of Malham as a surprise. He thought he was going away for a quiet weekend of walking, nothing our family do together is ever that quiet.
For me it was a celebration on two fronts not only to mark his birthday but also the changes, he has had his life over the last five years. I will never forget taking him out ten years ago to celebrate with him then, my mum was with us too, but to me it felt there was little to celebrate. He was living in a very run down house as that was all he could afford to rent, he was not working and had not since graduating six years earlier, his self esteem was almost non existent and he seemed to me to be very depressed. He also found family gatherings hard, my other brother and I were both married with children, his life was so far removed for ours, we hardly saw anything of him.
In the last five years he has found a job which he really enjoys, bought a house and found a lovely lady to share his life. He is a totally different person and it is a wonderful transformation. I have always enjoyed his company but I am so glad that he now enjoys ours. It was a wonderful day, one that I won't be forgetting for a long time.