This morning I received a text which surprised and saddened me. First of all I was surprised that it was from someone who doesn't tend to text and certainly not before 730am, then I was saddned by what I read. Somone I have known all my life has died. He was the same age as my father would be, knew my father well and now (if you believe that kind of thing) would going to the same place my father went to aged 41.
I sent a reply saying I was sorry to hear that, he was indeed a top bloke. Then I thought of how I knew him and I cried. I didn't see him terribly often, but I always heard his news. He was also one of the two remaining non family links to my father and that saddened me.
As we grow older so do the older generation, their minds and dexterity might sometimes be slower, their memories might fade, but their wise words and importance in our lives never falters. I rang my father's best man and school contemporary of both, to tell him the sad news as I didn't want him to read it in the paper.
Tonight I will raise a glass to those people who are no longer here, but are never far away.