I had been thinking about my father today, it is the anniversary of his unexpected death, 21st December 1986 was a Sunday too, coped well all day until the final prayers towards the end of the Nine Lessons and Carols when we remembered those on another shore. It is not only my father in our minds, Ian's father had died on Christmas Day two years previously, my Mother died on 9th January 1995 it was my father's birthday. It is a regret that our offspring were never able to develop that special bond with these grandparents and child as they were so young when their grandfathers died and my Mother was too ill. Fortunately Ian's mother lived long enough to see her grandchildren grow up and to enjoy a loving relationship with them.
Remembering our parents is all part of family and Christmas, my Mother was very relaxed in her later life about Christmas, my parents would go to East Anglia to my father's relations, although she would decide finally very last minute, I would then spend the holiday with the family of which ever boyfriend was around at the time, especially if I was working up to Christmas Eve or immediately after the Bank Holiday. We have tried to be relaxed with our offspring, if they want to join us great, but we don't get upset if they feel drawn to be with their other half's family. No three line whip here, so it was with great joy that all six of us enjoyed a family day together last Saturday. Their Christmas gift to us was lunch at Bibendum in the delightful Art Deco Michelin building, great food and surroundings and we have the memories and menu to remind us of a happy occasion.