It seems odd to say, ‘happy birthday’, when a person’s passed away,
But this is the first chance I’ve had, to celebrate your special day.
We never got to say hello, or embrace as dad and son,
We never got the chance to meet, before your race was run.
I always hoped there’d come a day, when we would finally meet,
But as years went by, I had no luck, and had to admit defeat.
It’s because of you I’ve had a life, and for that I’m truly blessed,
But I never got to hold your hand or feel safe close to your chest.
I never sat upon your knee, or fell asleep wrapped in your arms,
I couldn’t turn and ask you for help, when I was close to harm.
But as I grew from boy to man, and had children of my own,
I talked about you all the time, the greatest man I’d never known.
You were never far from my thoughts, my heritage a source of pride,
I may be English born and bred, but I have a Sicilian heart inside.
I often dreamt of how I’d feel, if we were to ever meet,
A hug, a kiss, a warm embrace, would make my life complete.
Then late last year I found you, at least I found your grave,
I tried so hard to hold back the tears, but I’m afraid I’m not that brave.
Your place of rest is beautiful, as is your place of birth,
I only wish I’d found them both, before you left this earth.
I wish that I could see you today, for just a little while,
To hold your hand and hear your voice, and especially see you smile.
And then I’d get the chance to say, these words I mean so true,
‘Happy birthday dad’, from the loving son you never knew.
The 6th August is my late father’s birthday. I never got to meet my dad, but last year in Sicily (2016) I met family and friends I never knew I had, it has been a very emotional time since, but one I’ve really enjoyed as we get to know the Sicilian side of the family. A beautiful place with beautiful and most welcoming people.
I’ve been blessed by angels,
from way above the sky
They made a perfect match,
putting together you and I
They knew that we’d be together,
for ever and a day
With feelings for each other,
that we’d never have to say
Since I asked you if you’d marry me,
More than a quarter of a century has passed
I knew back then, as I still do now,
together we will last
Those years have been so kind to us,
our family has grown in size
Three children and two grandchildren,
the beauty before our eyes
The joy I feel when I’m by your side,
I never want to end
Because not only are you my love,
you are truly my best friend
I know I don’t say it often enough,
but I love you with all my heart
My love for you has grown and grown,
right from the very start
Some things in life are meant to be,
like the sun up in the sky
The sea and sand, the moon and stars,
but mostly you and I
I wrote this for my wife Liz on our 25th Wedding anniversary in 2009
When Amy was a newborn baby, she had one pair of little shoes
and a pair of little booties, from which her Mum could choose.
Although she couldn’t walk, out with her Mum and Dad she goes,
Dressed in different shades of pink, from her head down to her toes.
But soon the little newborn, had into a toddler grown,
in her red Dorothy party shoes, she was walking all alone.
Watching very closely, as she took each shaky stride,
She may not have noticed it, but her Mum was at her side.
The little girl grew older, and with each passing year,
Her first high-heels and cow girl boots eventually appear.
And then, as if by magic, the little girl had grown
She wore the latest fashions, bought with money of her own.
Then one day she's left home and we wonder where time has gone
It only seemed like yesterday that our little girl was one
I wonder where the years have gone, and wistfully recall,
My little girl, in little shoes, so innocent and small.
And now we are grandparents, and Amy has a child of her own.
Her little daughter Charlie is the sunshine in her home.
The top drawer of her dresser is filled with little shoes,
And many pairs of booties, from which Amy can now choose.
Amy you must cherish each passing moment, the laughter and the tears,
because the days will go by so swiftly, and gather into years.
Those little shoes Charlie will soon outgrow, before you realise
She’ll blossom like a summer rose, before your very eyes.
And soon we will be celebrating as Charlie reaches twenty-one
And has grown into a beauty, just as her mum has done
It seems like only yesterday,
when you joined our family tree
We were all so happy, when you arrived,
your mum, your sister and me.
Another darling baby girl,
we were feeling truly blessed
Two girls, one each for us to hold,
our life was just the best.
It was like we’d wished upon a star,
and how our hearts did lift
When you came into our lives that day,
our perfect little gift.
We called our new baby Ellie,
she came to us in May
Another beautiful little girl,
so much more than words could say.
From day one, you captured all our hearts;
we watched you as you grew
From toddler into teenage girl,
with brains and beauty too.
You bring the sun out with your smile,
your laughter, fun and cheers
You’ve brought us many happy memories,
throughout your 21 years.
You brought another into our life,
a beautiful daughter of your own
When Keira Louise arrived that day,
our family tree had further grown.
How quickly 21 whole years have passed,
for both your mum and me
But Ellie, ‘our precious little baby girl’,
to us, you will always be.
It’s amazing to think how time has flown,
since we were given the special news.
That we were adding to our family,
and colours changed from pink to blue.
Our lives were never going to be the same,
after the scan that changed our world.
It showed that you had other bits,
that were different to our girls.
We couldn’t wait to tell them,
they were very much impressed.
Your mum and me were so excited,
two girls and a boy so truly blessed.
It was at Amy’s 9th birthday party,
when you made your first demand.
You sent your mum into labour,
six weeks earlier than planned.
We both rushed up to the hospital,
but you weren’t for hanging on.
You were in such a rush to join us,
your mum still had her make-up on.
Soon it was time to bring you home,
the girls brought their friends to see.
Our new baby boy, in his new home,
we couldn’t have been more pleased.
Very soon you were crawling round,
then toddling about in no time at all.
Soon you were out riding a bike,
or in the garden, kicking a ball.
The five of us went off to Florida,
a big adventure for all of us.
You were so excited to finally meet,
cowboy Woody & spaceman Buzz.
At school you were such a quiet lad,
they hardly heard from you at all.
Apart from when you kicked a teacher,
and caused some damage to a wall.
It seemed so out of character,
maybe it was a mental block.
I blamed it on the wrestling,
that Steve Austin and The Rock.
If not wrestling or playing football,
you very rarely left your room.
You loved to be on your play-station,
Crash Bandicoot and Final Doom.
Although once you did go fishing,
on a boat that went to sea.
You caught a load of mackerel,
and we ate them all for tea.
You played club football for many years
at Signol, Bees and then West End.
You picked up so many winners cups,
the best of times, with the very best of friends.
These days you love clothes, hats and shoes
although there’s no room for any more,
You’re going to need another cupboard,
as you’ve completely filled the floor.
So here we are, you’ve reached twenty-one,
you’ve grown up but stayed charming too.
You’re still our lovely baby boy,
so special through and through.
We all so very proud of you,
your sisters, mum and me.
You’re everything that we could wish,
a brother and son could be.
All those things that make you, ‘you’,
have grown with each and every day.
To all of us you mean so much,
more than words could ever say.
Joe, I hope all the hopes and dreams,
that you hold within your heart.
Come true and bring you the happiness
from which you'll never ever part.
60 is just a number, or so I’ve heard them say
Me I’m not so sure, because I was 59 just yesterday
Not that I’m complaining, at least I’ve reached this special day
Whilst so many friends and family, have sadly passed along the way
I have so many memories, of all the years gone by
Some have made me laugh, and some made me cry
My memories start back in the 60s, when no one had TV
A time when kids were seen, not heard, well all apart from me
I saw a man walk on the moon, and women fight for equal pay
I saw England win The World Cup, and JFK get blown away
I remember on the radio, when The Beatles were breaking news
And Elvis Presley was breaking hearts, whilst wearing blue suede shoes
I remember you had to earn your ‘spends’, by doing some odd jobs
Payment would be a threepenny bit, or if lucky you’d get two bob
Whilst still at school I discovered going to gigs, my first was Slade in 72
They were quite magnificent as were Thin Lizzy and Suzi Q
That night changed my life forever, going to gigs became my thing
Especially David Bowie, I went up and down the country, just to hear him sing
I loved seeing every type of music ‘live’, and saw lots of different styles
Bolan, Blues, Reggae and Punk, the best music decade by a country mile
I remember after leaving school, my first wage was just 12 quid
And handing half of it to mum, as ‘keep’, like everybody did
The 80s came, and with them the biggest change in all my life
I met my true love Liz, and she soon became my wife
We were blessed with two baby girls, before the decade was through
And even then, when time allowed we managed a gig or two
Springsteen, INXS and Prince, were amongst many that were seen
But probably our favourite, was that night at Wembley watching Queen
Freddie was there in all his pomp, he had the crowd wrapped in his hand
A very special night we had, watching a very special band
The 90s brought another gift, our son Joe arrived to complete our clan
Along with Liz, Amy and Ellie, he made me a very happy man
The ‘noughties’ saw our family grow, three grandchildren to enjoy
First the girls, Keira and Charlie, then Cole our baby boy
And so, I’ve made it to 60, an age I thought was for the very old
But now I’m here it’s not so bad, if the truth be told
I’m planning on sticking around a while, as so many gigs are coming up
And if I’m very very lucky, England might win another World Cup
I want to see my grandkids grow, and enjoy it as they do
And hopefully retire one day, just like all old codgers do
But til that day, I’ll just keep working, and enjoying the wine and beer
And as they say its just a number, so I’ll take 61 this time next year
Written for my 60th in 2018
It’s been 17 years since you left, our kid
And I’m finally over ‘that thing’ you did
Some may say suicide is a cowards way out
But I’ll tell them all, that they know nowt
They will never understand the pain inside
The pain you tried for years to hide
You were always such a gentle soul
Before the drugs had taken hold
I wish I had another chance to hold you tight
The chance to say “it’s going to be alright”
But your loss can help others, so let me say
“Talk to someone please, it’s ok not to be ok”
July 2020 – 17 years after my brother John committed suicide.