Time to celebrate family


I didn’t have much of a Christmas because of being preoccupied with the passing of my mother during that period.
However, over the next week I have so much to celebrate that what I missed out on last month will seem insignificant.
I definitely didn’t have any hand in the planning of what’s about to unfold. It just so happens that during the course of one week starting Tuesday, seven members of my immediate family, including me, will be celebrating birthdays while two others will be marking their wedding anniversary.
As you probably already know from reading previous columns, January 29 is my day.
I know that as usual, a lot of people like Peter Boyce will be asking if Al Gilkes is really only . . .ty-two years old. So I am leaving it to Peter, my friend, to try to work out which . . .ty-two I will be, for having claimed in print that I was 100 years old at the time, he certainly cannot come a mere four years afterwards and date me as having reached 102 or 122.
Nevertheless, some of you will also recall that I share that January 29 date with my last son Damani, an even more significant coincidence to which I can lay claim, this time, as having been involved.
Unfortunately, Damani’s chef duties have him working on Tuesday night, leaving us with no alternative but to start the celebrations prematurely last night so that he won’t be left out of the kadooment.
Add to that the fact that afterwards, I also helped my good friend and soul brother Dorsie Boyce celebrate his own birthday and I am seriously hoping that I still have what it takes to keep the celebrations going until next Sunday.
This Aquarian coincidence in which I have found myself continues on Wednesday and Thursday. On the surface, happily for me it happens in the United States in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, where another son, Alex, lives with his own family.
So come Wednesday, it’s birthday time for his wife, my daughter-in-law Renee, followed the very next day by another joint birthday, this time that of their twin sons, my grandsons Amari and Aidan.
It’s true that the three of them do not live and are not in Barbados, but don’t fool yourself; that fact will not prevent me from raising a glass to toast their two special days.
But look what happens next. By the time I put down the glass, it will be almost time to take it up again, this time to toast a wedding anniversary, that of my first baby Kelly and her husband Pedro Boyce, who will be celebrating that occasion on Friday.
That union has provided them with three children and me with three other grandchildren, and check this: the very next day, Saturday, the first of those three, Gabrielle, will be marking a very, very special day in her life. She and the rest of us will be celebrating her 18th birthday.
And it doesn’t stop there because, believe it or not, the following day, next Sunday, her younger sister Bianca will be enjoying just as special a day in her own life with the celebration of her 16th.
• Al Gilkes heads a public relations firm. Email algilkes@gmail.com


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