The Oldest and the Youngest

Life goes on… and on. A week after my sister passed away, my father turned 92. It was a very strange day. We had a small celebration with chocolates, cookies and coffee. It all happened in a serene and depressed atmosphere.

A few days later some local officials, dressed in traditional folkloric costumes, payed tribute to my Dad because he’s one of the oldest inhabitants of the village. This is a regular annual tradition. Many happy returns!

Thank you so very much for your help, kindness, compassion and sympathy at one of the most difficult times of our lives.

71 responses

  1. Hope you all are doing well – your Dad just looks SO happy for the honor by the local officials – I remember this tradition from past years and I think it’s wonderful for the “elders” in his community. We know how hard it is to get over losing a family member – like a “tear” in the heart. Sending hugs to all……..


  2. It’s always so nice to read about the local officials coming to honor your father. A small celebration, but chocolate and coffee, of course! . A happy birthday and a sad passing so close. I hope all of you you can continue to find peace at such a difficult time for your family.

  3. Hello Herman — My sympathies go out to you and your family at this time. It is always an extra blow to the heart when a son or daughter passes before the parent does. The mind is genuinely confounded about “the order of things.” Last August our family experienced a similar situation when my Aunt lost her eldest son suddenly to cancer. Again, a case of the parent out-living the “child.” My cousin’s death had a powerful impact on our entire family, reuniting us after decades of being scattered to the four directions. I wish your dad peace of heart and strength to carry on, taking inspiration and regeneration from “the youngest” and the “younger” members of his family. May you all be well and gentle with yourselves and one another, Alia

    • Thank you so much for your support and telling about your family situation. This means a lot to me, Alia!

  4. It is good to see you father and the little one, and the photo of him being honored. It is always hard for a parent to lose a child, and my heart goes out to you and your family, Herman. There is always a special garden on this side of the world that honors them.

    Many warm and peaceful wishes to you and Mr. Bowie from the cats and crew here.

    • Thank you so much for everything, Lavinia. I’m so happy about your special garden to honour them! This really means a lot to me.

  5. I love seeing pictures of your family. I am sorry that your sister is no longer with you. It must be difficult for your father especially. You are all in my thoughts and prayers and I’m you were able to celebrate if is it was subdued.

  6. Many good thoughts and prayers to you and your family when the surreal, inopportune, sadness, happiness and everything else collide.

    Happy Birthday returns to your dad.

    • Thank you so much, David. I’m going to tell my Dad about all these lovely comments. I’m sure he’ll be surprised and very happy…

  7. Happy birthday dear father…your son, and grand-cat, are very important members of this little international clan. We hold you all close to our hearts as your grieve- and celebrate..<3 ❤

    • Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment, my dear Christine. So glad you’re still around after all this time.
      Mr. Bowie will be back on the blog very soon. Promised!

  8. herman, best fishes as da tabbies say to your dad; 92 years young is quite a feat ! we wish him a year ahead filled with happiness and health; hope your family is coping well;… it take’s time ♥♥♥♥♥

  9. Dear Herman, as I paused before writing this comment — not knowing yet how to respond to your poignant post and the flood of renewed well-wishing from this little clan of ours — I found myself fixed gazing at Mr. Bowie’s piercing yet kindly eyes in your badge, as you responded to the last comment. I felt like I tumbled into these musings: The thread of life that binds us all, across the species, may it soothe and help heal your and your family’s grief. For us your clan, may it remind us that we are bound together. “Bound” in the sense of tied and connected and, also, homeward-bound. Let us dwell here, in the anguish all around us, binding up each others’ wounds in love and care for us all.

    • Thank you for this warm comment and your words of wisdom. I find a lot of comfort in times like this while reading such lovely comments of many HoB followers. It really means a lot to me knowing so many loyal people are taking time to send me a message. Thank you so much, Anita! Thanks for hanging around all these years.

      Mr. Bowie will be back in the next post, probably somewhere this weekend. He’s spending a lot of time outside now we’re heading for spring.

  10. Moshu ( my cat) and I thought about you, how you are dealing with this great loss in your family. It must be very hard on your father, loosing a child, yet he looks really great for his age, cheers to his birthday and all the years to come for him. I am sure Mr.Bowie is a great help in lightening up your lives and ice cream, chocolate and espresso can never be enough for such a celebration.

    • Hi Cornelia! Thank you so much for your time to write this lovely comment. This really means a lot to me. And yes, I’m so glad Mr. Bowie is covering my back and lightening up our lives in this difficult times.

  11. Happy Birthday to your Dad! That’s so great that the officials came out to pay a well deserved tribute. 🙂 May your family continue to find things to celebrate, and I hope you can find small bits of brightness during this difficult time. It’s always easier to bear the pain together. Thank you for sharing it with us. My heart goes out to you and yours. *Hugs*

    • Thank you for this heartwarming comment, my dear friend. Much appreciated! It gives me a lot of comfort.
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  12. Such a day of mixed feelings – congrats to your Dad on another milestone. He looks great but missing the one to share it with you both, an irreplaceable sister and daughter. My heart goes out to both of you.

  13. Nothing makes much sense sometimes, except chocolate and espresso. And even then why some of us get to enjoy it longer than others is a mystery. I am sorry for your sadness and loss.

  14. it’s a lovely community that pays tributes to the patriarchs, and it must have been a comfort to have those positive moments while you’re trying to adapt to the loss of your sister. the grandchild also looks like a very special young lad. yes the oldest and the youngest – a visual and emotional balm.

    may the grief lessen a little more each day. i am so sorry.

    • Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment, Lisa. I really appreciate this and it means a lot to me. Thank you!

  15. When you share photo’s of your dad and his smiling face celebrating another year, it’s like a warm hug. I wish my own dad could have enjoyed life longer, I miss him so much at times. Take good care of each other and belated birthday wishes to your dad xo Boomdee

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