I dedicate this post to my cousin – who incidentally has the same initials of SS as others featured in my posts – in honour of his fortieth birthday this weekend.
SS is a gem. He is the eldest of our group of cousins and he has always looked out for us. He never refuses when anyone needs a lift, he always shares vouchers for saving money on lunch and, if you’re fortunate to meet him on your commute, he ensures you get a seat even if you firmly insist on standing. It’s guaranteed that, while he’s helping you, you’ll be lovingly lectured on the importance of being more responsible in life but I know we all secretly delight in his speeches.
I distinctly remember SS’s first trip abroad as a teenager when he went to Germany on a week long placement. Only SS, of everyone in our group, would do what he did. He returned with a unique meaningful present for each of us. He gifted me the soundtrack CD for Romeo & Juliet because he remembered that was the only film I’d ever seen twice in the cinema. I’m sure he must’ve spent all of his savings and a lot of his placement time on purchasing our gifts but I know it wouldn’t have mattered to him at all.
It didn’t surprise me when I discovered that SS had organised for slices of his birthday cake to be left outside our front doors this weekend. We couldn’t physically celebrate his birthday together but we all celebrated in spirit because of his thoughtful gesture. It also didn’t surprise me when he replied “don’t worry, just be happy” to my question of which charity I could donate to in his honour.
I combined two of SS’s passions when I chose a charitable cause on his behalf. SS loves children and teaching them in a wonderfully engaging way, and he loves football. So I have donated £40, in honour of his milestone birthday, to Football Beyond Barriers. FBB support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are passionate about football but disengaged at school in order to help them finish school with the skills and grades to make a successful transition into adulthood. I feel FBB’s objective is a perfect match to SS’s life values.
Wishing you a very happy birthday, SS. YNWA.