Pádraig is home for the weekend today. It’s Pat, our daughters, and friends who will help him on the journey. Who will be with him tonight. I miss him. So much.

Pat told me how well Pádraig did today answering really complex questions yes/no. How well he did spelling three letter words, like ‘mam’.

There was, though, a problem with ‘dad’ (always is:).

They were going through he frequency alphabet. And he missed ‘d’, the first letter. And then he hit the switch just after ‘p’. Why ‘p’? What a pity they thought. Then he got the next letter, the ‘a’. And now Pat understood. Pádraig never ever called me ‘dad’. And he wouldn’t change that now – why would he? The same way he wouldn’t change his name to ‘Patrick’ a few days ago, when he was asked to spell it. So Pádraig was spelling ‘papa’!

Isn’t that wonderful! For Pádraig, this could never have been ‘just’ about a simple spelling exercise. Three letter words. Names. They have to be right or they’re not worth spelling!

A thousand miles away, I went to the Garding city offices this morning where the flags were flying half mast. I had to check the one on the left – it’s *not* the French flag, but the one of Schleswig-Holstein, the federal state Garding and Tating are part of. They are mourning. For the people who got killed in Paris by senseless violence.

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What a difference to Hamburg this place is. The people in the office couldn’t have been nicer and more helpful. It makes you want to live in the country!

After the visit to the civic office, I spent the morning and early afternoon looking after a few other things that had to be fixed and then.

And then, there was time. Available for the taking.

So I went to Heide. Walked the streets, put my head into a few shops, went swimming. Normal things. It was good to have a day off. It was so sad to be on my own. In places where we had all spent so much time together. And will again.

I read through all the comments to last night’s blog. A few times. I don’t think that I ever got as much encouragement in my live. Ever. To say ‘thank you’ is not nearly enough.

So there is no option. Of course, the blog has to continue. Our effort has to continue. Our little revolution. The Dreamboat. We need to keep choosing the roads less travelled. Break out of the routine. Don’t accept the unacceptable. Stay wild. Build a ladder to the stars. Be righteous. Be true. With our hearts being joyful. With our songs being sung.

This is the song I sung in my head the night I booked the journey, the day and the night I travelled to Cape Cod Hospital. It’s one of my favourite songs, and one of Pádraig’s too. I was so afraid at that time.

Forever Young is a song that is a prayer. For you, for all of us. We won’t achieve world peace. But if we stay Forever Young, we’ll make the world, even a very small part of it, a better place. Love and peace.

Forever Young

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

This version of the song is from The Last Waltz, the farewell concert by the legendary The Band, one of the best ever live concerts recorded. This is the audio – there’s also a brilliant video version of this, somewhere.