At another 50th birthday lunch, another milestone was also celebrated, his mothers 80th.
Close family and a few friends chatted over the meal; laughter and light memories.
(You know how it goes, the deeper, fraught family matters are parked for a while)
In a quiet moment, I turned to his mum, a few seats away and asked if she had some wise words for the table …
In that instant, I retreated into myself. She must be shy, evidenced by her gregarious husband holding centre stage.
And felt awkward about my clumsy attempt to draw her out and even a little chastised for unintended impertinence.
The day passed, as they do, and yet on the drive home from the mountains, I noticed that her ‘No’ remained.
And returned to mind in days that followed.
Until I asked myself.
What if her emphatic ‘No’ was in fact her answer to my question?