My darling Zak,
80 years and 7 months separate us and as you entered the world, I was exiting. Our paths crossed briefly when you were born on April 16th 2013 and I passed on October 25th, 2013.
I will never hold you in my arms, or witness the many firsts you will experience: first words, first steps, first pair of football boots, first love, first job, and first heartbreak. I will not be there for you as you face the triumphs and joys of life.
My early years were spent in the shadows of the 2nd world war. Life was not easy; my memory of those times was that I was always hungry. But I worked hard and became the national goalkeeper for Malta and also got a university degree. I never went hungry again and loved good food, especially sea food. I spent my life playing football (my passion) and working as a pharmacist. Two things I learnt early on; 1 is that you have to rely on yourself and the second is that if you want something badly enough you have to work very hard for it. My mantra in life was ‘anything in moderation is good for you’…and it worked for me.
From my 80 years on this planet, I learnt a few things that may help you in your life journey:
1. Love everyone. Love is the one thing that makes life worth living.
2. Read books, all of them - read the classics, the plays, poetry, and newspapers. Listen to music- operas, rock, pop, symphonies.
3. Play sports…try them all and when you find the one you are good at, be the best. I played football, tennis and hockey but my passion was football. When I got too old to play, I watched all the matches on TV. Get yourself to the stadium and watch your favorite team play…nothing beats that feeling of being where the action is.
4. Play an instrument: Practice every day and lose yourself in the music you are creating. It is an amazing feeling.
5. Life is too short to put up with bad food, bad coffee or bad wine, so always insist on the best.
6. Tell corny jokes, everyone loves them
7. Watch movies - that was my escape. I tried to watch everything ever produced except for horror films. I never liked those.
8. Stand up for what you believe in, even if everyone else turns against you.
9. Always be honest and accountable.
10. Be good to yourself and most of all LOVE YOURSELF
Your birth completed my circle of life. You took hold of my heart as soon as you were born and I will never let go. I promise you that I will always be looking out for you, you will never be alone. I will watch over you and protect you as you grow into the extraordinary man you will become. I am proud to be your great grandfather. Love, from Albert to Zak
My father passed away on October 25th, 2013 and during one of our last conversations he spoke at great length about Zak, his great grandson. He knew he would never meet him but the love he had for that little boy was tremendous and the above blog, is more or less what he wanted Zak to know about him and about life.