Originally published as a column in CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on July 20, 2020.

When my eldest son turned 18 not long ago, there was a lot to think about other than baking a cake and choosing a gift.

Like all parents, I thought of what’s ahead with a mix of joy and worry, but mostly with excitement. The journey as a grownup is about to begin, right?

I also thought of my friend Jessie Simpson, whom I’ve met in November 2018 and been spending almost every Sunday afternoon with until the pandemic started. It’s impossible not to think of him every time I think of young people starting out in life or graduating, ready for adventures and embracing life.