This weekend I celebrated my 35th birthday. It was meant to be a very low key affair as we haven’t got a lot of money and lets face it, the older you get the less you really want to celebrate anyway.
So waking up on Saturday morning around 6ish I had a bit of a stretch and I felt like I had slept quite well. Everyone was fast asleep which at 6am is the normal thing to be doing (does that make me abnormal?). I had a quick look at my phone for a while, checking emails, having a look at Twitter, Facebook etc.
Around an hour later skint mum started to stir and being Saturday morning she would normally have a bit of a lay in whilst I sort out the children. I don’t mind this at all, I mean she does work hard all week and deserves a rest come the weekend.
As she starts to sit up I ask if she wants a cup of tea?, “of course not, it’s your birthday” she says. She then gives me a kiss and disappears downstairs.
Ten minutes later I hear a rumble of voices and skint mum appears with a cup of tea, my youngest and a armful of plants!
I was well chuffed! A Chilli, Basil and Oregano plant. Just recently we have been trying to cut down on spending and one of things we have been doing is to buy cheaper, lower quality food. With these herbs I can start to funk up the dishes a little more.
After opening up the card from them I went downstairs for breakfast. Just as the toast had popped up there was a knock at the door. It was my sister who had come round to drop off a card and also a present. Now, I certainly wasn’t expecting anything as we really don’t do gifts in our family. You can imagine my surprise then when she comes in with three big bags full of breakfast stuff!
“Happy Birthday” she said as I started to well up. I was so overcome by her kindness that it took all my strength to stop bursting into tears. She obviously knew that we had been struggling and to do something like this meant more to me than any material present I could of received. Also the amount food she had bought meant it will last a lot longer than a couple of days. I will make sure it does!
As you can imagine, we had a really nice breakfast and for that moment all our troubles seemed to go away. It really is the little things isn’t it.
After my sister left I was still quite emotional from her generous gift when I received a phone call from my other sister. She also knows that we are going through quite a difficult time and money is really tight.
What she told me next really set me off. She had only gone and transferred £25 to my account so I could by myself a new pair of shoes. The one pair of shoes I currently own are full of holes and really uncomfortable.
I haven’t told her yet but I am going to use the money to buy more than a pair of shoes. I had a quick look on eBay and I reckon for £25 I can I get a pair of shoes, jeans and a top if I use a bit savvy.
In the evening we went over to my brother’s house and they cooked us a lovely meal. It was really good to see him and his family and catch up with everyone. He probably doesn’t know this but out of everyone I know it is him who I look up to the most. If I can achieve half of what he has achieved, I will be more than happy.
After we arrived home and put the children to bed I started to reflect on the day and think about what had happened.
My family mean so much to me and I haven’t been the greatest brother in the past. As the youngest I was always spoilt but when I hit eighteen tragedy happened as both of my parents sadly passed away from cancer.
Since then I really have had some ups and downs in my life but the one consistent thing has always been my brothers and sisters. I know they have always been there for me, even when I didn’t think they were.
Without them I am not sure if I would of made it to my 35th year.
I made a promise to myself that night when we arrived home. I promised that whatever happens now or in the future I will always be there for them as they are for me.
Brothers and sisters are the best present I could ever have.
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.