35 years ago, my Grandad lost contact with his best friend. Brendan had moved to Northern Ireland, and without the ease of keeping in touch through Facebook, relationships naturally dwindled with distance way back when.

My Grandad, a man of simple pleasures who never wears his heart on his sleeve, would say from time to time, “I wonder what ever happened to Brendan.” My Granny was eager to track him down and reunite the old pals but after many failed attempts, hope was inevitably lost.

This year as a Father’s Day gift my Aunty got in contact with an online genealogy team. Initially, no records of Brendan were found and it was looking like the last resort was becoming yet another failure. However, upon digging a little deeper and hoping a little harder, Brendan’s sister-in-law was found and contacted. Within a few days, my Aunty got a call from Brendan’s wife who was overjoyed for her husband.

It became clear that my Grandad was not the only one missing his friend, Brendan had often wondered about him throughout the years too, particularly at Christmas when he’d say “I bet Mac is up to his ears in turkeys.” My Grandad is a butcher.

The evening before the meet up, anxiety was running wild within a not so anxious man. They met in the foyer of a hotel midway between Grandad & Brendan’s homes. The two men shook hands, tears filling their wrinkled eyes, while Brendan asked “Are ya coming for a fag?”, and just like that, it’s 1982 again, my Grandad has his old friend back, and my melted heart has never felt so warm and happy.

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