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Life Goes On

My Dad passed away 7 years ago.

He lived a full life, & made it to the great old age of 94.

I can’t help thinking ‘though that if he was still alive he would have turned 101 today. He lived such an active healthy life that I always thought he would make it to at least 100.

It wasn’t unexpected; he’d been ill for some time with the cruel illness that is Alzheimer’s, & it was complications from that which took him in the end.

I am extremely grateful to my then boss, who was normally quite spiteful, for allowing me the time off at Christmas 2003 to visit him at his home in New Zealand, where I was able to say what would turn out to be my goodbyes.

I will always remember how I heard the news: a ‘phone call at 9am on a Monday to my desk at work from my sister & my Mum; I swiftly retired into the relative privacy of the office drinks room on my mobile.  Although not unexpected, to say it came as a shock would be an incredible understatement.

It took me a week to recover enough to return to work. And it’s not something I think you ever recover from fully.

Even in his confused state during my Christmas visit there he still thankfully knew & recognised me most of the time. While on the ‘phone to a friend I heard him saying of me “I am extremely proud of him”. I’d never been happier. Deep down a son wants few things more than to earn his father’s respect. Although I do remember thinking at the time that if he knew everything about me he maybe wouldn’t be so proud! But then that’s probably true of us all

I owe him so much; I see so much of him that lives on in me. His love of music, his love of nature & gardening, his positivity, so many things.

And what has this got to do with a blog about me being a dad to my twin babies? Every day I see him in the loving face of my baby boy Jake. The resemblance to my Dad as a child is sometimes uncanny.

So he lives on not only in me but also in my son.

I miss you, Dad; you were a great man & a great father. But I’m so glad you left so much of yourself behind, first in me, & now in my own son. You may have left us in body but your spirit lives on.

I’ve never written about my Dad before; I felt encouraged to do so after reading Today is the day… by the lovely Kate on her blog The Five Fs, & also A Love So Great at MumtoJ by Jo: who I don’t know so well but who I’m sure is also lovely

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14 thoughts on “Life Goes On

  1. Aw, this is so sweet.

    Alzheimers is very scary. I’m so grateful that it has yet to affect my grandparents or parents. I hope and pray it never does.

    Keep the memories alive! It sounds like he was amazing.

  2. What a beautiful post.
    Alzheimers is awful, I’m always grateful that right up until the end my Nan recognised me most of the time and despite this awful thing that took over her mind and body for 7 long years I wouldn’t want to have missed any of the wonderful memories that we made during that time.
    Your Dad sounds like a great man 🙂

    Have you tried writing a letter to him, sounds crazy I know but I wrote one to my Nan (http://mumtoj.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/dear-nan/ )
    I found it very theraputic 🙂

  3. Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease. I’m glad you got that last visit in with your dad – I bet you’ll treasure those memories. It’s so nice to see the bits and pieces of personality live on in the next generations. My dad’s been gone for a while now and although I miss him every single day I’m able to use the wonderful memories to get me through. I bet you have the same.

  4. It’s good to remember these important people who leave us but never fully. Like you, I started to blog about being a parent, and yet when my mother got sick and died, I found that I couldn’t stop writing about her and about the experience of letting go of her. These journals are probably a surprise to the writers, most of all.

  5. I too lost my dad a month before I fell pregnant with the twins and Paul lost his mum to cancer 30 days later. We like to joke that they had their part in making sure we had a healthy pregnancy, strangely enough I look at Alice and feel Vera in her and many family members have noted the same. I’ll always miss my dad he had The Best Hugs ever.
    Beautiful post

  6. What a moving post. I’m very lucky to still have not just my parents but also my paternal grandparents still in excellent health and very active in my and my kids lives. My grandparents are both 79 and I dread to think of the time they’ll get sick and eventually die. Alzheimers is a terrible thing – the indignity of losing yourself and your memories is such a sad end. But it sounds like your Dad had a long and rich life.

    I don’t think it’s just sons who want to earn their father’s respect. I notice in myself lately that I’m still looking for approval from my parents. These things are big and important and I hope that as a parent I can let my children know how much I value them, even into adulthood.

    • Great comment. I think you’re right too: parental approval is important, & as a parent myslef now I need to make sure ,my children have my love & support no matter what. Thanks 🙂

  7. Pingback: The Gallery: Education | Whiskey For Aftershave

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