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