On Facebook someone suggested changing your profile picture to one with or of your Dad.
Here is me and mine back on my first wedding day in 1988.
Sadly the marriage didn't last but although the men have come and gone in my life, my Dad has always been there for me and still is. I love how proud he looks and my gaze to him says it all - I love my Dad!
As a little girl I remember how very hard he worked for his family. He worked shifts in fire, safety, security jobs especially with ICI. When we lived in Fleetwood he also had a second job as a part-time fireman. I can smell his smoke-smelling clothes now. It was only recently he told of the many dangerous tasks he had done. As a child he had a tough time growing up as part of a large family in Greenock, leaving home to join the RAF at 15. Blimey! That's like my Dominic now. He met my Mum in Blackpool when he was based at Weeton camp. They married in 1960.
Both Mum and Dad have loved us unconditionally. Claire, Kevin and I have been enabled to make the choices we have in our lives thanks to the opportunities they made possible for us through hardwork and love.
All three of us have got Honours degrees, Claire has a Masters and Kevin came close to his PhD. In a generation they showed what was possible through the education system of this country but in doing so they made countless sacrifices themselves.
As children we were encouraged to participate in many activities after school such as playing musical instruments, Guides and Scouts. We have all grown up to be busy, efficient and capable people even if our journeys have been rocky at times!
All three of us have faced numerous challenges in our lives and Mum and Dad have never failed to support us, even if perhaps they didn't agree with our decisions. As grandparents they have notched up to another level, if that's possible! Their support for me currently since Clive died has been truly amazing - from Mum keep reminding me not to torture myself and Dad for hugs and not least decorating my bedroom!
I am not sure where my current journey is taking me but I always know that it will include my parents.
Thanks Dad for:-
- tickling my ear with a Kirby grip when I couldn't sleep as a little girl
- countless 'taxi' trips
- rescuing me from 'boy' incidents!
- showing me first aid tricks (even if I couldn't save Clive, I knew what to do)
- being strong for me when I had postnatal illness
- amazing holidays
- teaching me to wallpaper
- changing the bed numerous times in recent years when I have stayed
- letting Mum come out to play with me!
...and much, much more.
I guess now I know what loss is truly like (how it hurts like no pain I have ever felt before) today I am also thinking of those who are not lucky enough to still have their father alive. I also am thinking of my late Grandpas too. Bless them.
Last night I went to bed and caught the last hour of Notting Hill. Clive and I had watched it together late last year. It is one of my favourite films. So much of it reminded me of the two of us. I genuinely enjoyed it, even laughing out loud. yet when the final song played and I turned out the light, my tears were like a waterfall. I miss that closeness with someone - the eyes across a room, the cuddles, the plans. I struggled to sleep. Today I awoke with an air of 'I am so lucky to have experienced a love like we had, but he has gone. My life has to go on.'
I have been in the office all day and have cleared a huge list!
One track that has been played on the radio regularly is this one. My thoughts, love and affection are with my Dad today but also to those who are missing theirs today.
We must always make the most of those we love because we never know just how long we have .. to dance with them, to be with them, to just let them know how much you love them. Otherwise you will be left with remorse - grief is bad enough without adding that to the mix.
If you haven't already ... let someone know that right now.
By the way Dad - you owe me a dance xxxx