Today would have been my Dads birthday. He would have been 86, if he were still with us.
I think about my Dad most days, usually quite subconsciously, but there are two days each year that I think about him in a more active sense, the anniversary of his death, and today, his birthday. I don’t mean to be maudline, but instead I think about the good things. As I imagine, with anyone who has watched a loved one diminish through the evils of cancer, you try really hard to not think about the person at the end, as that is not who my Dad was. I, of course remember the pain and suffering that he endured, but with time those memories are put into prespective as being a minute portion of the life of someone loved.
My Dad was a small man in stature, but a huge man in personality. You could walk into a crowded room, and hear him above all else, not because he had an overly loud voice, but because he had a booming presence. He was the type of person that knew everyone and on the whole got on with everyone. I grew up in the generation where when you were playing up – not of course that I did that too often, the words “wait until your father gets home!” would strike fear to the pit of your stomach. He was never an ambitious person, but worked hard to make sure his family were well looked after. We never had much growing up, but we were fed and clothed, and most importantly loved.
He was made redundant when he was 60. Instead of letting it get him down, he decided to go back to college. He was under no illusions that at his age the chances of getting another job were remote, and so didn’t go to retrain, but to do something he had always wanted to. He went to study philosophy. It was the perfect subject for him, because he enjoyed a good argument – not a shouting match argument, but a debating argument, and would happily argue black was white, just to get you thinking, and for the sheer hell of it!
He would have loved the boys, and I just know that him and D would have been the best of chums. I actually see a lot of him in D, his presence with people, and off course his argumentative personality! I can only smile as I imagine the “discussions” they could have enjoyed, with neither of them daring to back down from their own stand point! It is sad to think knowing him in person is something the boys have missed out on.
My Dad gave me many things in live, and I think the most important one, is my sense of fairness. He hated injustice, maybe one of the reasons people were drawn to him. I think this is why I am a great supporter of the under dog. Of course, the other thing that he instilled in me, was, and is my love of Turkish delight, not the proper stuff – although I do like that, but the chocolate covered jelly block!
My Dad may not be with us in body but he is still with us in spirit, and for that I am extremely happy.