Sunday 19 June 2011

Dear Dad

Dear Dad,

Sporting my sunglasses

A very, very clever and intelligent man. Practically gifted as well as having a brain as sharp as a pin. Your carpentry skills were incredible and all self taught. You could literally make anything.

Everything you decided to turn your hand to, you stubbornly mastered to the point of perfection. You were single minded and totally focused when it came to learning new things, you were so enthused and passionate and nothing would get in your way.

That in a way was a big frustration, you were so stubbornly determined to do what you wanted to do that sometimes you lost perspective for the things that really mattered. Sadly something you later regretted, you told me. I spent all my 40 years before you passed, trying to get your attention.

You had very strong views and opinions and loved nothing more than a hearty debate, you were like a terrier with a lure, you would not let go until you felt your view had been sufficiently heard or even better, swayed us to your point of view. You always fought for what you believed was right, always.

You didnt like the French did you? Bloody cowards you would declare with a raised, empahtic fist. Remember how you reacted when I opted to do a French degree and worse of all live there?

Beneath all of this though, you were just a little boy, craving love and attention, you could hold court like no other and the most brilliant story teller. If ever asked how old you were, you would say "I'm 9 years old". We never questioned it, not once in all your 71 years. You loved to fly kites, build airfix models, climb trees, go rockpooling, scrump apples and watch newts and tadpoles in a pond for hours.

Dad flying kites as 9 yr old me looks on.

Dad and Pauline building sandcastles.

If you were not immersed up to your neck in a new project, then sharing time with you, like climbing trees, was nothing less than magical. You werent my Dad then, you were my best mate, you had to beat me to the top, the thought that either of us could fall and injure ourselves never came into question. When you shared your time like this, there was no-one better to hang out with.

Christmas was when all us kids had 100% of you Dad. As one of 6 boys you were born into a poor working class family, times were hard and treats were sparse for you and you were always determined to better yourself.

All said,  Dad you created a magical Christmas every year, making up for the ones you didnt have and once again becoming one of the excited kids like us. More excited than us! You always pulled out the stops and I still vouch that you made the best Christmas dinner in the world and I do miss it.

So Dad I raise a toast to  you today, "good girl get it down yer neck, do yer good!" I hear you say.  I may have persistently sought your approval, acknowledgement and affection all my life but I learnt to stop being disappointed. You couldnt help it.

You were a young child of the universe and there just wasnt enough time in the day for you to pack in all you wanted to do, see, feel, hear and taste. 71 was a terribly young age to lose you, you werent ready and we wanted you to get to Alaska and scuba dive in the Red Sea but at least you did your life time biggy, the Grand Canyon.

........but you will have many lives to come yet Dad and so you have to hold back some of that excitement for the future.

Love Debbie (aka Ratbag)

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