Tuesday, August 30, 2011
A letter to my Dad....
So it's Fathers Day this Sunday and I thought I'd take this opportunity to pay a bit of a tribute to you. Not that you'll ever see this, but I'd like to get it down on paper, so to speak.
Dad, I'd be lying if I said our relationship wasn't a sometimes rocky one. We go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Something to do with the fact that we're so damn similar in personalities - we either get on great, or fight like mad. It's our stubborn streak that proves our undoing.
I remember you, when I was a kid, as someone to be loved but I was also sometimes scared of you. But I don't hold any ill-will over that. You were just doing the best you could - like we all do.
We used to have some great times together. Like when I would help you work on our cars handing you spanners and sockets when you needed them. You taught me so much about cars and how they work, stuff that I still know today and has proved invaluable. You also passed on your love of Holdens to me and I love that we can sit together and watch Bathurst together every year and bag Fords out to our heart's content (much to The Husband's dismay who sadly, is a Ford fan).
I used to love going to work with you during my school holidays. You were a delivery driver and would start your days at 4am delivering crumpets to supermarkets. We'd sit in the van together and sing along to the radio. Then we'd stop at a park for morning tea where you'd crack open your thermos to have a cuppa and I'd eat the lollypop you'd just bought me as a treat. Those were really good times.
I remember how you used to pick me up from primary school in a royal blue tracksuit with the white stripes on the side - the jacket and the pants - and I used to think you were so daggy. I used to wish you wouldn't come to the gate to collect me because I felt embarrassed. Especially if you were still wearing your slippers too.
Dad, you've always been a really good speaker and people often asked you to do speeches at weddings and different functions. You were always really nervous and you'd have a few drinks (or more) to settle your nerves, but you always came good and did an awesome job (even if you were wearing a bad tie).
One thing I've always loved about you Dad, is how you always make two cups of coffee for yourself at the one time so you don't have to get up to make another one when the first one runs out. And yes, it's cold, but you drink it anyway. Maybe that's where I got my laziness from. But you're one heck of an ideas man Dad.
We had a doozy of a fight once, in the car, when you picked me up one day in my final year of high school. I'd had my shirt signed by all my friends and you hit the roof. Even though I was never going to wear the shirt again you went on and on about how it was defacing something that wasn't mine....I still don't get your point Dad, but I remember how bad the fight was. That wasn't a good day - and something I think neither of us are that proud of.
I also remember how you dyed your hair and MOUSTACHE brown to go to my school formal because you wanted to hide the grey hairs. OMG, you looked hilarious. I have a photo of it somewhere, but be darned if I could find it. I wish I could - you would laugh so much at how silly you looked. But I love how you did that for me - you wanted to look good for me in front of my friends.
I remember how tickled pink you were when I met The Husband and how you thought he was completely normal and a great guy and you both liked the same things and all that. I think you would have married him if you could. Now, he wasn't as normal as you might have thought (but he is totally great) but you both got on famously - and still do. It's true what they say, that girls pick guys just like their dads. Well, it's true for me anyway.
I don't think I've ever seen you look as proud as you did the day The Husband and I got married. And you looked so dapper in your suit.
In 2002 when you had your stroke, my God, that was one of the scariest times of my life. And when you had surgery to clear a blockage in your carotid artery and I saw you afterwards in ICU with tubes coming out of you everywhere....I cried and cried. I so didn't want to lose you. And I didn't. You came good and were home soon after. You still show everyone the scar on your neck - like it's something to be proud of. In a way it is. It's because of that stroke and subsequent surgery that you quit smoking. Something I thought you'd never do. I'm so proud of you for doing that - and doing it so easily.
I thought I was going to lose you again when you were diagnosed with kidney cancer a few years later. But you had more surgery to remove most of the dodgy kidney and this year you were given the all clear. My relief was huge.
But your true shining moments have been when you're with my kids. Your grandchildren. When Master 8 was born, you couldn't get the smile off your face. And you've been an amazing Grandad to them all. You used to look after Master 8 every day when I went back to work - not many Grandads would be happy to do that on their own every day, but you did. And you rocked it.
The kids love and adore you and you know what? So do I - to have you be such an awesome Grandad to them means the world to me.
I love you, Dad xxx