Father’s Day

I’ve been trying to think of a post to honour my dad on Father’s Day. The thing is, dad and I weren’t ever really close. At least, not until later in life. He was a bit of a larikin, at least in his later years. His post-family years. He was brought up in a fairly strict family, and did what they, and society, expected of him. When he and mum divorced, he lived the life I think he always had wanted to. Or at least thought he wanted to. He liked a rum and coke (or two) and nothing came between him and his golf on Saturdays.

People who met him, liked him. He was friendly, liked to laugh, liked jokes – funny and lame ones. He was sarcastic and witty, which is where I get it from. He loved his music.

He loved his family too, he just didn’t know how to show it. Being a dad didn’t come naturally to him. Not long before he passed he said, “I know I wasn’t a good dad, but I’m going to be a great granddad.” I think he would have been, too. If he had lived long enough to really give it a go. He thought the world of Nicklas, and the happiest I had seen him in a long time was whenever he was around Nick. “Our little man,” he called him.

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Now he has another grandson, and a granddaughter, neither of which he lived long enough to even know about, let alone meet. My dad died at 61 years of age, from a massive heart attack. The only advice I ever remember him giving me was, “Don’t make the same mistakes I made. Years from now you’ll look back on this time and realize they were the best years of your life.” He said this when I was really struggling with a baby, post-partum depression, my marriage. I knew what he was saying.

My dad passed almost three years ago, just a couple of weeks after Father’s Day – the last time he was with all his girls at the same time. There are days where I don’t think about him, and there are days where I forget he’s gone, and I think he’s just around the corner playing golf. There are times – when I see pictures of him mostly – that my heart hurts so much I can’t fathom what the point of this life is for if all we do is die anyway.

For the most part, my dad did what he wanted to. He had a heart condition, and probably should have taken much better care of himself. But I think he believed he could defy the odds. I also think a part of him thought, “I will live how I want, and enjoy whatever time I have” and refuse to be told what to eat and how to take care of himself.

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I don’t know what happens to us, when we leave this world. I’d like to believe in heaven. I’d like to believe in families being reunited for eternity. I’d like to believe one day I’ll see him again. I just don’t know. I do know I wish he was still here. I wish it with all my heart.

If you’re lucky enough to still have your dad, give him a huge hug and tell him you love him. Not just today for father’s day, but every chance you get.

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Posted in Dad

Five Things I Want For Christmas

I sat staring at a blank screen yesterday, wondering what to write about for IBOT. I sat this morning, staring at a blank screen, still not knowing what to write. I read other Tuesday blogs, hoping something would come to me. I decided to skip IBOT. Why pressure yourself into writing something for the sake of writing something?

Duh.

Jess has pretty much issued a challenge on today’s IBOT. It only just clicked in my head that she actually gave us something to write about! If only I had baby brain or sleep deprivation to blame it on. Instead I’ll have to blame it on the colour of my hair. *ahem*

As far as Christmas goes, I have everything I need. Christmas for me is very much about my son, and seeing the wonder in his eyes, the excitement over Santa, presents, the decorations. Some of my Christmas wish list is more of an In-Your-Dreams wish list. If ever there were Christmas miracles, a couple of these would class as one.

1. I’d love to have my dad back, if only for a Christmas. If only for one day, I’d love Nick to get to spend a Christmas day with him, where he’s old enough to really “get it”. He was only 18 months old when Dad passed away. He didn’t “get” anything at that stage.

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2. While we’re bringing back the dead, I’d like my uncle back, dementia-free. I want his kids, who were barely young adults when he passed, to get more time with their dad. I want my mum to have her brother back, to help with the stress of looking after their ageing mother.

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3. Moving on to less morbid, less emotional things, I’d like a house. A modest 3 or 4 bedroom house, with a yard for Nick, maybe a pool. I’m not fussed on out-right owning it, I’d just like to know we could comfortably afford it. I’m not ungrateful for the place we have, it’s great for the 3 of us, but the little extra space and the ability to hang out in the back yard would be awesome.

 

4. I’d like to lose another 6 kgs, on top of the 12 I’ve already lost. Again, not ungrateful for how far I have come. I know I have put in the hard yards, done the work, had the discipline, to get this far. And I know I have it in me to keep doing it.

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5. I’d like for the house in #3 to be more of a necessity than a luxury, I’d like to out-grow this space, and need to make room for another family member.

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You really CAN find anything on pinterest!

 

My 6th wish, what I want for someone else, is easy. Both my sisters are pregnant, so my Christmas wish for them is that the rest of their pregnancies (mere days for one of them!) go smoothly, as do their deliveries, and I hope they have healthy, strong babies. I am so looking forward to being an Aunty. It is about time this family had some happy news, rather than tragic. Please Christmas Gods, let these babies be the happy news we desperately need.

What’s on your wish list (or in-your-dreams wish list) for Christmas? 

Linking up with the always lovely Jess at Essentially Jess for IBOT!

Fathers Day Edition: IBOT

When you lose someone you love, there are a few days throughout the course of the year that become a bit more difficult to deal with. Their birthday, Christmas, the anniversary of their passing, or a day that glorifies that relationship you’ve lost. Like Father’s Day.

I’m grateful for my husband and son, today of all days, because it gives us a chance for Father’s Day to still be about celebration, about the relationship of a father and a son, about their relationship. Without them, it would just be a giant reminder of the man we lost almost 2 years ago.

This photo was taken on Father’s Day, 2010. Less than a month later, he was no longer with us. I look back on this photo and wonder if he felt sick then. If he knew something was “off” or if he was just going about his business every day, not at all suspecting what was around the corner.

Dad’s death really made me start to question life. Why are we here? What is the point? The purpose? It’s probably responsible for the irrational fear of death I have – not that fearing death is irrational, but fearing a catastrophe if you walk out the door/get on a plane/drive a country road/ride a ride at a theme park…that probably is a bit irrational.

My dad wasn’t always a great dad, he probably didn’t really live up to anyone’s, including his own, expectations of being a father. But he did the best he could, or knew how, which sometimes is really all you can ask. He loved his grandson. He told me he may not have been a great dad, but he was going to be a great grandad. I know he loved us too, but I think too often and for too long he wasn’t quite sure how to. If my heart was broken over my loss, it was shattered into a million pieces for Nick’s loss.

But while I’m sad for not having my dad here for father’s day, I’m so happy to watch my husband and son, their special father/son bond, their relationship, which as any has it’s rough patches, but for the most part is so special. I took some time to ask Nick a few questions about dad for father’s day, and here’s what he said:

And sure enough, this father’s day, Nick and his dad have gone to Movie World and have had their picture taken with Batman!

Love these two boys so very much.

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a Stay at Home Mum for #IBOT