I am sitting down to write after what can only be described as a hellish shift at work, bruised and tired yet yearning to write something and so I turn to a topic which can at best leave me speechless...my Dad.
My Dad is an ordinary man. An athlete in his younger years, he then worked hard as a police officer, and numerous other jobs after retiring from the force on ill health. Laterly his back and encroaching arthritis can cause him some pain and down days but he alwasy somehow musters through it. Granted, not without a lot of moaning and groaning but hey, who doesnt moan?
The hardest thing my dad has worked at his whole life however, is being a father. Not only to me but also to my three brothers, whom my mother had from her first marriage. He has raised the four of us all as his own and he and my mother have done a damn fine job of shaping the adults we have become.
Now in his retirement he welcomes the chance to do it all again in helping me to raise my children, to step into the huge void left by their own father by being a wonderful hands on Grandad.
To me that makes this ordinary man pretty extraordinary.
He is not a tall or super strong man, yet I know that throughout my years thus far, he has carried me many times, and I know that on his shoulders I can reach the stars.
A humble and unassuming man who has no idea how highly everyone regards him, and would brush off the notion that he is such a well respected man. He may not have a knighthood or title, but he is without doubt the noblest of all men.
He is friend to the vulnerable, and can bear no injustice to those innocents in the world. Gentle to man and beast alike, yet he would give his life to protect his own dear family.
Where would I be without my Dad? May I nor my children ever live to know the answer to such a question.
Who would show my son how to be a man, moreover, how to be a good man?
Who would walk a mile in the snow to see their grandchildren, ill with flu, only to kiss them goodnight and then walk the mile hike home again, alll because they wanted to see him before they went to bed?
Who would remind me every week to take my bins out?
Who would moan with me about politics?
Who would encourage my every whimsical dream and desire?
Who on earth would ever love me and be as dependable as my Dad?
Perhaps, the past few years have allowed me a certain perspective. It has been said many times that only when we become parents ourselves, do we truly understand and appreciate our own parents. This has certainly been true for me, with both my parents, but perhaps even more so my Dad.
My children have a father in name only. My son has no memory of him and my daughter has never even met him.
I have an utmost respect for any man who not only loves their children, but who embraces being a father, and who fights for their paternal rights. This respect comes from knowing a man who ran away from his responsibilities as fast and as far as his legs could take him.
This makes me appreciate my own father in a whole new way.
In his retirement, I wish my father had an nice relaxing, easy and comfortable life. I know that at present this is not the case, and I bear guilt for that, but I also know that my Dad neither criticises nor condemns me for any of it.
To him, thats just what Dads do.
So this blog is for my Dad.
As a baby he held me close and rocked me to sleep.
As a young girl he sang me songs on his knee and let me sit on his shoulders.
As a teenager he blamed himself for my adolescent miseries.
As a young adult he supported every step I took towards my independence.
Now as a woman and a mother he still cuddles me if I cry; carries me when I am weak; wishes he can fix the troubles in my life; and supports my every decision.
Sometimes there are no words expressive enough to articulate your true thoughts and feelings so I will just have to settle for those which come the closest.
Thank you for everything Dad.
We love you x