So if you’re one of the few people subscribed to my blog or a regular reader you’ll have noticed that I haven’t posted in over 5 months, well stay tuned because I’m about to tell you why.
This is something that I have wanted to write for a while now, but I have been so scared that I would not be able to get all my thoughts and feelings down on paper (or computer I guess).
Back at the beginning of March, my father passed away from cancer, the single worst day of my life. I started my blog back in January as an outlet and distraction from what was going on with my dad, my own personal thing to help me cope with everything that was going on, as most days I was at home caring for him. My dad was a very private man and so my mum reminded me not to mention him or his cancer in my posts, but that was not what my blog was about anyway. It was about all my favourite hobbies, and things I enjoyed doing, but now the time has come for me to write something down and try to deal with all feelings I have had over the past few months.
Words can’t even express how broken my heart was after that day, I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself, or how I was even going to deal with this. We knew that he wasn’t going to get better, but nothing can prepare you for the day you lose a loved one, even if you are somewhat prepared for it to eventually happen. My dad was my hero, and I was his little princess, he would do anything for his family, and that’swhat he spent his whole life doing, working as hard as he did just so that we could have an amazing holiday each summer, or everything we asked for that particular Christmas. He loved his family unconditionally and we were his whole life, and I hope I can raise a family as well as he did one day.
None of us could have anticipated how hard those last few months were going to be, but we were right by your side ready to repay you for all those years you spent caring for us and giving us the best life you could. It’s not the way any of us expected you to go, but you were surrounded by the people who loved you the most. It was the hardest thing to say goodbye, or even see you later, and I’m still constantly reminded of you every single day, and all those things we used to find irritating, or the things you did that we took for granted, would be nothing but a blessing to experience again.
It’s been over 4 months since he passed away, but there isn’t a second of the day that goes by without him in my thoughts. I still haven’t fully come to terms with the whole thing; I mean how do you really deal with losing a parent, a part of you, someone you love unconditionally? You were such a strong man dad, my superman, if there was anything I needed you were always there for me. Nothing too big or too small was ever a problem for you, whether it was fixing my car, or driving all the way to Swansea just to drive me back home so I didn’t have to get the train. You were there for all of us in every way, nothing was too big or too small, to help us with, and for that, we will forever be grateful. You always called me your little princess, and you loved all of us kids every way a dad should, there wasn’t anything you wouldn’t have done to help and protect us.
The days and weeks that followed his passing were unlike any I had ever experienced before, the day after it happened I woke up hoping that it was all a dream, but unfortunately, it was real life. I found it especially difficult as not only was I around the house with him a lot, as I was only working part time at this point. However, even before the diagnosis, he and I were always around the house together most days when he would pop home for lunch from whatever work he was doing that day. So it was extremely strange for me to not have him around the house for those first few weeks, and even now I find myself wishing for just one moment that he’ll be sat on the sofa when I come in from work. But, I am beyond lucky enough to have such a supportive family, and we were all there for each other at this point. I always knew, even before this point in my life, that I had such a close knit, supportive family, but it isn’t until these things happen that you feel the true extent of such a bond.
Anyone who knew my dad knew how important his family was to him. He gave us everything we ever wanted in life, even if it meant that he had to make sacrifices, because that’s what we meant to him. You were the most selfless person I knew, everything you did every day of your life was to help someone else in some kind of way. You worked hard every day of your life in order to give your family the best life possible. You gave us a warm roof over our heads, more travels than any young child can hope to experience, and your unconditional love and support when we needed it the most. My mum even told us that my dad never actually proposed to her, but instead asked her if she would have his children, and to me there is something so much more special and heart-warming about that. It not only shows that he wanted to build a family with my mum, but that he knew exactly how he wanted his life to go, and that was with my mum and their own family. I think one of the biggest things I have been battling with is the fact that my dad was such a family man, but he will never be able to meet his future grandchildren, and they will never get to know their grandad. Although, of course, his grandchildren will not be short of stories of what a great man their grandad was, and how much love he has for them. I just hope that one day I can grow a family that not only I can be proud of, but one that he would have been proud of also.
The biggest things that I have been struggling with over the past few months haven’t necessarily been the day to day things, although don’t get me wrong those are just as hard, but the future things that my dad will miss out on. For example, my future family, and especially not having him there to walk me down the aisle, if, and when that happens, and just all the other future accomplishments that everyone wants their parents see them achieve. But, this is all part of the process, each and every day I’m learning to deal with all those things I expected my dad to be around for, or needed my dad to be around for. I know this may sound silly to some people, but I recently redecorated my room, and as my dad was a builder and decorator, he was always ready to tell me what I was doing wrong (as all dads do!) and help me if I needed it, which is probably why it took me 5 days to paint 4 walls! Just simple things like that become so much harder, but at the end of the day it’s all a learning curve, and I know I’ll come out tougher and stronger for it in the end, mostly because that’s how my dad raised me.
One thing he gave me in life was my love for travel. So many of my favourite memories in life involve the six of us driving around Europe in our VW Camper. Moving from beach to beach, and falling asleep whilst he drove all night long, just so he could see the excitement on our faces of waking up in a new place. Now every time I experience a new place, or go on a new adventure, I will take in the sights before me and think about all those memories, and how he would have loved to experience these places also. I hope I am able to give my future children half as many of the adventures that he gave us during our childhood. I’m just upset that he won’t be able to share those experiences with them, but rest assured I will be telling them all of my memories so they know just how much you loved those places as well.
There are so many things that it pains me to think about you missing in the future, your grandchildren, my wedding day, buying my first house, all those things a daughter needs her father around to celebrate with. But just know this, there won’t be a day that goes by, where none of us will be wishing you could share our experiences, and your memory and legacy will love on through all of us.
So, here’s to you old man, I couldn’t have wished for a more loving, caring, and giving father in my wildest dreams, and I am forever grateful for the life that you gave all of us.
You’ll forever be in my heart dad, I love you and will miss you always.