Wednesday, 20 October 2010

RIP Dad 6.6.36 - 17.10.10


Dear Dad,
I just wanted to say thanks for being you.
After 44 years as your daughter I have only two regrets. The first is that I didn’t hug you last Sunday as we waited for mum to find a wheelchair at the hospital. You were sat in the back of the car, clearly unwell, yet I didn’t hug you. There was a good reason at the time although it doesn’t seem such a good one now. We were never a huggy feely family. I worried that if I hugged you it would be noticeably out of character and I worried that you would sense what we were all feeling. I’m sorry.
But not being huggy feely doesn’t mean we weren’t close. We were. We talked a lot. The times I remember most were the times you cycled by my side as I ran. We would talk about everything from poetry to the state of the economy and your weird dreams. “I couldn’t tell this to our John,” you’d say “because he would get embarrassed!”
The other regret is that I didn’t tell you about my first day at Edge Hill. We were asked to remember great teachers we’d had. Other students talked of Mrs This and Mr That but my hand shot up and I said “my parents.” More than any other teacher you and mum have made me what I am today and I thank you. My own children may not thank you for that right now. But then that is one of the things you taught me – that you will never fully appreciate your parents until you have children of your own.
Amongst other things.
I remember you teaching me to read before I started school; something that has always given me a head start.
You taught me how to play tennis, how to be a better runner and how to change a bike tyre.
And you taught me that it is OK to make mistakes too. That a five minute job will take five times that……. or even longer to put right. I learned that you can’t revive a dead budgie by putting it in the oven and however hard you try, you can’t turn crocus bulbs into pecan nuts. Still, the important lesson there is that however impossible the aims it is important to keep trying.
But the big lessons you taught me weren’t about academic studies or practical pursuits they were about the most important things in life. They were lessons in love
You taught me that you can love your children with all your heart but it’s still OK to run out of patience especially with teenage daughters and that the greatest gift you can give your child is the knowledge that they have been loved unconditionally every single second of their life.
You have taught me that a happy and successful marriage is not always a perfect one. That you can love someone with all your heart but still argue, that you can drive each other crazy and even force your saintly partner into swearing at you and calling you a “pisspot.” And you definitely deserved that one dad
And you taught me that the best is still to come, that being a grandparent is when the fun begins, then you can dress up as Noddy and peg yourself by the hat on a washing line and play cricket for hours without worrying about work, that you can sing and dance and make your grandchildren laugh because that is the most important thing in the world.
What I’m trying to say dad is that you may no longer be here in body but you will always be here in spirit because you are part of everyone whose life you touched. And you are still teaching me now although I can’t say it any better than the poet Phillip Larkin who wrote:
“What will survive of us is love.”

30 comments:

  1. What a wonderful tribute to your Dad ,and that hug ? well he knew he was loved ....love Jan xx

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  2. Jane- that was lovely to read. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, but it's so wonderful to hear how much we was loved and will be missed. I think we all have regrets in life, but the wonderful times you spent together are so precious that at least you have that to be thankful for. Your family will be in my prayers- god bless.

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  3. So sorry to hear of your Dad's death but what a wonderful eulogy - I'm sure he would have been bursting with pride to hear it x

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  4. I am terribly sorry to hear about your father's passing. From your beautiful post, I am sure he is watching you now with a heart full of love.

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  5. A Beautiful tribute...I think your Dad knows...prayers to you and yours.

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  6. Jane, I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful tribute to your Dad. I'm sending big hugs, warm thoughts, and much love your way.

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  7. So sorry, Jane, I don't have any other words, but lots of tears. I wrote you an email as not seeing any entries I thought there could have been bad news. Remember him as the lovely man he was, always without regrets. Lots of love. A.

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  8. Jane,
    So sorry to hear about your loss. The simple fact you were there with your father that Sunday showed him you loved him, and as you wrote this, he was looking down on you knowing that you love him. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers

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  9. I'm so sorry to hear your sad news. He sounds like a lovely man, and I hope your happy memories of him will comfort you now xx

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  10. i am so sorry - what a wonderful blog post for him though.

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  11. So sorry for your loss. Amazing letter to your dad.
    Virtual hugs!

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  12. I´m so sorry, darling! Hugs from Brazil

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  13. Nice Dad, sweet daughter, such a loving tribute. Very sad news and I absolutely empathise with you in this post. I too missed a 'last hug' with my father before he waved me goodbye just hours before his fatal fall. Jane, please accept my heartfelt condolences. Cx

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  14. Sorry for your loss. What a lovely post and reminder of how important our family and loved ones are.

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  15. Jane I am so very sorry for your loss.
    Your father sounds like an amazing man who deeply influenced every bit of who you are today.
    You should feel so blessed you had him by your side, even though we always feel we needed more time.
    hugs from my side of the world.

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  16. Thank you so much everyone. Your kind and heartfelt thoughts have reminded me why I blogged so much and why I miss our daily "conversations" so much.
    I thank you for the kinds words about my letter and the even kinder thoughts about my dad. He was an amazing man. I feel blessed to have had him in my life for so long.
    Hope to see you all again soon.
    X

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  17. What a beautiful message to your Dad. He sounds like an inspirational man and you had a wonderful relationship with him. I'm thinking about you and your family.

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  18. Hi Jane,

    I'm sorry about your loss. Your poignant letter to your dad brought tears to my eyes. I guess when the loss is this great, there always will be regrets, no matter how hard you've tried. I just wish all those closest to him the strength to deal with his passing. And I'm sure he felt those hugs and knew how much he was loved.

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  19. I am so sorry to hear you have lost your dear Dad. He sounds a truly wonderful man and father, your post is beautiful and I am sure he knew how you felt about him. Keep strong, love to you and all your family.

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  20. Oh Jane, I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute to your dad made me cry. What wonderful memories. It sounds like you had a beautiful relationship, and I hope you get to the point where you have no regrets - I am sure that he cherished you and your wonderful conversations.
    My thoughts go out to you and your family.

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  21. Oh, Jane, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. What a lovely tribute - I'm sitting here at my desk crying for you.

    Keep those memories close to your heart. My thoughts are with you, hon.

    *hug* Sheila

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  22. A very moving tribute, Jane. I am sure your Dad was enormously proud of you.

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  23. That is lovely Jane, so sorry to hear your news, but a beautiful tribute x

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  24. im very sorry for your loss.I believe that the ones we love are never really gone,,just their body is..im sure he is always beside you protecting you and your loved ones,like a Guardian Angel would do.

    Kiss

    Ann

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  25. Dear Jane,

    Trying to wake up out of my "blog slumber" I posted my first blog and then visited yours after such a long time - how very , very sad to read about your dad. I really feel for you, and what a big gap he is leaving in your life ! It seems you had such a good relationship, no wonder your tribute is full of warmth and gratitude - I'm sure he was deeply aware of your feelings.

    With my warmest wishes for you,

    Kiki x

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  26. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like an amazing man. My condolences to you and your family.

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  27. Oh Jane - I'm so sorry for your loss. I came by to wish you a Merry Christmas and find out how teachers training is going.

    I hope you are coping with the grief and have the support of your lovely family.
    Take care
    xxx

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  28. Jane, i had lost your blog! I thought you had stopped blogging and am so glad to see you still around.....but so sorry to read about your Dad. He sounds like he was a very special person.....and a great Dad and Grandad :-) Thank you for introducing him to me.

    So good to see you :-*

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  29. I am so sorry for your loss. It is never easy at any age and any time. I hope this year is better for you.

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  30. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, but it's so wonderful to hear how much we was loved and will be missed. I think we all have regrets in life

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