I have been looking at old photos recently. Partly to find some great photos of Dad to make a collage for Mum but also so I can keep all my memories alive.
It’s bittersweet looking at them. On the one hand I’ve loved having the chance to remember him as a vital, funny, politically incorrect scallywag – he really was a character. And of course, on the other hand, it’s cut deep to know that I won’t share any more memories with him again. That he is gone. Never to return.
I am determined to keep him alive in my heart and in the hearts of the kids. Gilbert took me aback the other week when he commented that the last time he had been to the cafe, he had four grandparents. Now he only has three. I reminded him that he will always have four grandparents, irrespective of whether they are still with us or not.
I want the kids to understand that Pop may be physically absent but that doesn’t mean he has completely left us. His spirit is definitely alive and well, somewhere.
You’ve probably guessed by some of my recent posts and musings that I need to talk about my loss. I can’t sweep it under the carpet or ignore it. I’m a talker and I need to talk through my thoughts and my feelings. It may be uncomfortable sometimes but I won’t apologise for that.
Just give me a few more weeks to remember and grieve and celebrate a life worth celebrating because there are so many memories of my Dad that I want to record and share and immerse myself in.
Like the time that Dad took me to the local bowling club the night before my first HSC exam and shouted me a Baileys & milk. I was a little hesitant as I felt I should have been at home studying, not drinking, but he knew me. He knew I needed to relax and let go. He knew that I needed time out. And he was right – I smashed that exam out of the park.
And there was the times he would answer the phone with one of my friends on the other end of the line. If they didn’t introduce themselves straight up, he would hang up on them. He had no time for people who were not straight up with him. Yes, my teenage years were rather interesting in his house!
We also enjoyed a Saturday night tradition of watching The Late Show on the ABC. We would sit there and crack ourselves up. We shared a sense of humour and a view on the world that was special. We always knew how to make each other laugh. God, I miss that now.
There were the times we headed up to northern NSW each January so Dad could undertake annual maintenance jobs. He would spend the day working. I would spend the day reading and watching tennis on TV and then we would check out the local bowlo. We certainly saw some sights in those visits to Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree and Inverell…
I remember the mountain of tools in his shed and how he spent years working on building a boat from scratch. He then followed that up by building a house from scratch. He was a talented man.
I remember going to all sorts of places around NSW in the school holidays as he would find last minute deals for us. In the age before Wotif, it was a case of scouring the newspapers for accommodation cancellations and making lots of calls to chase them up. Thanks to his persistence we holidayed in Dubbo, Bathurst, North Haven, Harrington, Forster and many other places that I can’t recall right now.
We even went up to Brisbane for Expo ’88 and stayed in an apartment in Mermaid Waters. I still remember being terrified by my first and only encounter with a cane toad and how he sorted it out for me.
Because that’s what Dads do for their daughters.
There are so many wonderful memories of a wonderful man. But I guess I will always cherish most the memories of him spending time with his grandkids, whom he adored:
Indulging as part of these most excellent weekend linkups:
Flog Yo Blog Friday
Things I Know
The Ultimate Rabbit Hole
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I have a lump in my throat reading this – such a lovely way to remember your dad Kirsty. x
Thanks Em – I have a lump in my throat reading all these lovely comments x
What a beautiful post, made me quite teary and has inspired me to write down some of the memories of my mum. Hugs to you and your family, dealing with the loss of a loved one is an extremely hard thing to do. xx
I hope writing down your memories will help you as much as it’s helped me Haidee x
Take as long as you need remembering your dad, it’s a life long journey. I write posts remembering my dad quite often, and he died in 1993. Your dad sounds like a fun guy, and a great dad and grandfather x
Thanks Dani x
Your memories of your Dad will always be with you and your family, even years later someone will say something to rekindle a happy moment and a few tears will spring to your eyes.
I hope so – I never want to forget, even if it is sometimes painful to remember x
You dad sounds like a great man, and he was clearly loved! Such a beautiful post and beautiful memories xo
Thanks Luisa – I will always love him x
What a beautiful post. Such wonderful memories to hold close always. Sounds like he was a wonderful man.
Thank you for sharing and for linking up to the ultimate rabbit hole xx
Thanks for having me Shannon – it’s a wonderful linkup x
Memories are funny things, they can bring strength and love or they can bring you crashing to the floor. So glad you are able to take some time out to remember and bring the kids along the journey. So lovely. Take it easy on yourself and take time away (even if it is a shower) to grieve at your own pace. Mel xx
Thanks so much Mel x
You talk all you need to – I know what it’s like. Lovely to learn more about your dad and what a wonderful relationship you had with him. I was cheated of having much to do with my father from the ages of 10 to 20 thanks to my Mum; when I left home I had to build a relationship with him from scratch, so I am thankful for that.
I’m grateful that I’ve had loving relationships with both parents all my life. Although you’ve had more challenging relationships with yours, it’s good that you’ve been able to reconnect with your Dad x
What a beautiful post – I’m so pleased you shared your memories of your dad – what a guy! He sounds like such a character, and I love how by writing this post, you’ve put some heartfelt words to that collage of pictures x
Thanks Sammie. There was definitely a bit of therapy involved in writing this as well but I’m proud to have something to always remember him by and to give him an online legacy too x
Dads are pretty awesome, aren’t they? I get very nostalgic looking at photos of me and my dad growing up too and luckily he is still with us. I think we feel a strong sense of our childhood when we see our younger dads, possibly even more so than our younger mums. Do you know what I mean? They seem to hold the keys to our youth in some way. Your dad sounds like he was a really awesome father, Kirsty. Those lovely ‘quirky’ men so often are. x
He was definitely one of a kind – there will never be anyone quite like him, that’s for sure!
Oh my gosh, what a dad!! Thank you for sharing these memories. I laughed out loud at the thought of your dad hanging up the phone when a friend rang and didn’t introduce themselves. I think you had a pretty special dad and I really loved re-living some of these memories with you. Thanks so much for sharing. Bron x