Happy Birthday, Dad (A Letter To My Late Dad)

Dear Dad,

Today is Monday 8th July 2019. Today also would have been your 61st birthday, had the leukemia not taken you. It’s a very hot, humid day here in the UK, too hot, you would say, had the leukemia not taken you.

Today I am spending some time with Mum and Malcolm. We are all trying to be brave for you, but I know inside, none of us are feeling that way. We are all trying to get on, trying to push through our grief, almost as if grief was just another fight that we could overcome. Yet the reality is, grief is not like the leukemia, it is vastly different. Grief is a symbol of our love for you.

Yesterday Mum and Malcolm bough Nebo home. Nebo is beautiful, I know you’d love her. I remember how you were with all of our other cats. You pretended not to be phased about cats and small animals, but really, you loved them all. Your response to everything, “yeah, it’s alright, innit?” would tell us all we needed to know. You were too shy of being excessive and over the top, so telling us that it was just “alright” was your way of concealing your happiness. Dad, we knew you.

Hugo is doing wonderfully well, and him and Ladye play so well together. I know you used to condemn Hugo for his loud whining, but I know you loved him really. He was playful and full of energy, and he amused you. He is your typical Jack Russell, playful and always up to michief.ย  I remember the time he dug at your patio and you laughed at him, sarcasm was always your fortรฉ, and that same sarcasm I got from you.

Slowly but surely, somehow, the grief and the pain is easier to overcome, It’s not that I don’t miss you, not that I don’t want to see you and not that I didn’t love you, but I’m beginning to come to terms with the fact that you have gone. I didn’t think it would be as easy as this, and yet, perhaps because of some of the things you taught me, I feel like sometimes I’m one of the strongest people in the room. You always told me that you just have to keep going, and it’s because of that, sometimes, that I feel like I can go on. You told me that I’m good at helping people, and here I am, doing what I do. I never imagined myself as a blogger, but it was because of you, because of your words, that maybe, just maybe, this can all work out.

I remember the time you told me your parting words to Uncle Trevor. You told me that you told him he looks like you and that every time he looks in the mirror, he’ll be reminded of you. Guess what? I look like you, too. Guess what? Everytime I look in the mirror, I remember you, and I see the bravery, the courage, the determination, the perseverance and the refusal to let anything or anyone stand in your way. Nothing could overcome you. Nothing, except cancer.

Dad, when I was a wee child you held me, and you were so determined that I would be fine that you refused to let me go. In our final weeks, I wrote those four words “I BELIEVE INย YOU” on a note. The day you left us, I tossed it in the trash. It wasn’t that I gave up on you, it was that the cancer had won. Now, perhaps only knowing that you are with me spiritually, I know that I can go on. You may not be with me in body, but you will always, always be with me in my heart.

With love for you, always

Your Booboos xxx

PS. I hope you like the bench by the pond.

 

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