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In honour of a very special man

No time for Friday flash stories at the moment. I’m having ideas but family must come first and that’s fine (for now!)

But today my head is full of thoughts of my dad and I wanted to write something down.

2 years ago this week I was preparing for Christmas (in fact I was halfway though constructing a big, pink wooden castle for our youngest daughter) when Dad phoned me from the Royal Marsden in Surrey to say that he was coming home to die. The next few weeks were terribly sad, busy and unreal. He deteriorated very fast and we lost him on January 11th 2009, aged 67.

Now the sounds, smells and sights of Christmas preparations remind me of that terrible time. Even the cold weather and the return to big winter coats and boots take me back to Winter 2008/09.

This morning I felt like crying when I realised it was the 17th – the date of that awful phone call and I was looking out of the window into the garden when I saw a bird I had never seen before. Dad was a huge fan of British birds and I wished I could phone him and ask him what it was. Instead I looked it up on the Internet and discovered it was a redwing. Two redwings hung around our garden all day today and gave me immense pleasure. I would love to tell Dad.

Dad was interested in music – all kinds of music. He would watch Top of the Pops with us when we were young. He also liked Jazz, Baroque, Beethoven symphonies, The Beatles, Paul Simon, you name it – he would give it a chance. He taught himself the guitar to about grade 5 level and played pretty well. He was a great linguist and the way he messed about with the English language would have you in stitches. He was also a fluent French speaker and gave up many years of his life to teach others. Mum was so proud of him that she set up an award in his name at his old college – Exeter College, Oxford University to help other budding linguists.
Dad was also a brilliant artist. He drew and painted well and loved photography.
Somehow, through genes and nurturing and her grandfather’s love this creativity has taken new life in our eldest daughter. She is fifteen and studying for grade 7 guitar and today painted a beautiful picture for her guitar teacher.

It’s a superb, lively painting and I’m so proud. Dad would have been extremely proud too.

I love you, Dad and miss you always. You gave the best bear hugs.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Such a touching post. I had tears in my eyes as I read it.
    Cherish the memories, Rachel and never forget. Dad’s still with you. 🙂


  2. Beautiful post, Rachel, and a great tribute to a special man. I’d like to think that your Dad was there with you today in spirit, thanks to the presence of those Redwings, and he lives on in your daughter who’s inherited his artistic streak.

    You lost your Dad on my Dad’s birthday and I miss mine at this time of year, and yesterday, as I was on the way out to see a friend, I saw a hearse waiting to leave for a funeral, with flowers in the back of it that spelled out DAD. It set me off in floods of tears.

    So here’s to that first special man in our lives. xx


  3. I am in tears here, what a beautiful post. I hope that, with time, you will be able to remember the good times that you shared with your dad, without feeling as much sadness.

    I am so glad that some of your Dad’s creative genes passed to your daughter, Grade 7 is such an amazing achievement and that painting took my breath away.

    Kath – a big hug for you too xx


  4. Thank you, Trevor, Kath and Rebecca and hugs from me to Kath too xxx


  5. A big hug from me to you. I cried reading this – and remembered my own dad. Trevor is right, your dad will always be with you, and this is a beautiful tribute. Your father would be so proud. xx



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