There once was a father names Chris
Whose puns would so often miss
He’d tell them, we’d moan
He’d tell more, we’d groan
It’s strange how I wish he still did this…
My dad, my superhero, passed away the Christmas before my first child was born. He never got to enjoy his grand kids or see how impressive all of them are (not just mine). It is the sort of unfairness that really grabs my throat when I think about it, because my dad was made to be a father/grandfather. He loved kids. He loved us. His day wasn’t complete without some sort of interaction with us, and while my siblings might have a different remembrance, to me he was always the guy who gave me my self-esteem, made me feel important and worth being.
He’d do crazy things like tell one of our friends that green stripey caterpillars tasted like peppermint, and then yowl with horror when the daring child ate it, shrugged, said, “naw it doesn’t”, and then went off to play.
He’d spend hours teaching us how to do things like painting or photography or ceramics or fixing things, and then recoil in mock horror when we’d supersede him at the task. While being proud as anything about us.
He taught me about ladylike behaviour, or tried to- sorry Dad! Tried to get me to soften my loud laugh, reminded me gently that ladies didn’t use that language, showed me what a gentleman could be (perhaps this explains my fondness for older men who still do that walking on the outside of the sidewalk thing?).
He’s been gone over half my life now, and I still miss him. I’m at the age he was when he was fighting his lymphoma the most diligently, being whacked with chemo until he almost died. Actually he was younger than I am now when he went through that. Amazing to think about.
I wonder if I would have had his grace in dealing with things.
He taught me well.
Fathers, don’t underestimate he effect you have on your kids. They know their mothers love ’em, mostly. But fathers? Those guys have to be persuaded, in my experience. I was so lucky to have my dad’s unconditional love. I can never ever thank him enough.
Except that, on my 60th birthday, the age he was when he left us, I’ll be sure to raise a toast. And, with any luck, a book, and a completed model ship.
But that’s another story…