I am so very blessed with my father. I really couldn’t have asked for better. Given that my father’s childhood was far from idyllic, and that his father certainly didn’t spare the rod or spoil the child, it could have turned out very differently. I’m so grateful that my father was the polar opposite of his.
I remember when I was about four or five years old my dad had a jumper that had a suede front and knitted sleeves. It always retained a faint leather smell and this, combined with traces of pipe smoke and aftershave, created a comforting cocktail of ‘Daddy’ smells. There are times when I wish that I was still small enough to crawl into the crook of his arm,and rest my cheek against the soft suede, and know that Daddy would keep me safe.
My Dad has brought so much into my life. He has boundless patience, imagination and a wicked sense of humor. Dad would always go the extra mile for us. We used to go on one family holiday a year to a friend’s cottage by the river. My dad would save all his small coins for the year and then divide them into two exciting parcels. He would make a treasure map for my sister and I, staining it with tea and burning the edges just to make it more exciting. When we arrived at the cottage dad would go off and hide the coin parcels and then present my sister and I with the treasure maps that would lead us to them. That would be our spending money for the holidays. I still remember the excitement if that treasure hunt. And with two little girl’s who dreamed of being prima ballerinas he even had to don tights and pretend to be Rudolph Nureyev – and yes Dad I still have the photos!
Throughout my adult life my dad has been my calm constant. Even in the rough seas of life’s troubles my dad has been like a lighthouse. Always there for me, shedding light to reassure me that there are safe waters close at hand. Always his ridiculous sense of humor was close at hand or a reassuring hug that needed no words.
He has also been an amazing grandfather and I’m so grateful that my children have had such a wonderful role model in their lives. The epitome of a true gentleman, a father and a friend.