"It can't be easy, but think about the love."
I got a text from a lovely friend who said just the right thing for me to wake up to on Father's Day.
It's a day that I dread every year. It's very prevalent, you see. The old marketing forces at work mean every day I get an email or two from companies trying to sell me their tat under the guise of it being Father's Day. Every shop you go into has Father's Day gifts. It's just quite in your face marketing. Stabby reminders all over the shop.
For years all I could see was black and sadness and grief and a sense of injustice so strong it can make me heave. For years I avoided Father's Day and hunkered down to ignore it. But that is also ignoring the love and the happiness I have been lucky enough to have. And it's probably time to start looking at that.
So this Father's Day, I went to look through The Box of pictures. We have very few pictures of our family from when I was growing up. Different times. Taking pictures was a faff. You only had the one chance to look good and most of us hadn't perfected anything like the photo face that seems to come naturally to everyone these days. Plus you actually had to physically take them to get developed and then go and collect them. It's a miracle anyone had any photos at all during the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Anyway, I looked through the meagre photos we have. And something struck me about all the ones of me as a kid. I'm smiling. Smiling like a nutter. Smiling like the happiest kid ever. And then it occurred to me that the person taking these pictures was always my dad. That's how he made me smile. That's how much I loved him then and I still love him now.
I started to think about the reasons WHY it's so hard to have lost him. And the reasons are because he was the funniest man I've ever met. He was the kindest man I've ever met. He was selfless and smart and was an unfailing rock, even when suffering horrible illnesses. He was also short tempered, impatient and, the iller he got, the more depression dogged him.
But no one made me smile like my dad. He was super intelligent, sharp as fuck and the person who basically thought I was ace, no matter how much I fucked up. And, instead of being so very sad that I don't have that anymore, I'm going to try and focus on the fact that I DID have it. It's a rare gift and I'm grateful for every single day I had with my dad.
My kind dad, my funny dad, my sarcastic dad, my rock, my friend and the best dad I could have ever wished for. You may have died way too soon, but I am so grateful you were my dad. I love you.