I’ve been thinking a lot about my father lately.
Ask anyone that knew him and I know they’ll tell you that he was a wonderful, wonderful man. To my sister and I he was also a fantastic dad. The best in fact.
But isn’t that what everyone says about their dad?
My dad used to explain to me how his own father never had any time for him growing up and that he was determined things would be different with us kids. It was. Together we built tree houses and go-karts, made rope swings and skateboard ramps. He’d take me fishing at 5am because I said that was the time the fish fed and he’d spend hours on a freezing cold beach waiting for me to come out of the surf.
I had a great childhood because I had a great dad.
He wanted us to be happy at home and so our garden was like an ewok village with rope bridges going from tree to tree. He put up swings, slides and trampolines. He took us places, instilled moral values, supported us, cared. He’d do it all even when he was exhausted or had other things on his mind. More than once he wouldn’t quite make it to the end of reading us a story before falling asleep as he was so tired after a hard day at work. Looking back, it’s simply amazing the kind of stuff he’d do for us. He gave us everything. Time, energy and most importantly love and I’m so incredibly grateful to him for it all.
So how on earth do you follow an example like that? To be responsible for and make the most of the incredible privilege of shaping a little life. To provide materially for that life, teach, entertain, discipline, inspire, encourage, console, support and everything else that goes with fatherhood.
A few weeks ago something amazing happened that changed our lives forever. I keep thinking how much dad would have loved to have shared these moments with us and how nothing ever feels quite the same now he’s gone.
He would have been an amazing grandad.