Happy Father’s Day – I Was Somebody’s Son
Sunday marks a very special day for us Dads; for me it been a day when, for the last three years, I have been guaranteed a lay-in.
Father’s Day Without Dad
But this year marks something different; it will be the first Father’s Day I will spend without my own. The funny, gregarious, sharp-thinking man that I am named after passed away at the end of last year after Vascular Dementia gate-crashed our lives and stole him without a backwards glance to the devastation it was to leave in its wake.
I still haven’t come to terms with his passing. I can’t say the words “He’s Dead” out loud. Real life, work and family responsibilities have acted like a massive emotional buffer from being on my own and giving me the breathing space to think what it will actually mean to my future without him. It’s not just Father’s Day without dad.
A key part of our relationship was our ability to make to make each other laugh. Not just giggle, but deep down belly laugh as we shared at times a deeply inappropriate gallows sense of humour. We lived in a world where witty one-liners and sarky remarks, took the place of public displays of affection but ultimately brought us closer together.
In the last hours of his life when he was wired up to a range of bleeping machines, we needed to break the silence of the hospital room so we trawled the net for some of his favourite music to play.
One of the songs was “Alice” by Smokey came to mind. My sister, nieces and I sung the ‘alternative’ chorus together out loud. “And for 24 years I’ve been living next door to Alice, – Alice, Alice Who the F+ck is Alice”. Then something happened, his eyes opened and he smiled his last smile for me, almost like he knew that highly inappropriate nature of the song was not used to being heard in such sombre surroundings and was bound to get me into trouble with the nurses. This would have tickled him no end I have no doubt, appealing to the spirit of mischief that had made his eyes sparkle so vividly in all his years.
This Father’s Day with my own son will be full of laughter. I’ll remember not to think about what I have lost but what I have gained. Because before I was somebody’s father I was somebody’s son and that makes me very happy indeed.
Happy Father’s Day – Danny, Champion of my World –28.03.1942 – 10.11.2014