Saturday, 14 April 2018

How can a year seem as short as it has seemed long?

A year ago today one of the things that I always dreaded came true. My dad died. It was completely unexpected.

This past year has been filled with big events - including some that would be stressful under normal circumstances - house extensions, husband starting a new job,  an 18th birthday and passing of a driving test, a new member of the household in the form of a big doofus called Apollo and an acceptance for said 18 year old into university.

The literal heart ache that I feel when I know I can't pick up the phone to share any news with my dad has at times been unbearable.

My grandad died when I was about 5 years old and I remember the phone call from the hospital coming through to my  Nan and Grandad's house as we  were staying there at the time.  I remember being told that grandad had  died and I was very concerned that he was going to be flushed down the toilet like the fish from the fun fair had been when it died.
Of course, my dad, who I'd whispered my concerns to, put his arms around me and told me that wouldn't happen and that Grandad would be in heaven with God.

God, in my mind, was the fella that used to do grandstand - Frank Bough. And who, on stormy days always seemed to want to be moving his furniture about (thunder). This made me feel so much better. Grandad would probably give him a hand moving stuff around.  They could even sit and watch football together.

But I think it stayed with me from that very young age as the first person that I loved and had laughed with wasn't going to be with me anymore.

After that and throughout my childhood I remember getting massively upset to ever think of loved ones dying. Laying in my bed some nights crying quietly at the thought that one day  certain other people wouldn't be with me anymore.
As I got older I would sometimes have to make a real conscious effort to not think about it. And I'm still the same now.

Having come close to death myself on a couple of occasions and watching my 4month old son fight for his life too, I'm so very aware of that fear of losing people.

My dad was right up there as (for most of my life) the one person I really thought I would never manage in life without. My hours of conversation most days with him was always filled with us sharing our complaints, fears, advice and laughter.  He always made sure that I came away from the conversation feeling better about things than I had started.  And I know that it meant so much to him when I would call.  He told me many times how I'd made his day.

I struggle at least once a day to not get upset about him not being here.  To not wish I'd done more or visited him more and actually to not drive myself mad thinking that on the day he died, when I was waiting in a side room whilst the medical team worked to keep his heart going, that I should have demanded to see him.  That somehow, me being in the room and telling him not to go would have made any difference to the outcome.

I still talk to my dad every single day.  But I don't get to hear him laugh or say something completely politically incorrect.  Or tell me to 'keep my big mouth shut' having told him if I was upset with somebody and determined to go and let them know about it.

But I also don't have to hear the sadness in his voice when he would tell me how he was fed up with feeling unwell and how he never understood why some of his children never bothered with him. That most times, mine and his was the only form of conversation he got for days at a time - so for that I have to be grateful. And I have to keep my faith that he is up there, with his mum and dad, occasionally helping to move God's furniture around and occasionally letting me feel him near ♡ 

This here is a song that I always loved hearing my dad sing along to ♡

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