This Wednesday should be my da’s birthday, but the silly bugger went and died on us back in 2000, to matters worse, he had to go at Christmas, forever ruining what should be a happy time.
A dad is meant to be there, to have the “talk” with the boyfriends, congratulate on career achievements, give you away on your wedding day, shed a tear or two upon becoming a grandparent and occasionally saying
“You did good”
even the odd
“What the hell did you do to your hair?!”
My dad isn’t here to do any of that.
A part of me, a huge part still can’t believe, even after all this time that he is actually gone. For a long time I would call his mobile, just to listen to his voice mail message, the day the phone company gave that number to a new customer, who answered the damn thing, almost killed me.
We never had the easiest relationship, too similar to really get along, but he’s a part of who I am. As time goes on, I’ve realised just how much of my da I’ve forgotten.
I guess it’s inevitable that after so many years things become blurry, the stories he told are no longer so clear and memories are fuzzy.
I have two photos of my da, and a a hand written note, in neither photo is he looking at the camera, he was a man with something to hide, what, I doubt we’ll ever know.
He went to the grave keeping secrets he didn’t trust his family with. We found out after he died that he had lied about who he was, we have a whole family out there we know nothing about, I don’t even know my dads real name, he didn’t even trust us with that.
The lies have forever tainted the memories I held of him, he could tell me about picking up body parts after explosions went off whilst he served in the army, he could tell me I wasn’t planned and would never be as good as my sister who died, he could get pissed on a bottle of scotch and try to cut my toes off with pliers, but he couldn’t trust me with his damn name.
It wasn’t all bad, he gave me a thirst for knowledge, a passion for music, confidence and a stubborn streak that has done me well.
He’s also left me with a determination that my own children wont one day sit here and question who their parents were.
Whilst reading a series of blog posts over at The Life Of A Single Man, I got the idea to start a couple of journals for my children, telling them who their mummy and daddy are, the things that have made us, us.
In these posts Single Man answers a range of questions, each one giving his children an insight in to who he is; from the child who grew up to become the man he is today.
As I was reading these posts, I realised I know nothing about my own dad, the schools he went to, friends, hobbies, I know nothing.
Over time, I’m going to fill the journals with random odds and sods about me and their daddy, as well as their uncles, aunties, cousins and grandparents, cause at the moment, I can’t think of much worse than not knowing where you came from.
Happy Birthday dad x