16 years that feel like a lifetime, but, at the same time, have passed in a flash. How is it that it has been that long since I last got to speak to you, to see you, to simply spend some time with you?
16 years that have seen so many changes and I can’t imagine what you’d make of the year we’re in right now. I’ve no doubt you’d be up to your ears embracing the technology of Zoom and FaceTime to see family whilst in the depths of lockdown.
16 years and we’re teetering on the brink of the next stage of our life as G and M grow into incredible young adults that I know you’d be so proud of and start to plan their own next steps.
16 years of making memories without you and yet you are a part of those 16 years nevertheless. Much loved and much missed.
“…But it’s been
Fourteen years of silence
Fourteen years of pain
Fourteen years that are gone forever
And I’ll never have again…”
14 years since I last spoke to you; since I heard you laugh out loud at Terry Pratchett books; since you held my hand or shared a story. It’s been a tough year and we’re now missing not only you, but other much-loved family members to spend time with. 14 years too long xxx
Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Daddy fell into the pond!
And everyone’s face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
“Give me the camera, quick, oh quick! He’s crawling out of the duckweed.”
Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft
And it sounded as if the old drake laughed.
O, there wasn’t a thing that didn’t respond
Daddy fell into the pond!
– Alfred Noyes
This poem will always remind me of you Dad, of that Christmas when you did fall into the pond and I asked for it to be read as part of my eulogy to you. There is a lifetime of memories to cherish, but I can’t quite believe it’s been 12 years since the last ones were made. I’ve been so busy that this year the pain has been a little easier to bear, but I’m never to busy to remember you with love and miss the time we should have been spending creating new memories. Tonight we’ll raise a quiet glass. Love you Dad xxx
Today’s a special day. It hasn’t quite turned out as planned, but then again, things quite often don’t in our household. Presents have been bought and wrapped and cards have been written, but the birthday boy wasn’t at home this morning to open them. I thought we might enjoy a family meal together at home tonight, but Mike has been away on business, so we’ll be lucky if we just about manage a strategically ordered takeaway before 9pm instead. I was even hoping to bake a cake, but work commitments have left me running around a little like a headless chicken this week and unless things improve drastically before that 9pm takeaway deadline, I really don’t think that will happen.
Mike & funny man, Dave Gorman – last year’s birthday pressie. Wonder what this year will bring?
So instead, let me take the “easy” way out and instead wish Mike an amazingly happy birthday! It might not have been the birthday celebrations we’d have chosen, but I hope your day is a good one and G, M and I can’t wait to see you tonight for a mini celebration before bedtime. We love you lots.
It’s been a quiet and reflective Fathers Day weekend for me and a fun-filled and active one for Mike. He and the children have been away on the annual “Dads and Kids” camping weekend with friends. A weekend to make more memories as well as looking back at precious ones of the past. Happy Fathers Day to the 3 special men in our lives: Mike, Grandpa R and my Dad.
I also want to share this beautifully illustrated short film that takes an emotional look at new parenthood, which can be especially difficult when it starts with an unexpected stay in NICU and is a beautiful reminder that Dads are affected too. When your new baby has to be in NICU, there’s lots of focus on Mum and baby and it can be all too easy to forget about Dad and the emotions he must be facing. With Fathers’ Day this weekend, this is a poignant reminder that things don’t always turn out as planned.
A lot can happen in 10 years and certainly has in our household. In the past 10 years we have moved house twice; had 2 amazing babies and seen them grow into beautiful children; finally got a series of diagnoses that have explained so much about M’s fragile health and will help him grow stronger in time; changed jobs more times than we care to consider and are finally in ones that we love; and travelled the world, though perhaps not as much as we’d have liked. Sometimes, in the busy lives we now lead, it’s hard to stop and remember things and people from the past.
Today is a landmark day for me, one that I can hardly believe has arrived and one that has seen my emotions bubbling over beyond what I expected.
10 years ago today we said goodbye to my Dad.
One of the few photos we have of Grandad and G
I was the quintessential Daddy’s little girl growing up and constantly sought his approval and praise in the things that I did. I know he was proud when I graduated university despite the complications of negligent eye surgery at the start of my final year and he helped me study to pass my accountancy exams just 3 years after I got my degree. He walked me down the aisle nearly 15 years ago and marvelled at the arrival of his first grandchild a few years later. I am so grateful for all the precious memories I have with him and yet find myself grieving for those that he never had the chance to become a part of, to share.
Today the children and I have been out in the unseasonably warm autumn air to visit Grandad’s plaque, placed on a neighbouring pier, and left some flowers and sprigs of rosemary – for remembrance – to mark that place. We talked a little about him and I shared some memories of the grandfather they never got to know and love. And tonight, Mike and I will be lifting a glass in his memory as yet another year without him slips past.