In my life I have had some very scary stuff happen to me, but fear is something I am not used to suffering from or feeling. I don’t fear the unknown, I don’t fear death, I don’t fear most things (Spiders strike the fear into me, but I’m bigger, so it soon passes). One thing has put fear into me and it happened years ago, and today of all days, I remember that fear. It was whilst I was walking and I had already done a similar walk once before on the same day.
It was raining when I stood outside the church, everyone was staring at me, looking awkward. I ignored the rain, didn’t let it bother me, those around me stood in the protection of the church overhang, or beneath umbrellas, I just stood there; numb. I never got chance to say goodbye to my Father, its something that haunts me randomly, although he knew my thoughts of him, I hope that he remembered what I said to him during his last moments. I remember caring him down the aisle of my church, the aisle that I have walked down so many times before, and after. The weight of my father baring down on my shoulder, but I was numb, I didn’t mind the weight. When I placed him down I did so awkwardly, but I stood staring, waiting, unsure of what to do next. After the service I carried him out again and off we went to the Crematorium. It was raining again, and the Military Veterans had prepared the location, so when I carried my Father in I wasn’t prepared. I’ll never forget that walk. I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to stop and put my Dad down, stop the entire process. I wanted to get him out, talk to him, make sure this is what he wanted. I was hoping that it was all a joke, but that was the fear. This was it, the final, end journey. I’d never hold him, see him or hear him again and that made me stop, fear struck at my heart.
I overcame my fear in the same moment it struck me, I had to do it, just like I had been taught, not against my will, but by watching my parents through life. I did what my mother and father did through their lives, pick myself up and carry on. Advance into the face of my fear and beat it or lose, but never stop moving forward, no matter what the odds. Throughout the entire process I had been numb to all emotion, people must have thought I didn’t care. The Veterans played the last post, and just as the first note played, it hit me; I cried like a baby, I sobbed so much, I didn’t even hear it end. I marshalled everything I had to stop crying. I did, but it was the worse day of my life
People have good parents, bad parents, okay parents. When people say “I have the best Dad ever!” to that person, they possibly are the best Dad. Without exaggeration though, I did have the best Dad. Not because he is my Dad, but because he would give up everything for Georgina, Mum and myself. He would go hungry to feed the family, he was a teacher, rarely let his temper get the better of him. For his family he would do everything in his power for them, help them when they needed him, do things for them they couldn’t do. He would help anyone outside of his family, supporting people whenever they needed him, providing money or equipment to those who needed it. He was always a friend to my friends, and my Sisters, never embarrassing, always supportive and joking around. And no matter what, he always smiled and could make anyone laugh, in any situation. So without exaggeration, other Dads pale in comparison, not because I say so, because he was the most selfless person I have ever met. Even during his final weeks he planned his own funeral, so not to have to put his immediate family in a uncomfortable situation; even the funeral director was shocked. My Dad had balls of steel, he had enough proof of that.
So why am I saying this? My Dads gone, and he died on the 21st of August 2007. I’m not saying your Dads shit, I don’t want someone with an ego issue throwing their tits around in excitement. When my father passed away, I lost my idol, the man I could never be, but yet strive to be like. I am sharing the worse day of my life, yet within that day the best of me came out. Since then I have struggled, every single day, but for others the struggle is worse. I cannot imagine how my Sister feels, and I will never come close to feeling how my Mother does. Yet, each persons feelings are different, each struggle unique to that person.
Every time that song plays, every time I see a father and son playing together, my heart breaks. My friend, Dave Olsen (Blog plug moment), wrote a great blog about what it means to be a great Dad. Being a great Dad is everything he pointed out, apart from one thing he forgot to mention: sacrifice. When you bring that life into the world, you need to show, teach, tell, nurture, care for, assist, guide, love, cherish, talk…THAT is what it means to be a great Dad. There is not a day that goes by where I wish I could pick up a phone and have a five minute chat with my Dad, even if it was to say “L Lu D.” and hear the reply “D Lu L”.
Dad, you will be missed x
The Greatest Man
I wasn’t there to say goodbye,
Neither did I hear your cry,
My sister bore that pain alone,
I wish I would have just come home.
Days had past the family low,
The funeral plans everyone had to know,
I spread your plans that I had to hear,
Your own words spoken without fear.
They brought you home for all to see,
Privacy was what we wanted it to be,
My mother never left your side,
She held your hand with a Wife’s dear pride.
That day did come to carry you away,
To the place in the sky so far away,
Down the aisle I carried you to and fro,
Goodbye Old man `tis time to go.
The years have past the pains still raw,
The void you left we can’t ignore,
We carry on but we never forget,
The greatest man we ever met.