Although a little apprehensive about the whole occasion, I actually had a really nice time last night at Dad’s memorial dinner. Seventy eight guests were yes’s, about seventy of them turned up – always take into account the 10% that pull out at the last minute or don’t turn up! – which is an amazing turn out. I think if I had a memorial dinner, it’d just be Mum, George and Jay. It again brought home how well my Dad was thought of. It never ceases to amaze me.
We were surrounded by men. Lots of them. There were obviously a few women, but I’d say about 95% of the guests were male. I had to explain my job about fifty million times. When you say that you teach babies under the age of one year old to swim, you do get some funny looks. “How can you teach them to swim when they can’t even support their own heads? Babies can naturally swim under the water, can’t they? Don’t you just throw them in and see what happens?” and so on and so forth.
Everyone asked about George who wasn’t able to turn up, as he had exams in Exeter and that. Seriously, George will be made up for life as I’m sure they all would offer him a good job in a heartbeat.
As predicted, I cried. I felt really dumb for doing so. Basically, Phil (either mine or George’s Godfather – no one seems to remember who) had written a speech and, although heartfelt sentiments were read, I didn’t cry at that bit. I cried when they mentioned the amount of money we raised in his memory for Cancer Research UK. And I cried again when I was reminded that a year had passed. My Mum was so strong, I don’t know how she managed it. So many people came up and asked how she was coping and she was like, “Yeah, fine, just sorting out paperwork” and carried on. Just how on earth? My bottom lip was going when people were asking me how she was coping!
Food was good, comedian was funny. Long lost friends were reunited. Generations of people chatted about an amazing man who they were lucky to be friends/colleagues/whatever with. They’re talking about doing it annually, and that “next year will be bigger”. I don’t quite know how they will manage that! Maybe they’ll book the Rolling Stones?!
I was told several times about how much I look like my Dad. It’s weird, I’d never seen it before, but hey, Dad spent most of his weeks and hours with those guys, so they’d know what he looks like better than me! In the end, it became a joke and I’d retort, “Well, I actually have a neck, whereas my Dad’s head just joined to his shoulders” or “Oh no, don’t tell me my hairline is receeding already!”
The deets of my swim are now being passed around the whole entire group and today alone I’ve raised over 600 quids. That’s double what I was on via Facebook friends! There’s a guy on the page, “Willy Wombat” and we have no idea who it is. He donated a very large amount for my swim and another large amount on Dad’s memorial charity page, but we just don’t know who it is! Maybe his identity needs to be kept secret!
Anyways. Feeling at peace and awesome. Kinda comforted about how fondly remembered my Dad really is. And he really was a superstar. He knew that in every single language, just so he could tell people. Proud daughter, over here!