Happy Birthday, Dad.

Bit of a serious post today. I feel a bit weird about writing this post, if I’m being completely honest with you. I haven’t posted about my Dad in what seems like forever, but I’m feeling a bit down about his birthday this year. I think it’s a realisation of a lot of things.

Today, my Dad would have been the ripe age of 54. He would’ve gone to work like any other day and not expected to be treated any differently. He wouldn’t have even wanted us to get him any presents – and wouldn’t have cared if we hadn’t bought him a card. We probably would’ve gone to TGI Friday’s (or Macaroni Grill, if it was still open!) this weekend to celebrate, each of us daring the other to tell the waitress it was his birthday, so they’d all sing to him, and ended up in the pub, with Dad calling to the ‘Engine room’ for his beer.

I do miss my Dad. I think about him all the time. I think about what he’d say about my job now and what words of advice he’d have for me to do better in everyday life. Well, everything apart from weight loss – that’s where I get my ‘heavy bones’ from. Everyday, I appreciate what he gave my family and me, and how he supported every one of us with where we wanted to go. And that’s not just Mum, brother and me, but our extended family too, from cousins to uncles and aunts. It says a lot when you talk about someone after they’ve gone, and I think there’s a story told either about Dad or one that he relayed to others at least once a week in the pub or on the phone to someone else, maybe even in one of Dad’s old offices.

Dad has been gone nearly two years. I can’t believe it’s been that long, because it feels like just yesterday when we were singing along to the Two and A Half Men theme tune in my parents’ living room or joking about what make up I had on my face. A lot has changed in two years. I have a different full time job and a different part time job – yes, I had both a full time job and part time job two years ago! My brother has seen many different girls (which Dad would’ve been slightly proud of!) and has nearly finished his degree. Mum has changed the house and the garden and the driveway… and my house and my driveway… We had no dogs and now, we have three. My Uncle is now divorced. My cousin finished college and got a job. We now have a second-cousin in Cambridge. And that’s all I can think of, off the top of my head!

The thing that hasn’t changed through this? He hasn’t been here to see it. I think that’s what I miss the most. Well, that and his advice. It’s difficult to speak to someone when they’re not there.

Two years ago today, I would’ve spent £20 on Marks and Spencers socks or a tie for my Dad’s birthday. For the second year running, today I will donate £50 to Cancer Research UK in his memory. And tonight, I will eat ham, egg and chips – my Dad’s favourite meal – washed down with a pint of cider with three ice cubes – I still don’t know why there should be three ice cubes, but he used to say ‘not two, not four; just three’ – probably listen to some Rolling Stones, Oasis or Rod Stewart songs and I will remember the fond times I had with him for 22 years. It’s true when they say ‘gone but not forgotten’.


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