Making the most of a new life

Father’s Day #1: My Father


Father’s Day was something of a bittersweet occasion for me this year since my own Father passed away in November last year (2011). At the time I posted on my Facebook timeline that he was “the best Father that anyone could have hoped for”. He was always around and very committed to his family and, after my Mother died (in 1988), to my Stepmother and her family. I know that it was something of frustration to him that I spent most of my late twenties and early thirties as a student (for about ten years by the time I’d finished), but his support for me was always steadfast, once saying to me: “Whatever you want to do with your life I will support you”. He did not mean financial support but a moral and loving support which, to me, was priceless. I’m sure that this was not an easy thing for him to say, but it was an extraordinarily liberating thing for me to hear; giving me a real sense of freedom and ultimately helping me take risks which, in the long run, paid off.

Having children of my own has brought me many things, but perhaps the most important has been coming to realise what it means to be a parent, and in turn to appreciate what my parents went through: what they gave up and the extent of that unconditional love that only parents can have. Sadly I was never able to fully appreciate this before my mother died, but it means a lot to me that I was able to say ‘thank you’ to my Father. And I said a quiet thank you to him again this Father’s Day.

I still miss Dad. I miss ringing him up and telling him what the boys have been up to, and sharing a joke on the latest frustration of modern life (he loved stories about administrative ineptitude); and there is rarely a day goes by that I don’t think of him. It was important to me that he was part of this blog since he was so influential in many of the things that I have to say. That is why his memory is enshrined in the picture on the masthead, which is taken from the spot where we scattered his ashes on Derwentwater in the Lake District, Northern England earlier this year.

As you can see it really is a beautiful spot and I hope that it gives him the freedom that he so selflessly gave me.

7 thoughts on “Father’s Day #1: My Father

  1. Simon I shed a tear as I read this. Thank you for sharing such whole and wonderful memories. I wonder how you felt as you wrote this? One of the joys of the blogging world as I observe it is the freedom to write, share, express, comment as freely as you want without any imperative to do so. Enjoy the space x

  2. Thanks Jo. I found that the words came very easily to me but did get quite emotional when I was finishing it off, and again when I read it through again. Although just at the start of this venture I am very much enjoying being able to write freely without academic conventions. I do hope that I can build an narrative arc into the blog (so that it is distinctive), but want to keep a certain freedom to go where I want with it as well.

  3. Pingback: Father’s Day #2: My Boys | ChangingDad

  4. Lovely. Your Dad sounds like he was a good, kind man. I only really started to appreciate what my parents did for me and my sisters when I had my own children. (and they had three girls to deal with!!)

  5. Thank you Gillian. Goodness only knows what our parents went through when we were teenagers. Those delights are yet to come, and a lot of water to flow under the bridge until then.

  6. Pingback: The ChangingDad 12 Blogs of Christmas: 7. Bendy Bus Memories | ChangingDad

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