Fathers Day

I’ve never been a big fan of Fathers Day (or, Mothers Day or Valentines Day) I’ve always felt that if you love someone you don’t need a special day to celebrate this….just tell them you love themregularly. And, even if you’re not the kind of person who say’s the words easily, then show it. Actions speak louder than words anyway.

As I write this I hear Bobby’s words ringing in my ears…. “It’s all about the commercialism” he used to say. “It’s all about the card sellers, the florists, they make us feel we have to do these things otherwise we’ll look shit- it’s all about money”.

Grumpy old Bastard!

I used to think his rant was an annual excuse not to buy cards or presents…but he really had a point and as the kids grew up we never really made a big thing of any of those days.

He always told the girls not to bother about Father’s Day.

In the two years since he died though I struggle with this day. A day that celebrates Dad’s. A day when wherever you look there is some reminder (not that we need one). It started a couple of weeks ago and will reach a crescendo on Sunday, when Facebook will be filled with pictures of happy people celebrating their dads – telling them how much they love them.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s lovely that people do this, but it’s only in the last two years that I’ve realised how painful this day is for some people. I find it agonisingly painful. Because although I still have my Dad, my kids don’t have theirs. He died. And they were way too young for that to happen.

I know that they are thankful that they at least got to know him as adults (because they’ve told me) and it would have been harder if they had been younger but, every time I hear the words “Fathers day” I wince.

I feel incredibly lucky that my own Dad is still here. I didn’t think he still would be. At 32, when I was just 4 years old he had his first heart attack. A few years later he had a massive one, which nearly killed him. Throughout our childhood me, my Brother and Sister regularly witnessed the ambulance being called and Dad being whisked away to the hospital.

At 50 the family had a big party with a cake that said “50 not out” He’d done well to get to 50 – we thought.

On the 10th of July he’ll reach the grand old age of 80!!! BLOODY AMAZING! And to mark it we’re all heading ‘up north’ for a party to celebrate.

I’m thinking now of all the people out there who have or have had poor role models as dad’s …being a Father doesn’t mean you’re a good dad does it and you hear some shit stories of, quite frankly, shit dads.

So I’m looking for the positive in all this and here it is…. As well as their good looks, my kids Dad left them with the feeling that they had always been loved. They have happy memories of him and they had fun with him. While this makes him not being here all the more difficult they have the knowledge that their Dad while he was here was a funny, charismatic fella, who people really liked and loved. Someone with integrity and honesty ….and someone who is missed by so many, not just his family. That’s not a bad memory to have of your Dad now is it?

So, this year on Fathers Day I’m trying to be thankful. I’m thankful that my lovely Dad (defying all odds) is still with us. And, I’ll always be eternally thankful that my kids had the Dad they had.

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About Oxfordshire Family Support Network

Oxfordshire Family Support Network (OxFSN) is a not-for-profit organisation run by and for family carers of people with learning disabilities – both children and adults. Oxfordshire Family Support Network (OXFSN) was set up in 2007 by family carers who wanted to use their experience to help others in the same situation, based on our belief that family carers are experts by their lived experience.
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