Tomorrow Beckie and I will catch a flight back to England to farewell my Dad.
I’m so glad we are going together to celebrate the greatness of an amazing Father and Grandfather.
I was at work when the call came through (the call that changes how you see life in a nanosecond). It was the 31st August – my Dad’s 86th Birthday.
Initially, the fact that Dad died on his Birthday made the pain of losing him even harder. But when Beckie arrived home she said how special it was to enter and leave this world on the same day – it now makes me smile that Dad managed it.
Anyway, my poor sister had been trying to call me on my mobile, but unfortunately my phone was on silent, because I was working at Mimco.
She must have been going out of her mind when I didn’t answer, she tried Beckie next, but she was at work rushed off her feet and also missed the call.
Thank goodness Jonny picked up.
As soon as the phone was passed to me at work, I knew it was something serious. Jonny would never dream of ringing me at work. Not for small talk – not ever. It has to be an emergency, its our rule.
As a Mumma you would have thought that Beckie (or indeed my Dad, considering how ill he was) would have been the first two people to run through my mind.
But weirdly that didn’t happen. Instead, I thought Jonny was calling about Princess Lulabelle our beloved (nearly 13 year old) Cocker Spaniel. You see, Lula had gone to the groomers on the morning for her six weekly shampoo and set. She hates being separated from us, so I instantly thought something had happened to her. I don’t know why.
I guess because Dad had text me the day before, being his usual hilarious self – I wasn’t concerned.
He seemed completely fine and dandy with no signs of anything wrong.
Looking back, I can’t really remember what Jonny said during that phone call, I just remember him saying he was on his way to pick me up.
The call I had to make was to Beckie, it completely shattered me. Hearing her sobs of disbelief, truly broke my heart into a thousand pieces. Not only had I lost my Dad, she had lost her only remaining Grandparent.
But let me tell you something about Albert…
He simply adored his children, but the love he felt for his Grandaughter was mind-blowing.
Beckie was the apple of his eye. He would tell anyone (that would listen) just how proud he was of her. She was his everything.
If you could see his flat (apartment) you would giggle – the walls are literally filled with pictures of Beckie. From a baby, right through to the day she graduated from University. I’m not talking small mantelpiece photos either, I’m talking pic’s over a metre high adorned his walls. He treasured every single moment he spent with her. He burst with pride with every single achievement and of course, grinned like a monkey at every single picture that arrived – the bigger the better!
One of my fondest childhood memories with my Dad was our Sunday morning adventures together visiting relatives (looking back, I now realise this was to give my Mumma a break from my incessant chattering).
Anyway, every week I insisted on doing the exact same thing on the journey. I would plead with Dad to drive super fast (then even faster) down the Collector Road ( a road in Birmingham), just so I could thrust my head out of the window to see how long I could talk/breath for whilst battling natures g-force – it’s a wonder I didn’t turn blue. All of the time looking ridiculously like the main character from Wallace and Gromit (search Wallace and Gromit for confirmation 😉 ) Never once do I remember Dad telling me to stop.
Probably because he liked our little ritual as much as I did…or that I was at least quiet when my head was out of the window 😉
I never got the chance to say goodbye, so I’ve been thinking of what I would have said to him if I did…