Sentimental Me: Dear Dad

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.

Sentimental Me: Dear Dad

(Quote: @momentaryhappiness)

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.

Sentimental Me: Dear Dad

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…

Dear Dad,

Thank you…
For your love.
For your endless support.
For your humour.
For always believing in me.
For always encouraging me.
Thank you…
For having the strength, determination and willpower to defy the odds that have been so heavily stacked against you for so long. Even though your prognosis was dire Dad, you still refused (point blank) to sit back and give in. Instead, you chose to fight on like a hero. My hero.
Thank you…
For being the most wonderful Grandad to Beckie.
For refusing to leave us before Beckie had graduated from University.
For then, sticking around for another year, until she was admitted as a Solicitor.
Dad, you have shown strength like no other.
You have been my hero for as long as I can remember. My ‘Hector protector’ and biggest fan, all rolled into one.
My Saturday/Sunday nights just won’t ever feel the same again. Our weekly Skype dates together were so magical.
I will also miss my Wednesday texts, filled to the brim with love, jokes and a thousand well thought out emoji’s.
Thank you…
For embracing snap chat filters and for filling my inbox with heaps of silly pictures of you – pictures I will treasure forever, pictures that will always make me smile, no matter how much I’m missing you.
You have given me so many memories.
Thank you…
For managing to remove the cake tin I managed to get wedged on my head as I young child.
Thank you…
For stopping me from choking to death when I decided it was a good idea to see how tight I could wear Mumma’s new chain link belt around my neck – I know I was a challenge.
Thanks you…
For teaching me to love gardening (sweet peas and tomato plants will always remind me of you).
Thank you…
For also teaching me how to mix sand and cement – not sure why I loved doing this so much, but I could still do this now.
No wonder I call you ‘my hero’.
You have taught me so much Dad, but the main thing you have taught me is:
Family is everything, something that is now etched on Beckie’s soul.
Dad I honestly thought you would live forever.
It is such a shock accepting that you have gone. Just know, I will always love you.
Please give Mumma the biggest hug from me and tell her I still feel her all around me. From now on, you both will be the wind beneath my wings.
Now, you two go and be young again, hold hands and make up for the lost time of being apart.
Always and forever,
Bev xx
AKA the baby of the family. The bossy child. The one you always said yes to, but then secretly ignored 😉 in a nice way of course.
Sentimental Me: Dear Dad
Albert Cole
31.08.1931 – 31.08.17

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