Happy Fathers Day Dad. What I wouldn’t give to have one more day, one more moment with you. Even though you left us only 2 months ago, in that time there has been so many occasions left empty, unspoken and uncelebrated. My 40th birthday, Mothers Day, your Birthday. Today is Fathers Day, at least it is in America. As I made Scott a card with Ella this morning, I’m reminded of all the cards I’ve made you over the years. When I was going through your place only a month ago, I found a drawer with a handful of cards mostly from me. Ones I’ve sent you over the years. Cards telling you how must I trust your advise and value your opinion above all others. Cards that share all the reasons I’m glad you’re my dad, like how wise you are and how you have a unique understanding of both the male and female psyche that has helped me through many a difficult situation. A card sharing how I wish you would find peace. How I can see you haven’t yet. If I could write you one more card it would say…
I’m so happy you found peace, I’m so happy you enjoyed the last years of your life so fully. You never let a day off work pass without getting out in the world and having an adventure. Everyone who knew you thought of you as an extremely kind and fun loving bloke.
You had your regular night out every week with your best mates, amazing people who loved your dearly. You spent loads of time on your boat and in the bush on your motorbike or in your truck riding with mates. You were a father figure to girls who loved you dearly as a father and a friend. These were all things that gave you joy.
You were loved by all that knew you and a role model to so many as evidenced by the overwhelming turnout at your funeral and all the stories people needed to share. I’m so glad you’d forgiven the things you needed to forgive to find peace for yourself. I’m learning from you and forgiving the unforgiven and seizing each day. Maybe I’ll learn to whistle and I’ll hear you every time I do. Some say a life is measured by how much love you left behind, by that measure your life was one of true greatness as you were loved by so so many.
Mostly I’m sad you were taken so suddenly and cruelly by your only fear in life, the water, before I got a chance to say goodbye or hug you one more time or share a cuppa and a chat. I’m sad I didn’t make that trip home just a few months earlier so that I could have some fresh memories. Instead I will have to hold onto our phone calls like the one we had the day you drowned talking about the red moon. I find myself grasping at pieces of you like cotton candy that fizzle in your hand. There’s not enough left. I play your voicemail message on my recording and close my eyes. I try to picture you hugging me.
Sometimes I feel you and I think you are here watching over us. Maybe you are watching Ella and I squealing and laughing as we jump on the trampoline or as we all snuggle in bed together. Maybe you are flying next to us as we all ride our bikes. Maybe you are singing with us or laughing at us as we sing songs or listening as I read her a book. I hope so. I hope you can witness your beautiful granddaughter and see how kind and loving she is and be proud. I hope you can witness so many moments we have that you should be a part of.
Ella got a phone call from you the other day on her pretend phone. She seemed to have a lot to say to you. I wonder if you were actually there talking to her. This morning for fathers day Scott and I took a very rare opportunity to do something together as partners, not parents. We went surfing. As I was sitting out there in the ocean, I was thinking of you, being on the water was always your happy place but being in the water was your greatest fear and the thing that took you in the end. I made peace with the ocean and I like to think you were out there with me.
I hope so. You were the first man I ever loved and the greatest man I’ve ever known. I miss you.