Dinner tonight will begin with Bottle of Fizz # 3. This one, more so than the others, is for toasting my wonderful Dad. For today marks three years since he died. Three whole years since our family’s world was forever changed. And three years of learning to walk again.
Our survivorship together through some very dark times is testimony to Dad’s legacy of determination, spirited humour and courage in the face of all the ills thrown his way with the dastardly rheumatoid arthritis. I regret his not being here every single day, but for each of those remembrances there are so many good times to call to mind, too. Each time I come across an unexpected mars bar tucked away in a hatch, I think of him and a trick I once played. We were on a long car journey together. I asked if he would like a mars bar. Of course he did. I, however, didn’t actually have any mars bars, I just wanted to know if he wanted one. Oh, how I chuckled. And oh, how he got me back on many an occasion.
The one thing I don’t regret, but rather am thankful for, is his forever freedom from the pain which plagued him 24 hours a day for 20 years. That he shall never face another failed operation or be made sick by horrible drugs is also a relief.
My Dad is such an intrinsic part of my being and philosophy, that those of you who never knew him, do in fact know something of him through following me and my ocean wanderings and blogged ramblings. I owe him for my warped and silly humour, my love of the sea and boats, my urge to be a bit silly and daring (or does ‘my call to adventure’ sound better?!), my optimism, resilience and stubborness. He also endowed me with absolute belief that I could do anything I set my mind to. As a child, what your folks say is hallowed – that self-belief is one of the greatest gifts my parents gave my brothers and I.
So today, as every day, I salute you and thank you, Pops. We’re still here, we’re still laughing and we shall always remember you.
Big, big love now and forever,
Sarah x x x
In case you missed the mass donation of pennies, pounds and dollars which kindly sprung up around my birthday, then now, at this special anniversary, would be a good time to empty the pockets of shrapnel and spare change for the wonderful work of Arthritis Care. Heartfelt oceanic thanks from this here rower.
Sarah Black – Wohooo! Happy wedding!! Will there be a bagpiper?Ceiligdh? Must write you some reports of ocean rubbish – will aim to do so next week….
Tracey Mason – Hair not long enough for plaits, just long by my short standards.
Barry Gumbert – Just learned Sea Fever this morning-another favourite.Great to have more than the few lines ‘sailing ships and sealing wax etc etc’ that are in my head, too.
Kathryn Watts – Brothers, eh? Know the feeling exactly!
Jane Spence – Hands being protected by stalwart callouses, nay a blister in sight.
Clare Sach – Summer Formal, happy days! Long live Nick French and his merry band. Perhaps you could ask him to wing me a big Sunday Brunch for tomorrow?