Happy birthday Daddy x
Today started as a normal Saturday morning - taking my rascal to football, doing the usual household boring tasks, drinking coffee (always drinking coffee...) and thinking about the plans we have for the weekend.
But, as always happens on this day every year, I just have a wave of sadness hitting me every so often. It gets me every year and has done for the past 11 years you've not been here. The first few were pretty grim to be honest. I would spend the day wallowing in the "why's", my own selfish (or so I thought) sadness and the anger and frustration of you not being here. I suppose it gets easier as the time passes but the very real feeling of sadness is always there.
Sad that you've missed so much. Sad that you never got to meet your Grandson. Sad that you can't join in with family occasions, not just the big ones that you and your anxiety would never have dealt with, but the "pop round for dinner tonight and come and see us" ones. The little "normal" occasions that just happen easily and you don't even think about the importance of them. Until it's too late.
Your Grandson, my charming rascal, knows all about you. We have pictures all over the place, both photographs of you and your amazing artwork and things you made which still amaze me every time I see them. If only your artistic flair had passed on to me, although I think your Grandson might take that baton from you. Each and every time he completes another picture - at the moment rockets are pretty popular in his artistic capacity - he exclaims "Grandad John would like this Mummy wouldn't he?" and hopefully he doesn't notice every time that Mummy's got something in her eye.
You would be 75 today and probably be a cantankerous old git to be fair. You didn't like getting old and all the aches and pains and annoyances that came with it. I kind of get that now, I was only 30 when you passed, I'm almost 41 now - the same age as you were when I remember you going off to a birthday party which called for fancy dress. You got your painting coat - a white long thing which you covered in red paint and gore and went as a "bad doctor."
I bloody loved your humour. Of course I wouldn't often show it, as laughing at your Dads jokes just wasn't the done thing but towards the end we would share these daft jokes and our mutual appreciation of all things ridiculous that would barely raise a smile to anyone else. I told you your favourite joke the last time I saw you. You were hooked up to all kinds of tubes, wires and hospital paraphernalia but I hope you knew I was there. And still found the joke funny. I do.
It's all too easy in retrospect to wish we'd spent more time together - the "should haves" and "could haves" but the times I did spend with you I loved. You were bonkers, immensely talented, had a twinkle in your eye each time you'd crack another one of those deadpan jokes and I loved it. Still do.
You have been mentioned a few times in these ridiculous blogs I write. For me, it's a good way to remember you and to reflect on the times we had. As I type this, I am sipping a coffee, which I know you were a big fan of, sitting at my desk with my little dog curled up next to my feet. You'd have loved her too, probably would have taken endless photos of her and almost certainly have painted a picture of her doing her "am I going to get a biscuit??" face and her cute Schnauzer head tilt.
I have a candle lit and a box of tissues next to me in case my eyes start leaking, which they tend to do on this day and others throughout the years. And I'm remembering you, wishing you a happy birthday, doing whatever it is you're doing up there. Like you, I'm not a religious person particularly but I hope you are somewhere in a comfy chair, sipping a glass of something nice, knowing just how much you were, and are, loved.
Happy birthday Daddy. xx