Its nineteen minutes past one on the first morning of 2015, me you and mum have seen in the new year and I wonder if it’s our last.
Today we went to the hospital where you had a small medical procedure to find out why you are so badly anaemic and it wasn’t good news.
You have a ball of stuff growing in your colon, and they are pushing you in for an emergency body scan next week to see if its spread to your liver.
Funny we always thought that your lungs would pack up first because of the many fecking cigars you smoke.
I know you’re scared, I know mum is scared and I know I’m scared too. I know that it is tapping away at this deepest fear that I have.
You see I always thought you would be here, I never thought you could die, you were going to be you and mum was going to be mum and you would be there for ever, sitting in a chair enjoying a lively retirement with your grandchildren, being wise and funny.
The ironic thing is that I’m only just getting to know you, to realise that you are part of my story too. The traits and characteristics we share: Your pythonesc sense of humour, your mellowness as you’ve aged, your hearty laugh, your patientce and creativity.
We have our similarities, the love of a drink, banter, being silly and childish; how many one fingered salutes can I find in my back pocket??
What am I going to do with out you dad? ? – who am I going to turn to when I need resesurance about my car or driving a certain route or doing something technical, who will do that now?
I know I have caused you endless worry, my poor choices in relationships that leave me on my own, you were my sounding board when I realised the partner space in my life was yet again empty…
I’m sorry I never gave you grandchildren, you would make a fab granddad. I’m sorry you never got to walk me down the aisle at whatever crazy wedding I would have planned. I’m sorry you never got to make that father of the bride speech. I’m sorry, so sorry. I regret so much not letting you make a speech at my 40th birthday, in my paranoid control freakery behaviour, I only thought about the attention that would come my way from that, I didn’t think about you or your needs as a dad to stand up infront of my friends and say something good and how proud you are of me. That was your moment and not mine and I am so sorry I never let you have it.
All those other dad daughter things that we haven’t done, bonding with my life partner, holding your first grandchild, coming over for Sunday dinner, coming over to my house for Christmas, New Year. All things we should have done but we didn’t because I took this moment for granted, I always thought you would be here.
I’m sorry I failed you as a daughter dad. But in that failiure I recognise a triumph. That you dad and you mum have brought up a daughter that gone her own way. That I sought a career and changed that career. You taught me independence, integrity of being myself, and following through with my actions and convictions and not being afraid to pay the consequences of them. To follow my nose, to not be bought, to enjoy the good times.
Your daughter didn’t turn out the way you expected but she’s strong and kind and believes that it will be alright in end. It will dad, it really will.
Love your daughter.