A Hard Fathers Day
Today is usually celebrated as a 'happy' day, but for some of us it's a heartbreaking one. I wanted to introduce you to the 'Fathers' in my life and why our Father's Day this year was a hard one.
I'd like to start with my wonderful Father in Law.
Wallace Peter David Bryce. 21.2.1926 – 12.4.2017
This amazingly strong, patient, gentle man lost his 17 yearlong battle with bowel cancer this April, 2017. He left us at age 91 and fought hard.
Being told in July 2016 that he would only have 3 month left, he showed all the doctors what he was made of and gave us another 9 months. He got to see another Fathers Day, another Christmas and another Great Grandchild come into the world. Even though he wasn’t my biological Father, I cared for him just like I was his. We became very close towards the end and to watch him slowly slip away was heartbreaking, to watch the pain my husband was going through became my pain which at times was ridiculously overwhelming but I wouldn’t have been anywhere else. In his final days he was surrounded by those of us who loved him most. His Wife of 59 years, his 3 children, his son and daughter in law, his 6 Grandchildren, 2 of their husbands and one of his Great Grand daughters. Yes, we were ALL with him for his final 3 days which were spent in hospital, all in one room, sitting by him, holding his hand, talking to him, remembering with him, laughing, crying, waiting. Waiting for heartbreak that came all too quickly. Within 10 minutes this man we all looked up to had had enough and decided it was time to go. Within 10 minutes he went from hanging on to gone. To be in the presence of someone taking their final breath is such an honour and a memory I will forever treasure.
I still think of you all the time Dad. I hear a song, remember the time, drive passed a place and tears well up but I know you aren’t in pain anymore and please know I’m looking after your Son. Rest easy he will be fine. Thank you for the time we spent…. <3
My dear old Dad LOL!
He’s a man with a heart of absolute gold.
This inspiring man has shown me strength and positivity beyond all belief in the last few months. After losing Wally in April, only 3 months later I pick my Dad up from a stock standard colonoscopy and as I’m rushing him out to the car walking 6 paces ahead because I’m double parked picking him up from Day Surgery I ask how it went and he casually replies “oh, well, ummm they found cancer in the bowel….” I took what felt like another 20 steps before it finally hit me and I stopped mid stride, in the middle of the parking lot and bawled my eyes out. I felt his long lanky arms wrap me up in a big “Daddy” cuddle from behind me and I just sobbed. The emotions of losing Wally 3 months earlier came back instantly, the sadness of MY Dad now having to go through it, the fear that it could be bad, the shock of it all happening again and the anger that it was all happening again. Not only because it was another Dad but it was EXACTLY the same cancer!
So in the last 8 weeks this man has been awe inspiring. While I crumbled he took it in his stride with a positivity I’ve never witnessed before. He’s undergone a major operation to remove the cancer. He stayed with my family and I while he recovered which I know my baby girls LOVED!! Poppy sleepovers EVERY night LOL but now the waiting game begins to see if he needs chemotherapy. Cancer SUCKS!!!!
It’s been a tough year for you Dad but we’ll get through this together. It’s hard and it sucks but I know I’m lucky to still have you with us after the year we’ve just had. I love you Dad. <3
My Pop, Reg <3
This man I love beyond words. First and foremost he gives THE MOST awesome cuddles! but the love he has for his family and most of all his wife is something out of a Fairytale. My Nan, God love her has had a tough run the last few years that she’s so sick of herself and Pop seems to cop the full force of her ever increasing attitude and impatience. Watching this man love his wife and support her through all of her illnesses and injuries has been the only positive to it all. Even more recently my Nan lost her brother Jimmy suddenly a few weeks ago. Nan and Pop sat together in the pew right in front of me and I watched on as he wrapped her up in a big bear hug, his head against hers, patting her softly on the shoulder while she mourned for her brother was truly something special. Love like theirs doesn’t come along very often. I found myself thinking how lucky they are to have one another and if I’ve learnt one thing from him it’s that no matter how much your partner annoys the shit out of you some days, regardless of what you’re both going through, you love them at the end of the day so suck it up, get on with it and keep on loving them because they’re worth it.
I love you Pop, forever and always <3
Finally, my Husband. Peter, you big kid! LOL
With all that life has thrown our way over the last 18 months this man has been a rock. Yes, he's needed me more than he ever thought he would. But throughout his Dads terminal diagnosis, my Dad and his mum both having strokes within 3 days of each other, his eldest daughter being in and out of hospital with endometriosis, my Dads cancer diagnosis and my heart problems, on top of running his own business and having the weight of being the 'bread winner' on his shoulders this man never faltered. He still manages to smile and make sure the girls and I are ok. He's such a gentleman and a Father who loves his children unconditionally.
I know today was a hard one. The first Fathers Day without your Father is indescribable. I don't know how to make it easier or if that is even a slight possibility but we will soldier on. When time stands still, life keeps moving. Even when we just want it to stop or at least slow down for a second we're reminded of our responsibilities. That's the hardest part. Wanting to sit and grieve, to sit and be alone with our thoughts but life keeps moving. Well today it stopped. If only for a day, an unexpected day that we thought was going to be hectic and full of travelling was unexpectedly still. He needed this so much and as hard as today was, it was a good one if that makes any sense at all. It doesn't feel right without his Dad but we will never forget you Wally. You’re forever in our hearts.
Happy Fathers Day to my amazing husband Peter, My Dad Chris, My Pop Reg, My Father in Law Wally and to all of those incredible men out there who take the name ‘Daddy’ very seriously <3