I Miss You, My Daddy Darling

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August 7th 2016 was the 46th anniversary of my mommy and daddy darling “going steady”. It was also the day my daddy darling died.

My dad was “Uncle Duck” to many, many people, a larger than life personality who made friends wherever he was, drawing you in to his space and making you laugh. Able to discuss almost any subject, my dad’s general knowledge was vast, yet you never felt like he was trying to lecture you.
If you’ve ever been to a wedding with my dad in attendance, you would have found yourself being fed peach schnapps on the dance floor, and you couldn’t say no!
And he was a prankster too!
My BBF and I spent weekends and school holidays in each other’s homes, and one weekend we were riding bikes when Gen took a tumble, grazing her knee badly on the gravel. We limped home, and she sat in the bath as we rinsed stones and grit from the cuts on her knee. Then my dad appeared, full of concern, with a tin of mercurochrome spray. He gently patted Gen’s injuries dry, spritzing a little of the spray on her knee as he worked, and then before she could blink he sprayed a bright orange-red stripe of mercurochrome from her knee to her ankle! She went to school like that for a week before it finally washed off properly!

My dad’s family was his treasure. He loved nothing more than spending time with all of us together, and any occasion was a reason to get together. I have treasured childhood memories of me and my sister B as little girls, gallivanting to the movies with my dad, just us three, watching The Fox and the Hound and Bambi on the big screen. He loved tradition! He dressed up as Santa to hand out Christmas presents. He went to great lengths to hide Easter eggs for his children and grandchildren to hunt in the garden. We were given bicycles for our 8th birthday, a good quality watch for our 14th birthday, and sometimes for sport – a tin of condensed milk and a box of jelly powder wrapped in newspaper, like he got as a schoolboy.
I remember one time, he and my mom caught and painstakingly painted doors and windows on a couple of garden snails, so that we little girls could “find them” in the garden and see the snails carrying their own houses!

When I was raising my knucklehead on my own, my dad was there if I needed him. No matter how hard it was for him to be a father figure for my son as well as being his grampa, he never let me down.

My daddy darling, you can be proud. My life is filled with happy, treasured memories of us.

I miss you so much.

And I will be careful, always.

Daddy Darling…

Today is fathers day, and as soon as I think about it I start crying.

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My daddy darling has always been my hero.
When I got my drivers license, the first thing my dad taught me to do was change a tyre, and that has served me well a few times. If any of us got stuck somewhere, my dad would come and get us at the drop of a hat. When we lived at home, and went gallivanting, my dad would stay awake until we got home and he was sure we were safe. My dad went to school meetings with me when I was a single mom with an ADHD son and couldn’t face another judgmental panel of teachers.
I had a couple of boyfriends, and one of them described my dad as “a big oke with a gun” as my dad was wearing his big revolver when they first met. My dad loved torturing our suitors, who had to come to the house and ask my dad’s permission to take us out. My dad would sit in his chair, all big and intimidating, then going down the passage to his room and laughing his head off at the boy’s sweating in silence while trying to pluck up the courage to speak to him.
And now he looks small and frail… :'(

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My daddy darling is being stolen from us. Its a little at a time, but its happening really fast. 🙁
Special days – Christmas, birthdays, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, Easter – were big occasions for my dad, and he loved celebrating them with all of us. We didn’t make plans to spend Fathers Day together this year, as it seems having too many visitors and people in and out in a day stresses my dad too much. :'(
I don’t know if he even knows its Fathers Day today.
He’s confused and fearful and sad. My mommy darling can’t be out of his sight for more than a minute without him panicking. He’s not sleeping, restless and wandering around the house. He can’t use the TV remote anymore. He keeps asking my mom when they’re going home.

I wish Dementia was a person so I could smack it upside the head and tell it to fuck off.
I’m angry and frustrated.
I don’t think I have never felt so helpless in my life.

A whilst part of me doesn’t want to talk about it, another part of me wants to talk to everyone about it.
And every time I think about what is happening to my dad, I start crying. I feel like I am already mourning my dad, but he’s still here, and it is so confusing.

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I see a rack full of Asterix comics in a bookshop and I start crying. I see a Clint Eastwood movie or a war movie on the TV guide and I start crying. I get excited about feeding the birds in my garden – a love of bird watching in instilled by my dad, and I know he won’t remember us speaking about it.
I have caught myself speaking of my dad in the past tense already, but he’s still here…

A Galaxy Far, Far Away…

Okay, okay. They’re not going to another galaxy, but my parents are moving.

I have never lived more than about 25 minutes from my parents, and that was only for the last 7 years or so. Until then I lived not even 5 minutes away.
Being a single mom I knew that living so close to my parents was invaluable. They were my support structure, my backup, my babysitters, my please-come-to-this-school-meeting-with-me. Changing jobs and moving away wasn’t an option because my son and I needed our family.
They were always there for me, and I got to spend pretty much every family occasion with my parents.

Now my mommy and daddy darling are both retired, they’ve sold the house we moved into when I started high school, and they’re moving into a cottage being built for them on my sister C’s property.
My daddy darling’s health isn’t spectacular and they want to spend their time in each other’s company, and I am so very glad for them both, that they will be able to spend their golden years together. And its a smaller house than the one they were in for nearly 28 years so its easier to maintain, and of course- their precious pooches are going along with them.

They’ve spent the last few months – since the house was sold – packing up boxes and giving things away in order to fit into their new house. We’ve all been given all kinds of things from clothing to crockery, and I have several antique pieces I’m going to try and sell for my folks as well.

The packing and sorting and preparation has made the last few weeks very busy, which has kinda helped…

I no longer need a babysitter, or someone to accompany me to school meetings, but when I think about just how far away my parents are moving it makes me want to cry.

And I know its ridiculous. I’m still going to see them. I’m still going to visit. But they’re not going to be round the corner anymore.

Songs from My Childhood

I grew up with music playing all the time.

Thanks to my darling parents the soundtrack to my childhood included Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, The Stones, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Cliff Richard, The Beatles, The Who, Steppenwolf, The Small Faces, The Monkees, Janis Joplin, The Carpenters, Boston, Neil Diamond, Jesus Christ Superstar… My mommy darling also loved Motown so my musical education was vast and diverse.
The list of artists I grew up listening to is a long one, as was my mom and dad’s vinyl collection and we played it to death.

My grandad also played several instruments including the mouth organ, so family occasions often turned into sing-a-longs with Christmas hymns, big band classics like I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo, Chattanooga Choo Choo, and wartime songs like Wish Me Luck, Begin the Beguine and You Are My Sunshine.

And then there is a collection of children’s songs my mom sang to us, that I sang to my son as he was growing up. Here are a few of my favourites (I can’t find the versions I grew up with, but these are close)…




Did you grow up with music?

Do you sing to your children?

One On One…

I got to spend some one-on-one time with my mommy and daddy darling this weekend past.
My Glugster had a bit of a social get together and a meeting with his hunting club, so I grabbed the chance and got him to drop me off at my folk’s place.

I can’t tell you when last I had the opportunity to do so, and it was so good to do it again. My mom and I strolled around a mall, did a little shopping, laughed a lot. We had lunch with my daddy darling, window shopped some more, giggled together.
The afternoon was spent setting up my mommy darling’s new phone, looking at photos, and listening to music.

It was glorious.

And I am truly blessed that I am still able to do things like that.