Over at Mummy Central they have started a linky for Fathers’ day. It is supposed to be a carnival of Dads. The topic that they have chosen is “Dear Dad” and they want you to write an open letter to the Father Figure in your life; it can be your father, the father of your children, or anyone else who you feel has been, or is a father figure to you. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write a post. My Dad is dead and as such Fathers’ day and all it brings with it can be a little sad. And yet, Munchkin always asks about him and he has helped me to discuss that difficult topic of death with her. So on reflection, I decided that I would join in, so here is my “Dear Dad”.
It’s Fathers’ day again. Number 8 without you. This is a day that often gets to me. More so than the anniversary of your death or your birthday. Those days make me sad, but I’m pretty prepared for them. The build up is always worse than the day. I try to remember the happy memories.
Fathers’ day, however, seems to sneak up and fathers’ day makes me feel empty.
It has been a bit easier in the last 3 years. There is a little less emptiness. There’s another man I call Daddy now; at least between the hours of 6am and 7pm. You know him. You got on well with him. That makes me happy. And yet my thoughts are also tinged wih loss. Not for me, but loss for the person who calls him Daddy and for you.
The new Daddy is the man who asked you if he could marry me. The man to whom you replied, “of course you can you daft bugger”. He’s the man who did marry me 7 months after your death. I missed you that day, but I did your speech. I was self-deprocating and took the micky out of myself just as I know you would have done. But I digress.
The person I feel that tinge of sadness for is Munchkin. She has a Grandad. One who loves her; dotes on her; spoils her rotten! But I know you would have done too. There are many (apocryphal?) stories of your fatherhood with me. Telling me to sit down because you were watching the cricket when I took my first steps; never changing a nappy; those arguments when I was a teenager where Mum had to referee! But we were alike, and I always knew you loved me.
You’d have loved Munchkin too. She’s a character; too smart for her own good sometimes! Cheeky, willful, stroppy: a bit like you – and me! She knows who you are. She often asks about you. She calls you Peter. Grandad would have confused her. She’d love to have met you. I can see so much of you in her. I wish you could have been here to meet her.
But I’m not going to be miserable or sad. I know that was never your way. Instead I’m going to keep talking about you; telling Munchkin who you are and what you were like. A person isn’t dead until there’s no one left to talk about them.
Love you, Dad. Happy Fathers’ Day.