Thursday, April 15, 2010

I just burried my dad

Well - crematorium service ...
I have never cried so much...

To everyone who came - thank you so very much. Dads old friends, new friends, my mates, family, the ski club crowd, all of you, thank you so very much - it meant so much to me to to have you there to help say goodbye.

Odd time to meet my sisters husbands Italian mother for the first time.... Italians seem pretty comfortable with that sort of thing.

I had to do a speech:
Thoughts on dad

I've agonized about this speech for years. And I still don't really know what to say.
There is a well worn path of children burring their parents. But it doesn't make it any easier to accept his death.

Dad never did anything by halves. He quietly ( and often not so quietly ) set about achieving the goals he set himself in life.
By any measure his youth was an adventure. I loved the stories he would tell me of his childhood and as a young man:
- He told me, still with the excitement of that little boy written all over his face, of digging for buried treasure in the back yard of the house and finding a small cash of rusty old guns - treasure for a little boy.
- Of sneaking away as a child and hanging around the neighborhood army barracks in Naremburn where he was sort of a mascot, and the cook would pick him up and put him in the big dirty pot where he would scoop and eat the custard from the walls, and his mum could never figure out why he was still growing but never ate any dinner.
- His toe partially severed by a quarry train where he used to play
- He still, right now has a bullet in lodged his neck, apparently too dangerously situated to be removed, from when he was shot in the back at Artomon oval when wagging school with his mates one day.
- He's also got a bunch of holes drilled in his scull to relieve the pressure on his brain from a surfing injury.

Thankfully he mellowed with marriage and fatherhood but he still had that same drive.
Holidays were awesome, we would go everywhere. How many kids can say that there dad built them a ski lodge?
We'd go camping at the beach, we traveled all around Australia, How many times? two or three trips right around, up and down, through the center and everywhere else.

Childhood with mum and dad was fantastic.
He was always very involved in what we were doing. When we took up competitive swimming he did whatever the study was and became an official time keeper.
He loved soccer. As soon as I was old enough he had me playing for Hornsby RSL. And of course he helped coach. When I played for Kissing Point - he was the coach. When I played for St Leo's - he we the coach. And again he did whatever study was required and qualified as a FIFA coach and as a Soccer Ref.

In a big and busy life He really put in a lot of effort to make sure we kids had the best opportunities.

I asked him a few weeks ago "when was the best time" expecting him to talk more about his mates - the self proclaimed Randy Rovers, Uni, or Nurraburra but he said the best time was "the time with you kids - the family years - with mum and you kids"

He loved being a dad.

I treasure the years we had with him.

Thank you dad for the all the guidance and chats over the years.

I can't believe that I can never pick up the phone and chat to you again.

good by mate - I will miss you terribly

he was my dad


Ute said...

You have some lovely memories to remember him by Stephen...

Again, so very sorry for your loss.


Cande said...

This is such a wonderful post in memory of a person you loved so much. It sounds like he was a wonderful person.

More ((hugs))

phishez said...

Sounds like he lived life to the full, and with no regrets. He was a lucky man.

xl said...

What Phish said.

When you miss him, think of those wonderful memories.

Ms Smack said...

beautiful memories for a great man. His legacy looks at you every day in the form of your mirror, and your own kids, Stephen.

I'm sure he took his last breath knowing that he'd led a friggin' good life and was loved by everyone around him. He must have been very proud of you too.

Be gentle on yourself for awhile, eh?


Spiky Zora Jones said...

hello my friend. Sweetheart, my heart goes out to you. I wish I could give you a hug and make it all better.

I'd love to listen to the stories he told you and the ones yo have of him.

They're wonderful memories...keep them in you.


Memphis Steve said...

Your dad sounds like a terrific dad. My dad never had much time for me, but he great stories about when he was younger. I know exactly what you mean about how strange it is not to be able to pick up the phone and chat with him. I hadn't realized before my father died that there were certain things that I only ever talked about with him. Once he was gone I kept stumbling across things I wanted to say to him, but now couldn't. And much to my surprise, there was simply no one else I wanted to say it to.

Your dad had quite a life. It sounds as if he got every bit out of it that anyone could. Now I know where you get all that adventurous spirit from.

Ms Smack said...

I saw somewhere on the internet, a dude who wrote posts to his future wife. A chick he'd never met. They were great. Varied from funny to sad, to romantic and stuff.

Sometimes grieving is about letting it all out, so you could consider typing an email to your dad, and sending it (to me, or anyone else you trust) or, opening a blog up for 'letters to my dad' and getting those thoughts off your chest.

It doesn't have to be open to comment, but it will help you release the pressure-valve.

Just an idea.

Anonymous said...

He lived.
I hope all who read this learn from it.
Live well, don't wait.
I have no doubt that you have made him proud Stephen.

fingers said...

That's a lovely tribute, mate.
It doesn't sound as though Life short-changed him even though you'll miss him terribly.

PS...that's some hard-core school he went to. Getting shot in the back for wagging is tough love in anyone''s book...

emma said...

That was beautiful and I cried. Thank you for sharing it. X

Fusion said...

Yes, it sounds like he did it all, and was a great dad to his kids too.
I miss my dad, and the weekly phone calls we had. His easy chair is here in our lounge room now, a reminder for me.
You have many memories to remember him by, you are very lucky in that way. I hope they soften the loss you're feeling right now.

De Campo said...

It was truly a touching tribute. I’m sorry Stephen.

Kitty said...

my condolences to you, and all your family. xoxo

Eostre said...

Just read this.

I can't imagine how you feel. I'm very very sorry for you loss.

I've never had much of a relationship with my dad, so for you to have this, and then lose it, unimaginable. It was beautiful, really, truly awe inspiring.

My condolences are all I can offer.

Just... *hugs*

My prayers and thoughts go out to you.

B said...

That's a lovely epitaph.

those memories can never be taken away. cherish them. He was clearly a great influence on you, your loss is tragic, but at least you had it to lose. (better to have loved, and lost, blah blah)

I'm so sorry honey.