Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you have a beautiful day. Today couples all over the world will be celebrating their love for each other. I’m happily single. I don’t have a man to buy presents for me or spoil me. Nor do I have a man to spoil or buy presents for. But there is a man I want to celebrate today. He’s my dad, and my hero.

I’m sharing a post I wrote on my other blog with you. Because I want everyone to know about my wonderful dad. Valentines Day is about love. It doesn’t have to be about the love of a husband. And I don’t think love should be celebrated on just one day. It should be celebrated all year round. 

I want to make use of this opportunity to share my love for my dad. 

This is the third post for Ruth Synder’s Writers’ Blog Hop. This week, it’s a character sketch about our hero. My hero is my dad. I wanted to share a little about him and how he affected my life. 

 

My new life

I stared miserably through the car window. Thick grey fog danced around us. My dad’s face gazed rigidly ahead. He looked like he was getting ready to take a photograph. My mother sat solemnly beside him, mouth spiralled into a frown. Next to me in the back of the beige Morris Minor car sat my little sister. Her eyes roamed over my body like a revolving yo-yo.

‘So, this is England and my new family,’ I thought. Gloomily, I tried to fight the tears from occupying my eyes. 

We were on our way to my new life with a new family I didn’t know. I pined for my other sisters and grandmother left in Jamaica. The family I desperately missed.

My mind raced back to visions of the fiery afternoon sun. Me running barefoot on the sandy beach. Memories of laughter echoed around me, as I daringly tried to climb the coconut tree in my auntie’s back yard. That was three weeks ago.

Now here I am, thousands of miles away. A teenager wrenched away from the bosoms of home comforts.

 

My hero

That was my first day in the UK. The day I met my mum and dad. They left Jamaica when I was 4. 

My dad, Franklin, was a good-looking, quiet, humble man. He often stayed at home when he wasn’t working. 

My relationship with my dad deepened quickly. He became my best friend. I was able to talk to him about anything. 

He had a strange sense of humour. My dad used to burp after eating his meals. He’d look at me, then at my sister and say, “Excuse me. It’s the beans.”

We would reply, “Which beans?” 

“The human beans,” he’d answer laughing.

Another classic one was, “Forgive my friend for being rude. It wasn’t me. It was my food. My food came up to say hello. And now it’s gone back down below.”

Those weird jokes became a pattern with him. He always made us laugh. I guess it was the way he told them.

He was my encourager after I left home to have my family. I called him for advice many times. He always had a wise word for me, no matter what I was going through. If it meant him coming to London from Birmingham to sort out disputes, he’d be there. 

In my second marriage, he gave me away by saying, “June, I’m giving you away again. Please don’t come back.” He was the highlight at that wedding reception. My dad was the best dancer on the floor.

 

Gone too soon

Sadly, in January 2000 he became ill with prostate cancer. It broke my heart to see him in so much pain. He lost a lot of weight and was half the size he used to be. He was still optimistic during his illness. He told me that he had planned to decorate his house. I even told him that I was going to help him with the decorating.

Unfortunately, the cancer spread. He had to go into a hospice.

I had a phone call from one of my sisters one night, telling me that dad needed an operation. The cancer spread to his throat. They operated and removed his voice box. He wasn’t able to speak after that. My dad lost all hope of living. He gave up. 

He died shortly after the operation. I was at his bedside when he passed away. It was one of the saddest days of my life. He was only 68.

I wrote this poem for him. It was read at his funeral:

 

Gone But Not Forgotten

 

Only yesterday you laughed and reminisced with us,

Shared your thoughts and life’s experiences.

You watched the seasons changing colours

And gave us joy by being in our lives.

 

Your light will forever burn on in our hearts,

Brimming with love of the captured memories of you;

The rock that stood so strong and proud,

Full of wisdom, care, kindness and understanding.

 

The treasured moments shared with you remains unspoilt,

The gentle smile on your face, will never fade.

Memories of you lay scattered everywhere,

Because you were loved by many and adored by all.

I didn’t spend many years with my dad. But the years I shared with him was special and I will always treasure them. 

Photo credit

 Who is your hero? Did you dad share a special place in your life? 

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. :-)

Author: June

I'm based in London, UK. I’m a freelance writer, blogger, copywriter and ghostwriter. I’m the founder, owner and main writer of Miraculous Ladies. The definition of miraculous is ‘remarkable and bringing very welcome consequences.” You are a remarkable woman. Is fear stopping you from going after your dreams? I didn’t let fear stop me from chasing my dream. I quit my (safe) teaching job in return for a life of self employment as a freelance copywriter and blogger. Live your dreams. "If you can dream it, you can do it." ~ Walt Disney

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8 Comments

  1. All that is gone is not forgotten, specially in the minds of the near and dear.
    A valentine can be anyone a family, a friend or may be a stranger for a sweet moment.
    sanjoy dutt recently posted..The Ayurvedic MassageMy Profile

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    • So true Sanjoy. My dad will never be forgotten. I just wish I was able to spend more time with him. But I cherish the times I did get to spend with him. Thanks for stopping by.

      Enjoy your weekend. :-)

      Post a Reply
  2. Dear June,

    i got a desktop and wifi at some friends I am visiting and my thoughts were to leave a due comment on this all embracing post of yours.

    Wow, so many themes, the most of which moves me is your tribute to your father and the relationship you had.

    I this time around, didn’t have such a relationship with my father nor mother to say the least and most of my troubles started from there.

    That aside, I believe his spirit lives on in you and you can still talk with him and feel him guiding you with that small voice only you can tell it’s his. Indeed, he is your Valentine and sure, Valentines are ourselves first and foremost before any one else.

    Loads of love, Marie
    Marie Abanga recently posted..The Contents: The 14 stations of my Cross …My Profile

    Post a Reply
    • Marie, I’m glad you were able to leave a comment.

      My dad was one in a million. He was a gentle soul. Although he had lots of problems in life, he carried on regardless. I suppose I get my persistence from him.

      I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t have a good relationship with your parents. Because, that can make or break you. Their support is so necessary as well as their guidance.

      I often dream of my dad and I think about him all the time. Yes, sometimes I can hear him talking to my heart, like he was still here. I miss him and writing the post about him brought tears to my eyes.

      Thanks for stopping by Marie, as usual. :-)

      Post a Reply
  3. Hi June,

    That was such a touching post, and I can SO well relate to it having lost my Mom to cancer too a few years back.

    Yes, my hero is my Dad too, and although he’s doing very well, but the fear of him aging and just the fact that he’s so far from me, brings in many thoughts in mind. I wish I could spend more time with him – that’s one reason I always take a few days off in the year, just to be with him.

    Thanks for sharing. Happy weekend :)
    Harleena Singh recently posted..Why Use Social Media Signals and How They Impact Search Engine RankingMy Profile

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    • Hi Harleena,

      We both share the same pain of losing a parent to cancer. It hurts, doesn’t it?

      I’m glad that you’re able to visit your dad. That’s great. Make the most of it while he’s still with you. My dad and I spent many years apart because he left Jamaica when I was so young. It’s a shame that we can’t dictate our futures as children. If I had any say in the matter, I wouldn’t have lived in another country away from my parents. It had such a negative impact on my life and my relationships with my children and ex partners. But that’s a long story. :-)

      Thanks for stopping by Harleena. Have a good weekend. :-)

      Post a Reply
  4. Sorry I’m so late getting by here June but I’m so glad I didn’t miss this post.

    What a touching story but I’m so glad you had that chance to have a relationship with your Dad and it sounds like it was wonderful. With both my parents having had cancer throughout my life I can understand the sorrow when you get the news and watch someone’s life just dwindle before your eyes. I’m so sorry for your loss June, my Dad was my hero too!

    Thank you for sharing this with us, so very touching.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..Why Branding Matters: Powerful Tips from Brand.comMy Profile

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    • Adrienne, you don’t have to apologise. I’m glad you stopped by. I always appreciate hearing from you. :-)

      My dad was my rock when he was here. It was sad watching him die. But I still have the memories which I’ll always treasure. You know, it’s even sadder for those who never got the chance to even know their dads. Or whose dads died when they were still quite young, like my youngest daughter. I feel for her because her dad died when she was only 5.

      I’m glad to hear that you dad was also your hero. But sorry that you lost him to cancer as well.

      Sorry I haven’t been over to your blog. I’ve been quite busy but I will pop over to read the latest post.

      Have a great week Adrienne. :-)

      Post a Reply

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