Growing up, I never truly appreciated my Dad and I took it for granted that he would always be around. My Dad did absolutely everything he could for his kids and we all knew that if there was ever a problem, it would get sorted. But I kind of assumed that he was just doing what all parents did, it wasn’t until I was older when I realised he went above and beyond.
Shortly after he got diagnosed with lung cancer he passed away, but before that he drove me six hours so I could move into my university halls on time and that I wouldn’t miss out on the start of university. That drive almost killed him and just so he could make the journey home he had to go to the hospital and have medication to open his throat wider so that he could breathe.
That sums up my Dad. Whenever I needed him, he was there and he always put himself last. Everything he did was so that we could have a great life. But when I was little I thought that my Mum was behind it all, when it was my Dad the whole time. He never had any credit for most of the things he did and never once did he tell us it was actually him – knowing everyone assumed it to be my Mum.
It wasn’t until he passed away that I realised just how much I relied on him and what he did for me. Within a year of him passing away I was homeless, struggling and had to fight my own way out. I know that if my Dad was around he would have made the journey up to get me and made sure that I was okay.
A couple of years after his death I realised that I never actually had a conversation with him, not properly. I never bothered to ask about his life, his childhood or anything about who he was or what made him… him. I was always having those types of conversations with my Mum but never with my Dad. I will always feel so guilty and regret never sitting down with him and talking.
It also wasn’t until he passed away that I realised just how much he meant to me. I was never close to him growing up and we certainly never had a great bond, but he was always there for me and would do anything he could to give me the best life possible. It wasn’t until he passed away that I realised he did mean the world to me. When I look back on my childhood, all my great memories are of him. All the laughter I remember, came from him.
I didn’t appreciate him until it was far too late and I will always feel guilty about that. I regret never getting to know my Dad as a person and always will.
Not only did I lose my Dad, but all those stories and memories that only he could tell disappeared along with him.