It’s Father’s Day here in Oz. This morning all around the country fathers of young children are receiving cards featuring illegible writing and unfathomable drawings. They may be receiving breakfast in bed and if they’re really lucky there may be some socks and jocks half-heartedly wrapped in gender-appropriate paper.
In reality I suspect most fathers are just happy if their families acknowledge their well-meaning efforts and show a bit of love. One day a year.
I’ve expected these next two months to be sad. I knew my work redundancy was coming. And then, at this time last year two of my close school friends lost their fathers. On the same day.
I was in my hometown a week after Father’s Day and caught up with one of them. My own father wasn’t well and my brother and I had committed to spending more time visiting him and trying to be of more support to my mum – his carer.
Dad went into hospital while I was there that weekend. I extended my time away to sit with him in the hospital to give my mum a break. He was transferred to Brisbane (where I live) just after and remained here for a month before passing away.
These next two months will be brimming with memories. The anniversary of him going into hospital; his transfer here; the two weeks here in hospital; his final fortnight in Palliative Care. My mother’s daily vigils at the hospital and our own daily visits over the last couple of weeks. And then of course, the funeral.
Although he’s been gone for almost a year; he is still here. Thankfully I can still hear his voice. I can hear him call me ‘Snugs’ – my nickname. I can see his face.
I still cannot bear to think of him as being ‘gone’. And perhaps that’s because he isn’t. Not really.
So although he’s not physically with us any more, I will still celebrate him this Father’s Day.
Happy Father’s Day to the dads no longer with us!