A few years ago, I distinctly remember a time I went to visit Dad in hospital. We were chatting, as always, about what I had been up to. I think it must have been a Sunday as we were talking about my regular game of squash. He told me, "keep that up, don't end up like me". Which made me realise that all those years of childhood he really had meant it every time he said "Do as I say, not as I do".
He had lots of other useful advice on family life for me once Dylan was born Which he was expert at summing up into little phrases:
"If you can't blame your kids, who can you blame?" "I never had grey hair before I had you and Alan" and my favourite "Bribery and corruption are the corner stone of family life".
Thinking back, there are three really important things that I got from my Dad:
The first is my sense of humour for which I apologise to everyone.
The second is learning to experiment in the kitchen for which I apologise to my family.
The third, and most important in my life, has been a love of music.
I was brought up on a diet of David Bowie, Meatloaf, and Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick road (which mum and dad had on vinyl and I still can't believe they gave it away!)
Dad always encouraged me to play music and always seemed to enjoy listening to the exploits of my various bands over the years
I remember dad promising to buy me an electric guitar if I passed my GSCEs. A decision I'm sure he regretted almost immediately afterwards but he never said so and endured my terrible guitar playing for years to come
I know that while he was unwell, the thing Dad hated the most was feeling he was a burden and that he always wanted the best for mum and I think the best thing we can do to remember him is to look after eachother and make the most of life. Which is exactly the sort of thing Dad would be unable to resist following with a joke.
Tags: blog death love