This past year has been incredible, I really don’t think there’s any better word to describe it. Incredible doesn’t have to always be good and it hasn’t always been good. There’s been so many times thinking, I’m not sure if I can do this and times when I’ve thought this would be so much easier if he was still here.
I automatically get drawn back to that time, one year ago, thinking, what was running through my head, what was I doing at the time, what was I doing the day after, how did I react. I always get too hung up on that kind of thing, I really don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I worry I didn’t do enough, or I didn’t feel enough. But I can remember two feelings. First there was the fear, seeing into his eyes, knowing there was nothing that could be done anymore. And then there was the immediate sense of calm when it was over, I just felt this relief descend to me, stillness and peace in the room.
I think why don’t I seem to miss him like people expect me to, why aren’t I stopping and remembering him. I do, sometimes. I think it’s important to stop and remember anyone who’s altered our lives, whether they be your Dad or that solider in World War One. But that is only part of remembering – it should have an active component as well, and I hope I honour him in what I do. I finally realised what effort he put into Rotary when I was fundraising earlier this year. I try to match the kindness he showed to everyone, literally everyone. I’m not quite the ‘true gentleman’ he was yet though. I understand how hard working he was for us and how proud he was of what we achieved.
In that way, he lives in me. It’s taken me a year to realise it and I can’t even tell him but he’s the biggest role model I’ve ever had. I look up to him more now than anyone. I don’t need to be scared of doing things by myself. I didn’t need to be scared of coming to uni because he prepared me for it all, he showed me how to live and be happy. I may not have known it, I may not have appreciated it, I didn’t even appreciate him always. But I do now, and I’m so grateful he was in my life, so lucky that he was my Dad.