On Friday December 18th, my Dad died, and although we didn't have the closest of relationships, there is still a void. An empty chasm because of so many things that were left unsaid and undone, all emotional. My father was a perfectionist in everything he did and his last workplace stands testament to that as even after 2 years, they've still been unable to replace him.
I learnt a lot from my father; he was the best in every handyman job and happy to teach. I learnt how to lay a lawn, how to build a brick wall, how to build a pond, how to paint correctly with a brush and a roller, how to wallpaper, how to mix cement. I learnt how to do all these things properly and well, apart from tiling. I never mastered that or his woodworking skills.
He also taught us about respect, discipline and honor. Because of those values, I have many longstanding friendships which I have always fiercely protected, and I have always been devotedly loyal to my employers.
He also had a great sense of humor and I was always proud to have my father at my parties. He never failed to raise a laugh, and was often the life and soul down at the local pub.
I only wish he had been more communicative with his emotions and not been afraid to display affection. I remember on my last visit holding his hand, and he looked down surprised. I don't think we'd ever done that before.
A friend and colleague sent me a beautiful e-mail after my father's death and I took strength from the words she sent me:
Romans 8:35-39 (New International Version)35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."[a] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So I will hold no grudge, nor fester with bitterness, because I know one day I 'll meet Dad again, and this time, we'll both greet with unrestrained affection.
I love you Dad.