Thinking about my Dad

It’s been 3 years, 4 months and 8 days since my Dad died. I don’t count the days and weeks, but a quick mental calculation when I started planning this post was easy enough.

3 years, 4 months and 8 days is a long time. Try imagining 3 years into the future. Its impossible. Or think about the past 3 years. I’ve started and finished jobs, moved house and been to new countries. All things I would have discussed at length with my Dad.

So why this post, after 3 years and 4 months and 8 days? It’s not like I don’t think about my Dad daily. But sometimes, like at the moment, I think about him intensely. Almost all consumingly.

It’s all circumstantial, I know

I’ve been job hunting and interviewing and I know I would have had pre-interview prep talks with him, and post interview dissections of how it all went. He’d have been super excited that I got my job offer and a pay rise. So there’s that.

I also saw a Facebook memory of when I got my Dad tattoo, while he was still alive, so he would get chance to see it (he was pretty underwhelmed, tbh, Dad wasn’t a tattoo lover!)

My Dad tattoo

There’s also the presentation I had to do in my current job about my life (sounds a bit weird eh?) All staff have to do a 5 minute session about their background, childhood, family, likes and dislikes. I guess it’s to help you know and understand your colleagues better. I thought I’d get away with it, being on a 3 month contract. But I thought wrong.

Anyway, I’ve known since before Christmas that I had to do this presentation, although I didn’t finalise it until the night before it was due (what can I say, I work better under pressure!) I’d been mentally planning it for a while. And I knew I had to include a section about my Dad, and his illness, the late diagnosis, and his scuppered plans for an assisted death if that’s the route he wanted to go down. It’s such a big part of my life and who I am that I couldn’t not acknowledge it. It was also an opportunity to bring the Dignity in Dying message to a captive audience.

I was surprised by how emotional I got telling my Dad’s story in front of what is, essentially, a group of strangers. My voice cracked, I had to fight back tears and I didn’t remember all the things I wanted to say, but I had people come up to me afterwards and say they agreed that a change in the law is needed, and other people who shared memories of their own parents when they were alive. It was good and bad, and happy and sad all at once.

It’s just a mindset

You may have read my posts on grief and talking about death, and this is neither. It’s just a mindset. A mentality. A thought process and awareness that I’m going through.

Not that I didn’t already know it, but it’s been a deep and intense reminder that my Dad’s death changed my life; not just through him not being here anymore, but through the impact he had and continues to have on me consciously and subconsciously.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

A second wedding

When the husband and I decided to get married in Mauritius, part of the appeal was it being just the two of us. The husband doesn’t like fuss and hated the idea of standing up in front of people and being the centre of attention, so we figured if we put some distance into the occasion it would help.

My mother-in-law’s first words were “I’ll come with you”. To which the husband responded in the negative, which she countered with “I can afford it”. But you can’t put that kind of financial and time pressure on people, plus my side of the family is both large and disjointed, with my parents being divorced and both with other people and my Mom having two step children to boot.

Plus, mainly, the fuss thing.

Somehow, and I’m not sure when or why it happened, guilt got the better of us me and I suggested having a small gathering on our return so that people who weren’t in Mauritius (basically everyone) still got their chance to celebrate. Because everyone loves a wedding, right?

I’m also not sure when or how it went from a small gathering to a renewal of vows ceremony at a hotel; with whole new outfits, a piano player, canap├ęs, a live band and a big ol’ party.

But it did!

On the plus side, I got two wedding dresses. My light floaty one for the beach (made by my Mom) and a proper full on big beaded beautiful ivory gown for the UK (bought for me by my Dad).

second-wedding-dress

How many brides get two?!

To the untrained eye you wouldn’t have even known it wasn’t a proper wedding. We had a proper officiate and witnesses and said words and signed a register. The only difference is that we didn’t exchange rings (instead, during the “vows” the officiate said to my husband “touch Kelly’s ring” at which point both of us and most of the audience howled with laughter at the innuendo!) Everyone dressed in full on wedding attire and we had a bridesmaid and page boy.

wedding-part-2

The husband looked every bit as uncomfortable as he said he would, and told me that he was glad it wasn’t our actual wedding else he wouldn’t have really enjoyed it!

Although, initially, we did it for other people, it worked out really well for us too. Mother in Law looked beautiful in her duck egg blue suit and pleased as punch to watch her only child tie the knot. I had a photograph taken which I never thought would happen – with both of my parents (things were still kind of awkward between them at that point).

Plus, most importantly right now, this happened. Me and my Dad, all smart and happy, having a cuddle in the grounds of the hotel. I think this was the first time I’d ever really seen how much we look alike, in spite of people saying it regularly. He was so proud and beaming.

Having lost him, I think I would look back now and regret him not walking me down the aisle on my wedding day. And although this wasn’t official, it was the time the husband and I shared our commitment with all our friends and family, which made it equally as important a day.

So, happy anniversary part 2 to the husband, and thanks to my Dad for being my Dad.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x