On the 5th August my dad passed away. He had difficulty with his chest all of his life and he didn’t help himself with his smoking habit that lasted a lifetime. I had the chance to hug him and tell him I loved him at 10-35pm that night and by 1-30am the following morning he had passed away. He passed away peacefully and the medical staff were lovely as they supported him and looked after him. I sat next to his hospital bed quietly after he had passed away and I shed a few tears. I thought about how little I knew about his life and about the times I had seen him during my childhood. My parents split when I was 3 years old and I did not see my dad again until I was 12 years old.
At his funeral I found out more about my dad’s childhood and I also discovered that his siblings had been placed into care and my dad had been sent to live with his grandma, near Durham. He was taken from his grandmother when he was about 11 years old. This was done by his mother. He did’t get on well with his stepfather and apparently their relationship remained turbulent for a long time. My dad’s childhood was basically grim but typical of the period I suppose.
He worked down the mines and worked in Hendon Colliery before moving to work in the coalfields of Nottinghamshire. He was hard working and was very fond of the pub. After he left the pit he began to work on the building sites as a hod carrier. He worked all over the country on various building sites and the work was hard and took a toll on his body. When he was too old for the building sites he became a security guard and he did this until he retired. On his night shifts he was a keen reader and it helped him pass away the time.
He was a tough, uncompromising man and according to my mum he was always very funny. I wish my relationship with my dad had been closer and longer and yes, he was a very funny man. He was also very tolerant of me and my sense of humour. I remember in my teens I hit up full in the face with a snowball filled with dog poop. It was awful but he found it funny. I will treasure the small moments I have of him for the rest of my life and I have vowed to learn to play the harmonica as he did. People will suffer when I do it.
My dad’s was a man who made many mistakes, as have I, but he was my dad and I loved him. Treasure every moment with your loved ones. Life is short x