Today would have been my Dad’s 76th birthday. I’ve recently written about how painful I find my grief, even after 4 and a half years. I keep waiting for it to get easier and it just doesn’t. But today, I want to remember who he was and not only morn his loss.

My Dad was not always an easy man to be close to. He was no saint and capable of being pretty difficult. Nonetheless, he was a once in a lifetime person. He was funny and he was fun. He could make me laugh till the tears streamed down my cheeks and my ribs hurt.  Dad had an infectious joie de vivre and you couldn’t help but join in whatever fun he was having. I remember him dancing at family weddings; he wasn’t built for dance, his stocky little frame went barreling around the disco with little grace but plenty of no-shits-given flamboyance. He was in a TV series called Pennies from Heaven in the 70s and he had to learn to dance. Dad wore a white tail suit in one sequence, he said that he had thought he looked like Fred Astaire but when he saw the rushes realised that he was more like a baby hippo. That didn’t stop him from hitting the dance floor when the mood took him. To use his words, he would ‘give it the business!’

Today I’ve been thinking about how we’d listen to Queen in his car. When Freddy Mercury belted out Don’t Stop Me Now he would crank up the volume and shout ‘go on me’ son!’

I’ve been listening to this song today, reminiscing about what a laugh my Dad was. I miss his generosity, his abundance of joy and laughter. Although I feel as though I’m walking around with a huge hole in my heart, I want to celebrate him. I want to find as much delight as I can in every day, because any second it could be taken away. I’ll be raising a glass to him tonight and I might even have a little dance.

 

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