Friday, 11 November 2011
Being an old soldier to the end, my Dad died on 11 November at 11.00am three years ago. However, this blog is not about that sad time but about all the many happy memories I have of him.
As children, we accept our lives as they are and assume that our lives are "normal" and that everyone's lives are the same. It's only as an adult that I've come to realise that my Dad was probably fairly unusual in the 50's and 60's by being so involved in the lives of his children.
Sundays, his only day off from work, were family days and we always went somewhere, no matter what the weather was doing. What child wouldn't be entranced by the suggestion - let's go on a hike to the Fairy Falls (or the Wolf Crags or the Covenanter's Grave etc). He had a terrific imagination and a special name for everywhere. We used to fight through jungles, cross shark-infested rivers, dam streams to create pools of water in the desert (and what fun we had afterwards kicking away the dam!). We played badminton and rounders on the beach, learned to swim and to paddle a canoe in rivers and the sea and at some point in the day there was always a fire built and lit to cook sausages on.
My Dad told us stories every night, but never from a book. There were tales of his childhood, one of 8 children in an army family, his youth hiking over the Pentland Hills with his pals, early days at work and, of course, the War.
Then came my teenage years and of course "Daddy's girl" wanted to go to dances and meet young men - we'll draw a veil over that time of strife! As the years went on, he became an adoring and adored Grandpa to my two children and then my brother's two.
He had a wonderful sense of humour and rarely took life seriously. My parents weren't well off financially but I had a childhood rich in love, humour and imagination. When my Dad died, everyone said "he used to make me laugh!" - not a bad epitaph!
Dad, you made me laugh too!