One of the last conversations with my Dad that has stayed with me all these years was while he was up staying with me in the Easter holidays of 2004.
I was just about to go on a field trip to Prague with my college and my Mum and Dad were up to look after my girls while I was away.
My Dad wasn't big on showing emotions, he had had a pretty crappy childhood. A Father who was in his 50's when he was born and a Mother who was so busy keeping her husband from sharing his fists and dealing with her own grief of a still born daughter meant there wasn't a whole lot of love shown in his childhood.
Despite all that my Dad was and is the only man in my life that I knew loved me and really did. He may not have talked about it but he showed me it in so many ways that now having two daughters of my own makes me realise my girls are missing out on so much.
Anyway...that conversation was an out of the blue moment. The girls were playing in the garden. Big one was 9 and wee one was 3 and a bit and my Dad was sat in the sun keeping an eye on them when he turned to me and told me how proud he was of me. Proud that I had spent the last two years studying at college for my HND and achieving A grades and proud for me keeping it all together, family and home when I had left everything I had known, including my own career, behind for my husbands job which effectively left me alone as a single parent the majority of the time.
Within a few days of my return from Prague my Mother in law died, three months later I received a phone call telling me my hero had had a heart attack and shortly after came the most horrendous call of my life telling me my Daddy was gone.
I thought when people said their legs gave way was just a phrase of speech but I can honestly say when I heard the words that my Dad was dead my legs gave way and I sank to the floor screaming.
This July will mark seven years of my life that I haven't had my Dad. I still have the urge to phone him to ask for advice when I'm attempting some diy project or I need to hear his voice. Seven years on and I still haven't deleted his number from my mobile phone.
Today there will be no Father's Day celebrations. My small people's Father has taken himself away on holiday despite the fact that big one is due to leave shortly for her month away in Malawi. I think that just about says it all!
I miss you so much Dad and I am just glad that we had that last chance for you to tell me how proud you were of me. I love you then, now and forever Daddy Bear. I hope you're still proud of me xxx