This day twenty six years ago,
my dad had two days left to live.
I knew time was running out,
but I did not fully appreciate,
that the end was so close.
We had got used to the idea,
that you would die,
but never your death.
I was twenty one years old.
A trainee nurse,
six weeks away from my finals.
who never lost sight of the man you were,
despite the ravages of motor neurone disease.
When you died,
you were in your early fifties.
The age my husband is now.
Two years later I walked down the aisle,
with the man who,
over many years has “fixed” me,
and held me together.
At our wedding,
my brother who “gave me away”,
made a beautiful speech.
Despite my express wish,
that you were not to be mentioned,
for fear I would break down,
he ignored me.
As part of his speech he referred back,
to a time when I was just four years old.
I had a toy camera,
and the story goes that I tormented you,
saying constantly “Daddy watch me”,
or as a four year old would say,
“Daddy wah me”.
as I pretended to take a photo of you.
Ending the speech my brother said.
“And today Tric, I have no doubt,
that Dad is indeed watching you,
and he is so proud of you”.
My Dad was a wonderful writer.
His sister told me,
that on one occasion in school,
they had to write a story.
When my Dad aged 11 years brought in his story,
the Master beat him,
as he insisted it was too good,
and therefore must have been written by someone else.
As was common in those days,
my Dad had to leave school early.
As a young man he left Ireland for England,
in order to seek work and adventure.
It was in London he and my mum became a real item.
And it was there,
according to what he told me,
that he learned to read and write properly.
He did a correspondence course,
in very basic English.
However he obviously had a huge talent,
because he has left behind,
a wealth of beautiful letters.
A huge source of inspiration for myself.
One of my favourite posts,
I myself have ever written, was about my Dad.
It was called “more than words can say”.
and was about a letter and poem my Dad sent me,
many years ago.
I was fifteen and had been away from home for a month.
The letter was not to be opened,
until the night before I came home.
As I remember that letter and my Dad tonight,
I think of the many days which have passed,
and the occasions he has missed.
I think of my wedding,
and the four grandchildren he never met!
And then I remember,
my brothers words at my wedding.
“Daddy watch me”.
Next weekend I am going to the Irish Blog Awards,
as a finalist.
And I can’t help but say,
quietly, when I am alone
“Daddy watch me”.
I hope you are proud.