Happy Birthday Dad.

Today is my Dads birthday. Unfortunately I wont be meeting up with him, handing over a present he probably didn’t want and blowing out the candles on his cake, because Dad died of Motor Neuron Disease almost 30 years ago. I’ve written many posts about him here over the years but today I’d like to share one I wrote a few years ago. Nothing has changed since I wrote it.

I saw this picture first on Aoibheanns Pink Tie facebook page . A fabulous charity helping families of children with cancer.  I originally saw it a few weeks ago, but the question it asks hasbench stayed with me.
Who would I like to sit with?

Would I chose a famous figure from the past, someone I admired such as Nelson Mandela or Helen Keller? Or what about Jesus? That would surely answer a few questions of mine. If He turned up I’d know I’d better go visit a church!

To be given such an opportunity would be an honour, but amazing as it would be to spend time with these people, I would trade an hour with them for just five minutes with my Dad.

In that five minutes I would sit with him and look out over the mountains of Allihies, Co. Cork. As we would sit together, I’d hold his hand and rest my head on his shoulder. Such a simple gesture, but how I would wish to experience it one more time.

As we sat there I could tell him all about his four grandchildren who he never got to meet, and of the man he had been introduced to briefly, many years ago. I would assure him, my choice had been a good one and that life had brought me all he could have wished for.

As the moments tick by bringing our goodbye ever closer, I would wish for us to sit in silence, no words to interrupt our time. Snuggling close, I would breathe my Dad in and try to fill every sinew of my body with all that he is. Looking into his eyes I would hope to see them twinkle with love for me, and I’d remember his face, wrinkled with smiles. As he gently squeezes my hand I’d  feel the rough skin of a man who loved to build. The hands of  a gifted carpenter.

With just moments left together, we would stand up. Turning to each other, my Dad would hold out his arms for me, just as he did when I was a child.  Walking into his arms we would hold each other close very close. Squeezing tight until it was hard to breathe.

As time runs out my Dad would gently place one last kiss on my forehead. Wiping my tears, I would whisper a final “Goodbye.”

Something I didn’t get to do thirty years ago.

“Happy Birthday Dad.” xxx

15 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Dad.

  1. Beautiful thoughts Tric. My dad died in 2012 and not so long ago I still miss him and find myself from time to time catching myself saying I must tell dad about that. My mum died 34 years ago and recently I wrote a piece about regrets. One of mine was my regret that my mother died before I was mature enough to get to know her better. As you grow up you tend to take your parents for granted, I know I did, and as a result mum died before I had the sense to know her a little better as all sorts of mysteries about her came out after her death.
    I really relate to the notion of ‘breathing in my father’ I spent a lot of time with him in the years before his death so his breath I feel still and as I live in my family home I see him about the place all the time.
    Thanks for sharing that reflection with me.

    1. Thank you Michael. Send me a link to your post on regrets I’d love to read it. I’m so sorry you lost your mum. Grief is such a long and complicated process. I still miss my dad every day, just not the same way I did 30 years ago and just like you I’ve found ways to continue to have him in my life. Thanks again for reading.

  2. What an incredibly moving post. Thank you so much for sharing your beautifully imagined moments with your father. I’m sure he’d wish for exactly the same things.

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