My dad had a favourite chair.
You know the one.
The one chair when you look back on old photographs and it’s embracing your Pops like a big bear hug.
You know this hug because it’s the kind he gives or gave to you.
June 20th - Father’s Day and this day, 17 years ago the day I lost my dad.
My dad had an unique sense of humour.
He could put anyone at ease with his smile and charm one minute and in one smartly placed comment have you on the back foot trying to catch up.
This is where the chair comes in.
On Neil’s first visit to my parent’s farm, Neil & I were in the living room soaking up the end of day summer rays when in saunters my dad.
Neil snapped to and asked, ever so gentlemanly,
“Sorry Tom, am I in your chair?”
“They’re all my fucking chairs,” stated Dad, sweepingly, yet matter of factly.
A pregnant pause thus followed, as Dad nestled into the chair I knew was his favourite.
“Stop it Dad. He just got here,” I rolled my eyes.
That slow grin and those sparkly blue eyes gave him away and then he couldn’t help himself as his chuckle warmed the air,
“Relax, English, you’re fine.”
It was his heart that gave out, which is both inconceivable and believable at the same time. Hard to believe as it must have been so big and healthy to accommodate all that love, but possibly overwrought from loving so much. Medically speaking, it was complications from Diabetes.
It is him, on which I based my search for the perfect life partner, with some pretty grandiose and epic bullet dodging. (If you’re thinking, ‘Can’t be me’, then yeah, it was you) At least they gave me my list of non-negotiables.
So from the combined knowledge of what love looks like due to my parent’s devotion, and the kissing of some frogs, I found the remarkable father to my children, Neil.
And seeing his profound love for his son, Ashley, sealed the deal for me, as I recognised it from my own childhood.
Father’s Day is a bittersweet day for me as I remember Neil coming into the room, holding the phone, telling my sister and I that it was my mom and that my dad was gone. But sweet, as with today, we spent the day with the newest dad in our family, Ashley, with his boys to celebrate the unconditional love from one generation to the next.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and moms who have taken on the role for whatever reason.
Make like a dad’s chair and give them a hug to last a lifetime.
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