I was watching a documentary on George Michael and he was asked how he would’ve like to be remembered and this made think about how I want to remember my Dad and how I want to describe him to my daughter. Truthfully, that’s how.
I don’t want to portray my Dad as Superman or a big hero, because he wasn’t. He was you’re normal average Dad who took us to school, cooked tea (badly), fixed the car, mowed the lawn and all the other typical “Dad things”. He was a human and made mistakes, p****d us off, laughed, cried and if I’m really honest made some daft life choices at times. Those who know me and my family well know that my Dad was no saint and that at times me, my brother and mum could get really frustrated and angry at him for the things he did but as I’ve grown older I’ve also felt sympathy for him and the difficulties he faced (particularly when young) and understood that he’s always loved us all very much, he just had his own demons to address and didn’t always handle this in the right way.
It’s for this reason I want to remember him exactly as he was, warts and all! I don’t want to sugar coat things and paint a picture of the grandfather in the Werther’s original advert or make him out to be this idol with a big fan club. Truth is he was a good man with some good morals and principles who taught me an awful lot but that also taught me not to make the mistakes in life that he did. My Dad was quiet, and few friends and in a lot of ways lived a humble life. He was intelligent and skilled in many different things, gaining him two successful career paths. However, he also let his own emotions spoil some of the wonderful things he had in his life, he lost his marriage (although still stayed very close to my mum) and ended up really quite lonely in his later years.
My Dad had a fiery temper, he could be incredibly lazy and cut corners when doing jobs (don’t ask about the car exhaust he tied up with string when it fell off). He didn’t always have the best social awareness and I quite enjoy reminiscing about some of the silly social blunders her made, in fact it still makes me chuckle that my brother complained at me for sitting him next to my Dad at the top of table of my wedding! My Dad also had his own silly sense of humour which if you weren’t in the mood for could be incredibly irritating!!!!! He also would sometimes make a “joke” to you at the most stressful of moments making you feel you could quite happily knock his block off!
These memories are what I want to be passed on, his positives and negatives, the good times and bad times with him. I don’t agree with talking about him like he was perfection and putting him up in a pedestal, that’s not who he was and remembering him that way doesn’t make missing him any easier. Memories are facts, they’re based on what actually happened not a fabrication or alteration of the truth and I’d rather miss the truth and the times I had with him than try build an image of Superman. He wasn’t Superman, he was just my Dad but being just my Dad was good enough for me.