My Dad died twenty years ago today. In the midst of a clean-out at my Mum’s house this morning I found the eulogy I wrote and read at his funeral. I didn’t know she’d kept it.
It’s only a little word, Dad, but, when you think about it, very special. There were only two of us in the whole world who could call him that. You all knew him as Gordon. To my kids he was Pa, but to my brother and I he was simply, Dad.
Dad’s legacy to my kids and I will stay with us for a long, long time. He taught me what words like gentle-man, honesty, loyalty, selflessness and caring for others, were all about. He loved people. The greatest joy for him was in the excitement of someone’s success. spending time with his friends, or having the family all together. He was so proud of me, and of his grandchildren. He didn’t always understand why or what I did, but he would often tell me he was proud of me anyway, and that was so important for me. And he was a man of excellent taste because he had the good sense to marry Mum.
Between them they helped me to learn about loving and caring, and how important and precious people, especially friends, family and kids, are in our lives. They encouraged independence and self-sufficiency, but they’ve always been there when I needed them, like the calm centre of a raging storm.
No matter what happened or when, whether my car broke down in the middle of the night, or whether I was hitchhiking and got stuck halfway to Sydney, or whether I arrived home unexpectedly at three in the morning, I’ve always been met with a reassuring hug, a cup of tea, a calm approach to fixing whatever had happened, and a warm bed. They’ve taught me to feel loved, and I’ll always be grateful to them for that.
I’m going to miss Dad a lot. He might not be there now to tell me what that awful noise is, or how to get to where I need to go, or to provide a lap for an adult daughter to curl up on, or to talk sport with my kids and admire their trophies, but he’ll always be a part of me.
So I don’t really have to say goodbye but I can say Rest In Peace, Dad, you deserve it. I’m so pleased and proud that I am your daughter. You’ve done what you were here to do.