In honour of Father’s Day this week, we’re celebrating the main men in our lives here at IMAGE HQ. Every day this week, we’ll be sharing a letter penned to our fathers; sharing memories, love and just thanking them for being them. This is a Letter to My Dad.
This weekend, I got a major case of deja vu. I was walking around Nana’s street (now my brother’s street) and got a flashback of those same steps with you twenty years ago. We were walking and I fell, or a dog jumped out at me, I can’t remember – whatever it was had me suddenly, snottily, crying. You tried your best to cheer me up and eventually found you could make me laugh by having me wipe my nose on your t-shirt, feigning disgust. That’s what you’ve always done best – you’ve made me laugh.
We’re very similar, you and I. Perhaps too similar for our own good – it leads to a lot of butting heads, as you well know. I’ve inherited a lot of your traits, or at least I like to think so. Your stubbornness, your impatience, your inability to suffer fools. Your humour, your familial instinct, your compassion. You drive me mad, and I know I drive you mad too, and I think it’s because we remind each other too much of ourselves.
We also have the best laughs together. The anecdotes that you’ve told at least once a week for my entire life still make me giggle and my annoyance at them never fails to get you laughing either. There’s no one I’d rather watch TV with and hear you slagging off the characters, or ranting about “the shite [your] TV license pays for”. Poor Mam often gets the brunt of the jokes, but I know she knows how much you love her – that’s always been one of my favourite things about you.
It hasn’t been an easy few years for the family. We’ve lost people, you’ve been ill – it feels like there’s never going to be a break from it all. But I know there will be, because there are breaks from it every day. When you’re able to shuffle your way through a dance across the sitting room, or sneak up behind Mam in the kitchen, we all laugh and we don’t think about the bad parts. Because that’s what you do – you make us laugh.
Your dreams for me were always big. You wanted me to travel, to have a glamorous job, to enjoy life while I was young. And it never entered my mind that I wouldn’t have that life. It was never not possible, because of the way you talked about it, like it was already a done deal. You worked so hard and encouraged me for so many years to get there.
This week, I get to write for a living in a magazine I love, and I just booked a holiday later this year. You did good Dad.
Happy Father’s Day,