My dad didn’t have an amazing childhood, but he never speaks bad about it. His parents struggled through each month just managing to pay for necessities and rarely buying luxuries. His father had been in the war and, from what I remember of him, he wasn’t a happy guy – but he totally adored my nan. My dad had two sisters who we only see at Christmas these days, and spent most of his childhood playing in the street and supporting the Celtics.
My nan died of breast cancer before I could ever meet her but the only stories I hear of the “good old days” usually come hand in hand with laughter, and huge smiles. My dad loved his mum more than anything in the world and we rarely speak of her now because he still hasn’t really accepted her death, even though she passed in the early 80s.
He went away to university and studied Fine Art, and I think that’s where my creative streak comes from. His artwork is just stunning and he has the most amazing eye for detail – I’m so proud that my father has such a huge talent.
He just about graduated but got a job somewhere that is completely the opposite of where an artist should work. I shan’t tell you where but let’s just say there are slot machines and huge amounts of cash in his view every night. Did I give it away? Well, that’s where he works as a manager.
My parents had a difficult time conceiving, and my mum suffered several miscarriages before she had me. But at 32 years old, they finally got me (woo!) and they were too tired to try for more. The day after my mum gave birth my dad got mugged and turned up at the hospital with two black eyes, and a few broken ribs which is a story that never gets old in this household.
Once I was home and they were settling into family life, he developed manic depression and had a few scary moments which led to him being institutionalized for a while. So I have a creative streak, and a very overactive and analytical brain to thank my dad for.
My dad is incredibly academic and extremely protective, sometimes to his detriment, but he only wants the best for me and nothing less. Everything he does is for me and my mum. All the money he earns goes on making us safe and happy.
My earliest memories I have of my dad consist of him taking me out every Sunday morning to the park to feed the animals, and then stopping off on the way home to get me a bag of sweets. He’s always encouraged me to slow down without stopping and to read books and get on with my work, and always asks why I’m not doing college work if I’m sat watching TV.
As annoying as this is, I understand why he does it. He wanted a better life for himself than he had in his childhood, and he wants me to have a better life than we do now. Not that it’s bad in any way, he just always thinks there is something better. Well, in a way I followed his advice as I’m not working 9 to5 any longer. I’m my own boss now, or rather, I sacked my boss and there’s no one who can push me around any longer. Thank you, dad!
These days my dad is grumpy most of the time and worries constantly about our finances even though my mom has them completely under control. But with his grumpiness and worrying, comes a wicked sense of humor and a huge amount of love and I honestly could not wish for a better father. I love you, dad.