It’s my daddy’s birthday today, well it would have been if he hadn’t died last year in the summer. I miss him and when I looked at my calendar this morning a little surge of sadness quivered through me.
I was always a daddy’s girl, even though for most of my life he wasn’t around. And as a blond little girl with big blue eyes I looked up to him and wanted to be just like the man I saw and loved. I may have inherited his mad curls, dodgy eye and love for words but thankfully the urge to smoke cigarettes and pipes passed me by. Although I have to admit that I love the smell of tobacco and do feel a little bit nostalgic whenever my nose catches a whiff.
Some of my favourite memories of my father circle around his love of telling stories. He was a real Seanchaí (an Irish story teller) who would light up his pipe, pull my sister and myself onto the couch and into a world of heroes, fairies, witches and long gone adventures. His deep voice and winding words would paint pictures of old legends and made up stories featuring him in the lead role.
And he was fun, he would play tricks and silly games with us, his big smile barely visible beneath his curly beard and his blue eyes twinkling with mischief. One of my favourite pictures of him sits on my shelf and shows a happy memory. He is perched on top of the wall outside my childhood home with my sister and I draped around him, both of us trying to get as close to him as possible. With a Frisbee crowning his head and two plastic rings dangling from his ears he’s defining his position as the biggest tuddlebuddle in the world, my sister and I coming in second and third.
My heart broke when he left us or we left him (it was always a little unclear) and although I always missed him with an ache I never doubted that he loved me even if I never understood what happened. I am thankful for all those moments spent with him and memories that flood my being and I feel sad that my brother never really got to know him. So today I just want to feel a little bit sad about all I lost, never had and let the man who defined me so much know I will always be my daddy’s girl.
The importance of fathers