My Dad died last week. He’s not been in the best of health for a little while and died of a heart attack in hospital. It was pretty sudden and I’ve struggled with it, not least as I’m 10,000 miles away and feel a bit helpless.
He was a good, kind (and wise) man and sometimes I hear myself repeating things I know he would say himself. Increasingly, as I get older I also look in the mirror and think I see his face looking back at me.
I’ve been reflecting on things he gave to me. He taught me the difference between right and wrong. My love of football comes from him taking me along at an early age, with my elder brothers, to watch Wolves - in the (now demolished) Waterloo Road Stand and I still treasure the memory of nights spent at Monmore Green watching Wolves speedway - the acrid (but beautiful) smell of methanol hanging in the floodlit air.
Since his death I’ve spent hours lying awake in my bed remembering amongst other things the times when I was a boy that we spent together at Teddesley - fishing for roach and perch. We once caught a big Tench there – a dark golden colour and as big as a baby pig. We lowered it gently back into the lake and watched it flick its tail and swim off into the tranquil water. When we got back to the car to drive home in the fading light we found the car surrounded by a herd of fresian cows and Dad chased them off.
I guess the most important thing he’s given me is the ability to think for myself. As a (v. moody) teenager he always listened to (if not always agreed with) my point of view. He valued friends and told good jokes. I wish he was here so he could tell me just one more.