My Dad’s a legend.
I just wanted to put that out there.
But my relationship with his is kinda described by the Cats in the Cradle Song …
I didn’t see my dad much when I was younger because he was a shift worker and lived away from home for seven out of ten days, but I still recall when I was young, and I’m talking young, young, that when my dad was home, he’d often say something like “Come on kiddo, let’s go for a walk” and we’d then proceed to walk all day roaming the hills around our home as he’d regale me with stories of all the adventures he’d had in his life. They were some of the happiest days of my life. Dad was always my hero, and I wanted to be like him, I wanted to explore life and have tales to tell.
Unfortunately, my dad’s now got Lewy Body Dementia, so he can’t roam free as he once did, and with life being what it is with work and my weekends always so full, I don’t make the time to spend with him that I should …
But this weekend was different, I decided to just take a weekend off from me, and went and visited him on Saturday and again on Sunday. On Sunday we went for a drive and walk down the Huon Valley.
It was great just to spend those few hours in the car with him, because although he’s always so quiet when I go to visit at home, once we were out on the road the smallest thing would set him off telling one of his stories. “That’s where Jason and I spent days hauling rocks for Kathies garden” … “Remember this bridge, this is where I crashed my motorbike and broke my collarbone” (and yes, I did remember that bridge because I was right behind him on my motorbike when he did it) … “Don’t tell your mum this, but the reasons I always went for those long bike rides was because I loved the hot chips they made at the pontoon just across from here, and I’d always race the last few kilometres here as fast as I could …”
I don’t think dad stopped talking once on the whole trip and for a few short hours I was transported back into my dad’s wonderful world where he’d see joy and amazement in everything from the shape of a tree branch to the way the road would bend ahead of us.
All the playing and the adventures I do in life are awesome, but compared with the joy of just hearing my dad tell his stories, they kind of pale into grey … he’s my hero.
To my dad, thanks for the inspiration to be me.