An open letter to my dad

Posted at 16:04 in Personal

I’ll never forget the first time I ever saw you cry. I had just turned 18 and had recklessly made the decision to move hundreds of miles away to live with a man I had known for 48 hours. You threatened, begged and pleaded for me to stay but your pleas fell on deaf ears. After all, I was 18, an adult, I knew it all.  Or so I thought.

I know I broke your heart that day, as you turned away from me at the coach, your face crumpled and wet with tears.  But you let me go. You did what you always did and that was allow me to make my own mistakes.  And though in some ways it was a mistake (wasting a year of my life with a loser who did not deserve to even breathe the same air as me) it was also a blessing because I delivered you your first grandchild.  Your little mucker. The light of your life.

I remember how disappointed you were with me when you found out I was pregnant. You wanted me to have a different life to the one you and my mum did, not tied down with children from a young age.  But as my pregnancy progressed, you became excited at becoming a Grandad and I can still see the pride glowing in your face as you held your beautiful grandson.

And a beautiful bond was created that day.

When I think back to the stress and grief I brought to you as a teenager, I can’t help feeling a knot of guilt deep down in my stomach.  Teenagers are supposed to try your patience and drive you up the wall on occasion, but I think it’s fair to say I put you through hell at times.  I recall how I often went out of my way to do or say or feel the exact opposite of what you told me to.  And it isn’t because I didn’t love you or purposely wanted to disrespect you.  I guess part of the reason is because we are so alike, our personalities clashed. We are both very straight talking and opinionated and have no problem speaking those opinions out loud. We’ve both been called blunt on numerous occasions because we often speak without thinking of who we might upset, even though that may not be our intention.  However, despite hundreds of angry, fiery arguments (you rancid git!) we are both quick to defuse and once what we had to say was said, it was over and done with and we were quick to move on.

And that pattern has remained throughout our relationship as father and daughter, even now I’m an adult and parent myself.

But when I think back over my childhood (and adulthood!), it’s not the arguments and slapped legs that I remember, but the happy times, the sacrifices you made and the amazing kindness you have shown to us children.  Scrimping and saving to take us on a surprise holiday when we thought we were spending the day at the park, butterscotch and barley sugar sweets and singing along to 60’s songs as we drove to Barry Island, going around the “highland”, Saturday nights spent playing Monopoly, putting your life in your hands to take me out on driving lessons, helping me to furnish and decorate my home, giving my son the best possible father figure he could ever wish for…

And now as you lie there, in your hospital bed, I want to tell you just how much you mean to me.  You are my rock, my world, my big strong daddy.  My hero…

I love you dad <3

18 responses to “An open letter to my dad”

  1. Lynne says:

    Beautiful Jo xxx

  2. Julie says:

    That’s beautiful Jo. Thinking of you all at this sad time xxx

  3. Sharyn says:

    Oh Jo, this made me cry. I wish I had said similar to my Dad. My heart goes out to you and your son xx

    • Sarah rees says:

      Jo that letter is absolutely beautiful and it made me cry. U try to be so strong but you are only human too. I’m thinking of you and your family x x x x

      • Just a Girl says:

        Hey beautiful, thank you so much for your support, it really means the world to me. I have the best colleagues, you are all amazing and I <3 you. Big cuddles xoxo

    • Just a Girl says:

      Sorry for making you cry Sharyn ((hugs)) Thank you for your kind words xx

  4. Maria says:

    What a beautiful letter- thinking of you at this difficult time xx

  5. Lexi says:

    Oh Jo, thinking of you and your family, this is a beautiful post. We should all take the time to tell our loved ones how important they are to us. Lots of love

    • Just a Girl says:

      Thank you beauty. I’ve always been a bit of an emotional person and hopefully my family know how cherished they are but I completely agree, life is very short and everyone should take the time to let their loved ones know how much they mean xxx

  6. Laura @ BoxRunEat says:

    This brought tears to my eyes…. I’m thinking of you both xx

  7. wonky_monkey says:

    Thinking of you and your family, Jo. Big hugs.

  8. Hannah says:

    I just stumbled across your blog while researching blogs and saw this post, I wouldn’t usually comment but it is honestly the most touching thing I have ever read on the internet. Beautifully written and heartfelt. My sympathies to you and your family.

  9. Sarah says:

    Touching blog post, I came on here looking for fitness tips but glad I stopped to read this!

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