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When I was small you were always there for me. We lived in London in an old house, and you went off to work each morning to that big huge building and I waited eagerly for the time for you to come home again. I would watch the clock, even though I couldn't tell the time very well, I knew that the big hand would be at the top and the little hand should be on the 5. I didn't care about other time, that was the only time that mattered to me.
What made you a special dad to me? There wasn't anything in particular that you did. If mum had said no to something, you didnt then say yes. If I asked for a toy and we didn't have the money I knew you would say no. But you were special to me, you always gave me a big hug and lifted me up and off we went to find a game or some toys to play with, and if it was nice we would play out in the garden. I never realised how unselfish you were till I got older. After working from 7.30 each morning in the hot kitchens where you were a Chef, and cooked lunches for over 2,000 peple, you returned each evening to play games with me when all you must have wanted was to sit and read the paper.
When I first started school, you changed your hours for the first week so you could take me, I felt so proud that my daddy was taking me, even though I was scared, while I had hold of your hand I felt brave and strong and I could deal with anything, cause you were there for me.
Saturday nights were special to us, you used to take me to Uncle Charlies and the three of us would go to watch the Speedway, I always used to have a packet of Salt n Shake, when the salt came in a little twisted bag!
When we went on holiday, it would always be you that took me to the swings or swimming. It would be you that wiped away my tears when I ran into a swing and cut my head open. It would be you that made my grazed knee better and I shared tears and laughter with you.
You decided that you wanted to move and when I was 9 we moved to Norfolk. You had a better job, still as a Chef, but we lived near fields and green spaces and for the very first time I saw real cows and sheep. Despite having a new job and the worries that went with it, and the move, you were still the same old Dad. I cannot remember a time when you shouted at me or even raised your voice and you still took me out to places, discovering our new surroundings.
Mum left us then, not that I was bothered by it all. She was never there for me, only to feed me, wash me but she never really seemed as though she wanted to 'be' with me. I look back now and wonder how, despite the hurt and sadness you were going through, it never showed on your face, in your actions, or changed the way we did things. You soldiered on through that and you were still there for me.
You were there for me when I needed my first bra and when I had my first period! Not something a dad would expect to have to deal with by himself, but you did. All in a matter of fact way, there was no embarrassment from you, you were never embarrassed at anything you told or explained to me. It was always with love and kindness.
I grew older and you let me 'spread my wings'. I was allowed to go to parties with my schoolmates, whilst some weren't allowed. You always gave me the freedom to do what I wanted. You gave me a time that I had to be home by and I made sure I was back. It must have been hard for you back then too, to be on your own more, but I never noticed. I was the typical teenager but I respected my dad more than anything else. You were my hero, you were always there for me.
Time passed by, I went to college and moved 30 miles from you. I came home each weekend and then those weekends became less frequent as I made new friends and went clubbing. But you never moaned at me for not coming home, you never let it show in your voice. Now I am older I know it was there, I just couldn't hear it.
You moved to Bournemouth to live with your sister. It seemed like my lifeline had gone. You were too far away to visit for the day, but you were still there for me. We would speak on the phone at least once a week. You made new friends and 'lady friends', which you found amusing because they kept giving pieces of cake and pies! Not that you need fattening up. You were always Father Christmas shaped, with your portly belly and white moustache and beard!
You were so proud when 'X' was born, your one and only grandchild by your one and only child. You came to stay with us and turned into a brilliant grandad, just like you were a brilliant dad. I loved you more than anything and was still so proud that you were my dad.
We visited you, and vice versa, you were always cheerful and happy. You never complained about anything or anyone, I look back and am amazed that you never had anything bad to say about anything. If you did it was never in front of me.
In April, 'X' was 9 by then, I received THAT phone call. The one to tell me you were in hospital. The one that told me you were seriously ill with kidney failure. That one call that changed my life forever. Even now Dad, typing this I am in tears.
I rang the hospital and spoke to the Nurse. Was I family? Yes tell me whats happened. She would not tell me hardly anything as I could have been anybody trying to get information, that doesn't help when you are 200 miles away and you want to know whats happened and how bad you were. I eventually managed to get her to find me a doctor. He told me that both your kidneys had failed, that you were on dialysis but as both kidneys had failed there was no chance of recovery. Your diabetes had got worse too and you were unconcious. I was on the end of that phone shaking, crying and trying to take it all in.
I had to get there, it was a Tuesday. I made frantic phone calls, to work to tell them I wouldn't be in. The school to tell them that 'X's father would be picking him up and to X's Dad to tell him he would have to have him to stay until whenever I came home.
I threw clothes into a bag and got in the car and drove. You, my dad, needed me to be there for you. The only time in my life when I could be there for YOU. How I managed to drive for 4 hours, is still beyond me. I found the hospital, and went straight to ITU. It was not visiting time. I had to explain, I lived 200 miles away, I have abandoned everything and come straight here to be with my Dad. I had nowhere to stay but I didn't care. The hospital let me stay in a relatives room for the 4 nights I was there.
Then I saw you...god that was so hard..full of tubes and surrounded by machines that bleeped and flashed. I cried and I cried for ages. My Dad, looking asleep, but not asleep. Unaware of what was going on around you. I was scared to hold your hand, scared that it might not be as warm as I remembered it to be. But I did cause even then you still made me feel brave.
I spent 4 nights and days living as much as I could by your bedside. I cried and cried and was so very very scared. They told me you would not survive without the dialysis machine filtering and cleaning your blood every 2 hours. They had tried all sorts of drugs to try and 'kickstart' one of your kidneys but it didn't work.
Your consultant explained to me in the sweetest way possible that your other organs woudl eventually fail too. If your heart failed they would try to start it again and even if they did, things would only get worse. I was asked if I wanted them to resuccitate you when your heart stopped. I looked at you laying there, my dad, my hero and they were asking me if I wanted to take your life away...I collapsed at this point.
We had talked about when you got old and I was so grateful to you for that. You gave me the guidance I needed. You were so lively and outgoing and wouldn't have wanted your life to be any different you said. You told me years ago that you wanted to go peacefully...I didn't want you to go at all. My heart was breaking and it all seemed so surreal, yet I had to go along with your wishes..I could not be selfish and let you suffer just because I wanted to keep my special dad.
I agreed for them to write DNR on your notes (do not resucitate) when the time came. I had driven back home on the Friday night to pick up 'X', turned around and drove back again. I wanted him to have the chance to say goodbye to his wonderful grandad. The hospital were not too keen on letting 'X' in ITU but he wanted to see Grandad so they pulled the curtains round the other patients, and moved the equipment back as far as possible. I was so touched by what he did, he walked up to your bed and said 'don't worry Grandad, I love you lots and even if you stay poorly I'll still love you loads'. He kissed you on your prickly cheek and as we walked towards the door he turned and waved bye bye. I choked on my tears.
We had to come home, I had make more permanent arrangements for 'X' and school and planned to return on Tuesday.
I received a call at 7.10 on that Tuesday morning saying you had taken a turn for the worst. I panicked and to be honest cannot really remember too much through the haze. I got 'X' to school and jumped in the car. I got another call at 10.20am whilst on my way to you. It was THAT call, I pulled over on the hard shoulder and sat stunned as they told me you had slipped away.
My Dad. You had held on as long as you could but it was not to be.
My dad died on the 17th April 2001.
Soon to be another anniversary of his death and I just wanted to say Dad, I love you and I miss you, now as much as ever. The tears that flow now are ones of sadness because I miss you but the happiness in my heart is from all the lovely memories you have given me. You are so special and I am so proud to call you 'Dad' xxx
Please ignore the criteria below not sure what this has to do with lyrics and originality!