I recently lost my Dad. A world without the physical presence of my Dad in it is a world that has been changed for me forever. It will never be the same. The love I had and will always have for my Dad is like nothing else. I could not have asked for a better Dad. He was the best! I still feel him with me and all around me. He is so much a part of me and all of my family that he will always be with us. He will always be in my heart, but oh my gosh, I miss him.
I had the privilege of being right there with him when he crossed into eternal life. It was peaceful and this is a great comfort to me.
Even though we are quite a private family, I wanted to honour my Dad, ‘Kevin’, here on my blog. Write of the Middle is an authentic reflection of me, and this is a major event in my life that I must acknowledge here in order to maintain that authenticity. Before I can resume blogging as per usual, I needed to write a tribute for my Dad in this space that means so much to me, and I wanted to share with you what a wonderful man he was.
I’ve decided to honour him by sharing some photographs and a few excerpts from the Eulogy that I wrote for him and that my brother read at his funeral (note that large chunks of the Eulogy have not been included here so it may seem a bit disjointed). There have been a few tweaks made so that it doesn’t read quite like it was written (for my brother’s voice), and to protect the privacy of the family certain names, stories and details have been omitted.
While this might seem like a strange post for our #lovinlife linky, it really isn’t. I was blessed with a wonderful father, a happy childhood, and many treasured memories. Whilst I am sad and grieving, I am grateful for what I have had and #lovinlife for blessing me with my wonderful Dad for all the years that I have had him physically with me.
It will be a difficult Christmas for my family this year but we will still do Christmas as usual, just as Dad would want us to.
This will be my last post for 2017. My next post will be published on 1 January 2018. I wish you and your family a very safe and happy Christmas. See you in the new year!
1-11-1930 to 2-12-2017
Dad was a quiet and gentle man. He was dependable, reliable and very regimented. He was known for checking and re-checking that all power points were switched off and all doors were locked before bed every night and an even more thorough checking would be done if going away on holidays. He was loving and very patient with us as kids. He endured our pleas to be taken to the local pool for a swim during the hot days of summer. He took us to the ‘Ekka‘ on the train every year. He would take us to the beach twice a day during our annual holidays, and every night after brushing our teeth and before bed he would kneel down with all of us and we would say our prayers.
Dad spent many weekends taking my brother to soccer games while Mum was busy ferrying us girls to netball games. We have fond memories of the many Friday night ping-pong tournaments with Dad downstairs in the rumpus room. We recall that when Dad went away on relief work, he would always return bearing gifts, mostly lollies, and the sound of his returning car would create great excitement! During our teen years he ferried us to and from our social activities and never once complained.
Kevin was born on 1 November 1930 in Emu Vale, country Queensland. He was the second son born to his parents, a brother for John (affectionately known as ‘Jack’) who was two years of age at the time of Dad’s birth. Two sisters were to come but not for another 15 or 16 years!
Dad and his brother ‘Jack’ were very close all their lives. As young lads growing up in Emu Vale there was no such thing as TV and even radios were hard to come by, so Dad and Jack had to create their own entertainment. This was largely accomplished by exploring the upper and lower reaches of Emu Creek, whenever they could slip away from the house.
Dad commenced school at Emu Vale State School in 1936 at the age of five. In 1945 he attended Christian Brothers Warwick, where he emulated his brother by achieving the status of dux of the class, until he completed his junior year. Soon after Dad moved to Brisbane, staying with his Auntie Bridgie at Lutwyche and began work in the Commonwealth Bank.
In 1962 Dad met Mum while both were working in the Commonwealth Bank in Darwin. There was a whirlwind romance and they married six months later on 1 December 1962. Soon after, they moved to Brisbane to begin their lives together.
In May 1964 they became parents when Marguerite (me – ‘Min’) was born. Two years later in August 1966 their second daughter was born. In April 1968, all their dreams came true when their son was born! (this is a taste of the bits of humour I incorporated into the eulogy to suit the personality of my brother who was to read it, and to add a bit of light) In September 1969 another daughter was born with a head of red hair.
In 1972 Dad was transferred to work at the Commonwealth Bank in Warwick. We lived in a bank house in Warwick for 12 months before being transferred to Mitchell in 1973. We lived in Mitchell for two years. Towards the end of our time living in Mitchell, in February 1975, Mum and Dad’s fifth child was born, another girl. Within months of her birth, the family moved back to Brisbane.
Dad retired from his position as Bank Manager in 1992. Soon after, he and Mum went on a road trip to North Queensland, visiting places such as Rockhampton, Airlie Beach, Mission Beach and more towns as far north as Cooktown.
Dad took up lawn bowls and enjoyed many years playing at a local bowls club. He did volunteer work for Meals on Wheels as well as at the Parish church, assisting in various ways.
Mum and Dad were delighted to become grandparents in November 1992 to twin boys. In all, Mum and Dad have been blessed with ten grandchildren.
In 1999, Mum and Dad went off on their first big overseas trip – England, Scotland, Wales, and most of Europe including one of their favourite city’s, Prague. There were many trips over to Asia to visit one of their daughter’s who was living over there. Their travel also included a trip across to Tasmania in 2007 on the Spirit of Tasmania, and to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, in 2012 they went on a trip back up to Darwin where of course, they met back in 1962.
Dad was very devoted and loyal to his brother John. When John was in a Nursing Home during his final years Dad visited every Thursday without fail.
We will always remember Dad as a dedicated family man, a faithful and loving husband, and a solid friend. He was loved and adored by us all and will be forever missed.
This is a poem that was written by one of my sisters. It’s sums up Dad beautifully.
A poem for Dad
My gentle Dad, always there
In his own quiet way, he’d show his care
From hugs and smiles
To driving us miles
He’d show his love
When we were young, he’d take us to the Show
Poor old Mum didn’t get to go
He was sparing Mum, as we all now know.
He was kind to his children and his wife
The qualities so important in life
We love you Dad and will miss you dearly
“He was a good man”
We agree, loud and clearly!
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