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!
Link up here at WOTM or with another of us in the Lovin’ Life Linky team:
Leanne of Deep Fried Fruit
Lyndall of Seize the Day Project
Kathy of 50 Shades of Age
Deborah of Debbish
and Jo of And Anyways
It doesn’t matter where you link up as it will magically appear on all six blogs.
What an incredibly beautiful post Min. xoxoxo
Thanks so much Leanne. xo
A very touching tribute to your Dad, Min. Wishing you peace and love this season and in the new year.
Thank you Natalie. Wishing you peace and love in return. xo
Your Dad sounded like a wonderful man Min. I can imagine that he will leave a big gap in your life. Thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute to your Dad with us. Merry Christmas. #TeamLovinLife
Thanks Kathy. He was very wonderful. There’s a huge gap and it hurts but I guess I will get used to living with it in time. Merry Christmas to you too and hopefully we will finally meet in person sometime early in 2018! xo
What beautiful memories. We had sort of similar childhoods – my father was a country bank manager but with Bank of NSW/Westpac & we also lived on the bank premises but in country NSW. Your dad sounds like a lovely man & you were privileged to have him as your dad. xxx
Thanks Jo. Fancy us having Dad’s in similar occupations etc. My Dad was a truly wonderful man and yes – I’m very proud to have had him as my father. See you in February! xo
What a lovely post Min, and a beautiful tribute to your Dad. I’m very sorry for your loss, and it’s especially sad at this particular time of year.
Thanks so much Jo. xo
Oh Min, that’s lovely. The next year will be one of horrible firsts – first Christmas without him, first birthday, first Father’s Day. I know it sounds like a cliche but you have those wonderful memories. I adored my dad as well and we were close. I still miss him, but he’s always with me.
Thanks Deb. I know you know only too well how this feels. Christmas will be hard this year. His absence will be intensely felt, and yes then a year of firsts to follow. At the moment my mind seems to be drifting to all the lasts – last father’s day, last birthday, last easter etc. I do still feel my Dad with me though, which is lovely. xo
Oh Min I’m crying after reading such beautiful words. Today would have been my Dad’s birthday 21/12 but even though he has been gone for almost 37 years, he is still with me and I know your Dad will always be with you. It will be a difficult time for you all with Christmas and all the ‘firsts’ and I know it doesn’t help when people say ‘your Dad would want you to celebrate’. But it is true and you have written the perfect tribute to him. I just adored all the photos and I’m sure he would have been very proud of you all. Sending my love to you and your family Min. I can’t say Happy Christmas because it will be tinged with grief and sadness but try to focus on the great memories and have a special toast for your lovely Dad.
Sorry to make you cry Sue! I’ve been doing quite a bit of that myself lately and probably a lot more to come yet. Your Dad (and Mum) passed so young. I’m so sorry for you. I’m so glad you still feel them with you though. Thank you for all your kind comments and also for being such a caring and generous friend to me during this time. I’m sorry we didn’t get to meet in person this month as planned but hopefully soon! Have a wonderful Christmas and may 2018 be a great one for you! xo
The most beautiful words. What a wonderful man. Thank you for sharing so much of your heart. Thinking of you xx I look forward to joining the linky in the new year xx
Thanks so much for your kind words Elisa! xo
Min, what beautiful words to honour a beautiful and good man. My thoughts are with your family right now.
Thank you SSG – you always say such lovely things. Merry Christmas to you and yours! xo
Wow those words were just so beautiful and a better and more honest tribute I am yet to see. The love of and for your Dad shines through. I have been thinking of you as you approach your first Christmas without your Dad. It will be an occasion to both remember him and honour him again. Thank you for sharing here. Nothing more appropriate for me than to tell your story on the blog. That is why we blog. To connect. Much love sent your way! Looking forward to seeing your post on 1.1.2018 as that is when my first link up begins for 2018. Denyse xx
Thanks so much Denyse for such lovely complimentary words on my tribute to Dad. I’m glad my love for him shines through because I do love him very much. I will be linking up my first post for 2018 on 1 Jan with your linky Denyse. It’s part of my plan. It will be my December 2017 Taking Stock post with a bit of a look back over 2017 incorporated … so should suit the theme. Have a wonderful Christmas and I’ll see you at your blog on 1 Jan. xo
Min, my heart goes out to you and your family, in this time of sadness. Your beautiful tribute about your dad, brought me too tears. Kevin, seemed like one of those true gentlemen, who was there for those around him. Jenni xxx
Thank you Jenni. My Dad was a true gentleman and a wonderful man. xo
That was beautiful Min, and although you are so sad at the moment, the relationship you had with your dad is priceless. Take it from me – I would have loved to have had that sort of dad. When my dad passed we barely felt it – and that’s a sad legacy to leave behind. He will always be in your heart and for that you are truly blessed xx
Thanks Leanne. I’m so sorry you didn’t have a relationship with your Dad like I had with my Dad. That’s very sad. I know I’ve been very lucky. xo
How heart warming to read this about your dad, Min!!
This is the part of life we never look forward to, yet I think you’ve shown it so wonderfully here.
Thanks Jodie. It’s something I have dreaded but knew I’d have to face one day. Still can’t believe that day has come. xo
Tears. I am sure even 4 years later, you feel the loss of your father most significantly. Maybe even more so than you did immediately. He sounds like a very special man. My father has been gone almost 10 years. The ache in my heart has lessened but there are times when I want to share what I am doing, seeing, thinking with my dad and then it returns. When I see butterflies, like so many other folks, I feel my father’s presence. On Saturday, we went on a hike he would have enjoyed. One butterfly followed along with us for some time. I am sure it was my dad.
Hi Leslie – I miss him more and more with each passing day. I miss him particularly right now with Mum not being well. I talk to him and ask him to help and guide us from heaven. I can feel his presence. I do feel he lives in my heart. I used to hear people say that and think “yeah sure!” but I truly do feel him in my heart – a warm awareness of him. I’m so sorry you’ve lost your Dad too. Butterflies make me think of my Dad too. I’m sure that butterfly on your hike was your Dad too. I have had similar experiences. It’s important to be aware and open to them. Lots of love to you! xo