Tuesday, 30 September 2008

My Hero

My wonderful Dad is 84 years young tomorrow. I love him so much. He is my hero. My rock. He is one of life's gentlemen.
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He is from a different generation yet he is still young at heart. He is everything I can never be. He was a brilliant amateur sportsman, good at running, football, rowing & .....darts! He grew up in a pub. His parents were always busy & not really into touchy feely emotional stuff. When the war started he was unable to serve because of a major stomach op & bad injury to his leg sustained while playing football when a flailing lace from the old style ball opened up a gaping wound on his shin which became badly infected. He worked with his Father helping to build Spitfires. Several times they narrowly escaped the blitz at the factory they worked in. He meet my Mum when he was an apprentice electrician. They celebrate their "Diamond" Anniversary next month, which is an incredible achievement. There love remains undiminished. He has always been faithful & never strayed.
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He worked on Power stations, Trains & Ships, what ever it took to look after his family. He loves people & was renowned & respected for his approach to his team when he was a foreman. As a Dad he was second to none.
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He loved to make me toys. It was his brilliant gift for painting cartoon characters in the steamy windows of our kitchen & dining room that bought out the artist in me as a child. Bugs Bunny, Top Cat & Yogi Bear came to life before my eyes. It was such a shame that he was some how robbed of having a "normal" child. He tried & tried to get me interested in sport. Hid Dad loved sports & he so wanted me to share his passion. Eventually he gave up on me actually playing anything remotely to do with team sports or running. He was always quiet & thoughtful at home but he seemed to come alive when we had company. Our relationship was cemented by his eventual success to take me along to watch our local football team. At last we had something in common. Emotions were a subject you just could not go near but Footy was a whole different thing. These shared experiences are something I will always treasure. I wanted my Dad to be happy & proud of me. I did not do man stuff terribly well & at the time this was a positive development to our friendship. We still share this passion now.
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I love him with all my heart. It tore me apart to hurt him by telling him my truth. Until that day of disclosure we had never had a crossword together. I was no Angel & he had to tell me off from time to time although not that often, but we had never argued until then.
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We never talked about my condition for ten years. It was impossible & not open to discussion. When I invitably became so ill at trying to live to my parents wishes of not transitioning while they were alive & had to tell him what the consultant at the hospital thought of my situation he took the news very badly. They had only tried to protect me out of missguided love. They assumed I would lose all my friends, my job & be chased down the street with burning torches, such were their fears. He had been in denial for all that time. How could some one from a different age possibly come to terms with a child/adult like me, bless him? He ended up in an ambulance the same week such was his own turmoil. We had for the first time in our lives leading up to this hiatus, had several blazing rows which were completely out of character for both of us.
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That was two years ago. Now we have both changed & our relationship is as strong as ever. My hero now protects me & loves me for who I am. The turning point came when I went away for surgery. He knew then my transition was real & going to happen. If there had been any other way that avoided hurting him I would have taken it. He went from denial to acceptance the weekend before I had my operation. We went to his friends together & told them one by one in person or via letters & he found the same love & acceptance from his friends, just as I had been so blessed with nearly all of mine.
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While I was away he told our neighbours & mutual friends just to make things easier for me. It is not easy for him but he is trying so very hard. He now always calls me Debbie which has taken a huge effort on his part & if anyone else gets it wrong he politely puts them right. He tries to do some of the heavy jobs he really should not be doing now rather than ask me because I simply cannot physically do them now. Thankfully we have very good neighbours who keep an eye out to make sure he is not doing too much while I am away from home.
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Tomorrow we hope to go out for a family lunch together to celebrate his birthday & then at his own request we are off to the cinema to see
"MU MA MIA"
My Hero, my wonderful DAD is 84 years young.
God Bless Him.
What an incredibly sweet choice of film he made, what a wonderful, wonderful man!
Love
Debbie

9 comments:

Lori D said...

An incredibly sweet post Deb! I wish I had been able to tell my own father before he passed on. You are cherishing each moment I can tell!

Anji said...

Happy Birthday to your dad. He sounds really special - reminds me of my Grandfather.

alan said...

Had you only written the first half of your post he would have been a hero to me...having seen photos of the things that were done to Coventry and other factories during the War it's so hard to believe that anyone survived, let alone managed to produce the things we needed to save life as we know it!

That he was involved in building the beautiful Spitfire gives me great pause as well...as magnificent now as it was then, a true thing of beauty!

The 2nd half of your post elevates him beyond the rank of heroes of the past and brings him into the present. That your love for each other would find a way through all of this speaks volumes of you both; that he has the courage to go above and beyond in love and protection places him in a league of his own.

I lost my own father 25 years ago this month; he was a year younger than your Dad. Though we had our fair share of battles, I miss him much. Please pass along some hugs from me, one for his birthday, one for all he went through for all of us so many years ago, and one for raising such a wonderful daughter!

alan

LucyTolliday said...

A beautiful well crafted post which must have taken a long time to write.

I'd like to give my birthday wishes to your father.

alan said...

Those were all intended, btw, to get you hugs as well...

:o)

alan

Katy J said...

Awe Debbie, happy "Belated" birthday to your dad. Again like Lori I wish my dad was still around.

Debbie K said...

Dear Lori, Anji, Alan, Lucy & katy
Thank you so much for your kind words. We had a super day out for my dear Dads birthday. Full of emotions & happy memories. We all enjoyed the film. Mum & I both had our hankies out towards the end. When they sang "I believe in Angels" for all kinds of reasons, the tears just flowed.
Lots of love
Debbie

Anji said...

I just read the comment you left for Jo. it was really beautiful. I can really see (and i think others will have noticed too) that your strength is growing.

Hugs

Debbie K said...

Dear Anji
Thank you for your kind words. You are very observent. My confidence levels have changed more than I ever dreamed could be possible. Before I was able to be true to my heart my self belief was at zero. A little miracle seems to be happening although I still have a long way to go. My anxiey levels continue to make me very vulnerable but thanks to the support I receive from dear friends like you, I have hope in my heart & life to look forward to.
Bless you
Love
Debbie