Dad, sometimes I wonder …
Having heard yet another tale from my childhood, my son has recently taken to collecting discarded aluminium cans to make some pocket money. Yesterday, I took him ‘can hunting’ and as we drove in our car, he asked me a simple question, “If you had a wish dad, what would it be?” I gave some irrelevant answer stemming from my concentration divided between the road and that nagging list that bubbles in the back of the mind. For my son, there was no such lack of clarity.
“I wish I could bring grandad back to life.”
I felt negligent that I hadn’t given his enquiry due thought, but I also felt pride that he had obviously been contemplating the question in a manner that defied his years. Later that morning, we wandered around a fete at our local sports ground. He clambered over inflatable obstacle courses and attempted to catch the fake ‘snow’ that was being generated to mark Christmas in July, as one would expect a young lad to do.
However, the fete’s deeper purpose was to raise awareness of the Cancer Council and its sterling work. Given his earlier question, I explained to my son that it was cancer that had taken his grandad. Again, I could see his young mind at work.
“Dad, I’m going to give my can money to the Cancer Council. They need it more than me.”
These are the moments that a father treasures.
I sometimes wonder what my dad would think about how my life has turned out – who I’ve become, what I’ve done and where I’ve been. I know that he would have adored the girl that I married and the kids we share. Still, sometimes I find myself pondering the thought.
And then, through a simple act or a word from one of our children, I know he is not far away at all. He lives on in their smiles, their laughter, their honesty and their cheeky grin.
Rest in peace Dad. It’s been 26 years today.