Leading up to Fathers' Day I've been thinking about how much I miss my Dad and how blessed I am to have him as my Dad.
Above all, Dad was the epitome of unconditional love and selflessness.
He always made me feel special, he always made me feel like I was enough. He was happy to sit and 'be' with me.
From him I've learnt that what my children need and want from me is to feel loved. It reminds me to slow down, to stop doing chores and to just be with them. The mess can wait, the email can wait and I don't really need to take every phone call. I think of my Dad and how content he was to just play with us and to enjoy our company.
As much as we want our kids to have everything and to have loads of cool experiences what means most to them is to be loved. To be loved unconditionally, just like my Dad loved my sister and I.
This is what I wrote as a tribute for him at his funeral:
My dead Dad
Every time I think about my Dad, I'm going to have a smile on my face because that's how he would have wanted it. When I was happy, he was happy.
Dad was the most content when he had his family all together in the same room. It didn't matter where we where or what was happening, as long as we were all together, life was good.
Birthday presents and father's day presents were always easy to get for Dad- a dinner or lunch together was a winner every time. A simple 2 minute phone call would make his day.
I lived with my Dad for many years up until about a year ago. It used to give him great joy to tell people that I was his flatmate, or as he would say with his accent "flaaat-a-mate". We spent a lot of afternoons sitting on our matching lazy boy chairs watching some sort of sport on TV- usually footy. We'd sit there together for hours, not really saying much but having a great time. Watching the footy won't be the same without my Dad ranting on about how much he hates Phil Gould or anything to do with New South Wales.
My Dad loved a good laugh and would often poke fun in a lighthearted way. When he went to buy a cofee at Starbucks at the P. A. Hospital and they asked him to give them his name, he would say his name was 'sweetheart'. That's so when his coffee was ready and they would yell out his name, he would have a red-faced barista yelling out "sweetheart, sweetheart" for him!
He was a kind and caring man with a gentle nature. He was so excited about becoming a grandfather. When Maria was in labour he rang the hospital every 20 minutes to see how she was going. Maria had a long labour, over 24 hours, so I'm sure he drove the nurses crazy that day!
A couple of years ago I turned 26. My birthday fell on a Friday and I was at work. Little did I know Dad had organised my Mum and Stepdad to come to my work with him. They brought in champagne, food and cake! I remember the look on Dad's face when he walked into the clinic to surprise me. He was so happy!
He was my Dad, my hero, my best friend and my kindred spirit.
Every girl should be so lucky to have a Dad like you.